Week 6 - Florida State at North Carolina State

Trip Start Sep 01, 2012
Trip End Nov 26, 2012

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Flag of United States  , North Carolina
Saturday, October 6, 2012

Janell got her Bachelor's degree at Florida State and her Master's degree at North Carolina State. So, needless to say, this game was high on the priority list when figuring out our schedule. We initially planned to bring the boys, but the starting time of 8pm was announced a few weeks prior to the game. Luckily, we already had a babysitting offer from our friends in Raleigh, Jeff and Richelle. This will be the only game that both of us go to by ourselves. It was a great date night! Two 24-ounce cans of Yeungling in the parking lot, stadium food at the game, and private seats next to a 75-year-old man. Romantic!

We headed to the stadium with four tickets in hand and the intention of haggling for two better seats. We ended up trading our four tickets in the upper deck in the corner of the endzone for two tickets in the lower deck at about the 25 yard line. Our seats were actually in the very last row on an elevated platform behind the concrete barrior. The bonus was that we had two of the few seats in the stadium with backs. We also had very easy access to the bathrooms and concession stands. However, Janell's seat was actually under the ramp to the upper deck. No kidding. I can't believe somebody thought this was a legitimate place to put a seat. She couldn't even stand up without leaning over to the side first!

Now for the ratings:

Stadium - NC State plays in Carter-Finley Stadium. It's pretty far from the actual campus, which is a bit odd. It did make it good for tailgating, though, since there wasn't really anything else around there. The stadium capacity is 60,000. There is an upper deck on both sides, and the endzones have been filled in. Here is an interesting bit of trivia. Rumor has it that when they were digging up the hill at one of end of the stadium to put in seats, they found several empty kegs buried in the hill. Apparently, students had at one point snuck into the stadium the night before games and buried kegs, then bought the cheap tickets on the hill. That is outstanding! Rating - 6 of 10.

Tailgating - NC State tailgating was pretty good. There is quite a bit of parking all around the stadium, since it is kind of in the middle of nowhere relative to the campus. Also, the spots were pretty deep, which allowed for quite a bit of space without having to count on the car next to you not showing up. There were also lots of fantastic smells coming from all the grills. There were many empty spots, though. I think quite a few season ticket holders decided not to go to the game. Too bad for them! Rating - 7 of 10.

The Game - This game was the tale of two halves. It started out slowly, and it was looking like a Florida State blowout. NC State couldn't do anything on offense, as the Florida State defense was pretty much having their way with them in the first half. Florida State's offense was driving at will...until they got to the red zone. They ended up with three field goals and a touchdown in the first half to ease into halftime with a comfortable 16-0 lead. Perhaps a bit too comfortable. Some NC State fans were even leaving under the assumption that Florida State would continue to dominate.

It almost seemed like the teams switched jerseys at halftime. NC State started putting together some long drives while shutting down the Florida State offense. The Wolfpack quarterback went from having no time in the first half to being able to move through all his progressions in the second half and often dumping the ball to a crossing wide receiver just in front of the linebackers. With the score 16-10 in the 4th quarter, it looked like the Seminoles were going to pull out a victory with 3rd and short deep in NC State territory. Then the Wolfpack defense got to E.J. Manual and sacked him for a significant loss. Florida State elected to punt rather than attempt a 51-yard field goal. NC State put together a fairly long drive before stalling out and turning the ball over on downs with less than three minutes left. Some fans were starting to leave, thinking that Florida State was going to simply run out the clock. However, all the Seminoles could manage was a three and out, and they had to punt. The Wolfpack ended up blocking the punt! The game hinged on a 4th and goal play from the 3 yard line with less than 20 seconds left. NC State managed to pull off a 17-16 victory with a short pass into the end zone. This wasn't the best game from a quality football standpoint, but it definitely was exciting. Rating - 8 of 10.

The Band - The NC State band did the most with dynamics of all the bands so far, both with their playing and with their marching. Overall, it was a pretty good show. The corps style marching was quite a bit different than what we had seen from the Penn State and Illinois bands the week before. They had a nice full sound, but honestly, the marching itself was quite sloppy while they were playing. They did do some fairly complicated marching, but the majority of the diffucult formations came while they weren't actually playing. Their song selections were something you would expect from a concert band than from a marching band, and although they sounded good, they really didn't pull in the crowd. Rating - 7 of 10

Fans - By and large, the NC State fans were good fans. They were very good at cheering when Florida State had the ball, especially during some crucial 3rd down plays. They also knew to be relatively quiet when NC State had the ball. Like Oregon, they let people out and back in for halftime. I used to like this practice, but not so much anymore. What ended up happening was that the stadium was literally half empty until almost the end of the 3rd quarter, and many never came back. Personally, I would rather see the fans in the stadium to watch the game that they paid to see than out in the parking lot drinking a beer and listening to it on the radio. I'm pretty sure that if NC State hadn't scored a touchdown in the 3rd quarter, they wouldn't have come back. Most of the cheering and yelling was positive, but there was a bit more negativity than we'd seen previously, including some hat throwing, yelling at the team, and f-bombs for the refs (even when the call went NC State's way). For most of the evening, we didn't see any issues with NC State fans harrassing Florida State fans until at the very end when one fan kept fake high-fiving a 15-year-old Florida State fan behind him for every good NC State play after the blocked punt. Rating - 7 of 10

Best Player - If I had to determine this at halftime, the easy choice would have been Florida State running back Chris Thompson. He had 115 yards rushing in the first half, and although he didn't score any touchdowns, he definitely enabled all the scores. Then the second half happened. The Seminoles couldn't get anything going on offense, and their defense seemed to be too tired to rush the quarterback. NC State quarterback Mike Glennon earned the best player of the game when he threw his second touchdown pass with 8 seconds left in the game. He played very well in the second half as he picked apart the same Florida State defense that had shut them down in the first half.

Overall - Janell was hoping for a Florida State victory, but despite that this was a very entertaining experience. It is a good place to watch a game, the fans were good overall, and the game was certainly exciting! Rating - 8 of 10

Bonus Fact: NC State's Fishing Club won the 2012 National Championship and has won 3 of the last 10

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Carolyn Todd on

Nice post. Trust me, Janell's seat isn't the worst I've seen. But I can't see her view of the game...was it obstructed?

We were at a Nebraska game in 2003 where the seat that a Penn State fan behind us paid for was occupied by a concrete post holding up the upper deck. It's a travesty when athletic departments subject people - especially away game folks - to seats that don't exist or provide partial or obstructed views.

Craig M. on

Most husbands probably would have traded seats with their wife, especially if she's an alum of BOTH schools playing. :)

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