NC State vs. Old Dominion Preview

carterfinley7

Where: Carter-Finley Stadium (Raleigh, NC)
Kickoff: 6:00 pm
TV: ESPN3

This is Old Dominion’s first year as an FBS program and they’ve hitched their wagon to Conference USA. Strangely enough ODU mothballed their program back in 1940 and only resurrected it 5 years ago in 2009. ODU’s Head Coach is Bobby Wilder, who’s in his sixth year at the school (the first year was spent recruiting and building the program before playing in 2009). Like every other school today they run the spread offense with a 4-3 defense with a hybrid LB. Last year the Monarch’s went 1-4 against FBS opponents, the worst being a drumming at the hands of UNC losing 80-20, while the lone win was against Idaho. The Monarch’s do return 14 starters from last year (4 Off, 10 Def) so there is experience but as I’ll cover later, and what we know as State fans, experience doesn’t equal good.

ODU’s OFFENSE:

Up-temp offense after two cups of coffee; that’s what ODU has described it as the past few years. It’s a constant high pace offense to keep defenses from switching personnel and looking at the defensive alignment for potential weak spots to exploit. For several years they have depended on this style thanks in large part to their talented Quarterback, Senior Taylor Heinicke. With the move to the FBS level, Coach Wilder is tweaking the offense to dedicate more to the run to try and off-set the likely reduction in big plays downfield due to bigger, more talented secondaries.

Expect a solid performance from Heinicke, smart decisions to prevent turnovers, high completion percentage, and reading defensive alignments to keep the chains moving while picking his moments to strike big. The increase in running will turn to several players but if Week 1 against Hampton is any indication, then expect to see a lot of Sophomore RB Gerard Johnson, who ran for 137 yards against the Pirates. One reason the Monarch’s may be focusing more on the run this season is because of the step up in competition. Another reason may be due to the youth in their receiving corps. Of their 19 receivers listed on their depth chart for the State game, 13 are in their first or second year. Only one player, R-Sr Antonio Vaughan, is an upperclassman. Heinicke spread the ball around against Hampton where Zach Pascal, Vaughan, Nick England, Melvin Vaughn, and RB Cam Boyd all caught at least 3 passes. Expect to see ODU attack State’s soft pass defense often.

ODU Players to Watch (OFFENSE)

#14 QB – Taylor Heinicke (SR) 6-1 213: Against Hampton Heinicke was 29-40-2 for 281 yds & 3 TDs. Heinicke passed for +4000 yds and 33 TDS in 2013, 10 TDs came against FBS competition. Heinicke has passed for over 11,000 yards and rushed for over 1,000 yards in his career, only 11 other players have ever done this at the Div. 1 level.

#30 RB – Gerard Johnson (SO) 5-9 194: Johnson rushed for 137 yards on 22 carries and 1 TD for a 6.23 YPC.

#31 RB – Cam Boyd (SR) 5-6 171: Rushed for 37 yds on 4 carries with 2 TDs and caught 4 passes for 18 yds against Hampton.

#5 WR – Antonio Vaughan (R-SR) 5-8 172: Against Hampton he had 5 catches for 79 yds and 1 TD (15.8 YPC). Entering the 2014 season, for his career, Vaughan has 167 catches for 2248 yds and 21 TDs (13.5 YPC).

#6 WR – Zach Pascal (R-SO) 6-2 211: Against Hampton 8 catches for 99 yds and 2 TDs. (12.4 YPC)

#7 WR – Nick England (R-SO) 6-0 185: England is a transfer from Florida International, playing his first season with ODU. Against Hampton England had 4 catches for 39 yds.

ODU DEFENSE

While NC State’s defense will be facing another quality, experienced QB and a balanced attack, State’s Offense won’t have the same problem. This may be just the game this offense needs to get things clicking and build some confidence. ODU returns 10 starters on defense but if those starters weren’t very good last year, especially against FBS opponents, then how much better could they be this year? In 2013, against FBS opponents, ODU gave up on average 50.4 PPG. That’s not what I would call a stout defense.

ODU’s offense may be experiencing a youth movement but the defense isn’t, at least with the their starters. The backups on the other hand are mostly in their second season. ODU’s defense also has some JUCO transfers this season to help with the transition to FBS level competition and some have cracked the starting lineup, DE Poncho Barnwell and OLB Martez Simpsom. ODU may have listed a 4-3 base D but one of their OLB is a hybrid, which allows easier transition while on the field to a nickel package, and defends against a spread offense. Free Safety Fellonte Misher is the leading tackler from 2013 where he had 95 tackles. Just as ODU’s Offensive Line is small for FBS standards, so is the Defensive Line and is their weakest point.

ODU Players to Watch (DEFENSE)

#24 FS – Fellonte Misher (JR) 6-2 207: Misher lead ODU with 95 tackles in 2013 and had 2 INTs in 2013. ODU is looking for a leader on the defensive side of the field and Misher is the obvious choice.

#25 ROVER – Andre Simmons (SR) 6-0 211: Simmons was second on the team in 2013 with 78 tackles.

#41 MLB – Richie Staton (SO) 6-1 230: Staton doesn’t start, he’s actually DJ Simon’s backup, but last year Staton was fourth on ODU with 72 tackles and lead the Monarch’s in Tackles For Loss (TFL) with 10.5 and Sacks (4).

#42 MLB – DJ Simon (SR) 6-1 222: Simon is the starting MLB but recorded only 39 tackles in 2013. He also had 6.5 TFL and led ODU with 3 INTs last year.

#96 DE Terrell Reid (R-SO) 6-2 267: Reid is a backup DE but last year he recorded 31 tackles, 6.5 TFL, an 3 sacks. Expect to see him as the biggest presence on the DL when he’s in the game.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN AGAINST THE PACK

The Pack should be able to easily move the ball against the ODU defense. If it can’t things are worse than we feared and it’s going to be a long night and season. On the other side of the ball this should be a telling night for State’s defense, where ODU may not be a top notch offense in the country; they are still capable of scoring with a good QB. If the Pack defense has truly improved during the off-season then they shouldn’t have a problem out scoring ODU and essentially cover the spread. On the other hand, if the Pack’s defense is as bad as I fear it is, well let’s just say Saturday night will be good for fantasy teams and we’ll have a shootout on our hands.

WHO HAS THE ADVANTAGE

PREDICTION
NC State 38, ODU 31

About 1.21 Jigawatts

Class of '98, Mechanical Engineer, State fan since arriving on campus and it's been a painful ride ever since. I live by the Law of NC State Fandom, "For every Elation there is an equal and opposite Frustration."

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Home Forums NC State vs. Old Dominion Preview

This topic contains 30 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by  BJD95 1 week, 5 days ago.

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 31 total)
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  • #55453

    1.21 Jigawatts
    Keymaster

    Where: Carter-Finley Stadium (Raleigh, NC) Kickoff: 6:00 pm TV: ESPN3 This is Old Dominion’s first year as an FBS program and they’ve hitched their wa
    [See the full post at: NC State vs. Old Dominion Preview]

    #55454

    Tuffy2
    Participant

    We better look good as I am taking my granddaughter to her 1st NC State football game. See her dad is a unc fan and grandpa is trying to bring her up right. One thing going my way is she sure likes the new helmets.

    #55455

    Pack78
    Participant

    ^Tuffy-How old is she? Take her to the game later this year in CH and she could get a diploma!

    #55459

    Wufpacker
    Keymaster

    I’m looking forward to seeing Heinicke play. He is currently 29th for career passing yards, 22nd in career total offense, and 16th in career TD passes. He will likely finish top 10 in each category before season’s end. He also seems like a pretty good kid.

    Hopefully we can find a way to get some consistent pressure on him, but that is far from a given.

    #55460

    mak4dpak
    Participant

    I really don’t feel the defense is that bad. First game working out things, and certainly got better as the game went along. Guess we shall see.

    #55465

    StateRed44
    Participant

    If we can’t get by ODU at night at home by more than 7, yes it will be a long year. I’m expecting at least a 17 pt win.

    #55468

    VaWolf82
    Keymaster

    Nice job on the preview.

    The Pack should be able to easily move the ball against the ODU defense. If it can’t things are worse than we feared and it’s going to be a long night and season.

    Fans all too often maximize the positives and minimize the negatives in these types of games. I tend to concentrate on the negatives since too many of the perceived positives disappear when playing better opponents…while the negatives will only get worse. It appears that you take the same approach.

    If the Pack defense has truly improved during the off-season then they shouldn’t have a problem out scoring ODU and essentially cover the spread.

    With so few offensive starters returning, it’s hard to judge just how good ODU’s offense will be this season. Nevertheless, a poor defensive performance will certainly be bad news when looking towards ACC play.

    #55469

    44rules
    Participant

    Any links to look for for those of us who don’t have cable TV?

    #55471

    Prowling Woofie
    Participant

    This game should be like an NFL 3rd Preseason game – starters work the first half and build a comfortable margin, while the second- and third-teamers get the second half work to hone their skills.

    If this doesn’t happen, we’re in trouble again this year…

    Our guys need to have the mindset that they are playing in a Power Five conference – anything less is totally unacceptable against a first year FBS (and only sixth year overall) team.

    No excuse for any nail-biting in this game – at all.

    #55473

    VaWolf82
    Keymaster

    Any links to look for for those of us who don’t have cable TV?

    I don’t have a link, but the game is only available online…ESPN3

    #55474

    BJD95
    Keymaster

    Hipster Cat is responsible for our passing game now? I is intrigued.

    #55475

    TheCOWDOG
    Participant

    It will be interesting to see the defensive contrasts in scheming for air, as opposed to ground.

    Just as interesting will be how much they are willing to “show” in week 2.

    I don’t think we will get a feel for defensive identity until traveling down to USF.

    #55476

    1.21 Jigawatts
    Keymaster

    Fans all too often maximize the positives and minimize the negatives in these types of games. I tend to concentrate on the negatives since too many of the perceived positives disappear when playing better opponents…while the negatives will only get worse. It appears that you take the same approach.

    Yup, only see the worst because bad is really bad against lesser opponents while good could be fools gold.

    With so few offensive starters returning, it’s hard to judge just how good ODU’s offense will be this season. Nevertheless, a poor defensive performance will certainly be bad news when looking towards ACC play.

    It’s really tough to determine how good they really are on offense but a great QB can make up for a lot. If you’re going to be young it might as well be in the receiver corps since they can excel the fastest.

    Hipster Cat is responsible for our passing game now? I is intrigued.

    It’s more of a hoping that Hipster Cat is representative of the passing game; at least vs. ODU.

    #55496

    choppack1
    Participant

    Looking forward to game Saturday… On both o and d; as 1.21 correctly notes, if we can’t win this one going away it will be another long season. But at least we’ll beat wake.

    #55503

    john of sparta
    Participant

    the way-back-machine: Holtz at W&M.
    OD could be the reincarnation.
    play until the whistle’s echo.

    #55508

    packalum44
    Participant

    I’m a bit surprised we are 16.5 point favorites. 65.5 over/under so at least we can expect some offense. Sadly our defense is expected to give up approximately 24 points.

    I want a SFN poll…will ODU’s 2-star running back rush for 100-150 OR 150+? I’m thinking 170 yards with 2 TDs.

    #55509

    packalum44
    Participant

    I wonder how many of our players whittled down their last 3 schools to 1) NC State 2) ODU 3) GA Southern….

    #55513

    mak4dpak
    Participant

    I, for one, think the defense will be greatly improved today. Alot of the offense last week came on big plays for GS. I am sure that was worked on this week. But we will see tonight. Go Pack!

    #55514

    tootallorder
    Participant

    packalum44 – With your 200+ negative posts, one fact remains true: UNC-CHeats

    #55517

    1.21 Jigawatts
    Keymaster

    I want to point out just a couple of things, just in case I haven’t made it clear already, we have absolutely no idea what this team can and can’t do on either side of the ball. It’s very difficult to draw many conclusions from the game against GSU:

    1. GSU runs a non-conventional offense so not many on D are prepared for assignment D and thus the big plays.
    2. State was breaking in a brand new QB who hasn’t played a game in 2 years and looked off in the first half.

    The only thing I think we could take away from it was the confirmation that State is severely lacking in talent considering GSU looked equal or better.

    ODU will play the Spread but I still don’t think there are any positives State will be able to take away from playing this team. If State beats the snot out of them we don’t know if it’s because ODU still isn’t ready for the FBS level as last year’s performances show. So the only things to gleam from today’s game is looking for the negatives, or the areas where we struggle, and if they are similar to last year, and last week, then we can infer State will continue to struggle in these areas all season. Just for the record, while GSU may help State for GT this year, playing ODU and Presbyterian do nothing for State, even the quest for the almighty “Bowl Eligibility”. Presbyterian does absolutely nothing for this team, especially when coupled with ODU this season, and if you think we can’t glean any positives from today’s game then wait until State plays a team that is lacking even more talent than State does.

    This isn’t about Poo Pooing on State, this is about what can we realistically learn about this team before State plays a conference game. Just as a reminder, State’s first 2 ACC games are against FSU & Clemson. I believe the only things we can learn are, as VaWolf pointed out, areas you struggle in against weaker competition will only get worse as you play teams with better talent.

    #55521

    tractor57
    Participant

    I saw a couple things last week. First we have a quarterback who can throw as opposed to last year – time will tell if he D1 level. Also the team never quit playing.

    #55522

    TheCOWDOG
    Participant

    For our friend Packalum44.
    …if it works.

    #55523

    TheCOWDOG
    Participant

    I’m hopeless.

    #55525

    TheCOWDOG
    Participant

    Since I can’t seem to link it…Ohio St. has a study that once and for all proves Vegas lines, to include O/U, as poor outcome predictors.

    #55526

    pakfanistan
    Participant

    Since I can’t seem to link it…Ohio St. has a study that once and for all proves Vegas lines, to include O/U, as poor outcome predictors.

    This one?

    http://bit.ly/1qDWxnK

    The forums filter out certain urls and won’t even display the post.

    "I want my ten dollars!" -Abraham Lincoln
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