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ECU Beasts State 42-28, Rubs it in their face

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ECU 42 – NC State 28
Box Score
NC State football was never picked to have a great season and State fans didn’t expect first year head coach Dave Doeren to come in and be a savior from day one, however they didn’t expect this.

NC State has now dropped 7 games in a row after yesterday’s ECU debacle and it’s starting to get ugly. The Pack played well early in the season. They won their first two and then was a couple close calls from beating a very good Clemson team. Since then it’s been all downhill.

State has been downright embarrassed over the past five games, dating back to their home loss to UNC and tacking on this ECU loss just makes it worse.

The Pirates are a good team, don’t get me wrong. They sit at 9-2 on the year and have some explosive playmakers, but there really is hardly an excuse for getting beat down 42-28 at home to an in-state rival.

Now to the game….

This one was over before it really began. ECU scored first but State answered with a Tony Creecy touchdown run. After that, however it was all ECU. The Pirates reeled off 4 unanswered TDs and went into the 4th quarter 35-7.

The story of the game was the State defense which had absolutely no answer for Vin Cooper (148yds rushing) and Shane Cardin (255yds and 3 TDs). The Pack did put up some garbage time points late in the 4th quarter and Brandon Mitchell did have 312 yds and 4 TD’s but he wasn’t all that accurate and State had trouble keeping drives alive.

When the dust settled it was all ECU 41-28. It’s been a very disappointing year for first year head coach Dave Doeren and it’s going to be a long, long off season, but don’t lose sight of the facts. While he hasn’t really been able to win with this team, Doeren is playing with an empty cupboard. The guys are playing hard (at times), but there’s just not true game breakers on this roster and if Doeren wants to win he’s going to have to start on the recruiting trail.

State closes out the season with Maryland on Nov 30th.

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NC State Football

Comparing Devin Leary’s 1st Four Games of ’22 to His 1st Four Games of ’21

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While Redshirt Junior Quarterback Devin Leary’s numbers have been good through 4 games this season, he hasn’t been elite. A lot of hype surrounded Leary entering the 2022 season, being named the Preseason ACC Player of the Year.

Through 4 games, Leary ranks 8th in the ACC in Passing Efficiency, 4th in Passing Touchdowns, 8th in Passing Yards per Game, and 8th in Completion Percentage.

Now, to be clear, the first 4 games does not make a season.

If you compare Leary’s numbers through 4 games in 2022, to his numbers through the 1st 4 games of ’21, they are very close to the same, though only slightly lower.

2021 – 68.9%/258 Yards Per Game/10 Touchdowns (2 interceptions)/147.09 Passing Efficiency/7.0 Yards Per Attempt
2022 – 64.0%/222.5 Yards Per Game/9 Touchdowns (2 interceptions/144.4 Passing Efficiency/7.1 Yards Per Attempt

A lot of factors go into these numbers. For instance, at this point last season, Leary had 23 more pass attempts. At this point last season, Leary had played 38 more snaps. How different would his numbers look through 4 games in 2022 if he had those snaps and those attempts?

In 2021, Leary finished stronger than he started, and there’s no reason to expect the same won’t be true in 2022.

 

 

 

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NC State Needs to be able To Pass Against Clemson

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When you look at where the Clemson defense is most vulnerable, it has been their inability to stop their opponents passing attack.

Surprisingly, the Tigers rank 48th nationally in Total Defense heading into Week 5, giving up an average of 347.2 yards per game. With a Rush Defense that ranks 8th nationally (78.5 yards per game), Clemson’s Pass Defense, which ranks 104th (267.8 yards per game), is what pushes the Tiger Defense up near 50th in Total Defense.

Opponents Passing Efficiency against Clemson has been 139.64, which ranks 92nd nationally.

Logically, looking at the data above, the game plan for Saturday night would be to unleash Devin Leary. The question is, how much will either team be able to effectively throw the ball with Hurricane Ian moving through the southeast region of the United States this weekend.

If the game is played in a downpour, it will likely come down to who can run the ball better, and both teams will be facing a defense that ranks in the Top-10 nationally in Rush Defense. As stated before, Clemson ranks 8th, and NC State ranks 10th, giving up 81.8 yards per game.

Thankfully for the Wolfpack, Junior Running Back Jordan Houston, who missed last weeks game against UCONN, will be back, as will Redshirt Freshman Demie Sumo-Karngbaye, who sat out the second half against the Huskies.

Last year, in the Wolfpack’s 27-21 2OT victory over the Tigers in Carter-Finley, Leary was 32/44 (72.7%) for 238 yards and 4 touchdowns, with 0 interceptions. That was against a Clemson Defense that finished 2021 ranked 34th in Pass Defense (208.8), 8th in Total Defense (306.3) and 2nd in Scoring Defense (14.8).

Leary hasn’t been as efficient through 4 games in 2022 as he was in 2021, but he’s a gamer. He’s not scared of Clemson. Hopefully weather will permit the Wolfpack quarterback to expose the weakness of the Tiger defense.

 

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5 out of 7 at N&O Pick NC State Over Clemson…OddShark is too

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Over at the News & Observer, 6 of their writers weekly take a stab at picking the winners of college football games for the upcoming week. Every week they also have a Guest Picker, and this week former sports anchor Mark Armstrong was the guest. Interestingly, Five of the Seven picked the 10th ranked NC State Wolfpack to beat the 5th ranked Clemson Tigers.

Also, over at OddShark, they put out a piece on the two best underdogs to bet on in Week 5, and NC State was one of the two, alongside Kansas.

Underdog Pick #2: NC State (+215) vs Clemson

We picked an upset against Clemson last week and nearly got it. Wake Forest had chances late in the game and in OT to snatch the underdog victory but couldn’t get it done. So, for the same reasons we bet on the Demon Deacons last week, we like NC State in Week 5.

Wolfpack QB Devin Leary has passed for four touchdowns in two of his last three games, and that offensive capability could be a problem for a beat-up Clemson secondary. Clemson’s top cornerback and strong safety were out last week against Wake, and the Deacons lit up the backup DBs for some huge plays in the air. If NC State can take advantage of some similar holes, they’ll have upset potential against the Tigers this week. (OddShark)

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NC State vs. Clemson Kickoff Date/Time Remains Set Despite Other Games Being Shifted Due to Hurricane Ian

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At this point, there is no denying that Hurricane Ian will impact the Top-10 matchup between #10 NC State and #5 Clemson. The question is what will the impact be.

We’ve already seen games in the path of Ian move their games. South Carolina vs. South Carolina State has been moved to Thursday night.

Florida’s game vs. Eastern Washington has been moved to Sunday at Noon.

At this point, the kickoff between the Wolfpack and the Tigers is still set for 7:30pm on Saturday.

Here’s the current forecast according to the Triangle’s own Mike Maze.

Also, 50mph winds might have a minor effect on throwing the football.

It will be interesting to see what other college football games get moved due to Hurricane Ian, and whether or not NC State vs. Clemson will be one of them.

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