If — after that miserable showing in Blacksburg — you’re looking past the bye week for some kind of promise for this season, then I envy your naïveté.
For those of you seeing promise in the 3-0 Wake win at Boston College, just remember that Pitt beat Virginia Tech 10-7 last week.
After the desperately-needed bye week, State goes to the abyss called Winston-Salem, where a win would require divine intervention, because in the physical universe we occupy, it appears as impossible as accountability by The Flagship.
Here’s some (depressing) trivia for you: the last two State QBs to win in Winston-Salem are Philip Rivers (2001) and Terry Harvey (1995).
Not Jamie Barnette (1997, 1999), not Jay Davis or Marcus Stone (who both tried in 2005), not Daniel Evans (2007), not Russell Wilson (2009), not Mike Glennon (2011) and not Pete Thomas (2013).
State has a single win in Winston-Salem in the past two decades, and that was way back in 2001.
And many of those losses were some of our worst of that season — you may recall that 2003 loss the week before going to Columbus was one of Philip’s worst of his career.
I’m not here to analyze it, because it defies all logic and borders the surreal.
But after two ugly losses to open ACC play, we desperately need a win in Winston-Salem. Partly, for any chance to salvage the season, but mostly to start the process of shaking our suffocating fatalism, which is always lurking, even during the (increasingly rare) good times.
From a simpler perspective, we’ve just lost what appeared going into October to have been two of the more winnable games on our league schedule. After Wake, we have Top 10 Clemson at home, and then trips to Boston College (0-5 in Chestnut Hill since they joined the ACC in 2005) and then at Top 10 Florida State. Then we end the season with a who-knows Syracuse and current Coastal favorite, Carolina.
I’ve seen comments about the disappointment of being 7-5 again. Based on what we’ve seen so far, I think we need to be more concerned about finding that fifth win.
Because an impossible win in Winston-Salem may be our best shot at avoiding another 0-8 conference season.