Program on the Rise?

David Amerson and the Wolfpack hope to rise to the top of the ACC heap in 2012.

For any dyed in the wool fan of NC State Football, or pretty much any Wolfpack athletic program for that matter, it is completely unnecessary to state the obvious…NC State has been the Rodney Dangerfield of the ACC more often than not in the past.  That’s why the recent onslaught of positive press has some of us feeling a bit of culture shock.

Andrea Adelson, the new gal in town on the ESPN College Football blogoshpere, weighs in on the subject saying that NC State Football is a team on the rise….

The talk is growing louder again about NC State. Given all the talent returning, given how close it has come to winning an ACC title before, could this be the season the Wolfpack finally puts it all together?

Some folks say yes.

So the dark horse label has been firmly affixed onto this team as it gets ready for a huge opener against Tennessee on Friday night in the Georgia Dome.

“We’ve always been a sleeper team,” receiver Tobais Palmer said in a recent phone interview.”I feel as though there’s certain teams in the ACC that get respect, like Clemson, Florida State, those type of guys. Nobody gives us the respect we deserve, but that’s OK. We use it as motivation and it helps us out. Going into the first game, I’m excited to see what this season brings.”


NC State also plays in the tough Atlantic Division, featuring preseason favorite No. 7 Florida State and reigning ACC champ No. 14 Clemson, the two highest ranked teams in the ACC. For NC State to truly have a shot at the ACC title, the Wolfpack are going to have to beat both teams, something they have not done in the same season since 2002.

They have split against them the last two seasons. Last year, NC State lost to Florida State 34-0, the first time since 2008 the Wolfpack had been shutout. But after a devastating loss to Boston College, the Wolfpack went into their home game against No. 7 Clemson without anybody giving them much of a shot, mostly because they were fighting for bowl eligibility. But they pulled off the major shocker, winning 37-13.

Go back to 2010. NC State beat Florida State but lost to Clemson 14-13 after blowing a fourth-quarter lead. Still, the Wolfpack had a shot at winning the ACC heading into their season finale against Maryland. But they lost 38-31, blowing their chances. They had to watch Florida State get to the ACC championship game instead.

“For the past two years, we’ve had a shot at it,” Palmer said. “The year before, we gave the game away losing to Maryland. Last year, we gave the league away. We’ve always been so close every year. We feel this year is the year everyone is going to dial in. We’ve been getting after each other. We’re holding each other accountable. As long as we keep doing that, we should be a hard team to stop.”


There is no doubt that the Pack has some question marks that must be adequately addressed.  To be sure, preseason respect alone will not translate into success on the field.  The Pack has been here before and promptly fallen flat when the spotlight shone too brightly.

But the change in culture and attitude is difficult to ignore.  As the season has been steadily approaching, one of the things I’ve noticed in most interviews with head coach Tom O’Brien and selected team leaders is a quiet and understated confidence.  The coaches and players of this team believe in each other and have confidence that the right guy will be in the right place at the right time.  They also seem to have a bit of a chip on their collective shoulder.

Fine by me.

Friday at 7:30pm in Atlanta, the Pack will have another opportunity to take that next step up the ladder, gain a little national respect and prove it means business.

Grab the Vols by the balls and don’t let go, boys!


About Wufpacker

A 2nd generation alumnus and raised since birth to be irrationally dedicated to all things NC State. Class of '88 and '92.

'12 Football College Football NCS Football

8 Responses to Program on the Rise?

  1. theTHRILL 08/29/2012 at 5:30 AM #

    “Respect” is SO overvalued. It seems that people who focus on respect spend too much time thinking about what outsiders think. Besides, look at our record over the past several seasons and you’ll understand why our respect meter is where it’s at.

  2. Wufpacker 08/29/2012 at 6:28 AM #

    Never meant to imply that our lack of respect wasn’t well earned. And I have to agree about respect, and what outsiders think in general, as being overvalued. That’s why I’m happy to hear a confident tone from the team, but nothing even bordering on what I’d call cockiness. They seem to want to prove it to themselves and couldn’t really care less what others have to say about it.

    That being said, however, others don’t agree. For those folks perception is reality and how outsiders view the program relative to its peers is important to them. The pride aspect does have value for a lot of alumni/fans and who am I to say they’re any more right/wrong than you or I?

  3. Master 08/29/2012 at 7:40 AM #

    The only people who don’t show us any respect are opposing fans, mediaand sometimes our own fans. I can guarantee you that other teams in the league know we can beat them. FSU has known that for years in football and Clemson fans here in Charleston always tell em they expect us to beat them or keep it close.

  4. Wufpacker 08/29/2012 at 7:51 AM #

    “The only people who don’t show us any respect are opposing fans, mediaand sometimes our own fans.”

    Who else is there? Aside from the more than occasional Chapel Hill thugnificent “student athlete” or coach that gets froggy in the media during Carolina game week, of course.

  5. primacyone 08/29/2012 at 8:09 AM #

    It could all come down to a 4th and 1. Will we go for it, or will we punt?

  6. mak4dpak 08/29/2012 at 9:00 AM #

    I am just ready to get the season underway. I trust my trip to Atlanta will be worth it. But I truly feel we have the talent for me to be optimistic about the game, and the season. Go Pack!

  7. packalum44 08/29/2012 at 10:40 AM #

    UT will load the box with 8 guys and dare us to throw.

    On defense, they will attack our linebackers with short routes. Will be hard to run against our D-line, our tackles are gigantic (are they good? we don’t know yet).

    I have faith that Tenuta, who calls our plays, will outduel his opponent. This game comes down to COACHING. Will TOB manage the clock effectively and implement an appropriate offensive scheme before the game? Will Bible shit the bed like we’ve seen too many times before?

    Look for our tight ends to be targetted ALOT, early and often. Glennon’s first snap should be a pass to Mario Carter. Look for us to spread the field and force UT to put 3 or 4 corners out there. Look for us to throw quick outs and screens on these spread formations, and run reverses. If we execute this scheme early and convert a few first downs, then the stupid UT defense is on their heels and the box opens up. Run the ball behind that supposedly talented offensive line.

    If we open up the running game, which can happen with a proper scheme and good play calling, then we win the game.

  8. Virginia Wolf 08/29/2012 at 9:13 PM #

    We must keep constant pressure on their QB. Don’t let up!!! Then the Pack wins!!!

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