NC State Preview

The blueprints of what Chuck Amato has been trying to accomplish at North Carolina State for the past four seasons reside in Tallahassee, where he once occupied an office adjacent to Bobby Bowden's.

"Over the last 20 years, I don't think there has been a program in the nation as successful as Florida State," said Amato, a member of Bowden's staff at FSU for 18 years, 14 as associate head coach.

"We try to model what we do here after what we did when I was at FSU, from A to Z."

Amato's reclamation project in Raleigh has stalled since an 11-3 season in 2001. After a 5-6 season last fall, he may need a victory to help save his job Saturday when the 'Pack (3-4) stands in against the Seminoles (7-1) Saturday afternoon in Doak Campbell Stadium.

His former employer, meanwhile, can clinch a berth in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game by getting past an N.C. State team that it has split its last four meetings with.

Talk about opposite ends of the spectrum.

"It's something all coaches have to go through," Bowden said. "There are coaches that have been fired. And you've heard the expression, coaches who haven't been fired yet. But it's just part of it. Chuck is tough."

The two coaching veterans still talk every Thursday night, except during the week leading up to their annual meeting. The topic of conversation this season likely dealt with youth – both teams are turning to their underclassmen to get things done.

Freshman tailback Andre Brown churned out 248 yards in the Wolfpack's 21-17 victory over Southern Miss, helping sophomore quarterback Marcus Stone win his debut as starter.

Brown, who will start Saturday, was previously third on the depth chart and had rushed for just 40 yards on 13 carries heading into that contest.
FSU's return to passing prowess has been well-documented – the freshman connection of quarterback Drew Weatherford and receiver Greg Carr is a big reason why the Seminoles lead the conference in offense.

Carr, who has an ACC-high nine touchdown catches this season, has a chance to break Warrick Dunn's FSU freshman record of ten scores.
Bowden and Amato said they also share advice on several other fronts, both football and life in general.

"I'm not afraid to pick up the phone and ask for his advice on so many things," Amato said. "It's a great person to be able to call. He was so generous to me down there and after I left, he has been as generous -- if not more ---- toward me."

Nole Digest Top Stories