College Football preview: Miami at N.C. State
RALEIGH ó Anthony Hill remembers watching his North Carolina State teammates rally themselves from a terrible start last season into bowl contention. It all ended, however, with a humbling 37-0 home loss against Maryland.
Hill, the tight end who was sidelined last year with a knee injury, said the lesson stayed with the Wolfpack through the offseason: “You can’t just assume we’re going to win the game just because we’ve been winning games.”
One year later, N.C. State finds itself in a similar position. The Wolfpack has bounced back from a 2-6 start with three straight wins to get within reach of bowl eligibility, but the comeback won’t matter if N.C. State can’t beat Miami at home on today.
“I believe we can handle it,” Hill said. “I just feel like we’re not going to let what happened to us last year happen again. … I feel like this is a completely different team.”
N.C. State (5-6, 3-4 ACC) certainly has confidence that it can take the next step, particularly after last weekend’s 41-10 rout of rival North Carolina. In that game, the Wolfpack got a career passing day from improving redshirt freshman Russell Wilson while its defense held the Tar Heels below 200 yards for most of the game. That followed wins against instate ACC squads Duke and Wake Forest that restored hope for a team that looked lost by October for the second straight season.
Yet, once again, that comeback will amount to little more than a moral victory if the Wolfpack can’t beat the Hurricanes.