Local News

Have No Doubt, the Pack is Back

Posted July 22, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT

— As college football teams are preparing to begin practice next month, the Pack is looking to build on the fast finish of last season.

For so long they played for the contract, trying to get enough wins, trying to show enough progress to extend the tenure of Mike O'Cain and his entire coaching staff.

Both the N.C. State players who helped keep the coach, and O'Cain himself, seem relieved.

"I think we've got everything behind us now," said Wolfpack receiver Torry Holt. "Coach O'Cain is going to be with us now for some years. We've got some great leaders coming up."

"It's just a little bit of pressure coming off, and a little bit of not having to answer that question week in and week out," O'Cain admitted. "It allows us to focus on just doing our job."

There are still questions for O'Cain, of course. State returns just 11 starters, the second lowest total in the league. Even with star Torry Holt back at wide-receiver, the ACC kickoff at Lake Lanier, GA forecasts a seventh place finish for the Pack.

"That doesn't surprise me at all," Holt said. "That's fine. We'll take seventh. We just have to go out and prove that we're not a seventh ranked team."

State is also motivated by the memory of two last second defeats in '97. Having won a new deal for its coach, the Wolfpack now covets a seven-win season and a post-season.