This is my Dear Coach O’Brien letter for the NC State game against Maryland. Can the Wolfpack finally break the “ranked” curse?
When the season started out at 4-0, the Wolfpack nation was reminicsing about the years when Philip Rivers was at the helm. Then, Virginia Tech came to town. The football team was nationally ranked at No. 23 and an 11 point loss later, NC State was faced with a home game against Boston College and fell from the rankings.
I was weary about the team being ranked before the Virgina Tech game. It seems that in years past, the same thing would happen. The Wolfpack would crack the top 25, then lose the next game. In fact, if I had time, I would research the topic a bit more. For this post, I’m focused on the 2010 season.
Let’s advance to the Florida State game. Our second Thursday night showdown of the year (then, 5-2). One of the most electrictrfying and intense games I’ve been to at Carter-Finley stadium. After NC State beat then ranked No. 16 FSU (28-24), they found themselves in the top 25 again, getting ranked at No. 23.
A visit to Clemson, SC brought the same fate to a ranked NC State team–a loss. Tim Peeler described it as:
Missed opportunities in both halves cost NC State a chance to control its own fate in the ACC’s Atlantic Division race, as Clemson surged back with two second-half touchdowns to beat the No. 23 Wolfpack 14-13 at Memorial Stadium Saturday afternoon.
Here we are. Wolfpack fans, coaches, and the football team are staring the final game of the 2010 season in the face. Again, NC State is ranked inside the top 25. This time, the Wolfpack are the highest they’ve been ranked this season. The Pack is perched at No. 21, just in front of Florida State.
A win over Maryland on November 27th will put NC State in Charlotte with a rematch against Virginia Tech. A loss, gives Florida State the go ahead. But that won’t happen. My prediction is that the Wolfpack will prevail and put up a good defensive effort with an explosive offense.
On Saturday afernoon, Coach O’Brien finally figures out the formula to stay ranked and make it to the ACC Championship game. NC State beats Maryland 42-17. Let’s watch the game and cheer on the Pack.
The Wolpack will be getting lots of first downs and keep moving the chains.