Many fans, including myself, are not feeling too hot going into this Saturday’s 8pm contest against #3 Florida State. No doubt, it has been a long time since NC State has gone into a game with this uncertain of a team into a match against such a highly ranked opponent. Our concerns raise the question, though… is this really THAT obscure of a position for NC State to be in heading into a game against Florida State? Let’s look at our victories over FSU in the last 10 years and see what the Wolfpack looked like going into those NC State, FSU contests…
2002: 9-3 (4-3) NC State hosts 8-3 (7-0) FSU, who would end up in the Sugar Bowl, and defeats the ‘Nole 17-7.
2005: 3-4 (2-4) NC State limps into an away game against a 7-1 (5-1) FSU team and comes away with an impressive, and unexpected, 20-15 victory in Florida State’s own house.
2006: 2-2 (1-0) NC State went into a game against 3-1 (1-1) FSU who had only lost to Clemson in their season. By the season’s end, FSU and Clemson would both be going bowling in the Emerald Bowl and Music City Bowl and NC State would finish their season with only 3 wins. The last of their 3 wins: a 24-20 victory over Florida State.
2010: 5-2 (2-1) NC State went into a game against 6-1 (4-0) Florida State and came away with a 28-24 victory despite having just suffered a disappointing ECU loss the week prior.
Throughout the last decade, NC State has faired pretty well against a program as well-known as FSU’s, especially considering our own mediocre success, on the whole. The important thing to keep in mind going into this weekend is that NC State has never gone into an FSU contest as a clear favorite. We are use to being in the position of having to “prove ourselves” going into an FSU game, and that’s largely due to FSU’s extreme success within and without the ACC.
So when you wake up tomorrow debating whether NC State will lose by 10 or lose by 30, just remember that NC State is very familiar with the position it’s in. For better or for worse, it’s been our history under our past two coaches, but we still manage to grind out wins against FSU when we need them. Let’s not call them dead until they stop breathing. Show up, tune in, and cheer ‘em on.