NC State missed a chance at maybe the biggest win in school history but has a big shot at redemption Saturday in Louisville. Facing a second straight top ten team on the road is a rare situation that most teams would fear.
The Wolfpack could easily be down and out after blowing such a great chance, but there has to be some confidence after arguably outplaying the Tigers. A win over the Cardinals would be among the top 5 or 10 wins in recent Pack history and the largest in the Dave Doeren era by a wide margin. Now, winning a game as 20 point underdogs on the road is near impossible, so I am not counting any chickens before they hatch. But, as we saw last week, anything can happen.
On top of purely historic implications, it could be the boost that the team needs heading into the back half of the season. At 4-2, State sits about where most expected, even if the road there was the unexpected one. A win, or maybe even a decent showing, in Louisville could give the team confidence heading into what has become a suddenly more winnable final stretch. Boston College at home on Homecoming Weekend should be a win, with the Eagles still not winning a conference game in the last two years. Despite Syracuse beating Virginia Tech last week, the Wolfpack are still a stronger team and have had success against the Orange. Florida State and Miami are both vulnerable after seeing their initial season goals go down with a few bad losses. UNC is having a good season, but not so great that they are unbeatable in the season finale.
Winning three of these games would mean a marquee win and a 7 win season. Whereas two weeks ago many people were discussing Dave Doeren's job security, now this season could be a building block to a successful tenure in Raleigh. Obviously a lot of factors are at play, but pulling out a win in Louisville could kickstart a big growth in the Wolfpack program.