North Carolina State coach Chuck Amato is somewhat of an expert on Florida State's defensive schemes. A part of the Seminole coaching staff for 18 years, he and defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews worked together to create many of the plays the team runs today.
Saturday, Amato used his inside knowledge to his advantage, coming up with an offensive game plan that baffled the FSU defense throughout the 34-28 upset. He placed a strong emphasis on the running game and kept the Seminoles guessing by putting as many as four receivers in motion at a time.
"Chuck (Amato) knew us like a book and knew just how to hurt us," FSU coach Bobby Bowden said. "He did it in the first half. All that jumping around on offense. He knew how to confuse us."
The Seminoles were not prepared for Amato's trickery. They looked bewildered when N.C. State shuffled its receivers from the right side to the left and then back. The confusion allowed the Wolfpack receivers to separate from their defenders and gave quarterback Philip Rivers several open targets.
"I think at times it got pretty confusing," linebacker Bradley Jennings said. "In the second half, we came out and made adjustments and started settling down. But those guys played their hearts out and came out victorious tonight."
Jennings, a senior, was heavily recruited in 1996 by Amato, then the FSU linebackers coach. With 11:37 left, the starting middle linebacker showed why when he chased Wolfpack running back Ray Robinson near the end zone.
However, Jennings overcompensated and missed Robinson when the 5-10 tailback made a quick spin move. The 24-yard touchdown run extended the N.C. State lead to 10.
"The guy made a good spin move on me," Jennings said. "I basically played the ball, overran it a little bit and that caused the touchdown. I should have forced it to the safety."
The Seminoles have given up 926 yards and 61 points in the past two games.
Throughout the week, FSU watched game footage of and prepared for a Wolfpack offense that ranked eighth in the ACC with 343 total yards per game. N.C. State amassed 314 yards by halftime and finished with a season-high 463.
"If they wouldn't have had Chuck (Amato), they wouldn't have won," defensive end Alonzo Jackson said. "Having Chuck got them a victory."