Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Pupil Outsmarts Teacher Bowden Credits Amato's Plan

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Pupil Outsmarts Teacher Bowden Credits Amato's Plan

Article excerpt

Byline: Daniel Mitchell, Times-Union correspondent

TALLAHASSEE -- Considering he served 18 years as an assistant at Florida State, it was no surprise North Carolina State coach Chuck Amato devised an effective game plan against the Seminoles.

What was shocking was how well it worked.

The Wolfpack befuddled FSU's defense in a 34-28 upset, passing and running nearly at will as the 'Noles struggled to line up properly -- or to tackle when they did. N.C. State passed for 276 yards and rushed for 187 for a total of 463, its biggest output this season.

"When you scatter so many people like we were doing, it's a confusing thing for the defense," Amato said. "They have the best defensive coaches in the country with [coordinator] Mickey Andrews, and I felt that if we could do that and get them off guard they might end up going into a zone. And that opens up the running game."

While FSU players blamed missed assignments and a lack of fire in defeat, Bobby Bowden credited Amato for a brilliant game plan.

"Chuck knew us like a book and knew how to take advantage of it in the first half," Bowden said. "Our kids were running back and forth trying to get lined up."

FSU cornerback Stanford Samuels said better effort could have overcome the technical difficulties.

"In the first half, they had us thinking too much -- 'Am I doing the right thing?' -- because of the shifts in the formation," Samuels said. "They changed entire formations. That's one thing. But once we get lined up, the game is the same. Fundamentals. Tackling. Covering. Wrapping up. So it was harder for us to line up, and it's hard to play when you're thinking, but you've still got to do the fundamentals. We didn't do it."

That was demonstrated yesterday.

The Wolfpack was averaging 342.8 total yards per game, eighth-best in the Atlantic Coast Conference, but they gained nearly that many (314) in the first half. That figure was bolstered by big plays -- the 'Pack had 10of at least 11 yards in the opening half, when they grabbed a 24-14 lead. …

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