Insider/Blue Ribbon NC State Preview

Some of us at the site are going into the season with the attitude of “show me something”. This means that we aren’t going to over hype the season, or get to excited until we see what is on the field. Insider published their NC State preview yesterday. It was surprisingly optimistic. It is a premium article (Insider is well worth the money) so we just copied the last 3 paragraphs of a long article. Also note that this article was written by the Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook. It will be interesting to see if Scouts,Inc will write a preview at some point in the pre-season. They are the best in the business, and are usually dead on with predictions on games and teams.

The opportunity to contend for the ACC title is clearly there for NC State. The Pack has beaten the eventual ACC champion each of the last two seasons — both times on the road. But Amato’s team has also finished 3-5 in the league in both seasons.

To do better than that this year, the Pack’s offense will need to improve more than the defense declines. The improved discipline — the reduction in penalties and turnovers — that the team showed late last season will have to continue.

The chance for success is still there for the Pack. It’s just that the margin of error is smaller this season than in the past.

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'06 Football Chuck Amato General

29 Responses to Insider/Blue Ribbon NC State Preview

  1. Trout 07/18/2006 at 9:44 AM #

    I hear that Al Featherston (Durham Herald Sun) wrote the NC State Blueribbon Review.

  2. packpigskinfan23 07/18/2006 at 10:38 AM #

    cant wait to see what they can bring out on the field. I really dont care what anyone else says… our non-confrence schedule is NOT THAT WEAK!!!! ECU is nothing to laugh at. not anymore. Give them a year or two more, and they will be just as strong as they were 7 or 8 years ago. App St. is not that weak. Akron is not bad…… what is going on with all these haters?!?! Sure last years schedule WAS weak… this years is not MUCH better… but it is better. It seems like we are getting more mouth about it this year though. I believe in Marcus Stone. Imagine…. if Amato would have played Stone in ’04… AND also given up on TA McLendon and had gone with one of the more stable, younger backs… we could have had a good year that year, an even better year last year… and possibly a great year this year. Anyways, I am sure Stone will be ready for the challenge, and I cant wait to see Baker out there dodging linebackers, and Blackmon catching passes and showing us those return skills.

  3. Wulfpack 07/18/2006 at 10:56 AM #

    ^If you are considering ECU, Div. I-AA Appalachian State and Akron as worthy opponents that will create excitement at Carter-Finley, then we have entirely different ideas of what Wolfpack football ought to be.

  4. class of 74 07/18/2006 at 11:09 AM #

    ^ I agree. We should be ashamed of our scheduling. It does not reflect what most Wolfpackers aspire to be in football!

  5. VaWolf82 07/18/2006 at 11:33 AM #

    ECU is nothing to laugh at. not anymore. Give them a year or two more, and they will be just as strong as they were 7 or 8 years ago.

    I would bet money against this scenario unfolding.

  6. cfpack03 07/18/2006 at 11:46 AM #

    I’ve gotta disagree also. ECU sucks; did they even score a TD against us last year? ASU was good, I-AA champs, but then the majority of their starters graduated. and Akron? = terrible.

    AND, you forgot the HB starter, #24 Andre Brown

  7. choppack1 07/18/2006 at 11:52 AM #

    Always nice to know that these previews read the blogs since I think I’ve posted this regarding my frustrations several times:

    “The Pack has beaten the eventual ACC champion each of the last two seasons — both times on the road. “

  8. garden gnome 07/18/2006 at 11:59 AM #

    schedule looks weak.

    don’t we have to play ECU because of State legislature?

    1AA teams never look good on the schedule (champions or not).

    i think Akron may not be terrible, but still…

  9. johnny 07/18/2006 at 12:12 PM #

    After the season when were missed a bowl appearance because of our record, CTC siad never again. At the time I thought Chuck was saying he
    and his coaches would be improving the team, but now it looks like what he was saying –we need to get more cupcakes in the OC schedule.

  10. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 07/18/2006 at 12:23 PM #

    With any luck we will be 3-0 and healthy going into the BC game at home. The schedule this year doesn’t bother me because we will have three decent test to answer questions before the schedule starts. If we don’t win the first 3 games it will be hard to salvage the season and the possibility of being 3-0 facing BC and 4-0 going against FSU. With our annual victory over FSU this year we have a good shot of looking pretty good by about mid-season.

    If we start off 3-0 that will put at has 8-1 over the last nine games with the ‘1’ being BC. I’ve never had too much a problem with the Richmonds or Fumans of the world. If we didn’t play them their fans would be complaining about their schedule and how they never play anyone. As much as everyone loved the OSU home and home we ended up 0-2 in those games. It would be nice to have a USC or WVU or maybe even a Georgia from time-to-time but the ACC isn’t an easy conference and we need to avoid being beat up but bionic teams- better, stronger, faster.

  11. redfred2 07/18/2006 at 1:28 PM #

    ^Wulf- I totally agree with your statement, this is a football thread afterall. I don’t really care anything about another nothing bowl appearance for years, I want a powerhouse program like was promised or at least steps made in that direction. Playing App, Akron, and ECU, is not getting it.

    ^Johnny- That’s my take on it also. Maybe a little pressure from above just to make an appearance for the money and the prestige of the conference, Swofford brought in his own heavyweights in the football arena.

  12. packpigskinfan23 07/18/2006 at 1:43 PM #

    so would you guys say that our schedule is weaker or stronger than last year? last year we had how many guys go in the draft? last year we beat FSU AGAIN…. but last year we just barely made it to a bowl….. last year we just barely beat a couple of teams we should have STOMPED…. last year we fell apart completely after the VT game.

    This years schedule is tougher. ECU is very much underestimated by a lot of people I believe. They are in a transition that is getting them stronger and stronger…. Of course we do HAVE to play them because of politics…. but is that a reason to brush them off? I sure hope Amato and the boys arent thinking that way.

    of course our schedule is not gonna live up to the excitment we want(and NEED) at Carter-Fin. of course we want to play USC and Notre Damn and Texas…. but politics get in the way of that, just like they do with the whole ECU situation. I do not see however why we cant play at least South Carolina, Georgia, or Tennesse…. I agree with you guys, but I cant sit here and say that our team is just going to romp over these teams that some see as pushovers.

  13. Uncle Pack 07/18/2006 at 1:43 PM #

    Here are some facts on the non-conference opponents, taken from the Street and Smith’s preview, which is the only one I’ve had time to read. I don’ t have the preview with me at work so I’m going from memory here.

    Appy State: Took some graduation hits, but returns QB who played in title game, plus S&S’s preseason offensive and defensive players of the year in the Southern Conference. The offensive stud is a running back and the defensive star is a big-time pass rusher who, I think, led the team in sacks last year. Enough talent to possibly cause some problems. Top Division I-AA teams are no worse – and often better – than bad Division I-A schools. Anyone remember Furman beating UNC 28-3 in 1999? Appy State also has scored several wins over Wake Forest during the years. State lost to Furman twice and ETSU in the 1980s. NCSU should win this year, but you never know – especially if the defense is as bad as it was in 2003 and the offense reverts to turning the ball over.

    Akron: This team is the defending MAC champion and returns a decent amount of its talent, including its QB. Took advantage of a down year to win a league that sometimes is very good at the top. Predicted to win their division again by S&S. This isn’t the Miami of Ohio that won at UNC a few years back, but this is not a bad football team — at least not on paper.

    Southern Mississippi: Looking to bounce back from an uncharacteristically bad season. Usually very tough at home. Team has to break in new quarterback but defense should be better. If defense is back to usual standards, it would be surprising if they didn’t have a winning record. If it’s not, and N.C. State can control the line of scrimmage again, the Pack can get a nice road win and continue its string of either sweeping or being swept in inter-regional non-conference home and homes.

    ECU: Very good offense last year that could be better this year with QB and star receiver Allison (one of the best in the country) returning. Defense couldn’t stop the run last year. Picked sixth out of six teams in C-USA division by S&S, but that might be low. Recruiting class was ranked No. 1 in C-USA. Holtz seems to have something going over there. Hopefully, they won’t be able to stop our running game and we’ll play well enough defensively to keep those rednecks from storming our field again.

  14. T.A. 07/18/2006 at 2:01 PM #

    The Biggest Non confence game we should be worried about is S. Miss just because of how close it was last year and they play hard at home. And i dont think the ECU game will be a blow out like is was two years ago.

  15. vtpackfan 07/18/2006 at 2:18 PM #

    That article mentioned sneaking, or backing into ACC title game. Although I’m not as optimistic as that, our sights could be set on doing just that instead of OOC games. The OOC games really come into play when you don’t seize oppotunities in league like last year, and the cup cake wins propel you to a tire or microchip bowl game. If we can atleast play in a ACC title game I think we all can feel that we got somewhere. That goal leaves us with at most a BCS bid, and atleast a tidy little vacation to Orlando to support our team that really got close to something big for once.

  16. whitefang 07/18/2006 at 2:35 PM #

    I understand scheduling a 1AA team every couple of years as a tune-up game if you can’t get a D1 opponent you want. But the game against App State is all downside and no upside. They will be talented as usual (last year’s 1AA championship was probably overdue based on their yearly talent level), motivated, and have nothing to lose. State on the other hand could very well end up crashing its season on the first game. Who ever scheduled this game could not have been thinking.

  17. redfred2 07/18/2006 at 2:42 PM #

    I am questioning the OOC schedule for sure, I think it is a mistake for the program in the long run, even in this down year. But I don’t really care if we play Lenoir Rhyne four times a year at this point, the only thing that gets me riled is that this line up of OOC opponents should be a cake walk at this stage in Amato’s career. We shouldn’t be concerned or even discussing Appalachian State right now, or any of the others, we should have been totally dominating and mopping the floor with that caliber of opponent long before now.

  18. BladenWolf 07/18/2006 at 2:53 PM #


    Agreed. If Amato had lived up to his advertisements, then we wouldn’t be scheduling these questionable teams in the first place…and we’d be filling the OoC schedule with the UT’s, WV’s, OSU’s, ND’s, etc. of the football world (and beating them on occasion), instead of worrying about getting beat by App. State for crying out loud.

  19. BladenWolf 07/18/2006 at 3:13 PM #

    Why do we exhibit the duel mentality of boasting about how great the 3OT game with Ohio State was, thus trying to show we belong on the National Stage, and yet in the same breath defend playing weak-ass OoC teams that give us the record to play in the micro-tidy-bowl-meinike-floorwax bowl?

    We either have the Champions mentailty or we don’t. Straddling the fence is for pussys.

    And I say “we” collectively and with much love.

  20. redfred2 07/18/2006 at 3:24 PM #

    Bladen, I don’t really blame Amato for his billings, he could have at least played them down every once in a while. I guess Phillip Rivers short circuited that part of his brain too early on in head coaching days. All I want to see is legimate progress up to the next level. Either that or quit taking the talk and forget about the capacity crowds filling the new C-F.

  21. duckmanjw 07/18/2006 at 3:38 PM #


    I’m in some disagreement with you here. Last year was an anomily in the OOC scheduling. We got backed into it after Louisville bailed on us. This year, we are playing 3 possible bowl teams in Akron, So Miss and ECU. Look at the Tarholes, they have gotten beaten up for years out side of the league playing top 25 teams and for what, nothing! It didn’t make them a better team. It didn’t get them an ACC title or a bowl. And next year, their OOC sucks even worse. You guys have let them bad mouth our schedule to the point you’ve started to believe it yourselves.

    The fact of the matter is weaker OOC scheduling is the norm. Its what puts you at 10 or 11 wins year in and out. Look at the top 5 teams in the nation last year. Only one had a top 25 team in their OOC schedule. They use those games to pad their wins to BCS bowls or even major non-BCS bowls after waxing teams in their conferences and winning those titles.

    Our problem is in the league. We’ve got the beat the big teams in the league with consistently and let the OOC games fall where they may. Its great for the fans to see the occasional OSU game or maybe a UT game, but I for one, don’t care to take that punishment after playing the ACC giants all year long. We play in a conference that require hard work week in and out to post a win, and that puts a hurting on us physically and mentally. The OOC games are a good break to recoup and work towards that ACC title!

    Our goal should be to be a dominate team in the Conference year in and out!

  22. RAWFS 07/18/2006 at 3:53 PM #

    No one ever seems to remember that ND, Louisville and now UT have backed out on games on us — so scheduling really is not as “wimpy”as it is implied to be.

    Bottom line is that we have a deceptively difficult schedule, and while Game 1 won’t be as difficult as last season – sorry App, you’re not VT – it does bear a lot of attention. IOW, we cannot open sloppy and walk to a win.

    App fans can say what they want but until they have a Toney Baker in the backfield and a Tank Tyler on their D line, I am going to think we have better players. They may be able to “play with anybody” but they also don’t realize that they are not going to take over our stadium, that it is going to be hostile to their team and that our guys are going to be jacked up by the expanded and now 360-degree Sea of Red that will drown the YOUSEF hopes.

  23. packpigskinfan23 07/18/2006 at 3:59 PM #

    I agree with you duckman, we do need to get to the point that we can dominate the ACC before we can worry about the BCS. Our ACC record has been horrible since Rivers left… Sure we put up some good fights against BC and VT in ’05… BUT we still lost. We cant worry about Texas and Ohio State and West Virginia. We need to worry about Boston, and the Hokies, and the Gators, and the damn pesky Goatheels. We have Florida State where we want them…. why cant we get the rest of the ACC like that?

  24. packpigskinfan23 07/18/2006 at 4:02 PM #

    btw… thanks UnclePack!! I did not have the resources to state factual #’s and such at the time…. But the idea of what to come was there.

    I do also agree that these teams are NOT helping us in the long run…. BUT we need to worry about NOW. This is not the Phillip Rivers/Norm Chow era anylonger.

  25. BladenWolf 07/18/2006 at 4:33 PM #

    Hey guys… disagreement is always okay with me if it comes with thoughtful responses.

    If OoC teams (that were top 25 calibre) pulled out (ND and Louisville) and left us to scramble for Akron and Wake Tech, than I’ll be the first to give some slack.

    But no one can tell me with a straight face that it is better to line up against the Division II Mountaineers rather than playing the Div I Mountaineers. There is no contest between the two, and as I pointed out, with what we’ve repeatedly heard from the Coaching staff, is we should be amoung the elites. Not a consistantly 3-5 ACC squad. This is what I fault Amato for redfred. Not the boasting. All coaches are cheerleaders (except Sendek… but I digress).

    I guess starting out with a QB like Phillip Rivers can blur your objectivity. But in college, your QB eventually graduates and you have to be ready for constant change. I’m afraid that’s not the case as the article states, “the margin of error is smaller this season than in the past.”

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