·NC State boasts the #1 passing game in all of college football. Rivers and his receivers are averaging 418 yards per game. Overall, the offense ranks 11th highest in yards per game with 502 total. Their Achilles heel might be their rushing attack, which is 98th. The Wolfpack have only managed a combined 169 yards on the ground against Wake Forest and Western Carolina.
·In 4 of the 5 games where Philip Rivers has thrown the ball 40 times or more since the start of 2002, the Wolfpack has lost. Rivers completed 21 of 41 for 277 yards in a loss to Georgia Tech. A 24-40 day with 297 yards availed little against Maryland. Virginia took it to the Wolfpack 14-9 and held Rivers to 28 of 47 for 236 yards. Last week, Rivers tossed the pigskin 49 times, completing 38 of those passes for 433 yards, but again - they lost. The only win for the Wolfpack when Rivers has thrown more than 40 times was in their bowl game against a toothless Notre Dame squad. Their 28-6 win saw them rush for only 62 yards on 26 carries, but River's arm led them with his 25-41, 255 yard afternoon.
·The last time the Buckeyes passed for over 400 yards was against Penn State in 1997. Interestingly enough, the Buckeyes also lost that afternoon. The Nittany Lions snatched victory away from Ohio State by a 31-27 margin.
·This will be the first time the two teams have met. Ohio State is 7-6 all time against ACC teams.
·On the year, Rivers has completed 64 of 79 passes for an astounding 81% ratio. He has a long touchdown of 69 yards and 6 touchdowns on the season already.
·Chuck Amato is part of the Woody Hayes coaching tree after a fashion. Woody of course had a young assistant named Lou Holtz that became the head coach at NC State. Holtz had a young assistant named Chuck Amato from 1972-1974.
·Amato is 3-0 against the Big Ten. That sounds more impressive than it really is. Those three wins have been gained over Indiana (2-0) and Minnesota (1-0).
·NC State has two men, Greg Williams (cornerbacks coach) and Pat Meyer (strength and conditioning coach), that have something in common with Coach Jim Tressel: Youngstown, Ohio. Williams coached quarterbacks at Youngstown State in 1969-70, while Meyer is simply a native of Youngstown.
·This is truly a battle between the haves and have-nots of college football. NC State has only two national trophies for individual players. Wolfpack Center Jim Ritcher won the Outland Trophy and Kicker Marc Primanti won the Lou Groza Award. Orlando Pace alone won as many trophies while at Ohio State. NC State is 496-482-55 all time. Ohio State is 747-293-52. Since 1942, NC State has 7 conference championships. Since 1942, Ohio State has 7 national championships. NC State can fit all of the times it has been ranked on half a page in its media guide and all of the times it has been televised on 1 ½ pages. The Buckeyes media guide has to devote an entire page just to the results of games when Ohio State is ranked #1 in the nation. 2002 was the first season in NC State history where they topped 9 wins. The Buckeyes have done that 6 times just since 1993.
·Lou Holtz is not the only famous Buckeye to coach NC State. Former player Bo Rein followed Holtz's tenure in Raleigh. It was from that job that he left to take the head coaching position at LSU just prior to his tragic death.
·The first game for North Carolina State was played in 1892. The university was named North Carolina A&M at the time, and the players wore pink and blue uniforms. In 1895 the team began wearing brown and white outfits. In 1896, the uniform colors were changed to the current red and white. Finally, around 1918, the school became known as North Carolina State.
·NC State plays its home games at Carter-Finley Stadium. It has an official capacity of 51,500 but a record attendance of 68,650.
·NC State boasts fine special teams play. Their field goal Kicker is 18-21 for his career. Lamont Reid has averaged 26.7 yards per return and Greg Golden 21.3 yards per return on kickoffs for their careers. Manny Lawson blocked 3 punts in 2002.
·Philip Rivers had 8,952 of total yardage for his career entering the 2003 season.
·All of these fun facts and statistics will mean nothing once kickoff begins. The team that wants this game the most will win.
NC State/Ohio State stats and tidbits
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