Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

FSU's Amato knows all about N.C. State's emotions

RALEIGH, N.C. — Florida State assistant coach Chuck Amato had been back to Raleigh numerous times since his tenure as Wolfpack coach ended after the 2006 season.

He has family here. He has many friends here. But he knew it would be different to be in Carter-Finley Stadium again, a stadium that saw nearly $100-million in renovations thanks in large part to the excitement he generated when he became the coach at North Carolina State, his alma mater, in 2000.

"It's going to be tough to walk out of that locker room onto that field," he said recently, "and see what a big-time stadium it is and what a great place it is — the kind of emotion those fans got into games, those fans are the reasons we won that Boston College game and that Florida State game that year. It was deafening in there. It was absolutely deafening in there."

As soon as he finished grading the Miami film from the Oct. 4 game, Amato said it hit him that he was actually going to be back in his old house.

That's when he turned his attention to game tape of the Wolfpack and he "saw the field and the stadium and the players and the red-and-white block S. You know, all the things that make North Carolina State such a great place."

Stump speech: When N.C. State coach Tom O'Brien was still at Boston College, he and his staff sent some recruiting material to QB Russell Wilson, but not a lot. Once he moved south, however, he retargeted Wilson and got him.

"He was obviously on their list here, and they were very high on him," O'Brien said. "The people who were on the staff who stayed with me when I had no assistants raved about him as an individual. And when I had the opportunity to watch him on tape, he obviously made a lot of plays.

"When you met him as a person, you knew he was a special kind of a guy. He had tremendous confidence in himself. He might end up being president some day."

If a vote were held at the half, Wilson would have carried North Carolina. He was 6-of-9 passing for 65 yards and a touchdown and ran once for 25 yards in the half; he finished 13-of-25 for 181 yards.

Flag bearers: FSU's young offensive line struggled in the first half with five penalties for 45 yards as well as allowing QB Christian Ponder to be sacked three times. But N.C. State had no sacks in the second half.

Lineup changes: Injuries forced the Seminoles to tweak their starting defense with Kendall Smith at linebacker for Dekoda Watson, Darius McClure at free safety for Jamie Robinson, and Korey Mangum for Patrick Robinson at cornerback. Watson and both Robinsons played in the half. But Watson aggravated his injured left elbow and starting RG Will Furlong injured his left foot in the half.

Another homecoming: FSU redshirt junior DE Everette Brown, from nearby Stantonsburg, was busy scrounging tickets; he ended up with 61 for family and friends.

Thursday nights on ESPN: The Seminoles improved to 5-4 on ESPN games on that night. They had lost their previous two, at Wake Forest last year and at N.C. State in 2006.

Fair item: Traffic was an issue for the game, more so than on an ordinary weeknight. Across the street from the stadium, the popular North Carolina State Fair opened at 3 p.m. Thursday. For those wondering, the Wolfpack entered 16-16-1 when it played at home during the fair. It had lost the previous two and five of seven.

FSU's Amato knows all about N.C. State's emotions 10/16/08 [Last modified: Friday, October 17, 2008 12:51am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Joe Maddon gets warm reception in return to the Trop

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The night was arranged to honor former Rays manager Joe Maddon in his first visit back to the Trop, and the standing ovation from the bipartisan crowd and scoreboard video tribute seemed proper acknowledgments of his hefty role in the Rays' success during his nine-year stint.

    Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70) talks with reporters during a press conference before the start of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.
  2. Rays vs. Cubs, 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Cubs

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM; 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays' Blake Snell poses for a picture during the team's photo day at baseball spring training in Port Charlotte, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Cubs game

    The Heater

    Chris Archer's night ended with his 11th loss, but he and the Rays should feel good about his six solid innings. After the forearm tightness scare in Chicago, he had two rough outings (15 hits, 11 runs, seven innings), so Tuesday was a reassuring rebound.

  4. At 6-8, Lightning prospect Oleg Sosunov comes with, and needs, a high ceiling

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — When Hall of Famer Phil Esposito first saw Lightning prospect Oleg Sosunov, he joked that the 6-foot-8 defenseman could reach the Amalie Arena ceiling.

    Lightning 6-foot-8 defenseman Oleg Sosunov competes in the preseason opener. Phil Esposito jokes that Sosunov can reach the ceiling at Amalie Arena.
  5. Jones: Rays' Kevin Cash doesn't mind following in Joe Maddon's steps

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — On this particular night, he's the other guy. He's like a talk-show guest scooted to the end of the couch. He is Kevin Cash. And the Rays manager is standing in the home dugout at Tropicana Field.

    ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 17: Manager Kevin Cash (L) of the Tampa Bay Rays reacts to action during the game against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field on September 17, 2017 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images) 700012494