USA Today: NC State Football #88

Dave Doeren in tunnel leading out team 2013

It is that time of year when college football previews start to litter the landscape and help us all set our sights on the upcoming season. We are already under 100 days before the start of the 2014 football season, so I guess it is time to gradually start preparing for what the ‘experts’ expect to see.

This week, USA Today provided their early look at Dave Doeren’s 2014 Wolfpack. I appreciate USA Today‘s approach of not falling for the simplest of ‘Level One’ analyses and that plagues today’s infantile ridden internet. So instead of getting some ignorant comment about how ’7-6 under Tom O’Brien wasn’t good enough so impatient Wolfpackers chose to go 3-9 instead’, we actually got a premise of an article that made some sense:

Dave Doeren opened North Carolina State’s cupboard and found some stale bread, an open container of mustard, a half-eaten sac of pretzels and a bag of stale potato chips. It wasn’t totally bare, but it’s time to go grocery shopping.

As much as any program in the Atlantic Coast Conference – and perhaps most of all – N.C. State needs a roster overhaul. The holdovers from the previous coaching regime fell flat in Doeren’s system; a portion of the blame does fall on the new staff, to be fair, but the general lack of cohesive depth was the primary culprit behind the Wolfpack’s winless turn through ACC play.

The author also did enough digging into the season to realize the primary driver of the Wolfpack’s ills:

But to say the Wolfpack were entirely overmatched would be incorrect. Of those eight ACC games, only two were out of hand in the second half – Florida State, of course, and Maryland. The rest? N.C. State was either ahead or behind by no more than eight points at some point during the second half against its remaining six league foes; the Wolfpack were either tied or ahead of Duke and Syracuse in the fourth quarter. What this says is simple: one, depth was terrible, and two, the depth was really terrible. Yeah, Doeren’s reputation lost some luster, but don’t throw all the blame on his plate.

[snip]

N.C. State started last season short on experience and lost bodies along the way. The Wolfpack entered the year with 11 returning starters, one of the lowest totals among major-conference programs. By year’s end, however, N.C. State had lost more than 40 starts to injury among its projected starters; more than 30 of those injury-lost starts came on the offensive side of the ball.

You should read the article, it does a great job of talking specifics on both sides of the ball. It ends with the following realistic assessment of what to expect for the season:

SEASON BREAKDOWN & PREDICTION:

What’s funny about this team is this: N.C. State isn’t good – no, not good – but don’t be surprised if the Wolfpack sneak into bowl eligibility. Thank the schedule, which should leave the Wolfpack no worse than 3-1 heading into ACC play and could – thanks to home games against Boston College and Wake Forest – yield two or three additional wins during conference action. The end result could be one of the flimsiest, least impressive six-win teams in all of college football … and that’d be cool, wouldn’t it? I mean, all six wins aren’t created equal; that doesn’t mean Raleigh wouldn’t smile all winter after a six-win finish.

But that’s probably not going to happen: N.C. State should win five games with this schedule, but this team has no discernable strengths whatsoever. What you see is potential, however, and at several key positions in particular. Quarterback is certainly one. Another is the offensive line, which could develop into something special during the next two years; likewise with the secondary. There are several weak links: N.C. State’s offense remains unbalanced, due to a faulty ground game, and the defense as a whole is sorely lacking in proven production. This is far from a complete team, to put it mildly, and as such should make little noise in the ACC.

Let’s revisit one key point. Doeren didn’t inherit a good situation: N.C. State’s previous staff did him no favors whatsoever, meaning Doeren and this staff must quickly rebuild this roster on the recruiting trail – paying close attention to today, of course, but also keep one eye on tomorrow. I really think it’s going to take this season and next for the Wolfpack to adequately stock this roster with the talent and depth needed to challenge for eight wins in this conference. This team has the schedule to eke out five wins, but that shouldn’t cloud the work that remains to be done before NCSU is a viable contender.

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Home Forums USA Today: NC State Football #88

This topic contains 21 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by  WolftownVA81 3 months, 1 week ago.

Viewing 22 posts - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)
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  • #52597

    StateFans
    Keymaster

    It is that time of year when college football previews start to litter the landscape and help us all set our sites on the upcoming season. We are alre
    [See the full post at: USA Today: NC State Football #88]

    #52600

    13OT
    Participant

    We’re number 88?

    That’s a big improvement over last season, but we’re a long way from an overall winning season, let alone any meaningful bowls. Saying that our cupboard was left almost bare by TOB was sugar-coating it.

    I’ve bought my season tickets for the 19th consecutive season, and although I plan to continue basketball for at least two more seasons, I’m done with football after November 15. I do not see any significant improvement on the gridiron in at least 4 or 5 seasons, if that soon. The Georgia Southern game on August 30 could well ruin our season before it even starts.

    They can analyze Wolfpack football 88 different ways, but the problem remains that we simply didn’t have and still don’t have any really good FOOTBALL PLAYERS. Say what you want about the MOC and CTC teams, but at least we did have a few players on the field who could generate geniune excitement and change games with big plays. Not now. If Doeren can’t recruit good players in numbers or at least bring in a few big-play people, he won’t be around as long as his predecessor.

    #52601

    Virginia Wolf
    Participant

    130T, well said and I agree completely. I’ve had season tickets for 23 years and this is my last, for the same reasons you mentioned. IMHO, this is the worst coach we’ve had since Tom Reed! The schedule is laughable and so will the attendance be. After losing the Ga. Southern game, it will be all downhill from there. I’ve just decided its not the way I want to spend my hard earned cash.

    #52603

    eas
    Participant

    Time will tell and that time is approaching fast. Plain and simple last season was horrid. The no huddle offense was a cluster that moved at a snails pace. That being said it was new and operating on QB’s not well suited for it. I am a big fan of the no huddle and it was clear RW as well as Glennon did well in it (in other words when we were playing come back). This year “should” be much more polished with the no huddle.

    Anyway, I like the efforts and drive of the DD crew thus far. However, results are what we are looking for. As long as this year is far from last year we will be satisfied. Anything close to the same product will send SFN (and me) through the roof. People will not continue to pay for the current product nor one very similar.

    #52606

    blpack
    Participant

    Seemed like a fair article. We have a long way to go to be good again. Last season took the wind out of a lot of fans sails. Being historically bad will do that. This year I’d love to get to 6 wins at least, but I just want to see improvement. We will have a very young team and player development and recruiting like crazy are huge for the Pack. I think DD will give us some hope; I bet most fans will be excited when August rolls around.

    #52607

    13OT
    Participant

    I bet they won’t.

    #52608

    blpack
    Participant

    Time will tell my friend.

    #52609

    BJD95
    Keymaster

    Well, I suppose we will be popular with white supremacist prison gangs this season. 88 is prison tattoo code for “HH” or “Heil, Hitler.”

    The more you know…

    #52610

    VaWolf82
    Keymaster

    The delusionally optimistic are excited at the start of every season. All too often, that excitement is extremely short-lived.

    #52611

    Gowolves
    Participant

    Heck at this point I will just be excited for football to be back on! This time of year SUCKS!

    #52612

    1.21 Jigawatts
    Keymaster

    The delusionally optimistic are excited at the start of every season. All too often, that excitement is extremely short-lived.

    Something about last year finally pushed me out of the delusionally optimistic group.

    #52616

    Pack85EE
    Participant

    I’d rather be delusionally optimistic than morbidly pessimistic.

    In the last 15 years or so, NCSU has gone as their QB has gone. That is probably because we have maintained something close to average talent and a High end QB has put us in bowels and during the QB gaps, we have sucked. Last year was no different. I think if our starting QB had stayed healthy, he would performed better in the heat of the ACC. But as article stated, lack of depth showed as injuries piled up. O Brian’s last couple recruiting years sucked and it showed but all the talk is like we are way behind everyone. You guys talk of Louisville as if they are world beaters. We beat them in a bowel a few years ago. I expect us to be back even with them in a couple years. You talk like we have no talent. I disagree. I really believe we will beat the 5 win estimate. If the QB is as good as suggested, which is not superstar but solidly good, I think it likely we win the usual 7 or 8 games.
    But some of you guys wrote off any chance from the Basketball team making the tournament with 6 games to go. In my delusionally optimistic way I kept saying we had a chance. I actually thought we needed one more win in the ACC Tourney so even I was surprised at the end. Some of you guys must have been floored.
    In the words of (was is screwball?) Sutherland from Kelly’s Heroes, “Quit with your negative waves, man”

    #52617

    cowpack
    Participant

    I gave up my season tickets in 2012 after 33 years of hoping that we may one day be very good. It came in very short intervals and never lasted. Now with a young coach I have some optimism even with last year’s disaster since I feel the talent level had gone to rock bottom with the previous coaching staff. Saying that I think it will take more than 1 or 2 years to be very competitive again.

    #52621

    4in12
    Participant

    …has put us in bowels…

    I guess that explains the NC State sh**.

    #52622

    VaWolf82
    Keymaster

    I’d rather be delusionally optimistic than morbidly pessimistic.

    I strive for realism and will get excited after I see something…well exciting.

    #52623

    Wulfpack
    Participant

    The odds are it isn’t going to happen any time soon, if at all. We are who we are. How that changes overnight, I have no idea. Yow is right, FSU, Clemson and Lville are miles ahead. But we need to first concern ourselves with beating the BCs, Wakes, Cuse, etc. We’re just not very good.

    #52626

    BJD95
    Keymaster

    I would LOVE IT if we had average talent. We don’t. Even by ACC standards.

    #52629

    MrPlywood
    Participant

    Junior’s car is #88, and yesterday he won for the second time in 2014, which is equivalent to State football going 11-1 or maybe undefeated, so there’s that.

    #52630

    Fastback68
    Participant

    Pack85. It was Oddball. The only way to keep those tigers busy is to run around and let them shoot holes in me. Hopefully, that won’t happen to our qb in Clempson this year.

    #52639

    Wufpacker
    Keymaster

    But some of you guys wrote off any chance from the Basketball team making the tournament with 6 games to go. In my delusionally optimistic way I kept saying we had a chance. I actually thought we needed one more win in the ACC Tourney so even I was surprised at the end. Some of you guys must have been floored.

    Still am, actually.

    #52644

    PackerInRussia
    Participant

    I prefer what I call “sentimental optimism.” I have a hope for winning that’s connected to my love for all-things NC State. But, it’s far enough removed from being “pragmatically optimistic” that when they wind up losing, I’m not surprised or disappointed. It helps me be happy and enjoy a game without really caring if/when they lose. I think it also helps to live 5,000 miles away. It’s easy to be philosophical about losing when you don’t have to hear it from co-workers the next day.

    #52673

    WolftownVA81
    Participant

    I always hope for the best and mentally prepare for the worst. Does that make me a bad fan? How far removed we are from the days when you could go to a game (in any revenue sport) with a reasonable expection of winning at home at it being a toss up on the road. Point of reference – my wife and I graduated in 1981. Now that we’re getting to the point in life when we have a few extra bucks to spend (and more time soon I hope), I’d love to spend them seeing our team but I need to see some progress. Otherwise, we’ll continue to support from our couch. Appathy builds gradually over time and is a very hard thing to turn around. Counting on you Dave to bring back the excitement. Go Pack.

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