Could NC State football go undefeated? This former coach thinks so – The Fayetteville Observer

RALEIGH — Former NC State football coach Chuck Amato has never lacked any confidence or been afraid to voice his opinion.
This week, during a conversation with the USA TODAY Network, Amato — the only Wolfpack coach to lead the program to 11 wins in a season — said this current NC State team is a legitimate national title contender. 
“They’ve got a great defense and an outstanding quarterback,” Amato said. “I think if they stay healthy, they could go undefeated this season.”
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The No. 13 ranked Wolfpack returns 17 starters, including ACC preseason player of the year Devin Leary and 10 starters on defense. 
Amato said NC State should be favored in every one of its games, including a Week 5 road showdown against No. 4 Clemson.
The Tigers haven’t lost at Memorial Stadium since Nov. 12, 2016, and the Wolfpack have not defeated Clemson on the road since a 38-6 win in 2002, Amato’s third year with the program. 
“They (Clemson) don’t have a quarterback like they used to with Trevor Lawrence. They lost their offensive and defensive coordinator,” Amato, 76, said. “I’d like to coach (against) that head coach now that he’s all by himself and with new people.”
NC State opens its 2022 season next week at East Carolina, a series that brought the Amato era in Raleigh to an end. The Pirates upset the Wolfpack, 21-16, in the final game of the 2006 season. 
With a minute left in the game, the stadium officials at Carter-Finley took down their own goalposts so ECU fans wouldn’t storm the field and take them down themselves. Amato was fired the next day after ending the season with a 3-9 record. 
NC State owns an 18-13 series record against the Pirates but has not beaten ECU in Greenville since 2007. 
“Down there (in Greenville), they better have some security people taking care of their goal posts unless they want it to come down,” Amato said. “If it’s a normal goalpost, it’s coming down. People don’t forget what happened at our stadium, at Carter-Finley.”
David Thompson is an award-winning reporter for the USA TODAY Network covering NC State and Duke athletics. He can be reached at [email protected], at 828-231-1747, or on Twitter at @daveth89.


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