Into the Abyss: Winston-Salem, NC.

Look, it’s simply impossible to over-exaggerate just how much a House of Horrors Groves Stadium BB&T Field has been for N.C. State.

Every odd year folks start throwing around the “no way we lose to Wake Forest this year.” But every odd year we go to the abyss called Winston-Salem and play impossibly dreadful, and lose. Current State students would hardly even remember a win in Winston-Salem.

Dick Sheridan owned lowly Wake Forest. But, we’ve only won in Winston exactly once since Terry Harvey and Jose Laureano (yes, that Jose Laureano) out-dueled Rusty LaRue (yes, that Rusty LaRue) there in 1995. And that one win was way back in Philip’s sophomore year in 2001. Let that sink in a moment.

LaRue tossed up a cool 545 yards on us that day in 1995. State finished the season 3-8, while Wake finished 1-10. Since then, we could play Wake Forest in Wake Forest and lose.

Sadly, I’m doing most of this from traumatic memory:

1997 – On an ESPN Thursday night game, Wake kicked a long field goal inside a minute to play, and then State missed a very long field goal as time expired, and Wake won 19-18.

1999 – Those who saw it will never forget it. Wake won 31-7 but it felt like Georgia Tech-Cumberland. This game was over at halftime. State had maybe 25 yards rushing and maybe 150 total yards; Morgan Kane ran for about 150 yards on his own and only Jim Caldwell could keep him out of the end zone that day.

2001 – The Greatest ACC quarterback ever and San Diego Chargers starter and 2013 NFL MVP candidate Philip Rivers did just enough for State to win 17-14. We probably should’ve lost.

2003 – State was caught looking ahead to the following Saturday’s game in Columbus, and lost 38-24, mostly because we had about 150 yards in personal foul penalties. Philip threw about 50 times for over 400 yards but had one pass ricochet off an O-lineman’s helmet and one ricochet off the turf, both for interceptions (no replay review back then; the exact same ricochet off the turf was called in Columbus a week later).

2005 – Marcus Stone and Jay Davis combined for about 20 interceptions, and Wake used two pick sixes — one to seal it on a late-game drive — to win 27-19.

2007 – Daniel Evans did what Daniel Evans did best: complete passes to the defense. Often for touchdowns. Wake won 38-18.

2009 – Seattle Seahawks starting quarterback and three-year State starter and alum Russell Wilson’s season-plus-long streak without an interception ended this game. He threw two picks and Riley Skinner had about 600 yards passing. Wake won 30-24.

2011 – State was down 34-13 before Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting quarterback Mike Glennon even found his timing, and despite what appeared to be a valiant comeback effort, this game ended in typical fashion. Wake won 34-27.

2013 – Expecting a win in Winston-Salem isn’t confidence, it’s foolishness; it scoffs at the laws of the physical universe we occupy.


Wake Forest and Syracuse game times both set for 3:30, Fox Sports (SFN).

About LRM

Charter member of the Lunatic Fringe and a fan, loyal to a fault.

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27 Responses to Into the Abyss: Winston-Salem, NC.

  1. Fastback68 09/30/2013 at 3:25 PM #

    “The past is in the past. The future is now.” Clem, Joe Dirt. Booze, BBQ and baptist babes are why I bought four tickets plus my faith in DD. if you see a 13 year old kid wearing a wolf mask, he is a member of the next pack generation and he expects State to win, as do I. Go Pack!!!!

  2. Wulfpack 09/30/2013 at 3:26 PM #

    When Pack fans start beating their chest guaranteeing a win at Wake, it makes me wonder if they actually pay attention to the history. We all know we are the better team, as we have been in year’s past. Even Wake fans admit it. But somehow someway we keep coming back on the losing end. Time to buck that trend this time.

  3. 4in12 09/30/2013 at 3:48 PM #

    The common theme seems to be interceptions. Maybe with our new-found ground game we might have a chance?

  4. TheCOWDOG 09/30/2013 at 4:11 PM #

    I’d rather not talk about them…over there.

    But, if inclined I would mention that Wake is an historical football power, with recruiting capabilities in line with the powerhouses of the SEC.

    Wake is just flat out good, and fully capable of knocking on that NC door once again.

  5. wolfonthehill 09/30/2013 at 4:28 PM #

    Picked a good game to be in the Pacific Northwest drinking wine…

  6. Khan 09/30/2013 at 4:29 PM #

    Very entertaining read. Well done!

    We will win this time. Guaranteed.

  7. old13 09/30/2013 at 4:54 PM #

    Rusty LaRue! Now there’s an interesting guy. I always thought his name implied an old-time cowboy with a whip (i.e., Lash’s brother? Remember you older guys!) rather than a D1 QB

    BTW It’s all those Southern Baptist prayer meetings they do instead of practice. Noting that DD now has a team chaplain, maybe he will counter to the positive!

    Go Pack!

  8. tractor57 09/30/2013 at 5:00 PM #

    I go back a bit beyond the current ju ju but I’m far from guaranteeing anything. Another demon to be stomped flat. I’m hopeful but beyond issuing a guarantee for anything other than there will be a game a few miles down the road from me.

  9. Old MacDonald 09/30/2013 at 5:44 PM #

    …and that 2001 win over there was aided by a questionable late-hit call that went our way. A personal foul called on a Wake DB for (IIRC) a hit on Cotchery near the sideline that gave us a late first down and sealed it. I thought it was a bad call watching it in person.

    But…I have to drive LRM crazy by saying the following: some if not most of those Wake teams listed above were actually pretty good to good squads. This one this year is not. This is the worst WF team we have played over there in decades….

  10. YogiNC 09/30/2013 at 5:56 PM #

    “This is the worst WF team we have played over there in decades….” Which means if we lose to this team what does that say about us? I do believe if we bring the same intensity we had for the tiggers we’ll whup ’em finally.

  11. Dogbreath 09/30/2013 at 5:58 PM #

    I’ve hated Freddie Autry-Lindsay since that 2003 game.

    We came out of the tunnel and he was running down the Wake sideline barking like a dog at their players, and they proceeded to farm rape us.

  12. JohnGalt78 09/30/2013 at 6:06 PM #

    Run the ball, run the ball and then, run the ball some more! One pass per quarter just to keep em honest….but throw all 4 out of bounds.

  13. packalum44 09/30/2013 at 6:18 PM #

    Certainly we were NOT favored in all those past games??

    I can’t find a good site with historical data that far.

    Personally I don’t believe in the pox. We open around 9 point favorites, which factors in our historical atrocities at Wake Forest.

    My best guess is we would be 14-20 point favorites at home.

  14. LRM 09/30/2013 at 6:30 PM #

    Somewhere Old Mac sits laughing because he knows he just riled me all up.

    I’m sick of hearing about what a great program Wake has become (not that Old Mac is necessarily implying that). They had the stretch from 2006-08 (with the ACC title in 2006), but otherwise they’ve been mediocre at best, with only four winning seasons since our last win in Winston-Salem 12 years ago.

    And 2008 was their last winning season.

    2002, 7-6 (3-5)
    2003, 5-7 (3-5)
    2004, 4-7 (1-7)
    2005, 4-7 (3-5)
    2006, 11-3 (7-2)
    2007, 9-4 (5-3)
    2008, 8-5 (4-4)
    2009, 5-7 (3-5)
    2010, 3-9 (1-7)
    2011, 6-7 (5-3)
    2012, 5-7 (3-5)

    And of the odd years they beat us in Winston, only in 2007 did they finish with a better overall record than us; in 2009 and 2011 they finished with a better league record.

    NCSU, 8-5 (4-4)
    Wake, 5-7 (3-5)

    NCSU, 7-5 (3-5)
    Wake, 4-7 (3-5)

    NCSU, 5-7 (3-5)
    Wake, 9-4 (5-3)

    NCSU, 5-7 (2-6)
    Wake, 5-7 (3-5)

    NCSU, 8-5, 4-4
    Wake, 6-7 (5-3)

    The real tragedy here is that during this period, Wake’s overall resume is better than ours (ACC title).

  15. BJD95 09/30/2013 at 6:45 PM #

    Wake Forest is putrid, but we are still rebuilding. I think we have a good shot to win, but “no chance do we lose” is insane.

    PR is the clubhouse leader for Comeback Player of the Year (Mike McCoy is the best QB whisperer of our era)…but there is only one MVP candidate for 2013.

    Woohoo, PeyPey!!! And Nate Irving is doing good work on defense too.

  16. Ocracokewolf 09/30/2013 at 6:45 PM #

    Best Wake trip? I’m showing my age but 1981 Joe McIntosh coming out party at Wake. 200+ yards. One of my favorite college road game trips ever(for reasons i won’t disclose)! Also one of the few bright spots of that season.

  17. choppack1 09/30/2013 at 7:28 PM #

    I knew we were going to lose in 2003. On what is now packprife I did a post titled “are we running into a buzzsaw Saturday?”

    Of course, I was summarily shot down…but living in Winston and watching the news casts it was obvious the wake players were very confident.

    I’ve been saying the last few weeks that this DD’s chance to show us this is a new era. This is the worst wake team in a while, but its a road game and our team’s first one. Any win will be spectacular.

  18. NelsonHall97 09/30/2013 at 7:47 PM #

    Pack 34
    Deacs 24
    Nuff said!

  19. NelsonHall97 09/30/2013 at 7:50 PM #

    The Roulette wheel can’t keep coming up black…it’s gotta hit RED sometime!

  20. Wufpacker 09/30/2013 at 9:05 PM #


    And I’m generally a pessimist whenever we play at Wake in any sport. Being one hasn’t helped with any reverse mojo recently.

    So in that interest….We Will Win.

  21. Alpha Wolf 09/30/2013 at 9:21 PM #

    It’s going to be an interesting test: a new coaching staff playing a lot of young players in their first trip away from the Friendly Confines, with a QB who for all intents and purposes is a freshman…and we all know how young QBs struggle in their first road game.

    On paper, we should win this game comfortably, but let’s not forget that Wake’s anachronistic offense punishes a lack of discipline and we’ll need to stay sharp and stay disciplined to get them off of the field.

    On offense, we should have the upper hand, much as we should have the upper hand in special teams. I’d say if we limit mistakes, don’t give the ball away and keep the Deacon ball carriers in front of us we should come away from Winston with a welcome W.

  22. NOT A FAN OF BLUE 09/30/2013 at 9:29 PM #

    Weak and Dook bug me more than Florida State, Clempson and UNC-Chapped Hole combined.

  23. JaxPackMan 09/30/2013 at 9:50 PM #

    There’s no question playing @ Wake has been a horror show. Being an in-state rivalry game the Deacs really love beating State, Carolina, and Duke at anything. They seem to especially get up for these games and their current record doesn’t matter. State’s games certainly have played out like that.

    Even though enrollment and the alumni base is comparatively small, Wake still has plenty of funds for scholarships. Getting 85 guys signed doesn’t seem to be an issue for them. Wake always seems to have skill position players from North Carolina like running back, tight end, pass receiver, defensive back, etc. that you wonder why State doesn’t have them. Is this a question of State losing out fair and square? Or, is this a situation of not recruiting these guys?

    Along that same line, have you ever noticed how cocky some of the Wake players act when they play State? Its like they are out to prove to the world how great they are and let State know they should be sorry for not signing them. Is that because State didn’t offer them?

    Perhaps I’m seeing something that is not there, but it doesn’t make sense why State has had so much trouble over the years with Wake.

    Lets hope Coach D will start a new trend.

    Go Pack! Defeat the Deacs!

  24. Alpha Wolf 10/01/2013 at 4:50 AM #

    Wake players have the same holier-than-thou attitude that their undergrads do towards State’s students and alumni: “we’re a PRIVATE school and you’re second-rate because you’re PUBLIC.”

    It’s pretty irritating, and oddly, the private / public thing is something that you don’t hear much from Duke folks.

  25. LRM 10/01/2013 at 8:28 AM #

    ^That’s because there are no Duke grads actually in NC.

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