Don't be surprised if North Carolina State coach Mike O'Cain
incorporates yoga into his team's postgame routine this season.
Anything to relax. The Wolfpack has won 16 games under O'Cain
over the last two seasons, but the victories have come at a
price--namely, his fingernails. Eight of those wins were fueled
by fourth-quarter comebacks. "That says a lot about our young
men," O'Cain says.

What? That they're trying to give their coach ulcers? That they
stink in the first three quarters? O'Cain prefers to consider
coming from behind a testament to his team's tenacity and
tip-top conditioning. "We're not the kind of team that's going
to overpower people," O'Cain says. "We're just not of that
caliber."

But they are of a caliber to have ended the last seven seasons
playing in bowl games. The finale for 1994 was a 28-24 victory
over favored Mississippi State in the Peach Bowl. The winning
touchdown (which came, of course, in the fourth quarter)
provided N.C. State with its largest margin of victory since
October. In November, Antacid Appreciation Month in Raleigh, the
Wolfpack stormed back to beat Maryland 47-45, Duke 24-23 and
Virginia 30-27. And in among those heart stoppers, it was
stomped by Florida State 34-3.

N.C. State has finished second to Florida State in the Atlantic
Coast Conference race in two of the three seasons since the
Seminoles joined the fold. "If they weren't here, we'd have the
rings they have," says junior cornerback Ricky Bell.

Stress for the Wolfpack is not limited to autumn. It also hits
in the spring, around the time of baseball's Major League draft,
as the team holds its collective breath for fear quarterback
Terry Harvey will finally decide to abandon football for a
baseball career. A righthanded pitcher who holds N.C. State's
career records for strikeouts, wins, innings pitched and games
started, Harvey was drafted this past June for the fourth time,
the first having been in his senior year at Dacula (Ga.) High. A
17th-round pick this year, he finally signed and spent the
summer with the Cleveland Indians' Class A team in Watertown,
N.Y. But Harvey will return to Raleigh this fall for his senior
year of football and third season as a starter.

The backfield--Harvey, tailback Tremayne Stephens and fullback
Rod Brown--is one of the clusters of returning starters on a team
that has bid adieu to half of last year's regulars. As a
freshman in '94, Stephens played in only nine games but rushed
for more than 100 yards in five of them. Also back on the
offensive line are guard Steve Keim and the Redmond brothers,
guard Jonathan and center Kenneth; three starters, including
Bell, return in the secondary. But that leaves vast territory
with few experienced players in sight.

On defense, five of the front seven are gone. Senior tackle Mike
Harrison and senior end Jon Rissler are the mainstays. "We have
talent there," O'Cain says, "but not a whole lot of experience."

N.C. State opens at home with Division I-AA Marshall, then
compensates for that soft spot with a nonconference game at
Alabama. Rest assured, if either of those games is close after
three quarters, O'Cain won't lose hope. "When the game's on the
line, we have a chance," he says. "We don't always win 'em, but
we get our share."

--Dana Gelin

COLOR PHOTO: PATRICK MURPHY-RACEY Brown (35) knows Wolfpack wins are too close for comfort. [Rod Brown in game]

THE DATA BOX

Head coach: Mike O'Cain
Career college record: 16-8
Third year at N.C. State (16-8)

1994 RECORD: 9-3
ACC record: 6-2 (second)

W Bowling Green 20-15
W at Clemson 29-12
W Western Carolina 38-13
W Georgia Tech 21-13
L at Louisville 35-14
W Wake Forest 34-3
L at North Carolina 31-17
W at Maryland 47-45
W Duke 24-23
L Florida State 34-3
W at Virginia 30-27
W Mississippi State 28-24 (Peach Bowl)

Final '94 rankings: 17 AP, 17 CNN/USA Today

Lettermen lost: 22
Lettermen returning: 43
Returning starters, offense: 7
Returning starters, defense: 5

KEY GAMES:
Sept. 16 at Florida State
Oct. 7 at Alabama
Nov. 24 North Carolina

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)