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Rivalry week retrospective: Chuck Amato and NC State break through in Chapel Hill

Ah, the fun old days.

Chuck Amato, John Bunting

Some of you kids out there might not remember this, but it is true: there was a time when UNC went an extended period of years without losing to us. NC State’s success against the Tar Heels since the beginning of the Tom O’Brien era may feel normal and just and absolutely a thing we should do forever—and I totally agree--but it was not always this way.

Let us venture back all the way ... to the year 2000. NC State has lost seven straight games to the Tar Heels. As Mack Brown’s UNC teams thrived in the 1990s, Mike O’Cain completely sputtered as Dick Sheridan’s successor, resulting in a long run of futility against those folks down the road.

Enter Chuck Amato and true freshman quarterback Philip Rivers, who ushered in a brand new era of NC State football in myriad ways. And enter poor Carl Torbush, who, in rather impressive fashion, quickly dismantled all the progress Mack Brown made in Chapel Hill. (My cap is eternally tipped in his direction.)

The 2000 game State-UNC game was Amato’s first as head coach and I still remember this one because it marked much had changed in so short a time. Rivers caught a touchdown pass on a trick play to start the scoring, and the Pack ended up winning easily. That shit blew my mind, man. It was beyond foreign.

(Fun fact! Mike O’Cain joined Torbush’s staff at UNC after being fired by NC State in 1999. So he was on the sideline for this one wearing Carolina blue.)

Thanks again to area internet hero CylonWolf for uploading this and countless other games to YouTube.