Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Amato Calls Plays like His Old Boss

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Amato Calls Plays like His Old Boss

Article excerpt

Byline: Gene Frenette, Times-Union sports writer

Say what you will about the controversy over cloning, but without it, watching North Carolina State dismantle Notre Dame 28-6 in the Toyota Gator Bowl yesterday wouldn't have been nearly as entertaining.

"It's fun to play in an offense that you know they're not going to hold anything back," said wide receiver Jericho Cotchery.

Except for their predominantly white jerseys, there was nothing vanilla about the way the 17th-ranked Wolfpack buried Notre Dame during a 21-point second quarter. It was a direct product of the philosophy that Chuck Amato adopted three years ago when he took over the program.

He told then offensive coordinator Norm Chow and all of his coaches that he wanted "trickery" in the playbook. The former Florida State assistant knew elevating N.C. State football would require using every resource possible, which included copying an innovative quality from the place where he had worked for 18 years.

Amato looks and sounds nothing like his old boss, not with that barrel chest and raspy, high-pitched voice. But in his play-calling, he is Bobby Bowden. Or at least the Bowden that FSU fans knew in the Seminoles' pre-dynasty days.

That Bowden, circa early 1980s, was fun to watch on game day. He didn't always have the better talent, but that Bowden wasn't shy about calling gadget play after gadget play because he needed it to win.

FSU opponents never quite knew what to expect from the coach once known as the riverboat gambler. Reverses. Double passes. Quarterbacks as receivers. Back then, FSU's offense had far more wrinkles than Bowden now has on his face.

Seeing the Wolfpack go up and down the field in the second quarter was like going back in time. And watching the Bowden of old empty his playbook. …

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