Monday Musings

September 26, 2011

ncsu helmet

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 (
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% doesn’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.
Scotty McCreery to Sing National Anthem at Central Michigan Game


Brett Friedlander (
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 team’s nationally televised 44-14 meltdown in Cincinnati. The defense allowed 503 yards and had two more linemen go down – Bryan Slay and A.J. Ferguson – 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 O’ Tweets, Sept. 23

There were so many different ways I could have gone with the N.C. State fan reaction to the Wolfpack’s 44-14 beatdown in Cincy. But I went with this one.

It’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.

Let’s not bother to break down the schedule right now, though. Let’s just deal with this as a symbol of N.C. State fan depression.

I can’t say I blame them. And the thing is, it’s not even about Russell Wilson anymore. Well not entirely.

I do think having a more mobile quarterback would help State, but I didn’t think it would be this necessary. Because if there’s one thing about Tom O’Brien I believed in the most, it was his ability to develop strong offensive lines. And this was “supposed” 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 don’t include all the negative yardage that’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 I’m a Wolfpack fan, that’s where I’m most disappointed. Maybe you can use injuries to explain the issues on defense – although that doesn’t account for the lack of quality depth – but there’s really no excuse for why State’s offensive line has been so ineffective.

That unit needs to improve, rapidly, if State’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 Tech’s Offense Passes Another Test
“Yeah, but …”
You heard it a lot this week, leading up to Georgia Tech’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 Johnson’s option offense, who still don’t believe it can work in ACC (no really, they’re still out there). But most just didn’t think much of the opponents Georgia Tech had faced – Western Carolina, Middle Tennessee State and Kansas. They looked at the Jackets’ video game numbers and responded: “Let’s see how they do against a real defense.”

Well UNC has a real defense, with NFL talent throughout its front seven. And … Georgia Tech’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 Johnson’s offense can do that to opponents, even future sure-fire first-round draft picks.

I’m on record more than a few times as being a full-blown believer in Johnson’s offense, so I won’t go on too long (this time). Still, I came out of this game even more impressed with Tevin Washington. He’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 – 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.

About 1.21 Jigawatts

Class of '98, Mechanical Engineer, State fan since arriving on campus and it's been a painful ride ever since. I live by the Law of NC State Fandom, "For every Elation there is an equal and opposite Frustration."

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19 Responses to Monday Musings

  1. wolfpack15 09/26/2011 at 8:46 AM #

    So some football 101. Our defense is having a hard time getting to the qb. Several excuses for this. But it is what it is. With this being the case one would think u would want to bring your cornerbacks up to the line and get in the recievers faces and jam them and get physical with them at the line. This delays the timing of the play, this takes the reciever off his normal pattern and at the same time gets them frustrated. This extra time it creates could be the difference in a sack or not. Instead we play 7 yards off the ball and let them run untouched until they make the catch. No wonder it looks so easy for the other teams offense. Maybe after 5 years of this its time to change. Just my thoughts.

  2. eas 09/26/2011 at 9:43 AM #

    Apparently all but 2 people in the entire world see that State has major Defensive issues. Those two people are Archer and TOB. Until that changes…..well there will be NO changes.

    As for the offense, since Bible will never be let go by TOB it looks like we have two options. 1. Find an Offensive line to block for Glennon (who could do very well for us if this could happen) and allow him time to connect. 2. Have a mobile/scramble QB who can still operate well with a weak Offensive line. Since 1 & 2 are basically impossible with our current players I guess we just have to deal with what we have. Glennon is only going to be an excellent QB with a VERY good Offensive line in front of him. If the OL continues to stink it up we will struggle with Glennon (which is a shame because he has no problems as a passing QB). I agree with most that RW was successful at masking the OL issues because of his ability to get out of the pocket.

    Everyone clearly sees there are big issues within our program. The package on the field looks awful and downright confusing. The question is whether TOB will send people on their way or change their roles to achieve success. I am doubtful based on TOB’s loyalty to his coaches but he has to see what everyone else does….HE CAN’T MISS IT.

  3. TruthBKnown Returns 09/26/2011 at 10:03 AM #

    The problems are more major than they should be for a fifth year coach coming off a 9-4 season.

    I see from the players what looks like laid back, lethargic, no-energy play. They play the way TOB coaches. They are a reflection on him.

    At this point, I feel about TOB the way I felt about Sidney in the end, after he still could not win even with good recruits. He needs to go. I don’t think TOB needs to get rid of our offensive coordinators. I think they need to go — the whole lot of them.

    The exception being Tenuta. If he’s head coaching material, make him the head coach. If not, let the new coach decide whether or not to keep him around (I think he’s the lone bright spot on our coaching staff). Archer, absolutely not. Fire him or make him a towel boy. I hate it for Bible, but he needs to go, too. And TOB will not be getting rid of him. So they just all need to go. This is ridiculous.

    They have the rest of the season to make me a believer again. But it HAS to start this weekend.

  4. wolfpacker 09/26/2011 at 10:04 AM #

    Somebody really has too look at the way things happen and especially How and Why people get hired at NC State. Would someone PLEASE inform us all to HOW IN THE H3LL Mike Archer’s name ever got into the mix when TOB was selecting a defensive coordinator?

    He was pathetic at Kentucky, so they demoted him. We then picked him up as if he’s going to do a better job? He’s only good at making excuses, that’s it. He blames injuries and has for years. Our defense under him has been pathetic.

    We haven’t even played anybody and we are one of the worst defenses in the country.

    A change must be made and NEXT TIME, get somebody who is BETTER. His defensive teams have ALWAYS been pathetic, allowed over 30 points / game and over 300 yds / game.

  5. HPWolf 09/26/2011 at 10:28 AM #

    I do not believe that it is a coincidence that our offensive line and tight ends have been unproductive after switching the coaches between the two positions. We are playing basically the same players as last year with a year more of growth and experience. We should be better at both. Why are we not? The only thing I can put my finger on is the decision in the off season to switch our offensive line coach with our tight ends coach. Why did we do this and why not switch them back? We suck on the offensive line and it is killing us in many ways. No running game means you’re one dimensional and can’t control the clock or time of possession. MG won’t last the season without a running game. He will be sacked until he can’t get up. Switch the coaches back Tom and get the hell moving. Without a running game our defence is toast every game.

  6. TruthBKnown Returns 09/26/2011 at 10:38 AM #

    I didn’t realize we switched those two coaches. Why did we do that???

    TOB has been pretty good with assistant coaching “continuity”. But swapping coaches, even if they’re both still here at State, is like getting two new coaches at those positions, in a way.

  7. Ed89 09/26/2011 at 10:53 AM #

    I believe our TE’s coach was Bridge who left to go to Ga or Ga Tech, right? Was he also our Recruiting Coordinator? Also, we lost our RB coach and he was replaced by Sands. Is it the fault of the OL coach or RB coach when you can’t run? Ultimately, it is the fault of the HC (along with the OC under him). Either way, our running game and defense have been abyssmal…neither of those is the fault of Glennon, although he does need to learn how to throw the ball away instead of taking a sack.

  8. HPWolf 09/26/2011 at 11:05 AM #

    We lost our linebackers coach who was also our recruiting coordinator two years ago to GT. He was also our best recruiter. I forget his name.That’s why we brought in Tenutu as a replacement linebacker coach. Our offensive line coach and tight ends coach were already in the coaching circle and doing well. TOB never gave a reason for the switch in the off season. Its a total failure. The running backs coach with Sands coming on board is not the problem. There are no holes to run through and we have the same offensive line as last year except for right tackle Vermiglio. WE SHOULD BE STRONG UP FRONT!!! What the hell happened. If the hole is there anyone can run through and pick up 3 or 4 yards. Our offensive line is missing in action and they major reason we can’t sustain drives and control the TOP

  9. HPWolf 09/26/2011 at 11:12 AM #

    Correction, Vermiglio was our left tackle

  10. Pack78 09/26/2011 at 11:55 AM #

    Andy McCollum was our linebackers coach that went ‘home’ to GT; left on very good terms IIRC. Forgot about the coaching switch-we are 109th in rushing.. what IS going on with the rushing attack?

  11. HPWolf 09/26/2011 at 12:09 PM #

    Pack78, you’re right about Andy McCollum as our linbackers coach who left. The rushing attack or lack there of is totally dependant on the offensive line opening holes. We have pretty much the same offensive line as last year and the one starter lost from last year was supposed to be replaced by 5 Star recruit Rob Crisp. So…..why do we suck at running the ball this year? What changed? THE COACH CHANGED. Every football coach in the nation knows that as the line goes your team goes.

  12. Prowling Woofie 09/26/2011 at 12:34 PM #

    Last year we had a decent O-Line and an All ACC Tight End.

    TOB switches the O-Line and TE Coach’s responsibilities.

    This year, our TE’s can’t catch and our O-Line can’t block.

    Tom – Wanna re-think that ???

  13. Gene 09/26/2011 at 1:22 PM #

    I don’t think it’s a strong O-line or a scrambling QB. I think if Glennon gets a better feel for the game, i.e. knows, when to get rid of the ball, feel the pressure coming and start to scramble, he can avoid as many sacks as a smaller, more mobile QB.

    Dan Marino and Peyton Manning aren’t mobile QB’s, but they don’t get sacked, because they have a great pocket presence and know when to get rid of the ball before the rush gets to them or try to roll our to buy extra time.

    There’s a lot that has to be accounted for with this coaching staff, especially the HC and DC.

    Unfortunately there’s not much we can do right now but “enjoy” the ride.

    “TOB switches the O-Line and TE Coach’s responsibilities.

    This year, our TE’s can’t catch and our O-Line can’t block.”

    I don’t think it should make that much of a difference. TE’s and O-lineman work closely together.

    The bigger issue is why we don’t run more plays to get Bryan open. He’s really disappeared from the offense. I don’t know, if this is play calling or defenses double teaming him or both.

  14. TruthBKnown Returns 09/26/2011 at 1:52 PM #

    I don’t think it’s a strong O-line or a scrambling QB. I think if Glennon gets a better feel for the game, i.e. knows, when to get rid of the ball, feel the pressure coming and start to scramble, he can avoid as many sacks as a smaller, more mobile QB.

    Gene, you’re right. And Glennon will learn this eventually. He’s only started four games now. He’s doing very well. The game is “slowing down” for him now.

  15. wolf_at_my_door 09/26/2011 at 2:19 PM #

    TOB od full of it. He sends Russell on his way because no player is bigger than the program but he is loyal to Archer and Bible. They ARE bigger than the program. Way to go O’Brien. Don’t insult the players intelligence. They see what you are doing.

    Time for The Fossil to go.

  16. vtpackfan 09/26/2011 at 5:28 PM #

    Glennon needs to step up in the pocket-almost all the sacks are off the edge and one or two shuffle steps up and the defender has no angle. Problem is that its one of the last thing QB s pick up. BTW- coach who left for GT was not a recruiting coordinator, just a fine recruiter in Ga., and SC. TE and OL have worked with each other so long and share almost exact philosophy so I don’y read much into that. One name that gets missed a lot is Andrew Wallace, injured OL. We miss Vermiglios mean streak and Wallace had that part in his game. We get him back and put him between Mattes and Wentz so that maybe we can smash some mouths.

  17. HPWolf 09/26/2011 at 6:40 PM #

    Vtpackfan, check your facts, Andy McCollum was not only our best recruiter he was also listed as our recruiting coordinator when he left. It was a big loss and the first year without him we came in dead last in recruiting rankings and we are in the bottom three in the ACC this year to date which is the second year without him.
    As far as football assignments go there is no shared philosophy between position groups. Each position has an assignment on each play that has to be completed for the play to work successfully. There is a huge difference between coaching the line and coaching tight ends. The o line must run block and pass block. It is the run blocking that is not working. Tight ends run block, pass block and run pass patterns. Most of the time the two groups practice separately. There seems to be some confusion by some here that our pass blocking and Glennons development are the problem. Frankly MG is doing fantastic considering he has no running game to keep the defense honest. The problem with the offense being unable to sustain drives falls squarely on the offensive line and their inability to run block. Its almost as if they trained only for pass protection during the spring and summer. A team has to be able to run the ball and the only real difference between this year and last year is the coach. Maybe it matters and maybe it doesn’t but something is definitely wrong this year.

  18. vtpackfan 09/26/2011 at 8:21 PM #

    Jerry Petercuskie has been TOB recruiting coordinator for 15 years-so every day he’s been a HC. The OL has not had a good showing yet but I think they’ll come along. Glennon is doing extremely well I noted that he step up in the pocket at times and he does. Phillip was the best at it

  19. wolfonthehill 09/27/2011 at 8:15 AM #

    Not giving Paul Johnson a shot may be the must unforgivable decision of Jed’s tenure as AD…

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