NC State takes on the Blue Hoes of Presbyterian today at 6:00 pm in Carter-Finley Stadium. Due to the level of competition of the Pack’s opponent this week there won’t be any in-depth analysis by me. Frankly Presbyterian’s offense is so bad they appear worse than USF did last week. So instead of a lengthy breakdown of the opponent, I’ll be providing some links to preview the game.
This should be a repeat of last week’s performance against Da’ Bulls but with possibly less scoring by the Blue Hoes. Use today to enjoy the beautiful weather for tailgating or anything else you’d like to be doing outside.
Feel free to use this as discussion before and during the game. Have a great day and Go Pack!!!!
Who: NC State Wolfpack vs. Presbyterian Blue Hoes
Where: Carter-Finley Stadium (Raleigh, NC)
When: 6:00 pm
TV Coverage: ESPN3.com
After taking baby steps in come-from-behind victories over Georgia Southern and Old Dominion, the Wolfpack seemingly took a giant leap forward with last week’s dominating 49-17 victory at South Florida. ‘Thorough’ doesn’t begin to describe the one-sided nature of the Pack’s trouncing of the Bulls. Along with running almost twice as many offensive plays as USF (86-47), NC State scored touchdowns on all six of its trips into the red zone, while also rushing for 315 yards. It had been 20 years since a Wolfpack team last ran for as many yards in one game.
And unlike the first two games of the season, the Pack started fast, scoring touchdowns on six of its seven first half possessions in building a 35-7 halftime lead.
Now the question is, can coach Dave Doeren’s team handle success the right way and be even better this week? With top-ranked Florida State coming to Raleigh next Saturday, the Wolfpack needs another strong performance to validate the belief that it is indeed a much improved football team.
“We’ve talked all offseason, summer and fall camp about closing the gap between the competition that we need to beat and what it takes to be relevant,” Doeren said. “This is one of those weeks when you can do that. It’s not a week where you look forward, but a week where you look inside.”
Among other things, Doeren emphasized becoming a better team in the fourth quarter this season, while also getting more physical and powerful at the line of scrimmage. So far, NC State has accomplished both of those goals. After dropping so many close games in the fourth quarter last season, the Wolfpack saved its best for last against both Georgia Southern and ODU, scoring touchdowns on all four of its fourth quarter possessions in those games.
Meanwhile, a stable offensive line, something few NC State teams have enjoyed in recent years, has paved the way for a stout running game that is producing an average of 243.3 yards through three games. Wolfpack running backs have been tackled behind the line of scrimmage just once in 88 attempts this season. On the flip side, quarterback Jacoby Brissett’s uniform has been relatively clean after three games, with the O-line yielding only three sacks to date.
Brett Friedlander (starnewsonline.com)
This week’s ACC/ECU football preview capsules
The Blitz: The Wolfpack plays its final nonconference game coming off by far its best effort of the young season. QB Jacoby Brissett led the 49-17 win at South Florida by recording 289 yards of total offense. WR Bra’lon Cherry is quickly becoming Brissett’s favorite target. The sophomore caught a TD pass and ran for two other scores, and has five TDs in State’s first three games. Defensively, DT Thomas Teal led a unit that allowed only 159 total yards with a sack and a forced fumble. PC also won last week, beating Furman 10-7 when QB Heys McMath hit WR Kris Hurley for a 9-yard TD with 8:15 remaining, LB DeRon Duffy set up the winning score by forcing and recovering a fumble. DT Khari Rosier leads the Blue Hose with five tackles for losses. This will be PC’s second game this season against an FBS opponent. The first was a 55-3 loss at Northern Illinois, State coach Dave Doeren’s former team.
Forecast: N.C. State 43, Presbyterian 10
Akula Wolf (BackingthePack.com)
Presbyterian vs. NC State: The Blue Hose offense ain’t coming out of its coma this week
Moving the ball has been a challenge for the Hoose (the moose?) since their FCS move, and it will be again on Saturday night. That doesn’t mean State can take this game off–if it were me I’d at least wait a couple quarters–but the Wolfpack would have to try pretty hard to give up enough points to make an upset even remotely conceivable.
More than two-thirds of Presbyterian’s total yards this season came in their second contest, a blowout win over an NAIA school that just restarted its football program a few years back. In their other two games–against Northern Illinois and Furman–the struggle has been terrible. The numbers from those games are in the table.
The Hose are light on experience offensively; only three players have made double-digit starts. Quarterback Heys McMath started a half dozen games in 2013 and has been under center for all of PC’s games this season, but he hasn’t done much to inspire confidence in his arm.
As a result, Presbyterian probably would prefer to lean as little as possible on McMath, despite the offense’s spread tendencies. The Hose already have called more than 120 running plays, while calling just 51 passes. The team fell short of 100 passing yards against the Huskies and the Paladins. They weren’t getting much from the ground either, but they nonetheless called 63 running plays in those losses against 43 pass attempts (seven of which ended in sacks).