Earlier this week, North Carolina State University put up a new billboard saying “This is Our State.” Fact or Fiction?
In 2013 – Fact
In General – Fiction
Certainly this is going to stir even more drama in the rivalries between UNC, Duke and Wake Forest. UNC is State’s biggest intrastate rival and the Wolfpack have won the past five football meetings and it looks like they are going to have a good chance at six in a row.
Heck – their cornerback David Amerson led the nation with 13 interceptions this past season, including two in the bowl game. Amerson was also a Jim Thorpe Award finalist which is given annually to the nations top defensive back. Wake Forest and Duke will try to put up a fight this year on the gridiron and UNC can give State a run with new coach Larry Fedora.
According to the News and Observer, it was just one month ago that Fedora said, “I don’t want to talk about (the rivalry) too much because I don’t want to legitimize their program.” The new Tar Heels coach seems to tactically be trying to get in the head of State’s coach Tom O’Brien. It seems like Fedora will fit right in with the Carolina football program.
NC State made sweet sixteen appearances in both men’s basketball and baseball and both programs only appear to be getting better. With UNC losing four players to the NBA lottery next week , Austin Rivers and Miles Plumlee no longer in a Duke uniform, Wake Forest basketball nowhere to be found and CJ Leslie returning to State for his junior year, head coach Mark Gottfried is considered by some the frontrunner to win the ACC regular season.
NC State baseball also made its deepest tournament run in recent years and its lineup was a nice balance of upperclassmen and underclassmen. Their only significant loss to graduation will be slugger Ryan Mathews who hit 17 home-runs and drove in 62 runs. But they will have freshman-of-the-year candidate Carlos Rodon back for two more seasons. The 6-foot-3 lefty was 9-0 on the season with a 1.57 ERA and 135 strikeouts in 114 innings. That’s filthy.
It’s nice to see State’s athletic department turn things on in the past five years, however, history would say State rarely, if ever, owned the bragging rights as North Carolina’s top university.
Pack nation made a clever attack with the billboard, but now they need to back it up with their athletic performance.