NC State Mid-Season Report

We are half-way through the 2011 NC State Football Season and this week just happens to be the Wolfpack’s bye week…so, there is no more appropriate time to take a step back and put together a mid-season look at the Pack. ESPN’s ACC Blogger, Heather Dinich has penned her view of the first half of the Wolfpack’s season in an entry that can be seen by clicking here.

Record: 3-3, 0-2 ACC

This is the team that won nine games last year and finished in the Top 25?

No, it’s not, starting at quarterback, where Russell Wilson is now a Heisman hopeful at Wisconsin.

Injuries have decimated NC State’s defense, the team has yet to win on the road or in the conference, and the Wolfpack’s win over Central Michigan was its best of the season. With two FCS opponents on the schedule, NC State needs seven wins to reach bowl eligibility, and that’s looking like a stretch at this point. It’s not quarterback Mike Glennon’s fault. He has a strong arm, he’s gotten noticeably better as the season has progressed, and he’s good enough to win. Most of NC State’s problems have occurred around Glennon.

The Wolfpack is No. 107 in the country with three sacks allowed per game. NC State is No. 97 in rushing offense, and has lost seven fumbles this season — all problems that have nothing to do with its ailing defense. On that side of the ball, NC State is allowing just more than 30 points and 172 rushing yards per game. Granted, it hasn’t helped that entering the Central Michigan game, NC State had used three different starting combinations on the defensive line in five games. Two of the top six linebackers were also injured in reserve Sterling Lucas and starter Terrell Manning. Cornerback Jarvis Byrd was a projected starter, but he suffered a season-ending ACL tear in July. A total of 12 injured players, including 2010 leading rusher Mustafa Greene, missed the Georgia Tech game.

The bye week couldn’t have come at a better time for NC State, as it needs to get better on the field and in the training room. Expectations within the program were much higher entering the season, as those within the NC State were intent on building upon last years’s success. Now they’d have to win out during the regular season just to match it.

Offensive MVP: WR T.J. Graham: He’s No. 7 in the ACC with 80.7 receiving yards per game and has 484 yards and four touchdowns. He’s made a name for himself in the return game, though, as the track star leads the ACC with 18.5 yards per punt return and one touchdown. He is second in the ACC in kick return average (24.2), and leads the league in all-purpose yards with 210 per game.

Defensive MVP: CB David Amerson: Amerson leads the country with six interceptions and has 77 return yards. He ranks third in the ACC in passes defended with nine and has been a bright spot on an otherwise dreary defense. He’s fourth on the team with 34 tackles.

Before the season started I had hoped that State would realistically be at least 5-1 at this point in the season with a ‘fear’ that we could lose at Wake or Cincy for a worst case scenario of 4-2. I am not breaking any new ground proclaiming that it is a huge disappointment for the Wolfpack to be sitting at 3-3 while still needing four more wins to become bowl eligible this season.

The ‘bright’ side is that the second half of the schedule is not necessarily as difficult as we originally thought it would with an awful Boston College, a close to awful Virginia, a struggling Maryland at home, a UNC-CH program that we have beaten four years in a row, and a trip to play a weakened Florida State (whom we traditionally play tough).

The more macro question for NC State fans would be if another middling season at 7-5 is enough to keep them excited for a sixth year of a Tom O’Brien regime?

Could State turn the ship

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36 Responses to NC State Mid-Season Report

  1. MP 10/11/2011 at 12:19 PM #

    I’ll contribute to help finish the post. “Could State turn the ship…”

    “…into an Hindenburg-like missle careening toward the bottom of the ocean?”


  2. cWOhLFrPAiCKs 10/11/2011 at 12:41 PM #

    I think that a 7-5 season with a subpar bowl berth (and hopefully, victory) should be enough to earn O’Brien one more year, providing that it is explained that he better win big in ’12 or he’s done.

  3. baxter 10/11/2011 at 12:47 PM #

    I think 8-5 after all the crap that happened (clearly a bowl win included in that) would chill out some of the TOB firing crowd.

    I just love how Dinich down plays Glennon’s performance so far as “He has a strong arm, he’s gotten noticeably better as the season has progressed, and he’s good enough to win.”

    Dude leads the ACC in TD passes and is 2nd in yards, 2nd in points responsible for, 4th in passing efficiency. That’s not just a strong arm. Sheesh.

  4. sundropdrinker13 10/11/2011 at 12:49 PM #

    No matter what, TOB will be back next year. It’s all about the numbers, the ones that are money numbers. Sad, but true.

  5. baxter 10/11/2011 at 12:58 PM #

    Also, Glennon is on pace to throw the most TDs in a single season at State assuming we have a bowl game (34 by Rivers, Glennon paced at 34.667). Also TJG is pacing to blow out the all purpose yards season record of 1979 by Holt, he’s pacing for 2730 yds.

  6. Hungwolf 10/11/2011 at 1:32 PM #

    In the last 3 years we’ve been to two bowls. I think any talk of TOB being gone at the end of this year is premature. No doubt this was a major rebuilding job on top of trying to build a consistent program when he got here. Previous staff had so much turnover, recruiting had fallen off, and had established a bad rap with high school coaches in the state. TOB and staff walked in to a bad situation and building a program without cheating, taking short cuts, and doing it the right way takes time. I for one still have faith in TOB and most of the staff. I point to BC as proof of TOB’s ability. BC did not quit winning when he left, that means he had built a program. Notice BC gradually declined as his recruited players graduated.

    TOB and Dana Bible’s ability to recruit and develop the QB position is one reason to keep both around. Ryan, Wilson, and Glennon is a helluva track record. And a great QB has so much to do with winning and losing in the college ranks these days.

  7. lawful 10/11/2011 at 1:42 PM #

    Since I don’t know this answer, can anyone tell me when was the last time we won an ACC game on the road and who it was? Next question, can anyone tell me when was the last time we won two ACC games on the road in the same season and who they were? Excuse me if I quell the ‘bright’ side optimism.

  8. sundropdrinker13 10/11/2011 at 1:48 PM #

    lawful, the last ACC road victory was Nov 20, 2010, against UNC. The last time State won two ACC games on the road was last year, 2010. The aforementioned UNC, and at GT on Sept 25.

    I don’t know where you are going with this, nor do I understand your “bright side optimism”.

  9. lawful 10/11/2011 at 2:57 PM #

    That was far better than I expected. Any idea when we did it before then? Where I’m going is that there appears to be some optimism in the article that we can substantially improve the second half of the season. As we haven’t been much of a road team over the years, the hopes of a 4-2 or a 5-1 finish are highly unlikely.

  10. codebrown 10/11/2011 at 3:09 PM #

    I can’t see us getting 4 wins with the remaining schedule. If we don’t continue the streak against the cheating pansies, TOB will be gone.

  11. triadwolf 10/11/2011 at 3:43 PM #

    At 3-3 (0-2) I give our team/staff a mid season grade of “F”; at 0-2 in the conference and 3 wins against sub-par competition I don’t think I can grade any higher than that. That grade has no opportunity to increase until we at least win an ACC game. We have not shown an ability to take control of games (Central Mich was as close as we’ve been) and it is not far fetched to think we can go 0-6 to finish the season. I don’t think it’ll happen, but we have not proven we can yet compete in the ACC.

  12. NCSU84 10/11/2011 at 3:45 PM #

    Does it really matter? Trying to compare teams based on historical records is meaningless if you think about it. Past teams had different players, different coaches, different administration, etc. Sports analysts try to compare teams from different years and eras, but why they do this I do not know. Unless the same personnel are involved, it makes no sense.

  13. Pack85EE 10/11/2011 at 4:07 PM #

    Some of you guys are real downers. I don’t think true fans should trash your team and coach as much you do. Two months ago, with all the injurys, we were hoping to hang on thru the first half of the season and get well. We didn’t. Wake and GT were better than advertised. We almost beat the team that beat FSU (not near as good as the “experts” thought). But yes we looked bad at Cincy and GT, awful at times. I still believe we can get well, get it together and mayby surprise some teams. 3-3 is feasible, 4-2 a stretch, 5-1 (well, I won’t go that far without a new team). Any word on Mustafa – he could be part of our new team!

  14. baxter 10/11/2011 at 4:21 PM #

    I don’t know why people can’t look this up, but TOB has beaten Miami, UNC, Duke, GT on the road. I expect him to add UVA and BC to that list this year, and hell, even FSU is potentially there.

  15. baxter 10/11/2011 at 4:28 PM #

    Since 2007:

    Final 6 games of the season: 4-2, 4-2, 2-4, 3-3, so 13-11 overall, the 2-4 season is 2009’s lovely injury riddled season for reference.

    October: 2-1, 0-3, 0-4, 2-2
    November: 2-2, 4-0, 2-2, 2-2

    Post Bye Week: 4-2, 4-2 (4-3 if you include bowl Loss Rutgers), 2-3, 3-2 (4-2 if you include bowl Win WVU)

  16. sundropdrinker13 10/11/2011 at 4:31 PM #

    Hey lawful, the last time before that was 2008, with wins at Duke and UNC.

  17. pack44fan 10/11/2011 at 4:40 PM #

    Hooray for mediocrity!!!

  18. eas 10/11/2011 at 4:44 PM #

    I don’t believe TOB recruited Wilson. Besides he prefers a pocket passer.

    I am not trashing the team but rather some of the really bad coaching decisions. As well as the lack of any notion from TOB that the Defensive coaching is awful and the offense is predictable. The talent level is very low compared to many other ACC teams and the “coaching up 2-3 star recruits” is not doing well in Raleigh. Glennon on the other hand is doing very well thus far.

    The program looks very winded and tired at the current moment. The players are playing hard and they have to based on some of the play calls.

  19. Astral Rain 10/11/2011 at 5:05 PM #

    7-5, TOB deserves another year. Even 6-6 I wouldn’t fire unless he refused to fire Archer.

    Then again, I expected 7-5 this season, so it would be meeting expectations.

    Archer doesn’t.

  20. Hungwolf 10/11/2011 at 5:21 PM #

    Converstions by a fan base about firing a coach at this point of a season only helps those that recruit against us. Those that insist on public displays of anger with posts than trash us as being a loser school that will never go to the next level do more harm to our future potential and abiltiy to improve recruiting more than anything else. SC got Spurrier cause he knew their loyalty and passion win or lose. We got more potential to improve when internet sites that claim to be supporting NCSU quit allowing such a small negative unrealistic side of our fan base to post their nonsense for all to see. And frankly those that I see post the most negative stuff on here and other sites are here on game days, not at the games, at the WPC meetings, or really doing anything other than complain to support our school!!!!

  21. Skeeball 10/11/2011 at 7:13 PM #

    There is no way archer is here next year for me to see. Either TOB fires archer, TOB gets fired or I find something else to do with my time on saturdays… LTR to “status qou” – I wish our defense was “status qou”. I cant even get 50% face value for tickets this year.. That tells it all. Archer should have never been hired and should have been fired after the season without Nate. I wouldnt let the guy bag my groceries.

  22. bigwolfpacker 10/11/2011 at 8:05 PM #

    First off, Archer has to go. Hes never had a good defense anywhere hes been that I know of. Regardless, TOB will be given another year. I dont see him being fired before Glennons senior season.

  23. Dogbreath 10/11/2011 at 8:49 PM #

    Everyone will be back to rationale, firing talk after we get trucked by UVA next weekend.

  24. 66pack 10/11/2011 at 9:35 PM #

    tob is exactly what the bc fans said he was except at state he has a losing record.he said when he came to state he planned to coach 8 yrs and retire so if he is not replaced at end of this season we get 2 to 3 more years of bad coaching and do any of you see any 9-10 wins and top 20 rankings in his last years and then we still will need to find a decent why not a new coach at the end of year 6 since we can not afford one at the end of this season.let us except the reality that we are one of the most poor[financially] of all acc schools so there is no reason to expect great fb on a consistent basis.

  25. 61Packer 10/11/2011 at 9:38 PM #

    If we want to continue mediocrity, we need to keep this staff. This team has looked like crap against mediocre to bad FCS teams and has looked horrible against a Big East team and not very good against a low-level MAC team. Why will we be any better a month from now in places where we seldom if ever win? Plus, FSU, UNC and Clemson loom after that.

    Mr. Spock would call such expectations illogical. I concur.

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