If you haven’t heard already, UCF will take on NC State this Friday, Dec. 26, at 8 p.m. on ESPN in the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl.
UCF is looking to win their fourth straight postseason match-up, while NC State hasn’t had a bowl appearance since 2012. The two teams last met in 2010 in Orlando when NC State beat UCF 28-21. However this year, after a 9-3 season, UCF is favored on the spread by -2.
If you’re not familiar at all with NC State, we’ve put together some facts about football program below:
1. NC State defensive coordinator Dave Huxtable was the defensive coordinator for UCF under current head coach George O’Leary from 2008-2010.
2. In 1921, the “Wolfpack” was first adopted by the football team. Other sports teams for NC State were known as the “Red Terrors”. It wasn’t until 1947 that the nickname “Wolfpack” was used by all NC State athletic teams.
3. Defensive lineman Thomas Niles is a junior who originally committed to NC State but switched his decision to UCF. Niles started every game this year for the Knights and lead the team in sacks and quarterback hurries.
4. Over the course of head coach George O’Leary’s career at UCF and Georgia Tech, he has a 7-2 career record against this year’s bowl game opponent NC State.
5. NFL quarterback Philip Rivers and NFL defensive end Mario Williams were both first overall picks in the 2004 and 2006 NFL drafts and are alumni of NC State.
6. NC State was 3-5 this year in their conference ACC play while UCF was just one win shy (7-1) of going undefeated within conference play for the second year in a row.
7. NC State’s starting quarterback Jacoby Brissett was originally a Florida Gator before transferring in 2013.
8. The head coach for the Wolfpack, Dave Doeren, is the 34th head coach in program history. He came to NC State in 2012 after leading the University of Illinois for its two most successful seasons in program history.
9. NC state is 14-12-1 in bowl game history, losing its most recent bowl game to Vanderbilt 38-24 in the Music City Bowl in 2012.
10. NFL quarterback Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks is also an alumni of NC State. Russell won the Super Bowl last year against Peyton Manning and the Broncos 43-8.