Good Luck, Clemson

The Clemson Tigers take the field tonight in the Chick-Fil-A bowl in what I think will be the ACC’s ‘defining’ bowl game of 2007. The Tigers game tonight against Auburn will only count as one game – the conference is currently a respectable 2-1 in bowls thusfar – but the magnitude of this battle with the SEC will ‘count’ more in most people’s minds than just one game.

With this said, we have posted a video to help ring in the New Year and hopefully to serve as a harbinger for a 2008 bowl appearance for Tom O’Brien’s Wolfpack!

For many fans, certain games in a program’s history ring louder and more important than others. Furthermore, many fans can identify certain plays that also seem to have significantly more meaning than others.

Any Wolfpack fan alive in 1986 experienced quite a few unforgettable games and moments – including a program defining win over Clemson and a gut-wrenching defeat at the hands of an unethical Bill Dooley in the Peach Bowl. Since those Clemson Tigers are in (what used to be) the Peach Bowl tonight, then the play in the video provided is relevant and worth sharing. it is easily one the biggest and most significant plays in many NC State fans’ memories.

While you are walking down memory lane…then please do not overlook this fantastic link.

Other than the Wolfpack’s thrilling 35-34 win in Chapel Hill in 1986, NC State’s 27-3 throttling of Clemson on CBS was the other ‘best’ game of that season. Considering Clemson’s place amongst college football’s powerhouses at that time, the Pack’s win over the Tigers was bigger for the program than any win that season and will forever live as one of the greatest wins in NC State history for fans of my ‘longitude and latitude.’

Personally, this game has particularly special place in my heart as it was one of the first live games I ever attended with my father – and definitely the first “big game” I ever attended.

I’ll never forget the rain. I’ll never forget the crowd. I’ll never forget the big red horn that I blew for hours (before noise makers were banned). I’ll never forget Haywood Jefferies’ reverse. I’ll never forget getting hom and watching my video tape of the game – that I still have today – and thinking that it was just as awesome on television as it was in person because of so many of the compliments that the CBS crew gave our rising program.

NCS Football Tradition

22 Responses to Good Luck, Clemson

  1. tractor57 12/31/2007 at 1:02 PM #

    In 1986 I was living in Spartanburg, SC (right in the middle of Clemson territory) and we brought a crew of NCSU grads to the game. I remember the rain, the disgust on Danny Ford’s face and the final score.
    Living in the Clemson area I was able to attend a number of games at Death Valley (not all against NCSU) and I can say it was the absolute BEST place to attend a college football game.
    Go Clemson!

  2. StateFans 12/31/2007 at 1:10 PM #

    Totally agree re: Death Valley. I have a ton of respect and reverence for their football experience.

  3. PackBacker001 12/31/2007 at 1:17 PM #

    “a gut-wrenching defeat at the hands of an unethical Bill Dooley in the Peach Bowl.”

    I’m too young to remember that. What happened?

  4. RickJ 12/31/2007 at 1:40 PM #

    ^I’m too old to get this exactly right but I believe VPI was out of time outs and faked and injury to get the clock stopped before making the winning field goal. The field goal kicker promptly ran the length of our sideline giving our team the finger. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

  5. StateFans 12/31/2007 at 1:47 PM #

    Other than the fact that Dooley cheated while at Carolina and then was busted for cheating at VPI that was so bad that the University considered giving up football when Dooley was removed as coach an AD…

    During the Peach Bowl after a couple of controversial plays/bad calls, VPI was slowly driving down the field with no time outs at the end of the game. Near the VPI sidelines a player was tackled in bounds with the clock running down towards and NC State win.

    Television clearly showed Dooley and all of his coaches yelling and motioning for the player to fall down and fake an injury. Player fell. Clock stopped. VPI gets a ‘time out’. Manages to kick to long field goal with no time on the clock to win by 1 point.

    Chris Kinzer, VPI kicker, proceeds to run in front of NC State coaches and sideline with two middle fingers sticking up and embarassing him for life. (He still talks about how he doesn’t know what possessed him to act that way when interviewed).

    Player faked an injury. driving VPI player faked an injury

  6. wufpup76 12/31/2007 at 1:48 PM #

    ^RickJ – you’ve got it right

    I was very young, but IIRC, the hokies faked injuries to stop the clock on at least 3 successive plays w/out penalty and made a long FG to win the game … utter BS

  7. sf59 12/31/2007 at 1:49 PM #

    thats moslty right, except instead of the finger didn’t he pistol shoot the side line???

  8. RickJ 12/31/2007 at 1:53 PM #

    ^Definitely not a pistol shoot – that was Todd Ellis of South Carolina at Carter-Finley.

  9. StateFans 12/31/2007 at 2:15 PM #

    Absolutely NOT a pistol. (Todd Ellis) The middle finger. BOTH hands. It was crazy.

    He was a freshman. Had a huge year that season. He got worse each year after that.

    I ultimately learned a few years ago that his ‘real job’ was working at the golf course at VPI.

    Check out this quickie from 1999.

    It’s hard to imagine two people more different than Shayne Graham and Chris Kinzer, Tech’s clutch field goal kicker of the 1986 Peach Bowl season. Kinzer was more flamboyant, more cocky, and more sure of himself. He had ice water in his veins and was born to kick game-winning field goals.

  10. Sweet jumper 12/31/2007 at 2:19 PM #

    Sounds like a YouTube moment!

  11. StateFans 12/31/2007 at 2:20 PM #

    New York Times article on January 1, 1987. I had forgotten about the bogus pass interference call —-

    Chris Kinzer kicked a 40-yard field goal as time expired today to give Virginia Tech a 25-24 victory over North Carolina State in the Peach Bowl and give Coach Bill Dooley a triumph in his final game at the school.

    Erik Chapman, the Hokies’ quarterback, led the winning drive by completing 4 of 7 passes for 44 yards in the final 1 minute 53 seconds. The drive was helped by a 15-yard pass-interference penalty on the play immediately before Kinzer’s field goal.

    Mike Cofer had kicked a 33-yard field goal with 7:12 left to give North Carolina State a 24-22 lead.

    The contest completed an 8-3-1 season for Dick Sheridan, the first-year North Carolina State coach, who took over a program that had suffered through three consecutive 3-8 seasons. Chapman Leads Comeback

    Chapman led the Hokies (9-2-1) back from a 21-10 halftime deficit as he connected on a 29-yard pass to Eddie Hunter to the 1-yard line following a fumble by Erik Kramer, the North Carolina State quarterback. Maurice Williams, who gained 129 yards on 16 attempts, dived over on the next play with 33 seconds left in the third period. The extra-point attempt failed, leaving the score 21-16.

    Virginia Tech made it 22-21 at 5:24 of the final quarter when Chapman connected with Steve Johnson on a 6-yard pass play following another fumble by Kramer.

    Both scoring passes by Kramer came following interceptions of Chapman. Derrick Taylor, who had one of the thefts for the Wolfpack, also blocked a punt in the opening quarter that was recovered in the end zone by Brian Bulluck for North Carolina’s first score.

  12. StateFans 12/31/2007 at 2:27 PM #

    It took Kinzer 8 years to graduate. He is now a 42 year old middle school teacher in Fredricksburg.

    Here is a link to a “where are they now” from the VPI alumni magazine

  13. StateFans 12/31/2007 at 2:28 PM #

    Here is an article from 2006. Check it out.

    Many people vividly remember Kinzer’s game-winning kick, but lost in the fanfare was Tech’s drive to get in the kicker’s range.

    There was only 1:53 left when the Hokies started their final possession on their own 20. They had all their timeouts, but they still needed a few fortuitous plays, and officials calls, to put themselves in position for the game-winning kick.

    Facing fourth-and-3 at the N.C. State 37, Tech quarterback Erik Chapman connected with tight end Steve Johnson on a nine-yard pass to the 28, which was well within Kinzer’s range, but a holding penalty on the next play pushed back the Hokies 10 yards.

    Tech then gave the ball to Williams (129 yards and a touchdown that day), but the running back couldn’t get out of bounds after a minimal gain. The Hokies had no timeouts left.

    “He got tackled in bounds with 11 seconds left, and he feigned an injury to stop the clock. He won an Oscar on that thing,” said Johnson, now a commercial real estate developer and professional road racer living in Bristol.

    A pass interference penalty on the next play put the ball at the 23.

  14. beowolf 12/31/2007 at 2:40 PM #

    I will never forget that Clemson game; it was awesome.

    If anyone has a VHS or DVD of that game, I would love a copy. I have a ton of old games on DVD now and would be happy to work out a trade.

  15. VaWolf82 12/31/2007 at 3:36 PM #

    By living on the Left Coast, I missed all of the 1986 season until the Peach Bowl game against VT. I appreciate that clip and enjoyed the interview with Spurrier as a bowl representative.

    While I was home over Christmas last week, I got to see a replay of the 1986 UNC game. The UNC game summarized the best and worst of the Sheridan era. Consistent wins over UNC……and prevent defenses.

  16. Noah 12/31/2007 at 4:57 PM #

    I have never seen the Clemson game. I got the game time wrong the day of the game and turned the TV on with about three minutes left in the fourth quarter. I’d love to see it if anyone has it.

    Regarding Chris Kinzer, if it makes you feel any better, he blew his knee out the first day of training camp with the Houston Oilers. I worked with Bill Dooley about a decade ago and we talked about that game. The pass int. call was on our safety…I think his name was Brian Gay…the receiver had slipped behind the defender and Gay, from where I was sitting, looked like he got a hand on the ball before he hit the receiver.

    The official disagreed and threw the flag right away. I remember seeing the other safety (Michael Brooks?) going over and hugging him as soon as the flag came out. Everyone knew that the game was over.

    I thought that was as bad as you could feel after a football loss. Six years later against ECU in the Peach Bowl, I changed my mind.

  17. beowolf 12/31/2007 at 7:09 PM #

    And over a decade after that there was the TA TD callback game, which combined the worst of both.

  18. #44 17 24 12/31/2007 at 8:30 PM #

    Anybody else see the uniforms of the team in the Chic-fil-A comercial with the cows comin down on the field? Looked just like Virginia’s. I wonder if that means anything.

  19. terry gannon 12/31/2007 at 9:15 PM #

    I was at that Clemson game, rain and all, back in ’86. Along with the miracle finish against South Carolina, definitely the most memorable game as a young (15) Wolfpack fan. Whoever has a copy of the game I would also like to be able to borrow it…I’ll put it on DVD if it isn’t already and give whoever owns it a copy.

  20. wolfonthehill 01/01/2008 at 9:09 AM #

    ^^^ The ECU Peach Bowl is the one that almost convinced me not to travel to football games again. The single worst feeling I’ve ever had regarding a sporting event. 34-17 with 9 to go… and we lose??? To those asshats? Unbelievable. Thanks for the reminder… 🙂

    But I’m glad I worked through those issues in time to make the trip for the Gator…

  21. Noah 01/01/2008 at 4:59 PM #

    There were actually 5:52 left on the clock in the Peach Bowl. Five minutes, fifty-two seconds. I’ll never forget that.

  22. wolfonthehill 01/01/2008 at 8:28 PM #

    ^ Jeebus – thanks for that. I had purged the fact that they scored 20 points on us in less than 6 minutes.

    I do remember the overly-conservative offensive playcalling on our part, on a day when Terry Jordan was, up to that point, playing a hell of a game.

    I do remember Jeff Blake and that big-ass, slow, white tight end for ECU completely taking over down the stretch.

    I do remember what it felt like to walk out of that stadium, listening to the trash that is the ECU fanbase… and then what it felt like to drive hom ein the middle of a convoy of ECU flags & cars & painted windows.

    But for some reason, I forgot that we were up 17 with 6 to go, not 9.

    Dammit – that one will always hurt.

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