SMQ: Premature Assessment

Sunday Morning Quarterback is one of our favorite football blogs on the internet. (For more great blogs, please take a look on the right hand side of the front page of StateFansNation and scroll down to “Football Blogs”)

Last month, they ran an “absurdly premature assessment of NC State” that can be seen by clicking here.

HONESTLY, WITHOUT LOOKING AT THE SCHEDULE, SMQ’S THINKING: Seven wins, automobile accessory-inspired postseason trip. Five winning years out of six under Amato’s fist is good enough to get the benefit of the doubt in SMQ’s estimation, but 18 points per game doesn’t take you very far in the tougher ACC.

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'06 Football General

30 Responses to SMQ: Premature Assessment

  1. BJD95 05/23/2006 at 3:28 PM #

    Interesting words on getting the “benefit of the doubt.” However, it’s probably a moot point, since after this spring’s saga, the last thing Lee Fowler wants to do is make another major coaching hire (at least in the next year or two). And there is no Arizona State for Chuck – he’s here until he retires or is fired.

    Chuck Amato may end up the biggest beneficiary of the post-Sendek chaos.

  2. cfpack03 05/23/2006 at 3:43 PM #

    Is there a list of the new coaches for this year? Specifically, OL coach?

  3. Kingfish76 05/23/2006 at 4:09 PM #

    As unpleasant as their article may seem, they probably weren’t too far off in their assessment. Of course, we were surprised to the upside in Rivers’ first year. Hope springs eternal.

  4. choppack1 05/23/2006 at 4:11 PM #

    Actually – I thought their article was spot on. Good stuff.

    Quick question – who is the only team in the ACC to beat the ACC Champ on the road the last 2 years?

  5. VaWolf82 05/23/2006 at 4:20 PM #

    REASON TO BE AFRAID, VERY AFRAID: The defense has pulled all the weight and it’s out of gas. Why should Stone be appreciably better?

    Here is my nightmare scenario….2003’s defense (or close to it) without Philip to bail them out.

    Without going through the roster in detail…..I’m pretty sure that State has more returning on the DL in 2006 than in 2003. So hopefully, I’m just being pessismistic.

  6. choppack1 05/23/2006 at 4:50 PM #

    VaWolf – Yep – that’s what I fear. I’m trying to remember who started for us on the DL that year. I know that was Mario’s first year. If I remember correctly, Chapman didn’t qualify and that was a huge blow. I think that was also the year Hudson was suspended – which hurt as well.

    Darn it, I’m drawing a blank.

  7. class of 74 05/23/2006 at 4:55 PM #

    Maybe Trestman can turn Stone into a real Div. 1 QB but until I see it I tend to disbelieve. With that said, I find it hard to see how a winning conference record is possible. The featherweight OOC schedule is the only way we can hope for a winning season overall.

  8. Jeff 05/23/2006 at 5:18 PM #

    In my quest to be optimistic about Stone, I have come up with the following:

    The offensive line HAS to be at least a little improved – that is a benefit for Stone’s improvement off the bat.

    The WRs probably aren’t going to be any worse than last year, with at least a chance that someone bursts onto the scene. Not to mention that he has had a full year of working very closely the stable of WRs that he didn’t have last year.

    Stone had to step into the offense that Marc Trestman had built with Jay Davis in mind last year in the middle of last season. Perhaps the time to devise more around Stone’s inherent strengths in addition to an entire off-season for Stone to mature and develop will yield some real improvement in his skills.

    I think that most of us think that State’s defense won’t be as good as last year but won’t be as bad a doomsdayers predict based solely on the talent lost. Stone went…what….5-1 to end last year with a win at FSU and in the bowl? If he personally improves proportionately similar to the defense’s decline…then you are talking about results similar to last year. He was 5-1.

    I know that I am stretching. But, I am doing my best.

  9. choppack1 05/23/2006 at 5:22 PM #

    Jeff – I’d actually go as far to say that when he played long enough to determine the outcome, Stone’s record is 6-1. (He played 2,3 and 4th quarters vs. VaTech.)

  10. whitefang 05/23/2006 at 5:56 PM #

    The most telling stat in the SMQ is the turnover margin. Not to overstate that, but in both college and NFL football these days that is the key. It can make a pretty decently talented team go from OK to terrible and vica-versa. Chuck’s teams, for what ever reason (Jay F., team discipline, or just crappy luck) seemed to have the turnover bug since the departure of Rivers UNTIL Stone came on the scene last season. Don’t know the exact stats game by game, but that is my impression. IF we can – thru a combination of good coach and/or luck – limit turnovers, we will have the chance to over-acheive.

  11. apexpacker 05/23/2006 at 7:22 PM #

    SFN – go away if you are not going to be more accurate or truthful in your comments. You obviously didn’t even click on the link that was NOT NEGATIVE. You obviously didn’t read Jeff’s comments trying to be overly optimistic on this entry. You obviously haven’t been reading the other recent football entries that we have posted.

    “Typical poster”…someone just looking to complain and criticize despite the facts right in their face

  12. choppack1 05/23/2006 at 8:46 PM #

    “Chuck’s teams, for what ever reason (Jay F., team discipline, or just crappy luck) seemed to have the turnover bug since the departure of Rivers UNTIL Stone came on the scene last season.”

    Actually, I wouldn’t say it has anything to do w/luck. It started in 2003 – we had a shot at the ACC Championship when we went into Tally. We had the game plan and the players – but we were killed by TOs. Then in UMd, bang – more key TO’s. We all know about the next 2 years. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the TO’s have gone down in the last 6 games. Key personnell changes were made and I think the team and staff finally woke up.

  13. redfred2 05/23/2006 at 11:28 PM #

    “The backfield is stronger than ever.”

    How hard is it to just hand the ball off? Stone can surely do that. Just keep ramming the ball down people’s throats. If Chuck would stick to the running game, which doesn’t include double and triple reserves along with the statue of liberty play, there are enough horses to effectively wear people down in the later stages. A little patience early with some restraint on the razzle dazzle play calling, and they should do fairly well. Stone has a good arm but he needs the running game to be the main focus. That and the ridiculous penalties have to cease.

  14. GoldenChain 05/23/2006 at 11:32 PM #

    Although a lot of those TO’s you’re talking about were interceptions by Davis at the worst possible time in the game. His timing was impeckable! 300yds, 2TD, 3INTs (or something like that) would be his typical line.
    Davis had a knack for INTs in the red zone and I don’t know how many he had run back for TD’s but it was several.
    In that department, Stone/Brown are dramatically better.

  15. Howling Wolf 05/24/2006 at 6:37 AM #

    It’s hard to concentrate when you are running for your life. Neither the OL or the RBs were playing very well with Davis in as QB. What killed us in the first 5 games were the stoopid personal fouls after making great defensive plays. Until Chuck puts a leash on the attitudes of the players, State will always be a 4th place team.

    Our failure to finish in 1st or 2nd place in the ACC goes back to failures in the coaching staff. Just as Herb was never able to take an opportunity to step up, Chuck has yet to step up. Everyone brags about the Gator Bowl season, but we backed into that bowl due to the fact we travel well. I saw Chuck in the Crabtree Mariott that morning, and he was wound tight-as-a-tick. I knew right then that we would lose the game. We played tight game that day and it carried over into the next 2. More than any other team I’ve seen, State’s football team reflects the personnality of its coach. Chuck has had a ‘STRUT MY STUFF’ since he got here and it shows on the field. Granted, if we were winning bunches of games, that would be all right. When your record is 7-5, 5-6, 7-5, you need to keep your mouth shut.

    That said, with our schedule and talent, we SHOULD be no worse than 8-4. Anything less, and SFN needs to get on the run Chuck out of town bandwagon.

  16. Howling Wolf 05/24/2006 at 6:39 AM #

    Forgot to say that I saw Chuck the morning of the Ga Tech game when were were 9-0.

  17. Hawkeye Whitney 05/24/2006 at 7:54 AM #

    “So hopefully, I’m just being pessismistic.”

    VaWolf, isn’t that some sort of oxymoron?

  18. class of 74 05/24/2006 at 7:57 AM #

    As is the case in most things, you need balance to realize your full potential. I don’t care if we have Reggie Bush in the backfield we must control the line of scrimmage at least two thirds of the time and have a respectable passing threat to keep the defenses from making us a one dimensional offense.

    We may have the most backfield talent since Burden, Fritts and Young but if we can’t control the line and keep defenses honest with the pass it will mean nothing!

  19. redfred2 05/24/2006 at 8:37 AM #

    ^class of 74

    All true, the threat definitely needs to be there, but the running game needs to become more assertive and make the defensive line think run, first. I think Stone may a little better than most give him credit for but I don’t think he wants the featured part of the offense though, at least not early on anyway.

  20. choppack1 05/24/2006 at 8:38 AM #

    class of 74 – Excellent point. USC has had a fantastic OL the last 3 years. It’s also worth noting that we’ve put a few OL in the league the couple of years…Koostra, Colmer, and Locklear are in the “league.” I expect Leroy will be as well. DMo hurt his chances by going early. I also expect great things from Crouch.

  21. vtpackfan 05/24/2006 at 9:42 AM #

    TO’s are really hard to control sometimes. When you see a really good stick by a defensive player on the ball carrier, or gang tackling replays you realize that there wasn’t much that could have been done about it. I’d like to say int. should be kept to a minimum, but I can’t get out of my head the words of my pop warner coach when we wanted to try more pass plays. “Son, only three things can happen with a forward pass, and two of them are bad.” Even Tom Brady throws five picks on occassion. I hope Stone’s maturity level will raise his decision making skills, but I’m afraid he may be the emotionally unstable QB that he has shown thus far. When things are good he’s a fearless wildman, and when things are not Jay Davis was warming up on the sidelines. Penalties on the other hand are easily controlled. If the OL can’t comminicate the necessary calls before a blitz comes, then the coach’s need to get them to base block, hit the man directly in front of you and use your running game more. If a DL can’t look at the ball and wait to explode out of his stance until the center moves the ball, then that player needs to go to the sideline and tell the coach why it’s so difficult to do.

  22. VaWolf82 05/24/2006 at 9:49 AM #

    Key personnell changes were made and I think the team and staff finally woke up.

    I don’t think that changing QB’s had anything to do with reducing the TO’s. If the play calling with Stone had been the same as with Davis, then the TO’s would have gotten worse.

  23. beowolf 05/24/2006 at 11:03 AM #

    choppack — I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who sees a distinct break in the TO’s (and penalties!) between the first and last six games of the season last year. I think play calling and personnel changes factored into it.

    Sitting down starters for major screwups appear to have gotten kids’ attention, too. We had too much talent going to waste on the bench while the starters killed us with mistakes — if Amato hadn’t sat Toney Baker down vs. So. Miss., Andre Brown wouldn’t have had his breakout game. I think it made both Brown and Baker better backs, too. Mistakes will happen, of course, but they need to be occasional, not chronic.

    Also, I think last season the coaches finally worked out what I call the “TA Fallout” — and I’m hoping Chuck learned a lesson about mollycoddling a supposed superstar. I would be extremely pessimistic about the football season if I had not seen DRAMATIC improvement on the penalties and TO’s front. As it is, despite the defections on D, I’m cautiously optimistic. Which is to say I’m expecting about 7 wins.

  24. BoKnowsNCS71 05/24/2006 at 11:32 AM #

    I would be ecstatic with 7 wins. I really got spoiled by Phillip. Then someone reminded me that NCS has only had 3 NFL starter quarterbacks (Roman Gabriel, Eric Kramer, and Phillip Rivers — are their more who played? Not as back ups).

    While we have had some good talent at the QB position, the last few years have not been good. Based on last year, I just don’t see Marcus pulling out wins in the last minute or from the start. If ihe does, that will be great.

    Seems we often have things out of sync. Great or good QB but no protection for him. Or awesome defense but no QB offense. Runners we seem to do well in but having the whole package at the same time seems to plague us (as it does every other team in the ACC quite often.)

    So I am concerned about this year. 7 games would probably “Exceed expectations” See below for Wins = W, Loss, and ? for who knows?

    Date Opponent Location Time
    W Saturday, Sep. 2 Appalachian State Raleigh. N.C. TBA
    W Saturday, Sept. 9 Akron Raleigh. N.C. TBA
    ? Saturday, Sept. 16 at Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg, Miss. TBA
    L Saturday, Sept. 23 Boston College Raleigh. N.C. TBA
    L Thursday, Oct. 5 Florida State Raleigh. N.C. TBA
    ? Saturday, Oct. 14 Wake Forest Raleigh. N.C. TBA
    ? Saturday, Oct. 21 at Maryland College Park, MD. TBA
    ? Saturday, Oct. 28 at Virginia Charlottesville, Va. TBA
    L Saturday, Nov. 4 Georgia Tech Raleigh. N.C. TBA
    L Saturday, Nov. 11 at Clemson at Clemson, S.C. TBA
    ? Saturday, Nov. 18 at North Carolina Chapel Hill, N.C. TBA
    W Saturday, Nov. 25 East Carolina Raleigh, N.C. TBA

    SFN: Big disagreement here. Don’t understand predetermining “L”s for HOME games against Boston College (lost a lot) and Georgia Tech whom we beat in ATL last year). Similarly, game vs an improving and emotional ECU isn’t a “W” – especially in the last game of the year and who knows what the impact of injury will be to the roster at that point.

  25. Mr O 05/24/2006 at 12:10 PM #

    Vawolf82: Totally agree. I think Davis would have done fine if we used the same limited offense the first 6 games that we used with Stone. IMO, Trestman tried to do way, way too much.

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