September 26, 2011
NC STATE FOOTBALL
J.P. GIGLIO (N&O)
Jackets cruising, but N.C. State scrambling
A 30-point loss on national TV is never good, but the bigger problem for the Wolfpack is finding more wins on its schedule. Not only has N.C. State lost to the only two real teams it has played, but it beat the same teams last year, 30-19 (Cincinnati) and 38-3 (Wake Forest).
Austin Johnson (PackPride.com)
JOHNSON: Take A Deep Breath
The defense gave up every imaginable third down conversion. Cincinnati converted three times on 3rd and longer than 10, and its overall third down conversion rate of 56% doesnâ€™t begin to tell the tale of how easy it was for the Bearcats to move the ball.
The coaching staff looked completely unprepared on both sides of the ball. Cincinnati is not a perfect team, they have exploitable weaknesses, but the staff never found them. They made the Bearcats look like a juggernaut, a championship contender when in reality they are a team that was picked to finish fifth in a weak Big East Conference in the preseason.
Brett Friedlander (starnewsonline.com)
FIFTH QUARTER: New frontrunners in the ACC
1. State of disarray: The worst fears of N.C.State fans came true Thursday night in their teamâ€™s nationally televised 44-14 meltdown in Cincinnati. The defense allowed 503 yards and had two more linemen go down â€“ Bryan Slay and A.J. Ferguson â€“ while the offense turned it over three times was held to minus-26 yards rushing. In a word, it was ugly. And things could still get worse.
Jim Young (ACC Sports Journal)
Bag Oâ€™ Tweets, Sept. 23
There were so many different ways I could have gone with the N.C. State fan reaction to the Wolfpackâ€™s 44-14 beatdown in Cincy. But I went with this one.
Itâ€™s a response to my question asking N.C. State fans to give me a percentage chance that State makes a bowl. So why did I pick this one?
It was the most optimistic response I got from State fans.
Oh I got some higher guesses from other fan bases, but not from Wolfpack fans.
Letâ€™s not bother to break down the schedule right now, though. Letâ€™s just deal with this as a symbol of N.C. State fan depression.
I canâ€™t say I blame them. And the thing is, itâ€™s not even about Russell Wilson anymore. Well not entirely.
I do think having a more mobile quarterback would help State, but I didnâ€™t think it would be this necessary. Because if thereâ€™s one thing about Tom Oâ€™Brien I believed in the most, it was his ability to develop strong offensive lines. And this was â€œsupposedâ€ to be a strong unit this season.
Instead, a unit that includes a senior, two fourth-year juniors, a junior and a third-year sophomore – three of whom were full-time starters in 2010 while the other two started part of the time – has regressed. Through four games, the Wolfpack has run for a paltry 340 yards (just 85 ypg) and averaged a horrific 2.8 yards per carry. And no, those numbers donâ€™t include all the negative yardage thatâ€™s come from the sacks Mike Glennon has taken.
Speaking of which, N.C. State quarterbacks have been sacked 14 times so far, an average of 3.5 times per game. Only five other FBS schools sport a higher average. Yuck.
If Iâ€™m a Wolfpack fan, thatâ€™s where Iâ€™m most disappointed. Maybe you can use injuries to explain the issues on defense – although that doesnâ€™t account for the lack of quality depth – but thereâ€™s really no excuse for why Stateâ€™s offensive line has been so ineffective.
That unit needs to improve, rapidly, if Stateâ€™s going to salvage this season. If injuries continue to haunt the defense, the Wolfpack is going to need to put up points. I think Glennon can do that, provided he has time to throw and that the defense has to at least consider the run.
Right now, neither of those is happening. Which is why right now, Wolfpack fans are very unhappy.
Jim Young (ACC Sports Journal)
Second Thoughts On The ACC Weekend, Sept. 26
Georgia Techâ€™s Offense Passes Another Test
â€œYeah, but â€¦â€
You heard it a lot this week, leading up to Georgia Techâ€™s game against North Carolina. The Yellow Jackets put up mind-boggling offensive numbers during their first three games, but the doubters were still there. Some were the perpetual critics of Paul Johnsonâ€™s option offense, who still donâ€™t believe it can work in ACC (no really, theyâ€™re still out there). But most just didnâ€™t think much of the opponents Georgia Tech had faced â€“ Western Carolina, Middle Tennessee State and Kansas. They looked at the Jacketsâ€™ video game numbers and responded: â€œLetâ€™s see how they do against a real defense.â€
Well UNC has a real defense, with NFL talent throughout its front seven. And â€¦ Georgia Techâ€™s offense still looks really, really good. The Jackets amassed 496 yards of offense, including 312 yards on the ground and scored 35 points against the Tar Heels.
Several times they put the camera on UNC defensive end Quinton Coples when he was on the sidelines. He had his head down, with his shoulders slumped. Paul Johnsonâ€™s offense can do that to opponents, even future sure-fire first-round draft picks.
Iâ€™m on record more than a few times as being a full-blown believer in Johnsonâ€™s offense, so I wonâ€™t go on too long (this time). Still, I came out of this game even more impressed with Tevin Washington. Heâ€™s clearly more comfortable running this attack than Josh Nesbitt ever was.
The Yellow Jackets should be favored in their next three games at least â€“ at N.C. State, home against Maryland and at Virginia. Then comes a huge three game stretch at Miami (Oct. 22), home against Clemson (Oct. 29) and home against Virginia Tech (Nov. 10). Neither the Hurricanes nor the Tigers have a bye week before they face Georgia Tech, but the Hokies will have about 11 days, because their game in Atlanta will be on a Thursday night. Those extra days of preparation could be crucial in preparing for the option.
Texas A&M headed to SEC
Texas A&M is set to join SEC, the league said Sunday, possibly signaling legal hurdles have been cleared for the Aggies to leave the Big 12.
The SEC announced the move will be effective in July, and said Texas A&M will participate in all sports during the 2012-13 academic year. That will give the SEC its first addition since South Carolina and Arkansas in 1992.
The Aggies’ defection from the Big 12 had been held up by the possibility of legal action from Baylor and other members. The statement released by the SEC did not mention that situation, and spokesman Charles Bloom said he could not comment.
A Big 12 administrator said neither the SEC nor Texas A&M have asked any of the Big 12 schools to waive their right to sue. The person spoke Sunday night on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.