Big opportunity ahead for NC State at the Gator Bowl

The last time NC State was at the Gator Bowl in 2002 just so happened to be the last time the Wolfpack locked up 10 wins in a season.

The Pack can equal that mark with a win over Texas A&M in Jacksonville. Bigger than the number 10 would be what a win over an SEC program would signify for the program.

Under Head Coach Dave Doeren, State has produced top caliber pros (see Bradley Chubb), but remains lacking in the signature wins department.

Last year, Doeren's team had three chances to knock off a big boy with South Carolina, Clemson and Notre Dame on the schedule. They failed to beat any of the three. Moreover, both 2015 and 2016 were near misses against the nationally ranked Clemson Tigers.

So here we are... waiting. NC State has familiarity with opposing coach Jimbo Fisher and his defensive coordinator Mike Elko. That gives the Pack an advantage.

Missing receiver Kelvin Harmon and top tackler Germain Pratt will no doubt hurt, but enough excuses. It's time for State to win in a spot that isn't expected and take that next step forward.
Copyright © 2021 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.