Jeff said that he was giving Daniel Evans one chance to reignite his enthusiasm for FB before the BC game. I guess Iâ€™m a little harder to ignite. I was absolutely tickled to death with the BC winâ€¦but didnâ€™t expect to do much against FSU. By the final FSU drive in the fourth quarter, I was truly excited about the 2006 seasonâ€¦and would have stayed that way even without the game saving interception and clever illegal procedure â€œplayâ€? to help run out the clock.
With a renewed enthusiasm for football, it is only natural to harness a little of that energy and start providing some meaningful commentary around here. So I have decided to throw a semi-random collection of thoughts together and see what I could come up with:
Did anyone else notice a similarity between the State game on Thursday night and the Chargers game on Sunday night? Neither offense did much in the first quarter. A little down field passing opened up the running game. With the complete offensive playbook in use, both offenses were able to put points on the board, occupy the clock, and let their defenses seal the win.
A balanced offense is so incredibly important for success at any level. Defenses are too sophisticated and the talent is too evenly spread for one-dimensional offenses to succeed. State will probably not win every remaining game. However, they will now be favored in most of them and will not be prohibitive underdogs in any game (barring major injuries). Being able to salvage seven wins after the Akron and USM losses would qualify as a very good season in my book.
I simply can not get a feel for how good Stateâ€™s defense is this year. Sometimes they have looked great and sometimes not. I canâ€™t project how they are going to perform from one quarter to the nextâ€¦.not to mention one game to the next. However, they have been good enough the last two weeks. Any time you have an offense that can score more than the defense gives upâ€¦.you have to be happy.
With all of that said, the defensive stats are pretty depressing.
I have some advice for State fans:
– Donâ€™t slit your wrists because of the stats.
– Donâ€™t start buying tickets for the Orange Bowl either.
The next three games will tell us a lot more. WF, UMd, and UVa should all be winnable gamesâ€¦.but State would not be a prohibitive favorite if any of these three teams were scheduled for this weekend (and could well be considered an underdog against Wake and UMD).
Has anyone seen the betting line for Saturday against Wake? (I am just curious. Iâ€™m not looking to place a bet.)
I donâ€™t know when I have ever been more impressed with the entire receiving corps at State. Evans would throw the ball up and the State receivers would go up and over the DBâ€™s, make an amazing grab, and come down with the ball. However, I have no doubt that Coach Dixon has spent this week pointing out the many mistakes that were made during the course of the game. (That is why I work for an engineering company and he is an outstanding receivers coach.)
Hereâ€™s my advice for the receivers:
– Be very, very happy about your performance against FSU. You done good!
– Listen to Coach Dixon and I will come to expect that type of performance, rather than be pleasantly surprised. (Which is a really, really good thing for you and for State fans.)
– Call Jerrico Cotchery if you want to know what kind of return you can expect if you work hard and learn what Coach Dixon is trying to beat into your heads.
Hopefully weâ€™ll have some more thoughts around here about this weekend’s key match-up (look for that phrase to be worn out the rest of the year). I donâ€™t know anything at all about the key personnel suiting up for the Deacons. However, having seen Coach Grobeâ€™s teams play over the last several years, there are several things that you can say about the Deacons without even watching a single play.
The key to stopping the Deacons offense is the defensive line. If you can blow up their complex blocking schemes, their runners simply have no where to go. Look for the 240 lb defensive ends at State to spend a lot of time on the benchâ€¦especially on first and second down. IIRC, Ray Brooks (as a true freshman) replaced Manny Lawson in the last game in Raleigh. After that change was madeâ€¦Stateâ€™s defense held the Deacon offense to virtually no yardage in the third quarter and allowed State to get back in the game (won by State in OT).
If the Wake running backs are getting to the linebackersâ€¦.then it could prove to be a long day in Raleigh. This was true in 2003 and Stateâ€™s LBâ€™s are not the strongest part of the defense this year.
Wakeâ€™s defense is always â€œdecentâ€?, but never outstanding. I hesitate to draw conclusions based strictly on stats generated mostly against weak teams (Liberty and Clemson are the only two teams with winning records)â€¦.but Wakeâ€™s defense may be the best that Grobe has ever had. If Wakeâ€™s defensive stats to date prove to be propheticâ€¦.then Wake is not going to flame out this year like any number of message board geniuses have already proclaimed.
I have the utmost respect for Coach Grobe and what he has accomplished at Wake Forest. Letâ€™s wrap this entry up with a little non-football related talk about Coach Grobe.
I have a cousin who has lived in Winston Salem virtually her entire life. She is a school teacher there and went to the Wake Forest campus for one of those teacher conferences that tax payers love to under write. Coach Grobe was the scheduled speaker and my cousin said that she was dreading the thought of listening to a football coach (said with a tone that means â€œknuckle-headâ€?).
In direct contrast with my cousinâ€™s expectations, the seminar was one of the best that she has ever attended. The parallels between teaching elementary students and teaching football to scholarship athletes were simply amazing to her. She said that Coach Grobe was entertaining, interesting, informative, and extremely well-spoken.
I have absolutely no problem pulling for Wake Forest every week except one during football season.