As Duke heads off to Miami, UNC goes to Clemson after that devastating loss to ECU. Somewhat in between all of that, at least perception-wise, State hosts Florida State.
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For some reason, and we have only one guess, some people seem confident State can pull off a massive upset.
Steve Logan has confidence in State quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who transferred in from Florida.
That means he's seen Florida State before, so nothing new for him. He seems confident as well.
So does State teammate defensive end Mike Rose who told the N&O this: "You say it’s just another game, but at the end of the day this is a big game for us as a program. We got Jacoby, we got the offense going, our defense looks much better than we did last year. We’re putting the pieces together. Now it’s time to go out and show we can actually play with the Florida States of the world."
The attitude is a striking change and a real success for second-year coach Dave Doeren. Last year, you may recall, State did almost nothing after September, losing every ACC game.
This year, the Pack has already surpassed last season's win total.
FSU, however, is a completely different challenge. If N.C. State can pull off this massive upset, the season changes completely.
After FSU, State visits Clemson. And the schedule after that is not nightmarish: BC, then Louisville and Syracuse on the road, Georgia Tech and Wake at home then UNC in the season finale in Chapel Hill.
After Florida State, only Clemson is truly scary.
So is the exuberant confidence justified? On paper, no. Certainly not.
Thing is, no one plays on paper. And Florida State, aside from several injuries, may have been significantly distracted by the circus surrounding Jameis Winston.
And State may be capable of providing game pressure: the Pack is averaging 40.2 ppg.
If - and it's a huge if - if Florida State is out of sync and State can apply some meaningful game pressure, who knows? We've all seen that scenario before. It's really hard to change a team's psychology when that kind of threat is imminent. Toss in Winston's pysche, whatever it might be, and the framework is there.
Doesn't mean it'll happen, but we'd love it if it did.