I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing in 2012, when Gio housed us with just seconds to go. I had stood up, hovering by the couch, waiting for regulation to end before grabbing another drink and snack for overtime.
Hunched over on the back of the couch, head down, murmuring under my breath, “What the hell just happened?…”
That moment has haunted many State fans. It’s included in every preview, highlight package and taunting over the last decade. Even watching Gio on the Bucs the other week, I got chills and felt nauseous.
State just doesn’t have many of those moments, certainly not for football. We’ve positioned ourselves for greatness and been close before, all for not. Maybe you could say the Florida State upset with Glennon, but it’s hard to find that “time” you point to.
Friday night changed so many things.
Roller Coaster of Emotions
I watched the whole game. There were folks that tuned out after the sad back-to-back screens with five minutes to go. Totally understandable, honestly. I’m a glutton for punishment. I was willing to let that knife dig into my back and watch UNC close it out with a nice *twist*.
After Grayson Atkins (Is it mandatory for Grayson’s to go to Duke or UNC? Seriously, is there a contract or something in place at birth?) hit a 50 yarder with 2:12, my hopes rapidly slipped. One score game, maybe. Two? Yikes.
So for State to drop an Emezie bomb for 64 yards seconds later, I was shook. Then when Dunn got the onside kick? I just figured that football gods were just laughing and slapping knees up above, “Look at these State fans! Let’s toy with them a little, make them believe! Hahaha!”
If we’re being honest? Penalties were iffy, but let’s face it, how many DPI’s were just not going to be called? Can we walk further into the trust circle? I thought we scored too early, haha.
Biggest Win, Against Biggest Rival
In the understatement of the century, that State win was huge.
State’s ACC Championship dreams stayed alive. They gain their 9th win, for the third time in five years (Doeren the only State coach that can say that). Recruits across the country just witnessed raw talent in front of a rabid crowd on a Friday night. And State. Beat. UNC.
We now can have that clip of Emezie winning the 50-50 ball. We can remind all our Tar Heel friends, families and enemies, “Remember when you choked away that game in 2021? What was it, two touchdowns in 26 seconds?”
ESPN had State’s chances of victory at sub .1% with two minutes remaining. Out of 452 teams that at some point this season found themselves down 9 with less than 2:12 remaining, only State won. 1-451. Insanity.
Emezie became even more of a legend. Leary now holds a State record on his own. And we State fans, now have clips to replay, promote and cherish.
It was a game I’ll never forget. #GoPack #GTHC