Wolfpack Bowling – It’s a Holiday Tradition!
Post by John Taylor
It’s the most wonderful time, of the year! Wait, you think I am talking about the Holiday Season? Well, it’s that time of year too, but it is also the college football bowl season! Through the many ups and downs of this season (and also many times where I was caught saying, “sure Tom O’Brien, I love to stay home over the holidays”) NC State finally made themselves eligible for a bowl game and it happened during the last quarter of the regular season. However, that is Wolfpack athletics for you. Regardless, we finally made it. So without further ado, and again, if you don’t know already, the NC State Wolfpack will face off against the Louisville Cardinals in the Belk Bowl at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC. My lovely coworker Whitley Carpenter and I will be in attendance at the game and will be certain to give you the ultimate breakdown following the game. As every good 12pm game on a Saturday has a pregame show, so must our bowl game.
A brief history of NC State bowl football: State first rose to the college football postseason on January 1st, 1947 in the Gator Bowl where we faced off against Oklahoma and to make a long story short, it was not the best game the Pack ever played, as they went down 34 to 13. It was another 17 years before the Pack made it back to a bowl game. This time it was the Liberty Bowl and was another loss for the Pack. However after this two game skid to start bowls State went on a four game unbeaten streak, including a tie against Houston in the 1974 Bluebonnet bowl. After nearly 30 years of ups and downs NC State would have four straight bowl games with current NFL all-star Philip Rivers. Rivers would go 3-1 in bowl games, including a huge victory in the 2002 Gator Bowl against Notre Dame (I mention this one specifically because I remember watching it, all those years ago). Last season, the last season NC State would have Russell Wilson at the helm, the Wolfpack beat the West Virginia Mountaineers 23-7 in the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando Florida. I was unable to attend the bowl, but Whitley went and blogged about it last year! Through all these years, the Wolfpack have managed to build a respectable 13-11-1 bowl record. A winning record in bowls is impressive; even some of the largest college football programs do not have winning bowl records
Once again, the Pack (7-5) will take the field against the Louisville Cardinals (7-5) (another team I was born and bred to hate) in the Belk Bowl where there is expected to be more NC State fans than seats, simply because Raleigh and Charlotte are separated by a mere 2.5 hours. I hope that you will tune to ESPN on December 27th at 8pm, and as always, go Pack!