Posted: 8:00 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013
By Akula Wolf
One of my favorite games ever--football or otherwise--was the Wolfpack's win in Syracuse in 1997. Mike O'Cain's decision to go for two in overtime, and Paul Pasqualoni's desperate attempt to call timeout, is a sequence that I'll never forget.
"There was no question in my mind about going for two at the end," said O'Cain, whose job was said to be in jeopardy. "In that kind of situation, you need to choose your opportunity. Their defense was reeling and had lost its confidence."
I remember Tremayne Stephens jogging off the field after scoring in OT, holding up a single finger, then holding up two fingers, slightly confused, and reversing course when he realized what was happening. Syracuse didn't anticipate that State would sincerely try a two-pointer at that stage, leading to poor Pasqualoni's timeout try. He didn't get his timeout, and Jamie Barnette hit Torry Holt for an easy conversion and a Wolfpack win.
That was the "I'm hooked" point for me. To this day I remember jokingly saying to my dad "hold me!" when it was clear O'Cain was going to gamble. Torry Holt happened and it worked out. My dad and I hugged and high-fived. Sports are great.