North Carolina State Wolfpack Football Details
Unless you are a fan of ACC Football, there is a good chance that you may not know much about the football program at North Carolina State. The Wolfpack, as they are known, have not won a conference title since 1979. They have not finished a season ranked in the top 25 since 2010 (No. 25 in the AP and Coaches Poll) and have only one top ten finish in school history (No. 9 in Coaches Poll in 1974).
The program’s origins date back to 1892 when it played its first game ever against the Raleigh Male Academy under the leadership of head coach Perrin Busbee. They were known as the Aggies at the time and won 12-6. They played their first intercollegiate game the following year against Tennessee College (another 12-6 win).
Like many programs, NC State began playing as an independent. It wasn’t until the 1921 season that they became affiliated with the Southern Conference. They remained a member of the Southern Conference until 1952 when they joined the Atlantic Coast Conference (better known as the ACC).
From a title perspective, the team has won more under Earle Edwards (1954-1970) than anyone else. Edwards guided them to five conference titles, two of which were outright (1957 and 1964). They also won their first bowl game in program history, a 14-7 win over Georgia in the 1967 Liberty Bowl.
As for the NFL, the school has had two players taken with the first pick in the draft. Quarterback Roman Gabriel was taken with the first pick by the Oakland Raiders in the 1962 AFL Draft. Defensive end Mario Williams became the second in 2006 when he was taken by the Houston Texans.
The 2006 Draft was by far the school’s best with three players being selected in the first round (Mario Edwards—No. 1; Manny Lawson—No. 22; John McCargo—No. 26). Other notable first round picks include Phillip Rivers (No. 4, 2004), Koren Robinson (No. 9, 2001), and Torry Holt (No. 6, 1999).
Since Dave Doeren took over the program in 2013, the Wolfpack has struggled in conference play but has finished the season with winning records the last three years. Last season they got off on the right foot going 4-1 in their first five games. But then they lost in overtime to Clemson, lost by a big margin to Louisville, and fell short in close games against Boston College and Florida State.
Fans at Carter-Finley Stadium (located in Raleigh, North Carolina) should be excited about their team’s future. Heading into the 2017 season the team will hope to see Ryan Finley improve off a solid 2016 year (3055 yards, 18 touchdowns, eight interceptions). With the departure of Matthew Dayes, the team will need someone to step up to take over in the backfield.