How bad was Saturday’s defense?

Check out the statistics generated on Saturday by Boston College. (Even though Eagle in Atlanta is still mad at us, we don’t let petty grudges keep us from linking to good information) Despite the Wolfpack’s depleted roster, it is hard to come to any conclusion other than – Steve Logan made Mike Archer look like his whipping boy.

I still can’t get over the fact that NC State could lose a game where we forced three turnovers while committing only one penalty and not committing any turnovers!?!?

Despite all of those pass attempts, NC State’s defense had only one sack on Saturday. The Wolfpack has pathetic two sacks in the last four games. Oh yeah, those are the four games since Alan Michael-Cash was injured.

The Wolfpack’s poorly executed zone defense has definitely made the secondary look horrible, but it all starts up front. State’s (a) weak pass rush and (b) ineffective blitzes have done nothing to help the thin secondary. Of course, this kind of offensive line play doesn’t help the Wolfpack’s cause.

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62 Responses to How bad was Saturday’s defense?

  1. RAWFS 10/05/2008 at 9:02 PM #

    The DL has been very weak, and no matter how good the defensive backfield is (not that ours is), it will not be able to cover receivers forever.

    I think that this is a personnel issue.

  2. Greywolf 10/05/2008 at 9:10 PM #

    Partly agree RAWFS and I don’t think we were prepared for the passing game

    Do you think the speed we are playing with (flying to the ball, etc.) is because our DBs and LBs run the 40 in 5,9?

  3. Defenestrator 10/05/2008 at 9:13 PM #

    should we be blitzing with more guys?

  4. redfred2 10/05/2008 at 9:17 PM #

    That is a very sobbering statistical breakdown. I hope there aren’t any holes in the walls in NC State’s head coaching department tommorrow. Actually, if he’s read that, I just hope he’s still there tommorrow.

  5. rdjennin 10/05/2008 at 11:10 PM #

    I think people are finally starting to realize how huge losing Alan Michael Cash was. It wasn’t quite as detrimental as Nate Irving but it was close. Cash gets so much penetration so quickly hes such a force on the line. The tandem of him and Willie makes a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks. You take out one of those two, and our defense line becomes more than manageable for opposing quarterbacks. Take out Nate Irving on top of that, we are a cakewalk defense. Realize we have allowed no fewer than 24 points. If William and Mary can score 24 points against us anyone can.

    So note to all other teams, if you can hold our offense to 24 points, you’ve got us beat.

  6. Astral Rain 10/06/2008 at 2:33 AM #

    Wasn’t it just last year where 24 points was impossible the other.

    Just think last year’s O with this year’s D. It would have been 1-11, maybe even 0-12.


  7. Wulfpack 10/06/2008 at 6:27 AM #

    Don’t forget we also managed a kickoff return for a TD. We forced 3 TOs, did not turn it over, had one penalty, and had a special teams TD and we still lost…yikes.

  8. Scooter 10/06/2008 at 6:41 AM #

    Oddly enough, I think I’m turning optomistic after this game. If we can play BC this close with a decimated defense and a patchwork offensive line, then the “promise” of things we can do when we have a healthy team is encouraging. We lost, but it was nice to see the offense work for the first time since The Golden Arm left.

  9. basspacker812 10/06/2008 at 6:48 AM #

    I said it in another post, the zone defense was awlful, the secondary play was awlful, the stats really hammer it home. You think Logan pulled one on Archer by only attempting 7 passes the week before, setting up a scouting report BC will run, run, run? Whatever, Archer’s gameday decisions to stick with the zone reminded me of Sendek, ‘when the game plan worked, he looked like a genius, when it didn’t, he looked lost with no answer’. If the zone isn’t/wasn’t working because of personnel issues, time for the coach to adjust the game plan. I miss Logan’s talk show on the Bull, he gave some great insight on college football, wonder what he would say about the game?

  10. SEAT.5.F.2 10/06/2008 at 6:54 AM #

    Noah hit it on the head, we blitzed some and it was not cutting the mustard either. One blitz worked, Maddux came free up the middle, and it was more due to BC making the one and only pass protect blunder of the day. Give some credit to BC OL, their players and coaches, they brought the A game.

    Missing NI is a profound loss, maybe = to offense w/o RW. When they call him to blitz he times it perfect and closes the way all great LB’s do. If he were just a little longer in wing span/height he would be a lock mid first rounder when the time comes IMO.

    Adding insult to injury is that his instincts make him perfect in pass coverage, and sheds blocks to get to ball carriers. The essence of this argument (excuse if you want) is that he WAS the duct tape brain child of Archer this season, just as RW was intended to be for the offense.

  11. old_pcorone 10/06/2008 at 7:03 AM #

    and to add salt to the injury the tur-holes made it to the top25

  12. SEAT.5.F.2 10/06/2008 at 7:06 AM #

    We are half through second year and we are seeing a dangerous amount of freshman/rs freshman/first year JuCo/and hey give me walk – on or two because that just makes it silly.

    I would not call a detractor of the coaching staff a troll, this is SFN not a message board and insults are petty. You need understand that your arguement is really a guess that the coaches will suck when they have built a football team, which is ATLEAST another spring away!

  13. SEAT.5.F.2 10/06/2008 at 7:13 AM #

    The only worry I have about DC Archer is that his philosophy is not in complete accordance with TOB. I have read where Archer wants a 3-4, while TOB seems to have always been 4-3. CTC’s supermodel DE’s (Young, Augustine) would be smashed in a 3-4 scheme so the point is moot. Also we just landed the first DE prospect since we lucked out with luring Rieskamp to follow. Crawford is really not a 3-4 guy either so I really don’t think any switch will come soon.

  14. wufpaxno1 10/06/2008 at 7:31 AM #

    “Should we be blitzing with more guys?” The problem with this on Saturday is that when we did blitz from the corners, Crane was tossing in the space vacated by our extra blitzing corner. This was just very good game planning by Logan, I wish he were still hosting a talk show on the Buzz too, especially this past Saturday!

    Losing Alan Michael Cash was huge, because putting pressure on the passer is a key component of playing zone pass coverage. Remember the first three quarters of the USC game, before the ineffectiveness of our offense wore our defense down. Good pressure lead to four interceptions.

    Losing Nate Irving was even bigger than losing Cash. He had the ability to bring pressure when needed, but more importantly he is great at occupying multiple passing lanes, pick six at Clemson, which would have done a lot to stymie BC’s passing game. Crane was throwing to the middle of the field four times as often as he was going to the corners. I can’t help but think that the potential Interception the Maddox dropped on the final drive would have been a pick six if Irving had been there.

    You have to give Logan credit, he exploited the weaknesses that USF exposed. The bright spots are that we have a couple of weeks to heal, hopefully Irving and Cash will be back, and our offense is gaining in confidence and production with each snap. We came very close to pulling out a win Saturday in a game that we had no business even being close in with the performance of our defense.

  15. RTPMedic 10/06/2008 at 7:34 AM #

    What better way to attack a depleted D-Line than to have them pass rush all day long? After a while, they’re too tired to be effective and pass-blocking becomes simple. Add to that the fact it looked like we played a prevent defense from the 1st quarter on. Did you notice they were throwing weak-side most of the game – right at Gray?

  16. Par Shooter 10/06/2008 at 7:40 AM #

    Boundary side is Gray and Maddux. Both USF and BC were clearly targeting Maddux as a weakness based on his inexperience. They likely would have been avoiding the boundary side with a healthy Irving in there.

  17. Noah 10/06/2008 at 8:33 AM #

    Generally speaking…when you can’t rush the QB and you have walk-ons playing in your secondary, you’re fortunate to only lose by seven.

    Our defensive philosophy on Saturday was triage coaching. Try to keep it from getting horrible, live with the bad, and maximize the number of opportunities for BC to screw up (which they did).

    I think UNC is more than one year ahead of us, sadly. There’s a lot of talent on that team.

  18. choppack1 10/06/2008 at 8:54 AM #

    Noah – I see where you are coming from. Of course, I think everything is relative – and when we finally tied the game w/ 3 minutes and change left, the worst thing possible was to allow them a sustained drive. Certainly, if there was a time to push all in on D – it was that last drive…because the reality was that we didn’t stop them all day.

    I brought my 9 month old to the game Saturday – so I missed a lot of the game…but here’s my observations:
    1) in the first quarter we didn’t blitz alot. I think we did get good pressure one time w/ our front four.
    2) in the second half – it looked like we were blitzing them more – the fact that we gave up only 17 points in the second half (as opposed to the 21 in the first) – indicates that maybe more blitzing was the way to go.
    3) To me, the only time BC’s QB looked confused all day was on the first play of their last drive. On that play, we lined up Willie Young almost at the MLB spot – and he dropped into coverage. Not only did we almost pick him off, but we also got a good shot on him.
    4) Watching the Pitt-USF game Thursday night, the commentators mentioned that Pitt’s DC thought that the best way to beat USF was to keep blitzing them. It worked for them.

    I’m not a coach, but I really don’t think any QB likes to be blitzed. It’s great if you can generate pressure w/ a 4 man front – but if you can’t you probably need to bring extra guys or you will be picked apart. Most teams aren’t starting Daniel Evans or Harrison Beck.

    I’ll go on record now and say that unless we get Cash and Irving back, that’s the only way we’ll generate any kind of pressure…because it’s pretty much been non-existent the last 2 games.

    You can either wait on the mistake or you can try to force them.

    Finally, I’ll just say that in 2 years, if we’re having games where we don’t have any TO’s and we win the special teams battle, we’ll be very, very good.

  19. burnbarn 10/06/2008 at 9:08 AM #

    I am a supporter of Archer and what he is doing this season. Losing our two best defenders and replacing them with less talent and experience is a disaster.

    When Cash went out we were not getting the push up front we needed. Irving was making plays everwhere and kept us in the games. When Irving went out in the ECU game, the middle of the field opened up and has been wide open since. ( Maddox is playing better but he still is overmatched at this point).

    We knew the D was going to be suspect this year going in.. particularly at LB and DB. The healthy DL and Irving playing at all ACC levels made the D look better than it was.

    We get them back and we can win some games.. if we don’t…

    We knew this was going to be a tough season.. let’s not go overboard now.

  20. BJD95 10/06/2008 at 9:10 AM #

    Here’s why I am (still) depressed – this was the best shot we had at an ACC win this year. Let’s look at the factors in our favor:

    1) Home game
    2) Mediocre opponent
    3) Emotional lift (multiple players said they especially wanted to win this game for TOB)

    A special teams TD, 3-0 turnover margin, only 1 penalty…and that wasn’t enough to win with those 3 factors in our favor.

    Every opponent the rest of the year will be a TD+ favorite against us, with the exception of Duke (probably a 4-5 point favorite over us). Now that doesn’t mean we’ll lose out – statistically speaking, at least one upset is likely – but the specter of a record-setting losing season is there.

    If you really want to be queasy, think about this – UNC is one bone-headed decision (playing Paulus against VT) from being undefeated and in the Top Ten. I heard all summer from UNC friends how awful Paulus looked in the pre-season.

  21. BJD95 10/06/2008 at 9:21 AM #

    I am also in favor of going for onside kicks after every score. No, I’m not kidding. Opponents can get the ball to our 40 without breaking a sweat anyway against our soft zone – why not gamble on a few extra possessions per game?

  22. RAWFS 10/06/2008 at 9:28 AM #

    “Do you think the speed we are playing with (flying to the ball, etc.) is because our DBs and LBs run the 40 in 5,9?”

    When some of our guys fly to the ball they get stuck in the line at airport security.

  23. RAWFS 10/06/2008 at 9:34 AM #

    “I think UNC is more than one year ahead of us, sadly. There’s a lot of talent on that team.”

    Unfortunately, I have to agree. While Amato was losing the recruiting wars, John Bunting was getting some very decent players, even if he could never assemble a fully functional team of his own.

    When I look at this year’s State team, I think of what a high school coach in the area told me about Amato and Bunting: Amato would bypass the coach and go directly to the player, and Bunting would work with the prep staff and keep things collegial between his guys and the schools. Sadly, the high school coaches seemed to like Bunting more than Amato and that hurt recruiting quality depth.

  24. SEAT.5.F.2 10/06/2008 at 9:43 AM #

    I am crossing my fingers that the coachs don’t screw up the same ways folks here have pointed out. If only there weren’t so many hard headed coachs out there then teams that suffer under NCAA sanctions, or worse Chuck Amato, would dominate. Coaches might even evolve out of recruiting talent/depth and stop wasting so much time developing players. I know positively that BC QB could have made those accurate passes 3 or 4 years ago, he didn’t need reps with those receivers who he’s worked with a hundred practices over.

  25. Daily Update 10/06/2008 at 10:06 AM #

    Is BC mediocre? With Crane playing that well, they aren’t mediocre. They are 4-1 with their only loss to GT(a game they easily could have won). Easy schedule otherwise, so only time will tell how good they are. But with Maryland losing to UVA, Wake losing to Navy, Clemson losing to Maryland and FSU losing to Wake, then BC is right in the thick of things in the Atlantic Division.

    Butch might be two years ahead of us in the rebuilding job. Much better roster to takeover and he was able to recruit well from day one. UNC having a top 25 season is only going to make TOB’s job that much more difficult.

    Essentially, everything that could have gone against us since TOB took the job has gone against us. If we were healthy or had injuries to non-essential players, then maybe we had a shot at a bowl game this year. Instead, we are going to be lucky to get another win the rest of the year.

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