As a friend asked me today at the game, "What would've happened if this team had stayed healthy all year?"
It's tough to know.
A couple more wins were there for the taking this year. The BC game, perhaps. Maybe the Florida State game or the Maryland game.
But what effect did the adversity at the beginning of the year have on molding the team into the squad that ran the table over the final four games? Freshmen and walk-ons had to step in and play more minutes then they ever could've thought coming into the year. That built some experienced depth to rely upon for spelling the starters later in the year.
Folks like Owen Spencer have emerged late in the season as the opportunity to shine has presented itself. It's tough not to look ahead to next year when a (hopefully) recuperated Donald Bowens returns to the lineup on one side of the field and Spencer lines up on the other.
Russell Wilson...what can you say, other than "wow." The kid continues to amaze, turning busted plays into scores, breaking the will of opponents just when they get a glimmer of hope. I know he may be a couple of games late to the Player of the Year discussion, but there simply can't be another contender for Rookie of the Year in the ACC, and without a doubt NO other player in the conference means more to the success or failure of their team than Wilson.
To go 4-0 over the final four games, against an upstart Duke and three teams ranked at some point in the year, is one of the more remarkable things I've ever seen a Wolfpack football team achieve as long as I've followed them. From where I sit, the future is indeed bright.