Team preview: North Carolina State

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college football season, exclusively on Insider.

Originally Published: July 28, 2004
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Wolfpack coach Chuck Amato has only one question to answer this year: Where will he go when the Rivers run dry?

For the first time since he became a head coach in 2000, a span of 47 regular-season games and four consecutive bowls, Amato will go into a game without Philip Rivers under center. That will make this season, with one of the most difficult schedules in recent memory, a bit more challenging, to say the least.

Given that the Wolfpack had a disappointing follow-up to its 11-3 finish in 2002 by going 8-5 with Rivers under center, Amato knows this season will be defined by how his team, which has yet to finish better than fourth in the ACC under his guidance, reacts to having a new on-the-field leader.

In the new ACC, however, fourth might not be so bad.