Pack Dominated in “Our State” Bowl played in NC (+more)

The most shocking part about what happened to N.C. State on Wednesday was how predictable it turned out to be. Over the past three seasons, the Wolfpack has almost unerringly lost to above-average teams while beating below-average teams. This year, its record was perfect in that respect.

It literally started on the very first play from scrimmage where NC State’s Matt Canada called a play pass play in a torrential downpour that the Pack must’ve run more than two dozen times this year and resulted in a Mississippi State interception. Dave Huxtable’s defense then did what his defenses do best — allowed a touchdown (on the way to giving up 51 points on the day) and the route was on.

The way the loss came about was puzzling on many fronts. State started the day announcing that Reggie Gallaspy would not play due to injury, leaving the obvious conclusion for everyone being that spark-plug and crowd favorite, Jaylen Samuels, would lead the rushing attack and be supported by Nyheim Hines and maybe a little more Dakwa Nichols than we’re accustomed to seeing.

Instead, Jacoby Brissett seemed to get more of the rushing load (26 carries on the day) while ‘JaySam’ touched the ball at total of FOUR TIMES for the entire game, resulting in 53 yards on three carries and two touchdowns to go along with one catch for minus-2 yards. In addition to Samuels, Jacoby Brissett ran 26 times, Nyheim Hines rushed 13 times, Dakwa Nichols 6 times and Bra’lon Cherry once. In his post-game press conference, Coach Doeren said that State tried to get Samuels more involved in the offense but Mississippi State took away the option. I honestly don’t know what to say.

Link to N&O

Prescott threw for a bowl-record 380 yards and four touchdown passes. It was N.C. State’s first loss in three trips to the Charlotte bowl and fifth straight loss to an SEC team.

In the run-up to the bowl game, N.C. State coach Dave Doeren lamented about his team’s mistakes and hiccups in critical ACC losses to Louisville and Virginia Tech.

The Wolfpack spotted Mississippi State a 21-0 lead, after a pair of interceptions in the first quarter by quarterback Jacoby Brissett, but in the simplest terms, Mississippi State’s offense was just better than N.C. State’s defense.

“We just weren’t able to stop them at the end,” Doeren said.

The following is a little of ESPN’s perspective from last night:

There’s no excuse for such a slow start by NC State. After all, the Belk Bowl was practically a home game for the Wolfpack. To fall behind 21-0 early in the second quarter was inexcusable and ultimately too big of a hole to climb out from. But it’s nothing new for NC State, which ended the regular season the same way by giving up 35 points to North Carolina in the first quarter. While coach Dave Doeren appears to have the program pointed in the right direction overall, he might want to take a long look at the fact that entering the Belk Bowl, the Wolfpack was minus-1 in scoring margin in the first half of Power 5 games.

Dave Doeren is now 1-1 in bowl games at NC State. NC State has now lost five in a row to SEC teams. For this season, the Wolfpack went 0-6 against bowl eligible teams and 7-0 against all of the other teams. Put another way — State was 0-5 this season when taking the field as an underdog and 7-1 where we were favored. Additionally, I’m pretty sure that State failed to cover a single point spread in games where we were underdogs. These statistics led to pretty straight forward conclusions and analysis in this article by Luke Decock.

The most shocking part about what happened to N.C. State on Wednesday was how predictable it turned out to be. Over the past three seasons, the Wolfpack has almost unerringly lost to above-average teams while beating below-average teams. This year, its record was perfect in that respect.

The Wolfpack fell to 0-6 against bowl-eligible teams after going 7-0 against the dregs, with a 51-28 loss to Mississippi State in the Belk Bowl on Wednesday that left N.C. State’s fans with raindrops falling on their heads and cowbells ringing in their ears.

“We underachieved a little bit,” N.C. State defensive back Juston Burris said. “We could have done better. We hold ourselves to a very high standard. Seven wins, that’s not the type of team we are. We’re not a seven-win team.”

That is, unfortunately for the Wolfpack, what the only metric that matters says about the season. When you only beat bad teams and don’t beat good ones, you unavoidably end up in the neighborhood of .500 – 8-5 last season, 7-6 this season. Whatever the Mendoza Line of college football is, the Wolfpack is astride it.


“We were competitive in every game that we played in the regular season this year without a doubt, which we weren’t the year before,” N.C. State coach Dave Doeren said. “We need to be better. We need to win some of those competitive one-possession games and be a four-quarter team. We’ve been able to do that in some games but not consistently. To take the next step, that’s our goal. Being in Year 4 with several returning starters, we have an opportunity to do that.”

If you want to dive deeper into a conversation that is tangentially related to this post, then you should also click here.

Chuck Amato won a bowl game in Charlotte.
Tom O’Brien won a bowl game in Charlotte.
Dave Doeren is going to need another try.

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Home Forums Pack Dominated in “Our State” Bowl played in NC

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    Screw it. Lets throw the kitchen sink at Chip Kelly. Back up the Brinks truck. Until we do something balls out like that we will get absolutely no effing where. I refuse to be depressed by a weak sister program.

    As crazy as that sounds I think Yow should at least reach out to him. I know there is small chance he would ever come but he is from the east coast, he would provide instant excitement for the program and the investment would pay off 10 fold. Recruiting would dramatically take off and I cannot imagine how hard it would be to get a ticket if he were the coach. I bet there would be a huge influx of donor money if Deb managed to pull that off.

    For once in our existence I wish would be bold and proactive and try and make some magic happen.


    How about a guy like Lincoln Riley? People say we have gotten better, tell me where? We whipped the Holes in Chapel Hill last year, and this year they drop like 35 in the First Quarter on us. We ran Brissett the whole game last year and didn’t try to run the ball hardly at all this year. Huxstable’s defense is horrible and Canada playcalling is somewhat headscratching. Samuels should touch the ball at least 15 to 20 times every game. I don’t know about y’all but I’m tired of being middle of the road or worse. If McClendon don’t catch on fast and grow we are going to be in for a really long season. I really believe we might win 3 games next year.


    All of you need to Chill!!! I think Yow is AD for a reason. Dumping the football coach after 3 years is not her style.


    All of you need to Chill!!! I think Yow is AD for a reason. Dumping the football coach after 3 years is not her style.

    The reason Yow is the AD is that woodson went rogue and thought she would be a better hire then what the search committee suggested. Not a stellar moment for him.


    Get real bruh. This program has been sucking hind tit since the 70’s. Guy has a woeful conference record after year 3. What more is there to see? Year 4 is likely gonna be significantly worse. You gotta take some chances when you are as down on the pecking order as us. I would back channel all of the above. Even L-fed is dogging us staring at sanctions. We should be doing better.


    Lots of moans and groans. I drove through fog and rain and traffic from Raleigh. I got there and it was pouring cats and dogs so the fan zone for my GS was a real wash out.

    OK….the game. The dye was cast in the first offensive stand (which was REALLY Offensive). Jacoby was scrambling for his life. Russell may have been more adept at running for his survival. I saw him do that in many games. When he left here, he went to WI and, low and behold, he could pass and scramble and make things happen. BUT, he was not fearing for his life…..

    Jacoby was in the survival mode. Blame it on the O-Line or the adept scouting of MSU and their DC….blame it on John Swofford. It was UGLY.

    We DID come to life for a while….but then went back to sleep.

    If you looked at the stands and compared it to the 2011 Belk Bowl, it was shocking. The paid attendance in 2011 was around 59K. Last year it was 46K. This year, it was only 44K. Scalpers were selling the $92 (Face) duckets for $30.

    WE, the fans, did NOT travel that well. YES, MSU had a longer drive so the attendance from their side would be down. BUT, our attendance sucked.

    If you could get the REAL Scanned data, it would be worse. And obviously the weather was a concern. I had to pass on a bowl game several years ago after buying tickets as the weather did not cooperate and I refused to take my motor home out for a slip-slidding trip on the ice and snow.

    If you were at the game, there WAS a considerable difference in the tone and enthusiasm of the sidelines. Call it the Cow Bell Boogie. The MSU bench (not gonna get into the game folks) were over on the sidelines jumping and cheering. They had more enthusiasm that their own cheerleaders….but were uglier.

    There needs to be some changes. If DD is half as smart as I think he is and IF he knows AD Yow, like he should, then there will be at least one KEY coordinator MIA….and a small covey of position or assistant coaches.

    SO, let’s see how next year plays out. Lowe did not get any special treatment….even though his pedigree was stellar. AD Yow ain’t gonna put up with mediocrity.

    Meanwhile, back at Bowl Central, Clemson just put the tiger paw whammy on OSU. OSU does NOT look like they are a #4 seed….BUT, it is only 2 scores difference, but it is late in Q3.


    Again I think Deoren is capable, but he has got to lose his allegiance to his assistants, when they are not doing their job. Lest he lose his. And hope he doesn’t let Gallaspy defect. We need his talents.


    OSU? Really? What are you smoking or drinking?>


    Don’t know that I get the notion that MSU took Samuels away when his line reads 4 touches, 54 yards, an 2 TD’s. That being said the O and D lines must be upgraded. The D line is in a good place at the moment, the O–not so much. DD has acknowledged this and it can be accomplished without splashy recruiting. The trouble is, it takes time and in year 3 there is not much evidence that it is occurring.


    BUT, our attendance sucked

    Yea, it was pretty poor, playing an SEC squad in our own home state. Not sure what that is about – cerrtainly weather was a factor, but I detected a bunch of apathy from many Pack fans. Big year for DD and company in 2016.

    Clemson is the real deal. Oklahoma was no match in the second half. The Tigers are the most complete team in the country. Serious talent.


    I agree, DD needs to do some internal changes with his staff if he plans on being long term here in Raleigh. Perhaps Raleigh was only planned to be a stepping stone back to Wisconsin but the way that train is rolling, its off the track and headed for a station at South Florida or Bowling Green.
    Some have suggested throwing the bank at the likes of a Chip Kelly. Or maybe Lincoln Riley. I would love to see a big established name or young proven gun here if for nothing more to bring some excitement back to the program.

    My question is who drives the brink truck to the bank? UNC threw big bucks at Chizik for DC and he came. Where and who decided his salary to get him in Chapel Hill? So, who controled the money to get a Gene Chizik as DC? The AD? The head coach? The WPC? Does the salary come from the Athletic Dept bank or is DD given free rein to decide assistants salaries? Short of long….who gives the green light to back the brink truck to a big name DC or OC front door and then signs the IOU?


    Not a stellar moment for him.

    Yes, it was.


    On the bright side, if Clemson proceeds to win the National Championship, we can say that we put up more points on them, than any other opposition. 41 points.


    ^I’m pulling for Clemson. I can live with them as Champs and it will give the ACC some cred.


    Watching Bama whip Mich State, and again reminded, like last night, that championship teams never take their foot off the gas, no matter how far ahead they may be. Miss State, sure never backed down on us, as Canada likes to go in cruise mode after we get ahead, and play not lose. Even though that hasn’t been an issue the last several games. Really will kill any enthusiasm I may have, if we bring back the same assistants, next season. If so, we are surely screwed.


    I don’t think that’s relevant to out situation. We are mediocre because our defense against the best teams we played was horrid… And our offense vs. Louisville and Vatech sucked.

    Acc championships, final 4, 6-2 conference records are carts way before the horse…we need to 4-4 before anything else.


    TJFoose don’t mix up sports my man. With a high level of conviction I believe Mark G. is an average to below average coach. I want him out immediately because we should strive for better. Dave is much different.

    I had a problem with Dave his first year b/c he took lemons and made a lemon turd sandwich. However I update my opinion based on new information (many do not there are cognitive and emotional biases at work read Daniel Kahneman’s work for more information.)

    Vegas oddsmakers take into account margin of victory and standard deviation of the margin. If a team wins half their games by 1 and half by 20 points they (approximately) have the same margin of victory as a team that won all their games by 10. Which team you putting your money on?

    Our team improved this year. We lost by less and were more consistent overall (Dave cites we were competitive which is coachspeak you guys still with me?) Those with strong critical thinking skills can understand that a team that wins/loses by a point (over the long run) is essentially equivalent to its opponent.

    So what????? We barely lost to VA Tech and Louisville…the ball didn’t “bounce our way” which is coachspeak for….some things are just pure chance. Once could argue that by chance (through no fault of Dorhen) the outcome of those games could have flipped which would have resulted in a 9 win season.

    I’m simply taking financial acumen and applying it to a different discipline. I didn’t study 4 years for the CFA in vain.

    This is directed to no one in particular but if there are flaws in my analysis please point them out instead of just being a redneck and saying eerrrhhhh they took our jobs wins/losses is all that matters!!


    ^ Interesting math my friend…

    Football —
    … and while the “did more with less” argument is perhaps convincing on one level, it in no ways addresses the more fundamental problem of “we need more” to get to and stay competitive with the Top 25 year in and year out…

    Basketball —

    … yes, there’s a whole different dynamic here and as you correctly intimate the “rules” don’t automatically tranfer from the gridiron… nevertheless… if we use the “Progress” metric… that is… how far Coach took a group of individuals at the beginning of the season and successfully won 20 plus games in one season… that perspective looks pretty good…

    if we want to talk about bball recruiting…
    for twenty years we weren’t even in the conversation for the top recruits…
    now for the first time in years… we are “competitive”… that too is significant progress

    but… in spite of these positives… there should be no question that NCState BBall is still a long way from what we took for granted under Case, Sloan and Valvano..


    At the end of the day… for both football and basketball, I don’t really think the long term solutions are 100% dependent on Coaching or Money…

    What we need to take both sports to the next level is … Energy, Enthusiasm and Excitement
    That’s what the kids today are buying… not tradition …

    Coach can be a big part of that, but it takes a lot more than just Coach to create a feeding frenzy…


    BTW… Betcha a cold beer, I GOTT more letters to go behind my name than you do…

    Happy New Year!

    #NCSU-North Carolina's #1 FOOTBALL school!

    Obviously there were quite a few emails to DY, with the core of each letter pertaining to the same thing with where the football program is headed. So me and the others were sent a response from DY, and yes there will be sit down discussion between coach and AD, on the direction we are headed, DY also pointed out the injuries and loss of players for whatever reason, as well as coach mentioning possible changes.


    Gott is a better basketball coach than Doeren is a football coach right now. Maybe that changes. Maybe not. But the market speaks. And if Gott were let go today (for whatever reason) you can bet your behind he would be hired by a Power 5. Doeren? No way, man.


    There are a couple of key differences between the DD 7-8 win seasons and the TOB 7-8 win seasons. RW & MG vs JB has lowered the ceiling and hurt our ability to compete vs better teams. It has absolutely eliminated the big upset possibilities. TOB never parlayed those two into massive recruiting hauls because he was retired on the job.

    We have also cut way back on the WTF losses. To me this is a more sustainable place to build from and make no mistake that being competitive with P5 teams that win requires some building from where we were when DD took over.

    The things that bother me most about where we are currently are the lack of intensity that I think I see at times combined with having the 10th rated recruiting class in the conference. Our program feels like the NBA team that gets the 7-8 seed evEry year. You never have a chance to land the game changer.


    To further illustrate my point, it is much more difficult to sustain NCAA tourney bids than bowl appearances. There are far more (347) teams in college basketball than college football (147). There are currently 41 bowl games – 82 teams go bowling! Some even with losing records.

    We all know all you need is a few good players to make some noise on the hardwoord. “Small” schools (i.e. Xavier, Gtown, Nova, St. John’s, Butler, Providence, Marquette, Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s, BYU, Wichita State, VCU, N. Iowa, Davidson, SMU, San Diego State, etc.), in addition to the automatic bid, make it much more difficult to qualify.

    Doeren took a team bowling by way of beating 4 cupcakes to start the year and then Wake (3-9), BC (3-9), and Cuse (4-8). In sum, he won the games he was supposed to win, and lost all the others. Yet, he was rewarded with a pretty decent bowl bid, and then subsequently got embarrassed on national television to a team that finished in a tie for 5th in the SEC West. He did that by not beating a Power 5 with a winning record.

    Doeren’s upside may be greater than Gott’s. Time will tell. But right now, Gott is the better coach relative to the competition.


    The “most” biggest difference between basketball in pads on grass and basketball on the hardwood is simply this…

    In football, most of time, most of the players on the field are Juniors and Seniors and most of them are redshirts…

    In Basketball…. most of the time, most Coaches don’t know who they GOTT from one season to the next…

    That in and of itself…
    should negate the coaching comparisons between the sports for most all educated observers …

    #NCSU-North Carolina's #1 FOOTBALL school!

    In Basketball…. most of the time, most Coaches don’t know who they GOTT from one season to the next…

    They may not know exactly what they have, but they have a plan. Just as a football coach does. In the end, in both sports, you are measured against your peers. That’s why they keep score and maintain win/loss records. College basketball coaches are let go for foreseen or unforeseen reasons. Records and performance absolutely matter, regardless of the reason(s) for the lack of performance. You cannot simply excuse it away.


    Records and performance absolutely matter, regardless of the reason(s) for the lack of performance. You cannot simply excuse it away.

    You must be new around here. 🙂

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