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How Will Bible’s Diagnosis Impact State’s Performance?

November 24, 2009
Yesterday’s news that offensive coordinator Dana Bible has been diagnosed with acute myelocytic leukemia caught all but Bible’s closest confidants off guard. We knew he’d missed the trip to Virginia Tech for health reasons, but those reasons were unclear to nearly everyone until yesterday’s press conference when Tom O’Brien shared the news.

So it’s with heavy hearts that the N.C. State football team must now tackle the difficult task of game planning and preparing to face its most bitter rival in the final game of the season.

A game that, beyond the opportunity to extend State’s winning streak against the Heels to three games, really has nothing of importance riding on it. No bowl bid, no Atlantic Division Title scenario; the season will end at about 3:30 Saturday regardless of the outcome.

The question is this: How will a beleaguered team with nothing to play for respond to the news of Bible’s diagnosis?

The outcome you’d like to see is the team rally around themselves and try to close out the season on a high note in Bible’s honor.

But there’s a chance the team–already hurting from a disappointing season–struggles with the news on their hearts and just never shows up for a noon kickoff.

I think the former occurs, not the latter, for the very reason that Tom O’Brien’s knack seems to be motivating his teams during rivalry games. The one team Notre Dame never could seem to beat was Boston College. UNC is 0-2 against O’Brien despite possessing what many would consider a talent advantage. O’Brien knows how to rally the troops for these types of games and I think, with his friend Bible out of commission for this one, he’ll impress upon the team the importance a win in this game could have beyond simply this season.

We can only hope so.

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