Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl
N.C. State Wolfpack (7-5, 3-5) vs. Central Florida Knights (9-3, 7-1)
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Fri. Dec. 26 – 8:00 p.m. (ESPN)
The Wolfpack will be making its 28th bowl appearance, holding a 14-12-1 record coming in against Central Florida.
UCF will face the Wolfpack with a 3-3- bowl record, having first reached its first in 2005.
While the Knights went 0-for-3 in their early bowl matchups, they have won the last three they have played in.
This is UCF’s third trip to Tropicana Field for a bowl game and will definitely serve as a home-field advantage when taking on N.C. State for the first time in the postseason.
Prior to Friday’s bowl matchup, each team holds a road win to its credit when the two have met in games that have ended with only nine total points separating them – UCF winning 25-23 in 2007 at Carter Finley Stadium and N.C. State wining 28-21 in 2010 at Bright House Networks Stadium.
Some interesting notes why this game possesses the potential of being an exciting one when considering the recent and past history of both teams.
Thirteen of the Knights’ last 23 games have featured margins of seven points or less, with their record in those games standing at 11-2.
For the Wolfpack, its history of making dramatic plays and games interesting, particularly in basketball during the 70s and 80s, also happened in football as well.
N.C. State’s lone tie in a bowl game came at the 1974 Astro-BlueBonnet Bowl against the University of Houston at the Houston Astrodome in Houston, Texas back on Dec. 23, 1974.
The Wolfpack trailed the Cougars 31-17 with 1:11 to play.
With head coach Lou Holtz leading the way, N.C. State put together a two-touchdown and two-point conversion rally that included an onside-kick recovery, to give the then-10th-ranked Wolfpack the tie.
How is this relevant to the matchup against Central Florida?
It isn’t, save for the fact, that if the Wolfpack and Knights do play to the final down during regulation or in overtime, the chance of seeing a dramatic finish in N.C. State’s favor would not at all be surprising.