'The Loudest I've Ever Heard Carter-Finley Stadium'
Earlier this week, the Wolfpack Club ran a social media post asking NC State fans to fill in the blank on the following sentence:
“The Loudest I’ve ever heard Carter-Finley Stadium Was _________ .”
It’s not an easy exercise to complete, considering that Carter-Finley is traditionally one of the ACC’s most raucous venues. And according to a five-year average of attendance figures compiled by College Football News, State ranks second among conference schools in filled stadium capacity at 98.84% since 2015.
Coming up with my own answer was particularly difficult, given that the first game I attended at the Wolfpack’s home stadium was more than four decades ago in 1977. I don’t remember much about that game, not only because it was so long ago but also because I was a student at South Carolina at the time and Ted Brown and the Wolfpack beat the Gamecocks 7-3 that day.
There are many other games that have blended together over the years. I have covered games at Carter-Finley, which is a lot bigger and nicer than it used to be back in the day.
But there are still a few that stand out above the rest, especially when it comes to crowd noise.
There was the Thursday night game against Georgia Tech in 2000 when freshman Philip Rivers led a comeback that ended with a game-winning touchdown pass to Koren Robinson in overtime, prompting students to rush the field and tear down the goal posts.
There was the night 10 years later when another Wolfpack quarterback legend, Russell Wilson, hit tight end George Bryan in the end zone for the go-ahead score and linebacker Nate Irving strip-sacked Christian Ponder with less than a minute remaining to seal a 28-24 win against Florida State.
And who can forget that other dramatic win against the Seminoles, when Mike Glennon found Bryan Underwood in the end zone for the winning score with 16 seconds left to complete a comeback from a 16-0 halftime deficit?
But for my money, it doesn’t get much louder than it did at Carter-Finley on the night of Oct. 5, 2017.
Anticipation was already high for a matchup between the 24th-ranked Wolfpack and No. 17 Louisville, led by reigning Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson.
As is usually the case for a Thursday night game, the atmosphere was already at a fever pitch when the game started. But the meter shot off the charts when on the second play from scrimmage, State’s All-American defensive end set the tone for the evening by recording the first of his team’s four sacks of Jackson.
As loud as that was, the volume got turned up even higher late in the fourth quarter when linebacker Germaine Pratt intercepted Jackson and returned it for a touchdown to clinch a 39-25 win.
So how would you fill in the blank?
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