When N.C. State takes the field Friday against Tennessee in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, an annual college football matchup that opens the season in Atlanta at the Georgia Dome, the Wolfpack will be playing for more than a season opening win. If you ask head coach Tom O'Brien, N.C. State will be playing for "respect."
"We know we’re going down there as underdogs, not getting a lot of respect out of the Tennessee people," O'Brien said on the ACC weekly teleconference Wednesday. "But I guess you can be that way when you win all the time."
The ACC has gone 0-3 against SEC teams in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game since it was created. Clemson lost to Alabama, 34-10, in 2008; Virginia Tech lost to Alabama, 34-24, in 2009; and North Carolina lost to LSU, 30-24, in 2010. The ACC did not participate in the event last year, when Boise State topped Georgia, 35-21.
"We haven’t had much success going in this Chick-fil-A game against the SEC," O'Brien said. "It’s incumbent upon us, the ACC, to start winning these football games."