NC State Beat: Rivalry Time

It is not just another game on the schedule. It is the biggest game NC State has played all season. It is not because of who it is against, or because it will continue a streak that started five years ago. No, this game is huge for NC State for one reason and one reason only; it is the next game they play.

Tom O’Brien and NC State talked throughout the offseason, and now the regular season, about playing for championships. They pushed the idea that this was an NC State team that could be playing in Charlotte for an ACC Championship at the end of the season. And there were, and still are, many reasons to believe this notion. The Pack have proven that they can take adversity, like the Miami game, and turn it into momentum as they have done the past three weeks. It has not always been pretty, but somehow, someway, NC State controls their own destiny and are very much in the hunt to make it to Charlotte.

Each game, one by one, presents its own unique set of challenges. Florida State, three weeks ago, looked like the heavyweight the ACC has dreamed of for years now. Many had already begun to send them the ACC Championship trophy. However, they met a foe in Raleigh hell bent on raining on their parade. And the Wolfpack did not stop there. They headed up to Maryland, to play against a team that has been NC State fans’ worst nightmare for what seems like an eternity. With a little luck, the Pack were able to continue their momentum and now face a UNC-Chapel Hill team that would love nothing more to beat NC State in what truly is their “Super Bowl.”

This game isn’t about what would be a school record sixth straight against UNC-Chapel HIll. This game isn’t even about winning a rivalry game. This game is about continuing the march to Charlotte. This game is about getting to 6-2 and 3-1 in the ACC for only the second time during the TOB era. This game is about putting your money where your mouth is and showing the rest of the ACC that NC State hasn’t just been a lucky bunch who snuck away with a few wins. This game is about proving everyone wrong and finally raising Wolfpack football out of mediocrity.

Some State fans seem to believe that beating UNC-Chapel Hill is the only goal every season. And while it may be important every year to beat a rival for you personally, there are much bigger team goals at stake. NC State wants to play for championships. Every program wants to play for championships. No one plays the game to win just one game every year. No, you play the game to hoist a trophy at the end of the season letting everyone know that you went through the gauntlet and came out champions.

Many of you NC State fans can focus on six straight all you want. On Saturday, I’ll be pulling for the Pack for much bigger reasons. I’ll be pulling for NC State to continue to play for a championship.

And, of course, go to hell, Carolina.


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NC State blogger Spencer HardisonSpencer Hardison has been writing about NC State athletics for over a year for various web sites, and has been talking about and passionately pulling for the Pack since the day he was born. He lives by the idea that numbers never lie, and firmly believes that defense wins championships. Spencer is one of the more opinionated and passionate people you will ever meet. Basically, he’ll argue with a wall, if said wall doesn’t agree with him. All in all, Spencer loves to be opinionated, make bold statements, and prove to everyone that he is right and they are wrong. Oh, and Taylor Swift has written three songs about him. You can find Spencer on Twitter at @SpencerHardison.

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