…will anyone care? NC State and USF hope so.
From a piece by Kerry Klecic in the USF Oracle:
N.C. State coach Tom O’Brien said Monday he wouldn’t seek advice from USF’s defense for stopping the spread offense.
“Did you watch them against Oregon?” he said about USF’s 56-21 defeat in last year’s Brut Sun Bowl. “Go look at that game. That was the spread they were defending. I’m not saying anything about USF’s defense, but if they’re the gurus, we’d better go somewhere else.”
At Tuesday’s weekly press conference, USF defensive coordinator Wally Burnham responded to O’Brien’s criticism.
“He’s right. We aren’t gurus,” he said. “But we try to handle things professionally and not say anything about anybody else’s coaching staff. The other thing, I forget what bowl game they were in — I can’t quite remember. So that’s all I have to say.”
Ooh. Burn. This may be the least contentious and most misplaced beef since 50 Cent made Young Buck cry.
NC State, prior to last week’s 30-24 win over East Carolina, had no touchdowns against FBS opponents this season, and were it not for freshman quarterback Russell Wilson’s chutzpah and excellent arm, they would be 1-3, the lone win coming against William and Mary.
And the last time the Wolfpack had a winning record was in 2006, after a win against another Florida team, so there’s symmetry here, sure, but this isn’t the kind of team that should be starting beef with anyone. (Except, maybe, Michigan, considering NC State managed to beat Appalachian State to open the 2006 season.)
Meanwhile, USF is the class of the Big East; this year, that’s like being the best actor on the new Knight Rider. The Bulls struggled against woeful Florida International last week, winning just 17-9, which lead Matt Grothe to say some stupid stuff of his own:
“I think we need to make a statement,” Grothe said. “It is an ACC team. Everyone has been saying the Big East is down this year. So if we can come out and play well, and do like I know we can, it will help us as a team and help us nationally with everybody.”
Let me get this straight: beating a mediocre team from the moribund ACC, the conference that’s likely to boast Wake Forest as a champion at year’s end, will legitimize your team nationally? So beating a BCS bowl participant from last year wasn’t enough?
USF is a team with a Disney World-sized inferiority complex because of its spectacular flameout down the stretch in 2007, when they soared to #2 nationally before spitting the bit in Piscataway to kick off a three-game losing streak, then got incinerated by Oregon in the Sun Bowl.
Picking fights with NC State isn’t what BCS contenders do; NC State calling out superior foes just isn’t smart. And, certainly, I would expect better from coaches than subliminals in the press.
But, hey, I’m writing about you now. Congrats on that.