NC State 23 App State 10 (Updated 9/4, 11am)

A more detailed wrap-up is forthcoming. I couldn’t be in the stadium tonight, so I will leave the heavy analysis for a blogger who was there. Since we are mad at the N&O, and merely annoyed with ESPN, we will link their recap.

That said, it doesn’t take being in the stadium to be concerned about 44 yards passing against a 1-AA opponent. That’s not going to cut it, as even stellar backs like Brown and Baker won’t find holes if teams can put 9 men in the box (especially when said teams are better than the Mountaineers). On the plus side, it sounds like our defense was great.

The best insight I can give from the radio broadcast – how embarrassing it was for our crew to crow about it being “the first time in the history of Carter-Finley Stadium that NC State defeated a #1 ranked team.” That would be a pretty good line if accompanied by a chuckle. But it was delivered with gusto and earnestness. Talk about your Kool Aid drinking.

It certainly could be worse – we could have been shut out by a weak 1-AA foe like Richmond. And I would be remiss not to mention UNC’s moment of poetic justice – having a TD taken off the board after the refs looked at the replay, then fumbling on the 4th down try. God is good, and He definitely has a sense of humor…

Bytes – Monday @ 11am
The analysis of what we saw Saturday night is about as straight forward and vanilla as what actually unfolded on the field on Saturday night. There just isn’t that much to it since State (appropriately) chose to reveal about 1% of the playbook vs the Mountaineers.

(After I wrote this section I jumped over to Section Six and saw the exact same adjective of “vanilla” used as the headline. GREAT MINDS THINK A LIKE!!! My comments in this section dovetail nicely with the comments at Section Six)

The following are some quick game-related bytes from Saturday night (we’ll have more anaylsis from the weekend’s events as the week progresses):

* Saturday Summary – Tom Suiter logged some quick comments his thoughts on the weekend over on WRAL’s Blog that succinctly sums the whole thing up:

State has good players and good depth, and I think they’ll be a good football team. As the season gets tougher, though, they will need to have Stone do more than just hand off the ball. Defensively, you couldn’t ask for more, limiting Appalachian State to just 133 yards in total offense. Mario, Manny, McCargo and the rest of those guys from last year couldn’t have done better. I would expect the Pack to make it 2-0 next week hosting Akron.

* Marcus Stone – In his customary fantastic syle, Caulton Tudor truly nailed the whole Quarterback-Marcus Stone issue in his column on Sunday. Make no mistake how important Stone is to the Pack’s success this season.

No one in the Wolfpack camp was about to complain about a relatively painless season-opening victory, nor should they. But the predicted improvement in Stone’s game just didn’t surface against the quick Mountaineer defense.

There’s no way to knock Stone’s winning percentage and it’s entirely possible the Wolfpack can win again next week against Akron — and perhaps even at Southern Mississippi on Sept. 16 without getting big numbers from Stone.

But eventually the ACC schedule is going to hit — starting with Boston College on Sept. 23 in Carter-Finley — and eventually the Pack is going need a more aggressive, potent passing attack.

* The Season – After watching this game, I think that main question for the entire season is simple – CAN Marcus Stone execute a more potent passing attack? I think that NC State can go 6-6 this season playing the style of football that produced last year’s 5-1 finish and Saturday night’s win over ASU. But, NC State can go 8-4 or better if Stone improved more in the offseason than he showed on Saturday night and can complete just 55% of his passes.

* Offense / Play calling – I can understand both sides of the arguments about the offense & play calling that are inlcuded in the comments section of this entry. For now, I am going to choose to believe that State didn’t want to take any risks against a team that we knew that we could beat by running the ball, controlling field position, and forcing to drive the field when they never proved that they could. The goal of playing the game is to WIN. The goal of playing the season is WIN AS MANY AS YOU CAN. Why do anything more than we have to do to win?

* Toney Baker – TB22 fumbled on Saturday night, a problem that continues to plague him and ultimately relegates him behind Andre Brown on the depth chart.

* Passing – The think that bothers me most about Stone/QB is his unwillingness (inability?) to even attempt a pass DOWN THE FIELD. Almost every pass attempt (and definitely every pass completion) are nothing more than little dumps and outs. To join the the critical bandwagon for a moment – if a junior quarterback in the ACC does not have the ability to complete a forward pass that travels more than 10 yards from the line of scrimmage then something is definitely wrong. The Wolfpacker stated the following in their Monday Morning Quarterback:

There were times Pack receivers were open and they did not get the ball. Junior John Dunlap was seen open downfield twice.

* Passing, II – Similarly, I picked this up from the comments section:

Something Terry Harvey said on the postgame show that rang true. This offense needs to prove that they can complete a forward pass when in an obvious passing situation. They haven’t been able to do that since PR left. At some point there will be games where a State QB will have to WIN the game for us and right now that won’t happen.

* What Penalties? – 3 penalties for 20 yards. AWESOME!! Turnovers continue to be another story for the program; but, after the improvement in penalties at the end of last year this issue should be put to rest. GREAT JOB!!

* Offensive Line – other than the play of Marcus Stone, the offensive line was the next most worrisome performance from Saturday night. Coach Amato said after the game that he was pleased with their play, so I will defer. But, the OLine appears to be much better at run blocking than at pass protecting. Marcus is going to need everything that he can get from them.

* John Deraney - no comments about NC State football in 2005 or 2006 would be compete without highlighting John Deraney’s play.

* Defense – Heading into the season I wasn’t nearly as worried about the defensive line as the rest of the world seemed to be and it looks like I got that one right. On the whole, the defense played great. The linebackers missed some assignments and have a lot of room to improve but they are sandwiched by a lot of talent in front and behind them.

About BJD95

1995 NC State graduate, sufferer of Les and MOC during my entire student tenure. An equal-opportunity objective critic and analyst of Wolfpack sports.

'06 Football General

74 Responses to NC State 23 App State 10 (Updated 9/4, 11am)

  1. noah 09/02/2006 at 10:53 PM #

    Marcus Stone is easily the worst passing QB we’ve had since Preston Poag.

    Wins are going to be few and far between in the state of North Carolina this year. The ACC, outside of FSU, Miami and Va. Tech is pretty bad this year. UVa got waxed by Pitt, there’s the great void of North Carolina, Maryland struggled today and BC didn’t look great on Thursday night.

  2. roon7723 09/02/2006 at 10:54 PM #

    not that it has much to do with the game but i could hear people in the other student section chanting “we want chris wright” at halftime. pretty amusing more than anything. and who knows maybe that will be the deciding factor for him!

  3. packclass87 09/02/2006 at 11:11 PM #

    We are in trouble at QB. I don’t know what Amato saw last year in Stone that makes him think he can complete at this level. The “Killer Bs” can’t do it all. Without a serious passing threat, we are doomed. Any of the younger guys can hand the ball off as well as Stone, and maybe one of them can complete a few passes down field. We joked last year about Stone warming up on the sidelines…instead of the tradition pass and catch, he just practices handing the ball off. I hope Stone makes me eat my words, but I don’t see it coming. Amato is still a good defensive coach…he will find a way to play good D.

  4. Devon162 09/02/2006 at 11:24 PM #

    I well remember one of Mike O’Cain’s worst transgressions was to recruit and then START Jose Laureano at QB. Right now, with Jay Davis being followed by Marcus Stone, it seems that the comparisons between the two are dead on. We’re right back where we started but with better facilities (and much lighter wallets). This is going to be a painful season.

    And yes, hearing the announcers go on and on about beating a #1 team was embarassing. That’s even worse than throwing Chuck a parade.

    Next week is Akron, who put up a respectable fight against #19 Penn State. I’m thinking next Saturday may well be tough to stomach. :(

  5. wolfman89 09/02/2006 at 11:26 PM #

    Hey, i just got back from the game and i can tell you the d looked very sharp. The offense though was horrendous and Stone couldnt hit a barn if it was 2 feet in front of him…The biggest highlight players were Tonye Baker and Andre Brown. Andre had a big run of about 30 yards, but when a defender ran at him, he just completely demolished him!! It was a bone crushing hit that you could hear from the seats..

  6. noah 09/02/2006 at 11:28 PM #

    Damn, how’d I forget Laureano?

    The best part of Laureano’s year at starter was the emergence of Jamie Barnette.

  7. Wolfpack4ever 09/02/2006 at 11:32 PM #

    Blame it all on Stone if you will, but i thought the play calling was atrocious. I’ve seen Midget League teams with a better offensive concept. It appears we just throw out a bunch of unrelated plays.

    With great runners wouldn’t you think Trestman could figure out a way to juke it up a little bit. I’d suggest he watch film of Wake Forest and put in EXACTLY what they run if he can/t figure it out for himself. A pro-style passing game is a disservice to Stone — and a coaching boondoggle.

    Reggie did well in his first game at LB and the corners were outstanding. That long pass was a perfectly thrown ball.

  8. Slader4881 09/02/2006 at 11:46 PM #

    Play calling was bad bc they dont trust Stone, and neither would I. I say give me someone who can throw the ball. I dont care if it is Burke or Evans or whomever…….please.

    Stone is clueless in the plays. Even when we called passes he never looked down field. I saw Dunlap run by the CB and the Safety for ASU and Stone threw it to Baker for a -3 yd loss.

    The ACC is going to be a tough road to hoe if every team we have has 9 men in the box or hell put 11 in the box if Stone never looks down field…

  9. MatSci94 09/02/2006 at 11:47 PM #

    Several of the pass plays were broken up by a pass rusher with a clean run at Stone, so the O line may have some work to do as well.

    There did not seem to be a variety of plays called, with the exception of the screen pass to Blackman for a TD.

    I’d like to see us take some shots down the field once in a while. Which we never seem to do.

    On a positive note, there were only a couple of penelties called on State tonigh (I only recall two, but there may have been more) so we seem to be headed in the right direction there.

  10. Slader4881 09/02/2006 at 11:49 PM #

    Yeah someone needed to gag the radio crew…. we did not beat a #1 team. 1AA does not count we are D1. That is what I call scraping the Barrel after an unimpressive win,

  11. packclass87 09/03/2006 at 12:03 AM #

    I have the mis-fortune of living near ECU (was awful in the 90′s) and I am surrounded by tarheels. At least we don’t have to hear them run their mouths all week!!!!!

  12. wolfman89 09/03/2006 at 12:21 AM #

    I was at the game……The D looked good, but Stone was just sorry….End of story… Just see it this way, We won…..The Tarholes lost, and like packclass87 said at least we want hear there crap talk for a week.
    GO PACK!!
    -TROY

  13. Wolfpack4ever 09/03/2006 at 1:18 AM #

    I think Stone’s afraid to make a mistake — problably got chewed out for the first down he picked upgoing over the top 2 defenders. And he made a good play knocking the App out on the 14 after the fumble. He’s not a pro-style passing. Let’s use him for what he can do, not what we wish he could do. I guess I just like football players — guys who will unload on somebody like he did that FS linebacker last year. And I know he caught it for that.

  14. bTHEredterror 09/03/2006 at 1:34 AM #

    Take solace, App made LSU look just about as bad last year, and we took their very best shot. Good taste of what the ECU game will be like.
    I’m greatly worried about the turnovers though, that was Stone’s strong point last year. He may never make a good throw, but generally he throws it where the other team can’t catch it either. Plus the backs were laying it down way too much. The O-line looked suspect (which was disaheartening), receivers didn’t do a whole lot, and TE’s were invisible. The D didn’t seem to miss a beat from last year, LB’s played decent and Reggie looked pretty good. The secondary played well except a couple lapses (hope A.J. isn’t out long) and the D-line looked dominant at times, but we’ll see when some DI talent comes along how good our D really is.

    For certain our passing game is lacking. 36 YARDS?! As tough as App is, they are far from the best defense we will see.
    I think it needs more play action and I agree some deep shots off play action every now and then would be nice. Take 5 shots at going 30+ a game and only hit one of them, its still a decent percentage at that range and tends to loosen up the safeties. ASU’s safeties made a fair amount of plays close to the line tonight especially in the second half. But Trestman is a West coast guy and they tend to undervalue the deep pass, prefering to dink and dunk about looking for breakaways. They must find a way to get the ball to Anthony Hill no matter what.

    All-in-all, we’re lucky we didn’t get embarassed any worse. Back to the drawing board and bring on the Zips! (….gulp)

  15. Lock 09/03/2006 at 6:05 AM #

    A repeat season of last year, or even worse, the year before…that was all I could think of while listening to this game. That’s what it sounds like; that’s what it feels like.

    But it was just one game. I still have hope of being proven wrong. And hey…UNC losing makes things rather sweet this weekend.

    (Plus, my brother goes to App, and went on and on about their national championship…good to have some silencing going on!)

  16. 1.21 Jigawatts 09/03/2006 at 8:52 AM #

    I was at the game and from what I could see (redzone seats so a view of the LOS was difficult but other than that they were great) our offense looked worse than I’ve ever seen and I’ve been following the Pack since the start of the MOC era. I realize it was the first game of the season and everyone has their troubles on offense but come on, it was a IAA team. Though there was more of the same from last year (minus the penalties). No ability to pass, turnovers, and 3 of 12 on 3rd down conversion. Folks that’s 25% AGAIN!!!

    Our defense did a great job for most of the night, several times I saw their OL create HUGE holes for the QB to run through but overall I think they did great. The Pack DL controlled the line of scrimmage but that was to be expected.

    I can’t say the same about OL. They looked horrible against a much smaller DL (I think I saw somewhere we averaged 2 inches and 30 pounds over their DL). There was no reason we shouldn’t have controlled the LOS but we didn’t, in fact I saw our OL getting pushed around A LOT. No holes were created, the great runs came when Andre ran to the outside and made things happen for himself. That’s a major concern for me.

    Another thing was Stone “appeared” to continue with poor footwork, he just doesn’t seem to be able to get his feet planted to throw the ball. I just don’t think he’ll ever be a pocket QB so lets stop trying to force him into that role or go with someone else. I realize that we only attempted 13 passes (it was actually more like 16 or 17 since he was sacked once and ran out of bounds a couple of times because no one was open) but 36 YARDS!!! That’s unacceptable even against a good IAA team. I watched him look off the wide open receivers down the field and go for the “safe” back at the LOS several times. I know he’s our starter so I hope he proves me wrong but I don’t see him being our QB with this type of passing offense.

    Something Terry Harvey said on the postgame show that rang true. This offense needs to prove that they can complete a forward pass when in an obvious passing situation. They haven’t been able to do that since PR left. At some point there will be games where a State QB will have to WIN the game for us and right now that won’t happen.

    I’m not throwing anyone under the bus and I’m not jumping ship. I think our defense will help keep us in the games. BUT, if there isn’t some serious improvement in the offenses ability to move the ball through the air and the OL get nasty and start controlling the LOS, I’m afraid this will be a LONG season of just more of the same.

    Here’s hoping the coaches and players figure it out. GO PACK!!!

  17. Micky McCarthy 09/03/2006 at 9:48 AM #

    Jay Davis threw nice tight spirals to the opposition. Marcus Stone can’t even throw an accurate interception. What an ironic situation for us.

  18. Delete-Me 09/03/2006 at 10:02 AM #

    Sheesh, you guys pissing and moaning. Acting like we lost or something. Just go ahead and send me your tickets and don’t bother listening to the games anymore.

    You need to find something better to do. A win is a win, and the Pack will find a way to win.

  19. vtpackfan 09/03/2006 at 10:10 AM #

    It could be alot worse. Colorado lost to a 1AA team, Montana St., that hasn’t hosted a round in 1AA playoffs since ’84. Akron will be a stiff test, and after hosting Zips the game in Hattiesburg, Miss. should give us a real accurate perception on Tresselman/Stones offense. I feel like of D should keep us in the ballgames barring any injuries. I would like to echo someones message above that Stone is not a pocket passer. Wasn’t there a rodeo clown who backed up PR that could only work hand offs and broken plays. Can we get some film from that and scrap west coast offense till Burke or Beck are ready. I wasn’t at the game, forced to watch Holes on one channel and Akron the other. Was the game ever safe to bring Evans or Burke in?

  20. tvp 09/03/2006 at 10:29 AM #

    Stone actually looked OK in the first half. There were a couple of pass completions where you could see him working through his progressions to his second or third guy.

    In the second half, all of the incompletions occured while under heavy pressure. The culprit, from what I could see, was RT Jon Holt. I think the line as a whole did OK but Holt was getting abused by the ASU DE all night. I know that guy is an AA or whatever…but that’s a really bad sign.

    I refuse to be overly negative about this. This game doesn’t tell us much.

  21. Wulfpack 09/03/2006 at 11:15 AM #

    The good ole ACC looked pitiful yesterday. It’s going to be a long, long year in these parts. I do think some of you are underestimating App State’s talent. From what I saw, they looked pretty darn good. But too bad we won’t be playing the App State’s of the world every week. We’re in some deep trouble as the season unfolds, I’m afraid. And how about ECU? They are TERRIBLE. In closing it was nice to see Notre Dame smack GT in the mouth in the second half — impressive. Going to be a special year in South Bend.

  22. Delete-Me 09/03/2006 at 11:53 AM #

    We went extremely conservative after our final touchdown in the third quarter. Lots of second/(third?) teamers playing the fourth quarter, which was entirely smash mouth/waste time play calling.

  23. NCSUDude17 09/03/2006 at 12:47 PM #

    We only used a couple pages of the playbook, and stone didnt have the chance to throw for lots of yards, since he didn’t throw ONE PASS down field.

  24. Mike 09/03/2006 at 12:51 PM #

    The D sounded great, more of the same on O. What we got we got because the backs made the plays. I am afraid to say the backs, no matter how good they are, will not be able to make those plays if teams put 10 in the box. My only hope is the O crew planned those passes so other teams could not see film of what we are doing, and they are waiting to “surprise” them down the road. If that is the case, who are they fooling? Only themselves.

    I was compeltely appalled at the comments about “the 1st time ever in Carter Finley the Pack has beaten a #1 team.” Worst part is I heard it more than once. I like Tony and Johnny, but give me a break on the #1 comments. We could always bring in the #1 ranked junior high team and beat them if we can establish a running game.

  25. wolfman89 09/03/2006 at 1:24 PM #

    Hey, for those who went to the game, did you see the shirts the ASU fans were wearing?? It said ” STATE FANS WERES YOUR CHAMPIONSHIP?? ” Those were so dumb…… When we were doing the hey cheer, me and some friends would say ” HEY….YOU SUCK!!! ” and right as i said it an ASU fan went by and asked were our championship was, I told him our championship was playin in D-1 and not playin in high school…..He shut up quick. I came close to tellin him that i left it at his mommas house, but i held myself from doing so.

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