Military Appreciation Day Info
Game 4: NC State Wolfpack (2-1) vs. The Citadel Bulldogs (3-0)
Military Appreciation Day
September 22, 2012 6:00 p.m. ESPN3/TWC Ch. 518
Raleigh, N.C. Carter-Finley Stadium (57,583)
NC STATE VS. THE CITADEL
The Wolfpack of NC State should face a formidable FCS opponent when The Citadel comes to Raleigh on Saturday, fresh off a road upset of seventh-ranked Appalachian State. The previous week, the Bulldogs upset Georgia Southern, the team that was ranked third in the FCS polls.
The Bulldogs rushed for 463 yards in the win at Boone, and their triple option offense is averaging 466 yards per game.
The Wolfpack has faced the Bulldogs four times, but the teams haven't met on the gridiron since 1983, when State shut out the visiting Bulldogs, 45-0. The other three meetings took place in 1940 (a 20-14 Pack win), 1938 (a 14-6 Pack win) and in 1937 (a 26-14 Pack win). The 1938 contest was played in Wilmington.
APPRECIATING THOSE WHO SERVE
Saturday's game will be NC State's annual Military Appreciation Day at Carter-Finley. This special game has become a favorite for Wolfpack fans over the past several years, as the Pack goes all out to honor and thank those who serve our country in the armed forces.
A variety of events are planned for the contest:
√ Wolfpack Club members are hosting 100 military personnel at their tailgates and athletics is providing them with tickets.
√ Coke is sponsoring a pregame tailgate for the Wounded Warriors
√ The Fanzone will feature many military themed activities as well as a Navy Rock Band
√ At 5 p.m., there will be a REAL Walk of Champions, as the Wounded Warriors enter at the North Gates
√ A C130 flyover
√ General Raymond T. Odierno, 38th Chief of Staff for the United State Army will perform the coin toss. He will also speak to the football team earlier in the day on Saturday.
√ Wounded Warriors, ROTC members, and all current and former military in attendance will be honored
√ An Army re-enlistment ceremony will take place on the field
√ Videoboard "shoutouts" from military personnel overseas
√ Military Tribute by NC State Marching Band and special bagpipers
√ Full-field sized Flag presented by Coca Cola
√ Parachute Team
LEADING THE WAY
The Citadel might be the military college competing in Saturday's game, but NC State and the Wolfpack football program has a proud military background as well. NC State has produced more four-star generals and admirals than any institution beside the service academics.
Over 50 NC State alumni have achieved the rank of Brigadier General or higher in the United States Military. The first four star officer at NCSU, General Maxwell R. Thurman, a former Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army. Hugh Shelton, now retired, was a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a four star general. General Dan McNeill currently commands the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. General William C. Lee is often referred to as the "Father of the U.S. Airborne."
NC State offers Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) programs for the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. The first Army ROTC was established at NC State in 1917.
And head coach Tom O'Brien graduated from the Naval Academy and reached the rank of Major in the Marines before resigning his commission in 1980.
`57 TEAM TO BE HONORED
More than two dozen surviving members of NC State's 1957 ACC Championship team will hold a 55th anniversary reunion this weekend before and during the Wolfpack's Military Appreciation Day contest against The Citadel.
Led by All-American Dick Christy, the Wolfpack finished the season with a 7-1-2 record, beginning with a season-opening win over North Carolina and including a memorable 14-14 tie against Duke at Riddick Stadium. Coach Earl Edwards' team was strong on defense, blanking the Tar Heels, Florida State. Miami, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech and snagging 15 interceptions. The most memorable part of the season, however, was the offensive performance of a single player -- the late Christy -- in the season finale against South Carolina.
The Wolfpack went into the Nov. 23, 1957, contest at Columbia, S.C., with a chance to win the ACC title, needing to win its game and for North Carolina to beat Duke in Chapel Hill, N.C. The Tar Heels did their part early in the day, but the Wolfpack tied 26-26 with the Gamecocks when time expired. However, South Carolina's defense was called for pass interference on the final play, moving the ball to the 36-yard line.
Christy, who had never made a field goal in his four-year college career, convinced Edwards to let him try the game-winning kick. He had already scored the Wolfpack's other points on the day with four rushing touchdowns and a pair of point-after-touchdown kicks. But he had also missed two PATs. Christy had taken over as placekicker for captain Dick Hunter, his backfield running mate who had missed his last seven extra points. Christy's low line drive sailed through the air for nearly six seconds before going through the uprights, clinching NC State's first conference title since 1927. It was the only field goal the team made all season.
HOME SWEET HOME
With Saturday's win over South Alabama, the Wolfpack has now posted a 12-2 record at home over the past two-plus seasons. In 2010 and again in 2011, State dropped just one home game - both to a visiting ranked team. State defeated No. 7 Clemson in Carter-Finley in 2011.
The road has been a little bit tougher, as the victory over UConn on September 8 was the Pack's first over a non-conference BCS school on the road since an overtime victory at Texas Tech in 2002.
THE WORD ON THIRD
In the last two games - victories over Connecticut and South Alabama, third downs have not been a pleasant place for the Pack's opposition to be. In the last two games combined, a staunch Wolfpack defense has held the opponents to a 2-23 mark on third down conversions and an 0-3 mark on fourth down attempts.
Mike Archer's defensive unit held South Alabama without a third or fourth down conversion on the game as the Jaguars finished 0-for-11 on third down and 0-for-1 on fourth. The last time NC State had held a team without a third down conversion came in 1992, when the Pack forced Virginia Tech to an 0-for-12 mark, a span of 228 games.
AMERSON AT IT AGAIN
The 15th interception of Wolfpack junior cornerback David Amerson's career showed why they call it a theft. The returning All-American and Tatum Award winner actually ripped the ball out of the receiver's hand.
Amerson now ranks second in NC State history in career interceptions and is tied for 14th in ACC history. He set the State and ACC single-season marks in 2011 with the second-best mark in FBS history - 13.
In 2011, Amerson was one of three finalists for the Thorpe Award, was a first-team Walter Camp All-American. He broke the record that had been set just a few years before he was born: Art Rooney (of the Pittsburgh Steeler Rooneys) held the record with eight in 1937 and again in 1938!
He returned two picks for scores, also a BCS best, and led the national ranks in INT return yards with 205.
WIDE RECEIVERS OLD, INEXPERIENCED
The wide receiver spot was an area of concern heading into the 2012 campaign, as both starters from last season and another senior graduated. In the first three games of 2012, quarterback Mike Glennon has thrown the ball to 12 different players: receivers, halfbacks, fullbacks and tight ends. Five different wide receivers have caught passes.
Starters Quintin Payton and Tobais Palmer are leading the team in receptions, both with a dozen in the young season. Payton, a junior, scored his first career touchdown in the win over South Alabama and led the team with five catches for 61 yards. He was also the leader in the opener with Tennessee, with four catches for 129 yards.
Palmer, a senior, has not gotten into the endzone this season, although he is the most experienced of the Pack's wideouts and had five TDs in 2011.
Sophomore Bryan Underwood has been the most prolific receiver in terms of scoring, with a touchdown in each game. Three of his seven grabs this season have been for touchdowns.
Junior Rashard Smith, a converted cornerback, also pulled in his first touchdown in the win over South Alabama. He has just two catches for the season.
UNDERWOOD LIKES THE LONG BALL
At 5'11, 174, sophomore wideout Bryan Underwood
is the most diminutive member of the NC State wide receiver corps, but that doesn't stop him from reaching out for the long pass.
Underwood leads the team in scoring with three touchdowns this season - a mark which ties for sixth in the ACC in touchdown scoring. For his career, he has caught five TD passes.
Four of his five scoring grabs have been for 33 or more yards. Last season he scored on a 33- and a 79-yarder at Virginia and this season has caught TDs for 44 and 46 yards, along with a five-yard catch versus Tennessee.