Monday, September 11, 2006

I'll Never Be Anybody's Hero Now

-- You can criticize Chuck Amato for a lot of things, but this is not one of them.

Worst coaching move: Akron scored on the last play of the game to take a 20-17 lead against N.C. State. There was some discussion about whether Akron running back Dennis Kennedy had gotten into the end zone. But N.C. State coach Chuck Amato could not challenge the play. He was out of timeouts. An unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty on N.C. State's go-ahead touchdown with 1:07 remaining gave Akron great field position to start the winning drive.

Circumstances being what they were, Amato couldn't afford to keep a timeout in his pocket just on the off chance that a challenge might become necessary--especially when the booth is supposed to take care of the questionable plays without any prodding from the coach.

-- The News and Observer will run a story featuring the photograph that suggests Dennis Kennedy didn't get into the endzone in tomorrow's paper. From The Editors' Blog:

Chris Coker, who was seated in the second row near the goal line, captured a shot that appears to show running back Dennis Kennedy's elbow either on or just a shade above the turf a few inches short of the goal line. Either way, it appears unlikely that Kennedy stayed in the air long enough to have gotten into the end zone.

Coker's photograph, along with a story by staff writer A.J. Carr, went up on our Web site at about 3:20 this afternoon, and it will run in our print edition tomorrow morning. The photo had previously been posted at

Coker emailed the photo on Sunday to staff writer Chip Alexander, who forwarded it to our photo staff. No one was able to contact Coker on Sunday to double-check with him about its use, so we resumed our efforts this morning.

Robert Miller, our Director of Photography, talked with Coker today and looked at an enlarged version of the photo to verify its authenticity.

-- Amato was asked whether or not NC State should have lost to Akron and ended up on an irrelevant tangent about non-qualifiers.

They are in a conference that allows nonqualifiers in school. Ya'll need to look that one up to write stories. The Boise State's, the Fresno State's, the Louisville's before the new rules now.. that can allow nonqualifiers in school now. I think he told me he had ten last year that he signed. You know what kind of players nonqualifiers are usually? They are inversely proportional to what their grade point average is.

They can make a big difference, but I don't know how you can ask and you did. And I answered it.

Well, okay. This doesn't change the fact that NC State should have beaten Akron.

-- NC State trying to put shocking loss to Akron in the past.

"This is one of the worst losses that we've had in the past two years," Heath said. "Losing to Akron is a disappointing loss. We've just got to learn how to start faster, instead of finishing faster, (and) learn how to play hard from the beginning."

-- Taking a quick stroll around the internets, it appears that most outsiders think Amato is done after this season. Considering the time granted to Herb Sendek, I really would be surprised if Amato was not coaching at NC State in 2007. And at this point, I think he should be here in 2007.

-- Golden Eagles preparing for another tough nonconference foe.