I got to thinking about this game yesterday, recalling all the big moments as best I could--Ray Robinson's spin move, the long 4th quarter drive orchestrated by Philip Rivers, the Adam Kiker field goal that went behind a diving FSU player and through the uprights.
It's easy to forget what a landmark win that was, what it meant to NC State football at the time. Florida State's program faded in the years following, and we beat the Noles several more times; the 2005 team added another win in Tallahassee. But the video brings it all back. Scott Kooistra lying on the field in tears, Amato's emotional hand shake with Bobby Bowden. Before he had the facilities and the recruiting classes to back it up, that win was Chuck Amato's "I'm here and I'm serious" statement. Ultimately, of course, it didn't work out, and less definitive, more expletive-filled statements became the standard. But that was a hell of a kick start.
I remember the end vividly even though I could hardly stand to watch as FSU took those final shots at the end zone. I swear the trees surrounding Tucker Beach were saturated with toilet paper in the time it took me to run downstairs from my 5th floor dorm room after the final play. Fortunately I had more celebrations like that to look forward to, but I don't think any of them matched that one.