Really Rolling Along…heading towards a ‘bowl elimination game’

Got to tell you that some of the recent quality this site is producing and the progress that we are making as a wider community has been been very energizing.

You may have noticed that we have had just a slight decrease in activity on the front page of the blog in recent weeks as we have tried to shift more daily and topical ‘conversations’ to our growing message board community. That has left a little more space and time to focus on even higher quality blog posts, and I think our two most recent entries are prime examples:

(1) On the Basketball front, it doesn’t get much better than this “Cheap Seats Introspective” from LRM.

(2) On the Football front, resident stat guru, West Virginia Wolf stepped up with some interesting numbers highlighting the amazingly support the NC State fanbase continues to provide relative to home-field performance and records.

So, if you want to easily take a look at some other of our recent ‘top shelf offerings’ – try clicking on the “Popular” or “Editor’s Picks” tabs to the right of the page. They will take you to some of our best entries of the recent past.

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So, Wolfpack Nation now turns our attention to a phenomenally important weekend match-up with Boston College that is being labeled “The Shinskieing” at Backing the Pack. Absolutely hilarious. (Link)

Last season, Boston College took a cue from South Florida’s game plan and decided that they too would make a point of exploiting the Pack through the air. This seemed a great idea to me at the time, what with the way the Eagles appeared to be so openly inviting disaster. To that point in the 2008 season, the Eagles had struggled to find any sort of passing game, even against the likes of Kent State, Central Florida, and Rhode Island. Y’all bring that shit on, I thought. (As it turned out, it was similar to that time in ’04 when I screamed at Devin Hester to bring that shit on; his response was to teleport from one end zone to the other.)

True to their word, the Eagles fired away. The surprising part was how incredibly successful they were. Their impenetrable offensive line gave Crane all sorts of time and opportunities, and for the most part he did not miss. And so: season-highs in attempts, completions, completion percentage, yards, yards per attempt, and passing efficiency were set.

Which is not to say the Eagles will throw the ball 50 times on Saturday, but just as they no doubt saw what Duke did last week, they no doubt remember what they themselves did last year.

Their passing game has been up-and-down (to put it mildly) in conference play so far–good against bad defenses (Wake, FSU), terrible against good defenses (Clemson, VT). Those performances against Clemson and Tech are evidence enough that if you can get Shinskie and his various backups out of their comfort zones, they will crack. I suppose we might manage to do that somehow. But my money is on The Shinskieing.

The N&O has a 2 and a half minute podcast dedicated to State’s trip to BC this weekend that is really interesting and can be seen by clicking here.

In it, Caulton Tudor has some interesting criticisms of State’s defense and offensive play calling last week. (You really have to give tvp1 some kudos for these observations about our offense much earlier in the week; see why you should be making our message boards a major part of your web surfing pleasure?).

Tudor also goes on to predict that NC State will win Saturday’s ‘bowl elimination game’ in Chestnut Hill by 2 or 3 points. Heather Dinich, however, is going with BC in a close game due to their home field advantage. (Link) And, nobody can complain about that.

Even though he won’t link to us anymore, we’ll happily share EagleinAtlanta’s thoughts on the game

BC is in trouble if…
They cannot stop Wilson early. Wilson is every bit as good as Skinner or Ponder. Both of those QBs had fourth quarter comebacks against BC. BC needs to slow NC State early and build a lead before Bible decides to scrap his gameplan and let Wilson be Wilson.

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27 Responses to Really Rolling Along…heading towards a ‘bowl elimination game’

  1. wolfonthehill 10/15/2009 at 5:02 PM #

    Huh – on one hand, it’s seen as a Bowl Elimination Game.

    On the other, BC Interruption declares in his exchange with Backing the Pack that BC “is in a position to make their third straight ACC Championship Game appearance”.

    Such is life in the ACC. One game separation between bowl ineligibility & division title.

  2. GAWolf 10/15/2009 at 5:16 PM #

    I can see Giglio’s prediction easily coming true. We don’t win the rest of the year. Damnit.

    On the flip side, I could see us winning a few by accident here and there just because we can score points when Wilson is on fire and the guys around him at least try to keep up with him. I think that applies this weekend. We could mess up and win this game.

  3. PackerInRussia 10/15/2009 at 6:06 PM #

    How good is BC’s o-line this year? I know it’s been a solid position in the past. If it’s still solid and they can give Shinskie et al. any time at all, then the Pack’s offense better be able to match them blow by blow and/or control the ball and control the clock so that the defense can at least overcome them by fatigue later in the game. If the d-line is able to get pressure on Shinskie early and often, the secondary may not have to factor into the game.
    Against their only common opponent (WF), Wilson came away with more yards (275 vs. Shinskie’s 228), however Shinskie was much more efficient (18-29=62% with 3 TD’s and 1 pick vs. Wilson’s 20-43=46.5% with 2 TD’s and 2 picks). Each also had a long TD pass (45 yards for Wilson and 50 for Shinskie). Until that VT debacle, Shinskie had only thrown 2 picks versus 7 TD’s. I think we’re safe to say that we can factor out VT when trying to decide which defense State is more similar to. If BC is going to win, Shinskie will have to be the one to do it. State’s only giving up 62 rushing yards/game and that number is similar in wins and losses (65 in wins vs. 60 in losses). Of course when your QB is setting personal, school, conference, and national records throwing it, why rush?
    It would be nice (as tvp1 pointed out) for State to establish the run. However, they’re only giving up 88 yards/game at home. But, in their two losses they have averaged giving up 193 yards/game and the winning teams have attempted to rush an average of 50 times/game. In addition, they’ve only given up 6 TD’s through the air vs. 13 on the ground.
    The key seems to be establishing the run. Given our defense, I think that should always be the key, but I’m no expert.
    Fortunately I did not see the Duke game last week, so I will still (download &) tune in with optimism. Plus the last two years, just when the team has seemed down, they pull off a win and get on a roll.
    Thanks to cfbstats.com for the stats. Cool site.

  4. SeaWolf 10/15/2009 at 8:29 PM #

    It’s really a turning point game for both teams. Multiple BC blogs point to this game as the most important game left on their schedule. They seem to think it will determine whether their other wins in the ACC are legit or not. I tend to agree. It’s a turning point for us because it means that our season’s not getting churned in the kitchen disposal, and we could be out of DFL in the ACC. Also, it would have to feel good for TOB to get the BC monkey off his back. As much as he coach-talks that it’s a “business trip,” you know he really wants to rip into the Eagles. Not that this is a revenge thing on BC, more like a nice relief.

  5. Dogbreath 10/15/2009 at 9:02 PM #

    I think we get shithoused this week. This year has that feeling of the 2005 season. 5-7 baby!

  6. 61Packer 10/15/2009 at 11:10 PM #

    I thought we’d lose last weekend but I think we’ll win this weekend. Wolfpack football has become like that. Expect the unexpected.

    But we shouldn’t get our panties in a wad about whether or not we qualify for a bowl if it’s not in Miami, Atlanta or Charlotte. Do we REALLY want to send a 6-6 team to Orlando, San Francisco, Nashville, Boise or Washington DC (probably to play Navy)?

  7. GAWolf 10/16/2009 at 7:38 AM #

    How is it that everyone gets up to play the Wolfpack…. even when we’re bad? We seem to catch everyone playing their must-win-game. Will the tide ever turn?

  8. 66pack 10/16/2009 at 8:03 AM #

    we are a must win game because if you can not beat this team who the hell you going to beat.

  9. Alpha Wolf 10/16/2009 at 8:04 AM #

    The NEW Wolfpack Fight Song

    Then it’s hee hi hey,
    Next year’s on it’s way
    Count out your cadence loud and strong:
    “NEXT YEAR!”
    And where e’er we go you will always know
    That next year will be our year

  10. VaWolf82 10/16/2009 at 8:25 AM #

    Do we REALLY want to send a 6-6 team to Orlando, San Francisco, Nashville, Boise or Washington DC (probably to play Navy)?

    Nitpick Alert….With 2 wins against I-AA teams, a 6-6 State team would not be bowl eligible.

  11. BJD95 10/16/2009 at 8:25 AM #

    No bowl for us at 6-6 (2 1-AA wins). It’s 7 wins or bust, thanks to Lee Fowler letting EZU delay our game for a year (solely for their benefit).

    The Holes are in the same boat. The ACC is going to have a great deal of trouble filling all of its bowl slots this season.

  12. choppack1 10/16/2009 at 8:37 AM #

    This is kind of an “alamo” game.

    Hopefully, there was a lot of hurt pride last Saturday. It’s one thing to lose to Wake Forest, at Wake Forest, by 6 in a game where it’s tempting to say, “if we’d just made that tackle or didn’t throw that pick”, we would be leading the division.

    It’s quite another to have your pants pulled down and spanked in public. The Duke was a huge black eye for EVERYONE on the NC State team. You can 2 things after a game like that – you can respond like winners or you can pout and point fingers.

    Time to put up or shut up.

  13. packplantpath 10/16/2009 at 8:48 AM #

    Question regarding the ECU game that was rescheduled. My brother in law (UNC basketball, ECU football) swears that NC State pulled out to play S. Carolina and that there were several articles about it in Greenvile (that started as a typo, but I kinda like it, though I have had tons of fun there) newspapers. Of course, we claim the opposite, that they pulled out. Does anybody have a link to a press release about this one?

  14. durhamwolf19 10/16/2009 at 9:21 AM #

    ^ Your brother-in-law us way off base. We already had the home and home scheduled with South Carolina. Holland asked us to move our game back one year to coincide to match with their stadium expansion in 2010. There was a letter from Holland to Fowler that was floating aroung at the time.

  15. packplantpath 10/16/2009 at 9:26 AM #

    I thought I remembered that. I did a search of SFN with the tags, but had no luck. Probably I’m an idiot though and missed it.

  16. bradleyb123 10/16/2009 at 10:22 AM #

    Calm down, everybody. State will win this game, and I think by a reasonably comfortable margin. We got torched by two GREAT quarterbacks the last two weeks. BC’s freshmen QBs will NOT do the same to us. We have our backs to the wall, we’re better than Wake AND Duke (and we know it), and we have something to prove.

    I really don’t even think it will be close. State by 10 (at least). The offense will pour it on early and often, and THIS week the defense will get some stops.

    We should have won the last two games. It’s high time we start winning games we’re supposed to win, like this one. This BC team is not any good, I’m telling you now. We will win.

  17. packplantpath 10/16/2009 at 10:46 AM #

    No, I don’t think we are a better team than Wake or Duke. The scoreboard says otherwise. A good team forces punts. I’d settle for a team that forces field goals.

  18. ldr of the pk 75 10/16/2009 at 11:23 AM #

    I’ve heard more than one friend/fan say we will win comfortably Saturday. Could be if the team that played USC and Pitt shows up.

    As for the we’re better comment above, I hope that is just indicative of what they should feel, with the huge dose of remorse/shame for sorry play.

    Both Duke and Wake might say, “think what you want, we kicked your ass”.

    A win Saturday soothes some wounds and gets the ship back sailing at least. GO PACK!!

  19. bradleyb123 10/16/2009 at 1:26 PM #

    ^^^ “No, I don’t think we are a better team than Wake or Duke. The scoreboard says otherwise. A good team forces punts. I’d settle for a team that forces field goals.”

    Which is exactly what we did when we needed to against Duke. We held them to punts. Our special teams made two HUGE mistakes on those punts that they don’t normally make. Bad bounces on special teams cost us our chance to beat Duke. We’re not good enough to sleepwalk and beat anybody, but we’re better than both of the teams that just beat us. Against Wake, I think our coaches didn’t let Wilson play the way Wilson wants and needs to play to be successful. We have more talent and depth than Wake and Duke. It’s a shame we let those games slip away.

    I’m still confident we can have a strong finish. We have things to work on, especially on defense. But I think our problems on “D” are things we can “coach them up” on.

  20. Delete-Me 10/16/2009 at 3:44 PM #

    The team that lost to Duke and Wake is the same team that played USC and Pitt. We lost to USC by a small margin because they didn’t have film like Wake/Duke had, and we just barely beat Pitt due to them blowing it. USC was able to throw the ball on us, but didn’t do it enough or missed field goals in the process. Pitt was able to throw the ball on us. I can’t explain how we scored 21 unanswered points plus a fumble snap over the QB and won other than bad coaching/execution on Pitt.

  21. bradleyb123 10/16/2009 at 6:37 PM #

    You can’t explain it because you don’t want to admit that the defense played very well down the stretch in the Pitt game. I think their last four possessions (maybe more) all went three-and-out, not to mention the four-and-out on that goalline stand. We just got torched by two great passing quarterbacks, maybe the top two in the league. I don’t think we have to face QB’s of that caliber for the rest of the season. Ponder is not bad. Clemson’s QB is good, but young. Tyrod Taylor isn’t exactly the best passing QB in the world, although I’m writing that one off as a likely loss anyway.

    And as bad as our last two losses were, they were both winnable games. The wheels came off on special teams against Duke, but the defense DID stop those two Duke drives and forced them to punt. We just screwed up the punt receptions. That’s not the fault of the defense. Without those unforced miscues, we very much could have won that Duke game.

  22. Wolfpack704 10/16/2009 at 6:55 PM #

    The fact that we’re having a discussion about if we’re better or worse than Wake and Duke is so depressing. If we played both in a 7 game series, I would think that we would win, but it doesn’t work that way – they beat us, so until we play them again, they have the right to say they are better, even if we don’t like it. My Duke friends can’t stop talking hanging 49 on my Pack in C-Finley – what am I supposed to say? “We made stops when we had to, but we couldn’t capitalize – if we scored, we would have beat you, so we’re still the better team? You know – if we never muffed that punt, maybe it would have been a different story!” Sounds like what the Carolina folks say after a tough loss – I don’t let them get away with it, so I’m not going to make excuses. We need to prove we are better than these in-state schools by beating the s**t out of them during our matchups, not by talking about 2-3 key plays that didn’t work out in our favor. 41-10 in Kenan last year is an example – leave no doubt!

    As far as the BC game goes, we’re so inconsistent (even during the course of a single game) that I don’t know how good or bad we really are, but i do know that being that inconsistent is really bad (did that make sense? :) ). Nothing would surprise me this weekend, even a win or loss by a huge margin – I just hope we pull through. A win against BC could help shift momentum a little bit, and help me supress my “FIRE FOWLER and TOB” thoughts for at least one more week :)

    GO PACK!!!

  23. bradleyb123 10/16/2009 at 7:39 PM #

    I wasn’t saying we should use that in bantering with our Duke and Carolina friends and co-workers. I’m just looking forward, and knowing how the Duke game REALLY went gives me SOME hope for the rest of the season. I know deep down that Duke didn’t beat us by 21 points on the field of play. It was a tightly-contested game until we screwed up on special teams late and let the wheels come off, and the score got out of hand.

    That’s why I’m not writing off the rest of the season just yet. We still have a VERY powerful offense. If we can just get the defense “OK”, we’ll be able to win some games and finish strong.

  24. packplantpath 10/16/2009 at 8:02 PM #

    ^”It was a tightly-contested game until we screwed up on special teams late and let the wheels come off, and the score got out of hand.”

    Yes, and the 41-10 win last year @ UNC wasn’t that lopsided if you take out 6 UNC turnovers. Remember, the score was 17-10 at one point in the 3rd quarter. One player leaving off the lube, and we could have lost that game too.

    This “what if” game is lame. It is what it is, no ifs,ands,or butts. Duke handed us our @sses last weekend, and BC is looking to come out and do the same thing. These boys can either bounce back and try to salvage respectability, or they can play another lackluster game.

    Yes, they could play much better if they pull their heads out of their butt and learn to tackle, but I was noticing poor tackling in game 2 & 3 against patsies, so there is zero reason to expect that to change soon. Sure, they might miraculously figure out how to stop a 3rd and long, but we couldn’t stop 3rd and long last year,so there is little reason to be optimistic there. Add to this the worlds worst punter, and it sounds even worse. Hell, GT would probably pass for 300 yards on us.

    The most explosive offense around can’t win games when they have to score every possession just to keep up.

  25. john of sparta 10/16/2009 at 9:20 PM #

    a bowl elimination game is what the sponsors will play this season.
    is there a “blackout rule” for bowls? is a “winning season” the cutoff?
    as i understand, TV is already locked in…it’s a matter of how many people will buy full price tickets for the match-up. not actually
    attend, just buy the tix. bottom line: not a lot of bottoms in
    those bowl seats. any bowl seat.

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