A little look ahead to 2010 Football

We’ve had some nice entries and conversations on the blog and the message boards with this week-long stretch between Wolfpack Basketball games. So, why not spend a few minutes on some football items?

Looking Back, Looking Ahead
We are heading into ‘spring practice time’ and ‘The Wolfpacker’ released a lot of good information on the spring in their digital newspaper yesterday. Reading the first couple of pages will serve to elevate the names of some potential key contributors onto your radar.

CFN has put together “Look Back, Look Ahead” for every team in the ACC.

NC State: Assuming QB Russell Wilson is back in the saddle and not playing baseball full-time, the Pack could have the ACC’s most prolific passing game. Not only is Wilson a two-time all-star, but he’s loaded with accomplished receivers. Receivers Owen Spencer and Jarvis Williams combined for 17 touchdown catches, and George Bryan was the league’s first team tight end. If LB Nate Irving can return to his old form after suffering injuries from last summer’s car accident, it’ll give a big boost to the defense.

You can click here for the full write-up on NC State.

Recap: North Carolina State is regressing, an anomaly in the head coaching career of Tom O’Brien. The Pack finished with seven losses for a third consecutive year and below .500 for a fourth season in-a-row, failing to build on last year’s 6-6 mark. Although QB Russell Wilson did all he could to keep the team competitive, even his 31 touchdown passes weren’t enough to overcome one of the ACC’s worst defenses. After peaking with a 38-31 win over Pitt on Sept. 26, State dropped six of the next seven games to sink completely out of bowl contention

Looking Ahead: Naturally, the Pack wants to reverse the recent trend by getting back over .500 and contending in a wide-open Atlantic Division. First, it’ll need to determine if Wilson will be under center or signing a contract to play Major League Baseball. If he bolts, the Mike Glennon era in Raleigh begins sooner than expected. The defense will get a lift from the return of LB Nate Irving, who missed the season following a car accident.

Spring Power Rankings
Heading into spring practice, ESPN’s Heather Dinich rated NC State 8th in the conference in her power ratings:

“The young secondary will still be an issue, and the Pack will be without their starting quarterback, Russell Wilson, all spring because of his baseball obligations. The defense should improve with the return of Nate Irving, but it’s still unclear how much he’ll be able to do this spring.”

The following was how she views the conference heading into the spring:

1. Virginia Tech
2. FSU
3. UNC
4. Miami
5. Boston College
6. Georgia Tech
7. Clemson
8. NC State
9. Maryland
10. Wake Forest
11. Duke
12. UVa

Out of Conference Strength of Schedule Ratings
Yesterday, Dinich released her rankings of the out of conference schedules of ACC Football teams. One can always argue things in the margin, but I can generally understand her thoughts with these rankings. If I had to choose one item to challenge – I think I would have ranked Clemson’s schedule a little higher.

The three Triangle schools stack up as follows:

4. Duke: Elon (9-3), Alabama (14-0), Army (5-7), at Navy (10-4): The Blue Devils will face the defending national champs. It doesn’t get much tougher than that, and Army and Navy are hardly pushovers these days.

5. North Carolina: LSU (9-4), at Rutgers (9-4), East Carolina (9-5), William & Mary 11-3: The Tar Heels kick off the season in the national spotlight, but don’t dismiss a road trip to Rutgers, and the battle for the unofficial state championship.

6. NC State: Western Carolina (2-9), at UCF (8-5), Cincinnati (12-1), at East Carolina (9-5): Two road trips to respectable bowl programs, plus the matchup against Cincinnati, which was one of the nation’s top teams a year ago.


As always, our Football Forum will provide you an efficient place to pick and choose other recent conversations and relevant topics of interest. Go State!

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'10 Football

36 Responses to A little look ahead to 2010 Football

  1. Clarksa 02/26/2010 at 10:31 AM #

    Love the hype for UNC-CH again…the Butch Davis Tarheels remind me sooo much of the Chuck Amato Wolfpack years.

  2. primacyone 02/26/2010 at 10:42 AM #

    “Love the hype for UNC-CH again…the Butch Davis Tarheels remind me sooo much of the Chuck Amato Wolfpack years”

    The Butch Davis Tarheels and the Chuck Amato Wolfpack years . . .I wish we were somewhere close to either one right now.

  3. VaWolf82 02/26/2010 at 10:59 AM #

    The full write-up talks about something that I had already noticed…turnover margin. Last year, State went from one of the best in the conference to one of the worst. With such a pitiful defense, every turnover the offense made was potentially crippling.

  4. Daily Update 02/26/2010 at 11:21 AM #

    Vawolf82: Yes, that has been a huge problem for a long time(even in the Amato years with great defenses we never seemed to force many turnovers.)

    I have no issues with the hype of UNC. They should be good, better than last year because the offense should be better. The runnings backs, OL, and WRs should all improve which should help the QB. They will have one of the best defenses in the country as well.

  5. Thinkpack17 02/26/2010 at 11:32 AM #

    I would sacrifice as many virgins to whatever God would have them to have a good football season. I can’t take another clunker.

  6. Wolfy__79 02/26/2010 at 11:47 AM #

    should we really listen to what heather dinich has to say? where does her football credibility come from? she’s not the next erin andrews so she tries to have a greater football iq?

    with either qb our passing game should be pretty good. we should be much improved defensively despite losing upperclassmen on the line. it never fails, unc-ch has another lofty prediction… and another lofty failure to follow.

    all in all, i like the fact that apparently we are one of the league’s underdogs! 8th! and what, 4th best in our division? i could care less about what some chic has to say about how she thinks ACC football will play out. didn’t sound like much interpretation to me.

    she would have been better off saying with russell out for the spring having fun with the baseball team, he’ll be back and be the shi# in the fall, while backup mike glennon will be getting much needed reps for a potential starting role this season. defensively the WOLFPACK lost some seniors, but coach TOB has done a wonderful job in filling gaps since he arrived. this should be the year we see a vintage TOB work of art. the addition of lb’s coach, tenuta, will surely amp up the pressure. look for the NCSU WOLFPACK to make some noise all the way to the ACC Championship Game, for starters.

  7. Wolfy__79 02/26/2010 at 11:50 AM #

    how about sticking to that nice chicken salad recipe there heather.

  8. McPete 02/26/2010 at 12:21 PM #

    “we should be much improved defensively despite losing upperclassmen on the line.”

    What evidence do you have to support this claim? The return of Nate Irving, who missed all of last year with serious injuries? If the secondary is no better than last year and the D line can’t get any pressure, it will be another terrible defense. And of course Archer is still the coordinator.

    “8th! and what, 4th best in our division?”

    What were we last year? 10th overall and like 5th in the Atlantic? Seems to me she thinks we’ll be better.

    The only issue I have with HD is that she recently ranked the ACC’s QBs and RW was not on the list (but Jacory Harris was!?!).

    edit: Josh Nesbitt was in her top 3, too, along with Christian Ponder (the only one on her list i’d put on mine).

  9. StateFans 02/26/2010 at 12:37 PM #

    You have a choice to listen to whomever you would like. I don’t necessarily disagree with negative perceptions of Dinich’s credibility.

    But, choosing to ignore her or discount her opinion is different from pretending that ESPN doesn’t exist and is focused on providing content about topics that we are interested in reading.

  10. primacyone 02/26/2010 at 12:54 PM #

    ” . . . we should be much improved defensively despite losing upperclassmen on the line.”


    Dang man. Give me some of what ever it is you’re taking.

  11. JEOH2 02/26/2010 at 2:23 PM #

    We won’t be much better on defense (may be worse), the notion that we will be is unfounded. I will say I expect the secondary to improve slightly just based on experience alone and for our linebackers to be our area of strength…

    I lost my mind when she ranked the top quarterbacks in the conference and listed Josh Nesbitt, who is basically a good running back who can ocassionally throw the ball. Wilson should have clearly been on the list. Ponder definitely belonged, and I’d disagree w/ Jacory Harris only if there was another Quarterback in the ACC to replace him (Taylor? IDK) I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt under the assumption that she was picking quarterbacks who are guarenteed to return…

  12. travelwolf 02/26/2010 at 2:36 PM #

    Or maybe she already knows that he won’t return?

  13. McPete 02/26/2010 at 2:37 PM #


    the Jacory Harris pick was more infuriating to me because you can put Wilson’s stats beside Harris’ and there is no question who was better last year. Nesbitt is asked to do completely different things for GTs QB position and he excels in that role. I wouldn’t call him a quarterback – and I think the most completions he had in a game last year was 11 – but he kinda gets a pass b/c you can’t compare him to any other qb in the league to due their offense.

    Harris, on the other hand, is overhyped. If he didn’t lead the league in interceptions he was close to the top. And HD even uses the argument that because he has more talent around him at receiver than most other teams, he gets on the list. Well, he had the some talented receivers last year and wasn’t as good as RW.

  14. McPete 02/26/2010 at 2:39 PM #

    she’s put on her blog she thinks he’ll be back. and she wouldn’t know sh%t about what’s going on with nc state in the offseason because she’s busy sniffing paul johnson’s jock strap.

  15. choppack1 02/26/2010 at 2:54 PM #

    As usual, we’ll be living by the margins…

    If RW comes back and stays healthy

    If Nate Irving is effective

    If our DB improves

    If our WRs stop passes

    If we can avoid key injuries

    If we our overall D improves

    …then we’ll be good and even compete for the conference title.

    Let’s face it – we were 5-7 last year – w/ a record of 3-4 in games that were still in doubt at the beginning of the 4th quarter (USC, Pitt, Wake, Duke, UMd, FSU, UNC)…

    Every year some team literally has good fortune/ makes their own breaks and goes 6-1 in those games. OTOH, some teams go 1-6 in the same situation.

    I’m hoping that our new hire (Tenuta), improved LB and DB play can help us win more games than we’ll lose. But I have no idea what to expect.

  16. VaWolf82 02/26/2010 at 3:18 PM #

    Actually, one of State’s problems has been that the WR’s stop passes instead of catching them. 😉

  17. Prowling Woofie 02/26/2010 at 3:23 PM #

    Looking forward to seeing Taylor Gentry and Logan Winkles at fullback ! Couple of guys that love contact…

  18. choppack1 02/26/2010 at 3:37 PM #

    Va Wolf – wasn’t that the truth.

    Our record could have been a tad different w/ some caught passes.

  19. packsbiggestfan 02/26/2010 at 4:28 PM #

    Yo, primacyone! You wish we were close to Butch Davis or the Amato years? Do you remember 3-9, Amato’s last year? Do you remember Ant Hill’s seemingly intentionally dropped ball the last game of that season against ECU in CF Stadium? If P Riv did not perform like he did Amato’s exit would have been a much speedier one. Thank goodness Rivers did what he did, now we have awesome facilities. Hopefully an awesome team isn’t too far down the road.

    TOB left a #1 ranked BC with Matt Ryan to come coach the Wolfpack. Just because we didn’t have instant success everyone is moaning. I guess everyone just overlooks the job we did recruiting in state this year. Rob Crisp is a huge deal, the O line is a huge deal. We will have an NFL size O line to block for either QB. Our defense was embarrasing but with the hire of Tenuta we will see improvement.

    Our offense averaged 30 pts (plus/minus a few) last year. In Amato’s final years J. Davis, Marcus Stone, and Daniel Evans could barely cross the 30 yard line.

    Quit crying for Amato back, Rivers is who you should be begging for but his eligibility has expired. But, lets give Sid a five year contract extension for at best mediocrity. Under the Fowler system of incentives he may get another 5 years after this season of greatness.

    And UNC is going to bring Yates out as the starter or someone who has never played college FB. I like the sounds of that. Butch’s defense, although good, wasn’t good enough to stop the Wolfpack. I’ll keep Tom over Butch or Amato. Our secondary was terrible and we were playing the best players we had. I guess you didn’t watch us while we played offense. Tom can coach, Amato can’t.

  20. packsbiggestfan 02/26/2010 at 4:29 PM #

    oh yeah…Im really excited that eveyone believes the Tarholes are going to be great again. It will be fun to watch them fall.

  21. McPete 02/26/2010 at 5:30 PM #

    “TOB left a #1 ranked BC with Matt Ryan to come coach the Wolfpack”

    uh, #1 ranked? in what? i do believe that aforementioned 3-9 team that got Amato fired beat the ‘#1 ranked’ boston college team you refer to.

  22. packsbiggestfan 02/26/2010 at 6:22 PM #

    “i do believe that aforementioned 3-9 team that got Amato fired beat the ‘#1 ranked’ boston college team you refer to”

    I stand corrected it was #2. TOB’s first year at NCSU (Amato was already gone), BC was ranked as high as #2. It’s hard to speculate where that BC team may have went if the coaching had stayed consistent. My point is he left a solid foundation with a superb QB, Matt Ryan, to coach a failing program. I think he will build an ACC powerhouse, just give him time consdering what he inherited upon arrival.

    BTW, that BC (#20 at the time of defeat) fluke was 1 of only 3 wins. Do you remember how we won?(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqtbMgyU8Ws) Oh yeah, we beat FSU the same way the same year. Daniel Evan’s prayers. Did you know that 1 of those 9 losses came from DIAA Akron? I would love to revert back to Amato’s ways just as I much as I love watching us lose bball games. Wilson is to Evans as O’brien is to Amato.

  23. packsbiggestfan 02/26/2010 at 6:25 PM #

    If you watch the Youtube video from above you will here Amato compare Evans to Rivers. Bwahahahahahahahahaa.

    Amato built great facilities. Let’s face it, if River’s wasn’t the player he was, Amato couldn’t have been the fundraiser he was, there would be know Murphy Center and no Vaughn Towers.

  24. Wolfy__79 02/26/2010 at 6:34 PM #

    the only reason that comes to mind that the defense, the lb’s and secondary were so out of touch last year was our dc. yeap, he’s still here but there’s a more qualified coach on the staff in waiting. and i feel confident that TOB will be paying more attention to the daily ops of defense.

    we had a hell of an offense last year, despite the defense killing most of their efforts.. i believe we’ll just as strong this season. i agree, drops were also a killer last year. we’ve got upgrades at wr and rb, so why shouldn’t we be even better.

    i expect improved play from dline a year ago. we lost some key fellas but i think the defense as a whole will be more balanced. we’re young on the line, but we’ve got some talent there now. not to say there wasn’t before.

    i believe he was referring to ACC champs (#1)

  25. 61Packer 02/26/2010 at 8:04 PM #

    Bring CTC back as our new AD.

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