When we left off, Coach DeKalb was feeling pretty good about his imminent prospects, as the program had bounced back swiftly from a 5-7 season to win 10 games. (But lose yet another bowl game.)
Heading into 2010, the NC State roster is about as good as it’s ever been during Coach’s tenure, and we’re optimistic about another strong season, led by redshirt sophomore quarterback Damon Chambers. This offense, we feel, could be special.
On a side note, we have the most random non-conference schedule in history this year: Rutgers, Cincinnati, Temple, and Tennessee-Martin. None of them are on the road, at least. Coach DeKalb’s talks with the AD are finally paying off.
To begin the year, we smoke Cincinnati, 34-3, then trounce Rutgers, 48-7, which sets up an early barometer game against No. 12 Maryland. We go on the road and beat the Terps, 20-13.
NC State is finally getting some respect from pollsters and heads into a game at UNC ranked 11th. We roll through Chapel Hill, 31-3, then handle Georgia Tech in Atlanta, 27-16.
Next we squeak out a 24-17 win at No. 10 Virginia Tech, in what we expect will be a preview of the ACC title game later in the year. We’re thinking big right now.
The second half of the schedule includes an 8-3 (???) win at Clemson and mostly blowout wins elsewhere, but also probably the most disappointing loss of the DeKalb era, a 38-17 setback against No. 24 Florida State.
We had moved up to No. 5 in the polls and the BCS Standings, so that one hurt. We might have had a chance at crashing the national championship game this year, and so our kids were rightfully devastated about our poor effort against the Noles. But we bounced back well, as we tend to, and won out the rest of the way to finish at 11-1 and advance to the ACC Championship against ... Virginia Tech.
Corso picks the Hokies to win, which makes us feel better about our odds here.
We’d handled these turkeys during the regular season, so we have utmost confidence in our ability to win this game.
I decide to watch this one and I’m quickly rewarded with one of the funniest things the game has managed to do so far. Virginia Tech tries a third-and-short outlet to the fullback that is incomplete because it bounces off dude’s head.
Meanwhile (the 1972 quality of my videos is all part of the experience):
We shut out the Hokies, 26-0, and deliver a second ACC title for David DeKalb, whose bronze statue is now being gold-plated. That leads us to an Orange Bowl matchup with West Virginia. We have yet to win a bowl game in three tries so far, so it’d be nice to get a breakthrough here ... and we do! We win, 45-10. Finally!
Oklahoma wins the national title and the Sooners’ running back wins the Heisman. We fall short of any individual awards but our place kicker was sixth in the Lou Groza Award voting, so that’s nice.
The next couple of years we feel could be big ones. The results have been there, and we’ve shown we’re capable of owning the ACC. Now it’s about that next step.