NCSU vs. Wake Forest: The Past 10 Years

As I was finishing up this entry, I noticed that LRM had just put an entry up that talked about the house of horrors known as Groves Stadium. This article discusses the last ten years between State and Wake, and that house of horrors.

This Saturday, Dave Doeren’s first Wolfpack team leaves the friendly confines of Carter-Finley Stadium for the first time. They travel down I-40 to meet Big Four rival Wake Forest. I thought it would be a good idea to quickly look back at the last 10 meetings of the two teams. You would think that this entry would be filled with lots of Wolfpack wins. I mean, it is Wake Forest. But for some reason that I cannot understand or fathom, Groves Stadium has become some sort of a house of horrors for NC State football. When I started thinking about this, I only could think of one recent comparison for another team’s house of horrors. Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio is the house of horrors for Mexico in regards to the US-Mexico soccer rivalry. Google “Dos a cero” for more information.

Here is a quick recap of the last 10 meetings in the rivalry:

2012: Raleigh. NC State 37, Wake Forest 6

Going into this game, State needed one win in their last 3 to get bowl eligible. They didn’t waste any time, jumping on Wake Forest 17-0 in the first quarter and cruising to an easy victory. The play of the game was the second half kickoff when Tobias Palmer ran for a 100 yard touchdown. Mike Glennon had a good day passing for 258 yards and 2 touchdowns. Shadrach Thornton ran for 110 yards as well as the Pack came back from a listless performance the week before against Virginia.

2011: Winston-Salem. Wake Forest 34, NC State 27

The first road game in the Mike Glennon era was not a resounding success. Glennon, although he had good numbers with 315 yards passing and 3 TDs, struggled early as could be expected, with his first road, and also first ACC road, start. Wake jumped out to a 27-6 lead early in the 3rd quarter. After that, the Wolfpack’s passing game began to come to life with a couple of 60+ yard touchdowns that brought the game back to a one score affair. Unfortunately, the Demon Deacon defense turned the Wolfpack offense over on downs with less than 3 minutes remaining to preserve the conference victory. Tanner Price had a very good game and was the most important player for Wake’s offense.

2010: Raleigh. NC State 38, Wake Forest 3

On Senior Day, and what turned out to be Russell Wilson’s last home game, the Wolfpack blew out Wake Forest 38-3. Wilson threw for 300 yards and 2 touchdowns while also being the team’s leading rusher, albeit with a pedestrian 17 yards. But in those 17 rushing yards contained two rushing touchdowns. The defense harassed Tanner Price all day, holding him to 69 yards passing. This game kept the Pack in control of their destiny in the Atlantic Division.

2009: Winston-Salem. Wake Forest 30, NC State 24

In a battle of top tier quarterbacks, Riley Skinner got the best of Russell Wilson and Wake beat State 30-24. Wilson had his interception free streak end on this day at 379 passes by throwing a pick on a 1st and 35 play in the first quarter. Wilson and the Pack were behind the eight ball all game. Every time they would creep back into the game, making it a one possession game, Skinner would lead the Deacons down the field for another score. Wilson passed for 275 yards and 2 touchdowns, but also two interceptions. The last one was the heartbreaker though. Wilson threw an interception in the end zone with two minutes left when State was driving for the possible game winning touchdown.

2008: Raleigh. NC State 21, Wake Forest 17

Russell Wilson continued his improving play as the Wolfpack upset #24 Wake Forest 21-17. It stopped a three game losing streak to the Demon Deacons. Wilson threw for 157 yards and had two touchdown passes and one rushing touchdown, as part of his team leading 69 rushing yards. He accounted for every touchdown by the Wolfpack. The Pack sealed the victory with a sack of Skinner at the State 27 yard line with 39 seconds left on fourth down.

2007: Winston-Salem. Wake Forest 38, NC State 18

With the Wolfpack riding high on a four game winning streak and coming off a victory over North Carolina, the Pack was looking forward to playing Wake Forest with bowl eligibility on the line. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. A dream start for Wake put them up 21-3 at the half. Daniel Evans and Jamelle Eugene lead the comeback with touchdowns in the third quarter to cut the lead to 21-18. Thoughts of a full comeback were extinguished real quickly as Riley Skinner threw a 62 yard touchdown pass 15 seconds later. That play changed momentum and more or less ended the game.

2006: Raleigh. Wake Forest 25, NC State 23

The Wolfpack, flying high after thrilling victories over Boston College and Florida State, was brought back to earth by the eventual ACC champion, Wake Forest, by a score of 25-23. The Demon Deacons showed off their best weapon, kicker Sam Swank, who had not one, not two, but three 50+ yard field goals. Daniel Evans could not finish off another home game with display of stealing victory from defeat. After cutting the score to 25-23 with 5 minutes to go, a pass from Evans to Anthony Hill did not result in a two-point conversion. Then, in the final minute, Evans was driving the offense down the field for a possible John Deraney field goal to win it. However, Evans had his first big mistake of the game when he threw an interception in Wake Forest territory to seal the first victory for Wake Forest in Raleigh since 1984. This also was the first loss in a 7 game losing streak for NC State which resulted in Chuck Amato losing his job.

2005: Winston-Salem. Wake Forest 27, NC State 19

The Pack came into this game at a crossroads. There was trouble at the quarterback position and fanbase wanted to replace Jay Davis with Marcus Stone. After a first quarter Davis interception that was returned for a touchdown, Stone came into the game. Unfortunately, it was not the panacea for the team. Stone did throw a touchdown pass near halftime that put the Pack back into the game, only down 13-9 at the half. After another early touchdown pass in the third quarter from Stone, the Pack was up 19-13 and Groves Stadium was sounding like Carter-Finley. Alas, the offense would not score any more points and wound up losing 27-19 to the Demon Deacons. One oddity about this game. Wake’s punter, Ryan Plackemeier had punts of 71 and 82 yards. When is the last time you have heard of a punter having two 70+ yard punts in the same game.

2004: Raleigh. NC State 27, Wake Forest 21

This was a game of two halves. The first half had the Demon Deacons dominating the Wolfpack and lead 14-0 at the half. The third quarter started and the Pack came alive. A 57 yard strike from Jay Davis to Sterling Hicks, a T.A. McLendon TD run, and a Bobby Washington TD run put the Wolfpack up 21-14 at the end of the quarter. The Deacons tied it up early in the fourth quarter and turned the affair into the first ever overtime game between the two teams. In overtime, Wake missed a field goal and the Pack then got the ball. They told McLendon to go score a touchdown and that is what he did. He rushed all four plays and scored on an eight yard burst through the defense to give the Wolfpack an overtime victory.

2003: Winston Salem. Wake Forest 38, NC State 24

With the much anticipated showdown with Ohio State a week away, the 11th ranked Pack appeared to be looking past Wake Forest. And before you knew it, NC State was down 28-3. As much as Philip Rivers would throw for yards, a couple of picks and a team load of penalties made a comeback impossible. Rivers threw for a career high 433 yards. Part of that was due to a last minute scratch of T.A. McLendon, who slipped and fell late during the week at the team lounge. Wake Forest played pretty well and did not make any mistakes. Their job was made easier by the Wolfpack’s inability to not make mistakes. This loss hurt the worse of any in the past 10 years as everyone (team and fans) were looking forward to a top 10 Wolfpack team going to the Shoe and playing the defending national champion Buckeyes.

Before I looked into this, if you had told me that Wake would have a 6-4 series lead in the last 10 games, I would not have believed you. But there it is. Groves Stadium is a house of horrors for the Wolfpack. In fact, NC State has only won one game (2001) in Winston-Salem since 1996. To understand how long it has been since the Pack has won at Wake Forest, here is a list of teams NC State has beaten since the 2001 win at Groves Stadium:


    Florida State **First ACC team to ever win against the Seminoles in Tallahassee


    Texas Tech
    North Carolina




    Virginia Tech


    Georgia Tech
    Florida State



    East Carolina


    North Carolina



    Central Florida
    Georgia Tech
    North Carolina





Since 2001, the Wolfpack have won at every ACC venue except Wake Forest and Boston College (who joined the league in 2005). Sometimes real life defies logic.

This year’s Wolfpack team has a chance to be the team that stops the Groves Stadium hex. This is not your older brother’s Wake Forest team. Even with a young team with a quarterback going on the road for the first time in the ACC, the Wolfpack has a good chance of getting on the bus to come back to Raleigh with a 4-1 record. Let’s go get a win on Saturday.

About ruffles31

1996 NC State graduate who is still waiting on his first ACC conference championship in any of the four main revenue sports (football, men's basketball, women's basketball, and baseball) since enrolling. All I want is a ACC Champions t-shirt.

ACC ACC & Other ACC Teams Big Four Rivals Chuck Amato College Football NC State NCS Football NCSU Sports History Tom O'Brien

20 Responses to NCSU vs. Wake Forest: The Past 10 Years

  1. travelwolf 10/01/2013 at 11:35 AM #

    Here is an explanation for the bad record…

    I have no idea when/how the players travel to Wake… If the players ride the bus up the morning of game day or late the prior day… it’s a 2 hour ride, and buses aren’t made for tall people. In fact, the seats are made such that they are comfortable for people 5’6″. If you are much above that, there is absolutely no lumbar support, and it puts stress on your lower back. People with good backs don’t realize this, but I have a bad back, and sitting on buses/planes always irritates my back.

  2. LRM 10/01/2013 at 11:37 AM #

    Grobe should’ve gone to Arkansas when he had the chance. Despite popular myth, Wake isn’t a good program — they’ve had only four winning seasons since 2001 and the last one was in 2008.

  3. StateMan 10/01/2013 at 12:25 PM #

    Thinking about going to the Dook game at Wallace Wade, any idea what are good seats in that stadium and where to park?

  4. packalum44 10/01/2013 at 1:45 PM #

    Here’s food for thought:

    Since UNC turned out to be a turd sandwich this year and the rest of our schedule is ridiculously easy, we might actually be favored in the entire rest of our schedule, except FSU.

    Knock on wood, but teams with good coaches beat the spread and live up to Vegas expectation. If DD is as good as many think, watch out. Could be a surprisingly special season, at least in the W/L column.

  5. TheCOWDOG 10/01/2013 at 3:48 PM #

    The only expection Vegas has is that 1/2 of us will take pts; and 1/2 of us will lay ’em. Period.

  6. TheCOWDOG 10/01/2013 at 5:52 PM #

    Actually, I should explain.. The line is created in such a fashion as to draw an offsetting bet for the ave. public Joe, ’cause the heavys plunk down larger change.

    So what the line markets is equally dispensed cash…not equal numbers of wagers.

    The line is in no way, shape or form about expected outcome.

    To get back on point, State is favored by 10. Does that mean State is truly a touchdown and a field goal better than Wake, in WS ? Or conversely, is Wake, at home, worse than a touchdown and a field goal ?

    If State wins by 3, does that mean they were over rated by Vegas? No…it simply means that they were over rated on that wager, on that day, by bettors that gave points.


  7. Greywolf 10/01/2013 at 6:29 PM #

    “rest of our schedule is ridiculously easy, we might actually be favored in the entire rest of our schedule, except FSU.”

    So a team that you say essentially lost to a FCS team, Richmond would be favored over Maryland, ECU, a UNX team that has superior athletes, and a Boston College team that gave FSU all they could handle?

    If I didn’t know better I’d say that you were trying to set Doeren up for another put down. Yes, Doeren and his staff are doing an excellent job of coaching this team, but there is nothing remotely close to being ridiculously easy about the rest of the schedule.

    Should this team continue to win the schedule stays the same.

    at Wake Forest
    at Florida State (top 10)
    North Carolina
    at Duke
    at Boston College
    East Carolina
    Maryland (top 25)

  8. FunPack 10/01/2013 at 7:16 PM #

    I’ve seen Wake play a couple of times this year, and they are really bad. Shockingly bad. As in “I-can’t-believe-this-is-a-Jim-Grobe-team” kind of bad. But they sure ain’t a guaranteed win for the old red and white. Surely we all know that by now.

    And looking at the remaining schedule so kindly posted by Greywolf above, I don’t see any sure things there either. Too bad we don’t play UConn this year. 😉

  9. Wufpacker 10/01/2013 at 7:22 PM #

    NCSU is 3-1 vs the spread this year.

    Alabama is 2-2 vs the spread this year.

    Eff the spread.

    Just win, baby.

    (Wake is 1-4 against the spread this year, btw….tell me THAT doesn’t give you a big feeling of impending balancing averages)

  10. TheCOWDOG 10/01/2013 at 7:37 PM #

    Exactly, Wuf.

    Alabama is one under performing team.
    And the oddsmakers told me so.

    Know how much I made on O’ Brien?

  11. Greywolf 10/01/2013 at 7:54 PM #

    Mr. Dog,

    That explanation is so clear that even an old fart like me could understand it.

  12. choppack1 10/01/2013 at 9:53 PM #

    The spread is simply a measuring stick. However, At a certain level the spread is irrelevant. If you win a national championship and you didn’t wager $$ you don’t care. Also, much like the market the spread can be exploited of you really know a team.

    As for Wake, personally I think our players don’t get up for the crappy atmosphere and aren’t prepared for the piped in crowd noise they use to substitute for real crowd noise.

  13. PackFanInLA 10/01/2013 at 10:20 PM #

    We are going to crush Wake. The hell with the past.

  14. Khan 10/02/2013 at 10:18 AM #

    State win. Guaranteed.

  15. 13OT 10/02/2013 at 11:29 AM #

    The real house of horrors for Wolfpack football isn’t Groves Stadium. It’s The Road.

    Dave Doeren and staff will have 3 opportunities this season to show us that they’re different from the O’Briens, Amatos and McCains. Those opportunities will come in Winston-Salem, Durham and Boston, not Tallahassee. The Clemson game was, however, a good indication that our program is headed in a positive direction.

    State doesn’t have to win all 3 of those road games (although they’d better win at least 2), but how we play in those games to me will show what’s coming next season when we don’t have 8 home games.

    You saw what a 6-game home season did to the last coach.

    This football program simply has got to start consistently winning the road games in which they’re either favored or about even. Until then, we’ll continue to be just another “State” university in the vast wasteland of mediocrity who plays its bowl games in exotic places like Birmingham, Shreveport, Nashville or Charlotte.

  16. Greywolf 10/02/2013 at 12:05 PM #

    Here’s what Doeren has to say about road games: “I take pride in being a good road coach. You can’t be a great program and lose the road games and win the home games. You’ve got to be able to take your show on the road.”

    Hearing this I feel better already about our team on the road.

  17. PackFamily 10/02/2013 at 5:13 PM #

    I am with the family down in FL visiting the non-Disney parks ( see my comments about us previously coming to FL and losing to WF both times. We were standing in line waiting for one of the water rides at Busch Gardens when my wife spotted a woman wearing a State hat. We were gonna flash her the wolf sign but noticed she and her family were from Latin America (VZ maybe?). We were wondering where she got the hat. My wife said “Walmart fan?” I got all excited saying “we have some now?! 3-1 must be good!”

    True story.

  18. choppack1 10/02/2013 at 8:54 PM #

    1$ot – I disagree. The horror story is BC and wake.

    Tob was 1-1 @ Miami, 1-0 at gatech, uva and at duke. He was 2-1 @ UNC. His road record against that division was very good. He was 1-2 @ umd.

    His non conference road record with wins @ ecu, ucf…and 2-2 bowl record wasn’t bad.
    On second thought…. it was OUR division on the road where he only 1 road game and built a very respectable home record.

  19. LRM 10/03/2013 at 8:37 AM #

    State’s last two Atlantic Division road wins:

    at Maryland (2012), at Florida State (2005).

  20. SaccoV 10/03/2013 at 1:00 PM #

    O’Cain’s road record was the real mystery. Wins at Texas, Syracuse and SC, Losses at Baylor, at Louisville? The 2nd loss to Baylor comes the week after the huge win at home over FSU!!

    EDIT — The win over South Carolina was at HOME in 1999, O’Cain’s last year. Not in Columbia.

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