Friday, October 06, 2006

Why NC State Beat Florida State Again

North Carolina State football fans have made no secret of their displeasure with the program’s recent mediocrity under coach Chuck Amato. However, Thursday night brought Amato the surest source of relief: the Florida State Seminoles. The Wolfpack topped FSU 24-20 for their fourth victory in six seasons over the visitors from Tallahassee. NC State’s consistent success against Bobby Bowden’s teams is surprising to many. Thursday’s victory is due to numerous reasons, noted as follows.

Top 25 Polls: NCSU’s victory over the #17 Seminoles was preceded by one over Boston College, #20 at the time. The Wolfpack’s other triumph came over Appalachian State, #2 in Division 1-AA. Losses to Akron and Southern Mississippi prove that NCSU can only beat opponents who are ranked.

Duke: The Blue Devils are the opposition for FSU next week. Clearly the Seminoles were caught looking ahead to that one.

National League Playoffs: A boneheaded base-running play by FSU’s J.D. Drew cost the Dodgers in game one versus the Mets, showing that bad things were in store this week for Seminoles named Drew. NCSU’s DaJuan Morgan salted the game away by picking off Drew Weatherford, amazingly after intercepting Jeff Kent on the same play.

The Karate Kid: The inspirational 1984 film showed that a young underdog named Daniel could triumph. Thursday, Wolfpack quarterback Daniel Evans won his second career start, silencing critics of his unorthodox “wax on, wax off” throwing motion.

Hurricanes: The Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes were honored at the game. Title-winning Hurricanes always bring pain to the Seminoles.

ACC Championship Game: The loss makes FSU unlikely to play for the conference title. The players are relieved, as the extra game would have distracted them from their academics.

Miller Lite: Former FSU player Burt Reynolds presides over the Men of the Square Table. The Wolfpack took revenge against his school, because he did not invite anyone from NC State to help determine the Man Laws.

Halloween: Every NCSU player was confident Thursday, because you would expect a Wolf to thrive on an October night. There just aren’t many good horror movies about Seminoles.

Out-Of-State Travel: Thursday was FSU’s first game this year outside Florida. The Noles try to limit such trips, as the courts have forbidden many of the players from crossing state borders.

UNC-Miami: Amato’s victory keeps his critics quiet for now. Therefore, the ACC hot seat can focus all its attention on the Orange Bowl this Saturday, ready for Miami’s Larry Coker and UNC’s John Bunting.

Sam Cassell: The guard from FSU provided a huge boost to the Los Angeles Clippers last season. However, they lost each road game in which a Carter (Vince, Anthony) or Finley (Michael) played for the opponent. So the Seminoles were doomed as visitors to Carter-Finley Stadium.

State Capitals: Both universities are located in capital cities. When you got tested on state capitals in school, there’s a good chance you came up with Raleigh. But admit it, you missed on Tallahassee, didn’t you?

Whitney Houston: Her divorce filing has made life rough on Bobby Bowden. Oh wait, that’s Bobby Brown – never mind.

Meineke Car Care Bowl: Last December in Charlotte, the Pack shut out South Florida. Thursday continued their success in North Carolina against the Sunshine State, although they didn’t get free oil changes this time.

NFL Starting Quarterbacks: NCSU’s Philip Rivers has a 96.9 quarterback rating, compared to 75.8 for FSU’s Brad Johnson. Coincidentally, they achieved those same scores on Dancing With the Stars.

NC State looks to continue the momentum next Saturday against Wake Forest. If the criticism of Amato wanes, one person will be even more relieved than Chuck the Chest: athletic director Lee Fowler. After this past spring, the last thing he wants is another coaching search.