Red & White Spring Game Thoughts and Discussions

Came back from the State spring game today and have a few thoughts I’d share:

  • As usual, the defense is well ahead of the offense.  We’ve been accustomed to seeing that for that last few years and today was no different. With the offense learning an entirely new system and the defense seeing it all spring I had no expectations that this spring game would be any different. There were several plays where the defense was 3-steps ahead of the offense and were waiting for the offensive players, particularly on run plays. 
  • I finally understand Coach Doeren’s “this season is life before Jacoby” comment after practice last week referencing the QB play he’s seen so far this spring. Thomas and Stocker both seemed to struggle throughout the game and while Jacoby Brissett had his own issues, he looked far more comfortable and in command of the offense.  Thomas threw a bunch of balls off his back foot and seemed to miss quite a few open reads. Stocker on the other hand seemed a little rattled and never really got in a comfortable rhythm with the offense. Of course this is hard to really get a good feel when the defenses were playing touch football on the QBs. A few times there seemed to be a couple quick whistles that negated big plays. I think Thomas will end up being the starter but I would not be at all shocked to see one of the incoming freshman push both of theses guys for snaps.
  • Fumbles, fumbles and more fumbles. I don’t know what the numbers were but by my count Shadrach fumbled 4 times.  That’s is not good and something he’s going to need to get under control.  Creecy is a dependable runner but Shadrach is more explosive but unless he can get that fumbling issue under control he’s going to get pushed by 1 of the 3 incoming speedy RBs. One thing that I heard was after his 4th fumble he came off the sideline and was trying to make an excuse when Coach Kitchings cut him off and YELLED “Take off your damn helmet, you’re not going back in the game.”  I loved it.
  • DL looked good. They were making a living in the backfield. I’m not sure if that is a bad sign for the offensive line or a good sign for defensive line. I’d love to see some more improvement on the offensive line but I think that will come with more practice time together.
  • WRs looked like the WRs we saw last year.  Underwood and Smith will thrive in this offense and I still think Hegedus is our best pure WR.  Cherry got a lot of touches and made a nice in-traffic catch for a TD on a badly thrown/poor decision. Again all of the incoming WR will get a shot at playing but i like the Cherry, Smith, Underwood combo in this fast-paced offense.
  • Speaking of the fast-paced offense there is a long way to go but I like the concept.
  • As always Wolfpack fans showed up well. One day I’d like to see the entire stadium packed for the spring game but I’ll take 20,000+. Good job State fans.

I’m sure there is a lot I left out so I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions about today’s game so drop’em in the comments.

About JackWolf

I'm an unapologetic NC State fan but also consider myself a rational one. Hit me up on twitter if you want to talk @NCStateFootball

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26 Responses to Red & White Spring Game Thoughts and Discussions

  1. Alpha Wolf 04/20/2013 at 10:56 PM #

    WRAL said that there was 27,000 for the game.

    That’s about 26,650 more than UNC.

  2. Wufpacker 04/20/2013 at 11:11 PM #

    @JackWolf, Yep, that was pretty much my take as well, though I was limited to what I could see in the little square ESPN3 was showing.

    As far as the crowd, it looked on the stream like both sideline lower levels were approx. 2/3’s full with some scattered in the end zones also. Pretty doggone good crowd I thought, though not sure it was 27K good. Definitely looked 20K+ though.

  3. vtpackfan 04/20/2013 at 11:59 PM #

    Thomas had an ugly delivery, even when he has all day. I think Canada can make him into a serviceable QB. Set the bar moderate and minimize mistakes. This team is not going to be fun to watch overall this season and the loses may pile up unless the Defense gets downright stingy.

  4. Adventuroo 04/21/2013 at 7:18 AM #

    Agree with the comments about the game. It was not exacly “thrilling” in the first half.

    I heard the WRAL report and also read the N&O article. I don’t pretend to be a professional crowd estimator….but my take from the east side was that we probably had about enough fans to fill ONE side of the lowers. I estimated the sections yesterday and also pulled up a seating chart this morning.

    I THINK that if you filled ONE lower section, you would have about 1/6th of the total. If the east side was more populated, then maybe you had 25% of the max capacity of 60,000 or 15,000.

    The 27,500 must have comve from a reporter that estimates the anti gun and pro abortion and pro immigration amnesty crowds….they usually overestimate the crowd by a factor of 2 to 3.

    NOW, maybe I am off….would love to hear what others who were there thought.

    It will be interesting to see if Coach D pulls a “Gottfried” this year…don’t think that he has the talent, but you never know.

    One thing that was evident was the different style of the coaching staff. Coach D was involved in the wamups and excited and going from one group to the other. The players were inteacting with him and the level of enthusiasm was high. Now that does NOT translate into automatic “W’s”, but it is a start.

    I respect TOB’s field general approach, but is is nice to see the coaches engaged.

  5. Texpack 04/21/2013 at 7:31 AM #

    Just a note for those who didn’t see the game. It’s scheduled for ESPNU on Wednesday morning at 7 am ET. I have the DVR set.

    I think we will exceed expectations this year if 6-6 is your expectation.

  6. Greywolf 04/21/2013 at 7:32 AM #

    Jarvis Byrd looked very good at safety. Niles Clark(?) did well in nickel situations. Of note: Rose started on first team D and Sala-whatever at MLB. There is speed on Defense! Milton Hall ran hard for the white (and later for the red.) After Shad’s 3 fumbles I expect Hall to get a real look at #2 RB unless another freshman shows up like Shad did last year.

    I was disappointed in offense but only because I wanted to see what we had. I guarantee no spies learned anything.

    The letterman that I talked to who was at the practice and dinner Friday night seemed to be very excited about the future.
    We are spending some serious cash on football including indoor practice facility.
    It was announced at the game that we are playing the holes the last game of the season for the next 10 years. Somebody over there thinks we are rivals.

    The crowd? Between 12 and 13,000.

  7. Dogbreath 04/21/2013 at 8:01 AM #

    I think this offense is far worse than the 1999 or 2005 teams, which is a remarkable feat really.

    This offense will struggle to exceed 250 yards and 10 points per game.

    Offensive line looked fatter than ever and there is zero speed. Milton Hall was by far our best player out there and that is pitiful.

  8. Pack Mentality 04/21/2013 at 8:22 AM #

    I was at the game and I would say the 27,500 number is not that far off the mark. Both lowers and one end zone were mostly full, with a good number of people in the concourse at all times. Very family friendly atmosphere all over the stadium.

    Our offense will struggle this year. QB play will have to step up. Defense looked pretty solid. I think we have been spoiled at the qb position the past 5 years and now the reality of a college (not pro) level qb is going to set in.

  9. BJD95 04/21/2013 at 10:17 AM #

    If we win 4 or 5 games, I will be extremely impressed with DD’s triage surgeon ability. We are rail thin, and not very talented.

    Didn’t watch the spring game, but the reports match what I have thought and heard all off-season. Gotta breaks some eggs to make an omelette.

    Though in the interests of full disclosure…I hate omelettes. And eggs in general.

  10. Big Dog 04/21/2013 at 10:19 AM #

    I was surprised to see the 27,500 estimate in the N and O this morning. More like 20,000, but a good turn out. It is quite evident that we have been spoiled at the QB position in the past several years; there were a lot of ducks in the air Saturday. Canada will earn his pay check this year generating points. Hopefully, we can produce a lock down defense. Defense looked quick; speed is good.

  11. Tau837 04/21/2013 at 12:19 PM #

    We’ve really only had one particularly bad stretch of QB play since 1985:

    Erik Kramer
    Shane Montgomery
    Terry Jordan
    Terry Harvey
    Jamie Barnette
    Philip Rivers
    Jay Davis
    Marcus Stone
    Daniel Evans
    Russell Wilson
    Mike Glennon

    Not saying all of those guys were at the same level as Rivers and Wilson, but really the four Davis/Stone/Evans years between Rivers and Wilson was the only bad stretch.

    Hopefully, if we suffer another bad stretch like that, it will be short lived.

    Also, looking at that list, it further reminds me how disappointing it is that our team has achieved so little during that stretch.

  12. Greywolf 04/21/2013 at 2:37 PM #

    More observations…
    * Our corners were jamming the WRs, far different from last year.
    * Our 2nd team D did OK vs. #1 offense
    * The offense we saw Saturday is not the offense we will see this fall. Not even close.
    * When we ran the jet sweep (out side or inside) I often couldn’t tell who had the ball for 2 or 3 seconds. That’s a lot of time for a defense a defense to be hesitant.
    * Rashaad Smith is one shifty dude

  13. kjjones19 04/21/2013 at 3:01 PM #

    To me this team, with only a couple of months to learn the playbook, would be about equal to last years team (TOB’s “best team”) at this time. The offense didn’t do anything last year and we all know how “great” the defense was last year….. The offense will improve a lot before the season starts and the defense will be better too with a better D line and LBs. I’m just happy I don’t have to watch more TOB teams run it up the middle every play for -1 yards

  14. Pack1997 04/21/2013 at 4:54 PM #

    I get what you are saying about TOB, however I read yesterday Glennon was in the top 5 in NCAA for most pass attempts last year. That doesn’t really support the statement of him running it up the middle every play.

  15. john of sparta 04/21/2013 at 5:02 PM #

    attendance: less than 15K.
    fumbles: more than too many.

  16. tjfoose1 04/21/2013 at 5:12 PM #

    “This offense will struggle to exceed 250 yards and 10 points per game.”

    We’ll never know. “This” offense will never take the field against an opposing team. We’ll never see it again.

    The offense we’ll see on 08/31/13 will be quite different. It will be better. The question that remains is, how much better?

    “Our corners were jamming the WRs, far different from last year.”

    Thank you, Lord.

  17. JackWolf 04/21/2013 at 5:15 PM #

    Ahh good points. I knew I shouldn’t have wrote this after drinking that many beers. I forgot to include

    – Once again Milton Hall is a spring game superstar. Seems like every season he does it, maybe now he’ll get a shot.

    – I thought the corners looked good for the most part. Aggressive and in your face style, that is new for us.

    – I agree on all the QB talk, neither looked smooth and it could be a long year if those guys can’t throw the ball to the right places. Also I guess that is why the coaches were saying we’re gonna run it a ton!

    I think there was progress but a long way to go IMO

  18. tjfoose1 04/21/2013 at 5:34 PM #

    Brought it up last year, will say it again. Burris is a star in the making.

  19. Pack84 04/21/2013 at 6:17 PM #

    I hate to be a Debbie Downer. But it seems to me that TOB didn’t just leave the cupboard bare, he chopped it into little bits and then set the damn thing on fire. I’m not sure we have more than 2 or 3 guys that would start on any other ACC team.

    It’s going to be a long. painful fall.

  20. PackFamily 04/22/2013 at 8:50 AM #

    What, no love for Rashard Smith?! He will be the playmaker this year and you can see him getting to run a lot of those jet sweeps from the edge.

  21. Greywolf 04/22/2013 at 9:14 AM #

    Justin Burris and Rashaad Smith are a couple of those “2 or 3” who could start for one of the 14 other ASS teams.

    Since ‘impressing’ the fans is not on Doeren’s priority list, my guess is we’ll see enough the first couple of weeks to win but not a whole lot more. I’ll wait until after the Clempson game to evaluate how the season will go. Even then the offense will be tailored to the QB’s who are eligible to play this year. By the middle of September neither Thomas nor Stocker will look like a deer caught in the headlights. BTW no need judge Thomas because the receivers didn’t make the catches they could have made. Underwood quit on a route then couldn’t catch up with the ball on a deep throw that could have been 6. Both QB’s got plenty of arm.

  22. VaWolf82 04/22/2013 at 1:02 PM #

    They [DL] were making a living in the backfield.

    DL looked good

    We’ll see. Based on the OL play over the last few years, getting into State’s backfield isn’t that difficult and doesn’t necessarily say much about the DL.

  23. tjfoose1 04/22/2013 at 3:30 PM #

    I only caught parts of the game online, did Noel play? If so, how did he look?

  24. BJD95 04/22/2013 at 3:47 PM #

    Dudes, we will basically have the team of last two years, with less depth and far inferior QB play. DD has a complete rebuild ahead. Be patient.

  25. packalum44 04/22/2013 at 6:35 PM #

    If I had to ballpark it, I’d say we averaged 75 scholarships a year under the TOB era, which is the equivalent to self imposing a 10 scholarship reduction.

    For comparison, UNC has to forfeit 15 scholarships over a 3 year period. Doing the math, that’s 80 scholarships a year.

    Pretty cool huh.

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