RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Winning on the road in the ACC is never easy. How tough is it? Well, one only has to look to N.C. State to find out.
On Saturday the Wolfpack faced a Virginia Tech team missing nearly two dozen players, including its starting quarterback. It didn’t matter. The Hokies jumped out to a fast start and never looked back in a 45 to 24 win.
Even worse for N.C. State, the Pack did not have to face the usual circus-like atmosphere at Lane Stadium due to fan restrictions. Did the visitors think they missed out on a golden opportunity to steal a road win?
“Yes, yes I do,” admitted N.C. State sophomore runningback “Bam” Knight. “We have to do a better job this week of getting guys riled up for the game because last week pregame you could tell the energy wasn’t there.”
N.C. State is in the midst of a 6-game road losing streak. The Pack lost all five of its away games a year ago but that team was decimated by injuries. Still, State needs to find a way to break through and win when not playing at Carter-Finley Stadium.
“Every time you go somewhere people take pride in it being their home turf,” explained graduate student tight end, Dylan Autenrieth. “When you travel somewhere you need to be more together and sometimes you might not get up to the level that you need to play.”
Over the past five years and one game into this season, N.C. State is 12-16 on the road. Not awful but then again certainly nothing to brag about.
During that time span, there have been some real stinkers as well. Like last year’s loss at 3 and 9 Georgia Tech and 2016’s defeat at 3-9 East Carolina.
It should be noted, though, the Wolfpack should have won at Clemson the year the Tigers won the Natioal Championship in 2016. A missed, chip shot field goal sunk what could have been a program- changing upset win.
So once again this Saturday, N.C. State faces another tough road obsticle in #24 Pitt. The Panthers are undefeated. “We have to do a better job of coming out and deleting that energy from the home team,” said Knight. If not, the road losing streak could stretch to seven games.
“Every game is tough in the ACC whether it’s home or away,” Autenrieth said. Especially those road games when it comes to N.C. State.
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