As we await football season, Luke DeCock has a few “areas of interest” around the Triangle and ACC (N&O, highlighted by the following:
The ACC season will kick off Aug. 31 when N.C. State faces Tennessee in Atlanta, but for fans, college football gets going in earnest this week, with the annual Pigskin Preview on Thursday — as well as a hearing in the media lawsuit against North Carolina, which has become another football tradition in these parts.
The ACC will host media from around the league and around the country in Greensboro on Sunday and Monday for the ACC Kickoff. Practices will begin at the end of July and the local teams will host fan days next month — Aug.â€‰4 for North Carolina, Aug.â€‰11 for N.C. State and Aug.â€‰18 for Duke.
As teams get ready to open practice, here are five areas of interest around the Triangle and around the ACC this season.
THE MAGNIFICENT AMERSON: Will anyone throw David Amersonâ€™s way this year? As a sophomore, the N.C. State cornerback led the nation with 13 interceptions, the most by an FBS player in 43 years.
With three other starters returning in the secondary, opponents wonâ€™t have many other options.
With Amerson leading the way, N.C. State returns seven starters from a defense that ranked second in the country in take-aways and tied for eighth nationally in sacks. If the Wolfpack can find three new linebackers, its depth and experience at secondary should enable assistant coach Jon Tenuta to push even harder with his high-pressure blitzing schemes.
Elsewhere, Fox Sports has NC State ranked at #24 in the country to start the season (Link) and the conversation quickly moved to some interesting views of our strengths and weaknesses.
Another worthwhile football item comes from ESPN’s ‘One Good Reason’ series. I particularly liked triadwolf’s comments that echoes my biggest question mark for the year after the linebacker situation – offensive line.
On the surface this analysis seems reasonable. However I’ll throw a couple of possible wrenches into his theories.
First, I watched our offensive line last year and one could easily make the argument that having most of that group come back might not be a good thing. They definitely got better as the season went on, but there were some less than respectable games from a supposedly talented group. Personally, I think we’ll be pretty good up front, but I’m cautiously optimistic.
With regard to FSU and VT beating us because they’re more talented; well let’s wait and see. Ask UNC and Clemson how being more talented worked out for them.
Just like I wouldn’t bet on our offensive line being all-world this season, I wouldn’t bet against this team either. This is a pivotal season with regard to NC State Football gaining some respectability – compete for a conference championship and most will take notice; go a mediocre 6-6, or 7-5 and we’ll just be the same ole’ story. If this team plays to it’s capability right out of the gate it’ll be a good season; if they wait 6 games to wake up, then…