Ok, so once again State was in a barn-burner with a team they really should be walking all over. I know a win is a win but at this point we need to start really digging in and seeing what’s going right and what’s going wrong with this team. The big boys are only 3 weeks away and if the Pack wants any shot against them they’ll need to fix their problems pretty quickly. With that said, let’s look at how this game went…
– State’s defense is looking slow, soft and confused. So far they’ve given up a total of 943 yards over their first 2 games. Now you can hype of Georgia Southern and talk about all the misdirection from their triple option or you can talk about how ODU has a senior QB who’s put up some pretty good numbers in the past. At the end of the day this is Georgia Southern and ODU. You are NC State, an ACC school with magnificent facilities and a lot of exposure. The point it, State’s defense needs to, and should be better. I know they are still young and this system is still somewhat new to most of them, but honestly, all eyes are on this group. They are group that’s going to make or break this season for NC State. The Monarchs pretty much had their way with State on Saturday. They put up 34 points and seemed in control for a lot of the first half. The Wolfpack secondary allowed ODU QB Taylor Heinicke to throw for 274 yds and 2 TDs while the team rushed for another 196 yds and 3 TDs. Unacceptable.
– On the other hand, the offense seemed to click on all cylinders. We saw what State was capable of during their comeback over Georgia Southern 2 weeks ago and they simply carried that over into this week. As we expected, Doeren went with a healthy dose of Shadrach Thornton and it paid off. The Jr. RB ran for 86 yds on 14 carries and hit pay dirt 3 times. (lingo lesson: Pay dirt is a common football term used for touchdown that originated during the California gold rush years. Miners would dig until they hit gold, which was the dirt that paid.) Brissett also carried over his performance and went 21-29 for 253yds and 2 TDs. He has still yet to throw an interception. While Brissett really spread the ball out, it was freshman Bo Hines who led the team in receptions once again, catching 4 balls for 61` yards.
– Establishing a running game was big. I think the ability to be productive on the ground really helped State move the ball on Saturday and will be big when they start facing faster, stronger D’s. Thornton is really running with a chip on his shoulder and Matt Dayes is proving to be a nice addition as well. Dayes also got 13 carries and went for 79 yards, so it wasn’t just Shadrach doing the damage. Where Dayes is the most dangerous right now however is in the passing game. For the second game he caught a TD out of the backfield. Coming into the season I pegged the run game as a question mark for State, and while there is a lot of season to play, so far it’s been pretty good.
– Brissett is as advertised. Another great performance from the Florida transfer. He’s been accurate, smart with the football and a good leader in the huddle. No complaint here.
– The wideouts have been actually a pretty pleasant surprise. Most didn’t really know what to expect here, but with Bo Hines really emerging as a true #1 receiver, Brissett looks like he has some pretty good options. It seems as if Valdes-Scantling is still building chemistry, but should slot in as the #2 here. So where is Bryan Underwood in this discussion? Good questions. The senior WR still doesn’t have a catch and had one carry on Saturday for 10 yards. I think everyone expected to have a little more production from him at this point.
– Up next is South Florida who just came real close to beating Maryland. Doeren and his defense are going to have to do some soul searching if they want to finish this non-conference schedule unscathed.
Devin Leary’s Legacy at NC State
Earlier today news broke that Wolfpack Redshirt Junior Quarterback Devin Leary was entering his name into Transfer Portal. As a result, I wanted to take some time to highlight the legacy that Leary leaves at NC State.
Even though Leary played 4 seasons on the field at NC State, he only played in 30 career games for the Wolfpack, with that number being lowered due to injuries in 2020 and 2022, and competition in 2019, starting only the final 5 games. Taking that into consideration, the numbers that Leary put up at NC State are even more impressive.
Leary leaves NC State ranked 6th in career passing yards, 4th in touchdown passes, and 4th in completion percentage.
Leary also ranks 3rd in school history in career passing efficiency rating (139.0), trailing only Philip Rivers (144.2) and Ryan Finley (140.0).
He also ranks 2nd in school history in interception avoidance (1.69), trailing only Jacoby Brissett (1.44).
In 2021, Leary threw 35 touchdowns, setting the new school record for touchdowns thrown in a single season, passing Philip Rivers record of 34.
Plain and simple, Leary was one of the best to ever play the position at NC State, and that’s saying a lot!
NC State Wide Receiver Jasiah Provillon Enters Transfer Portal
Redshirt Junior NC State Wide Receiver Jasiah Provillon has entered the Transfer Portal.
— Siahhh Cheese (@jasiahpro84) December 5, 2022
Provillon was member of the Wolfpack’s 2018 recruiting class, a 3-star prospect out of Irvington, New Jersey. While he has seen action in all 12 games this season, Provillon has only played 84 snaps. In 18 career games over 5 seasons of play, Provillon has 2 receptions for 58 yards (in 2019).
We wish Jasiah the best in his final year of eligibility and appreciate his commitment to the Pack the past 5 years!
NC State Quarterback Devin Leary Enters Transfer Portal
According to Pete Thamel of ESPN, NC State Quarterback Devin Leary is entering the Transfer Portal.
Source: N.C. State quarterback Devin Leary intends to enter the NCAA transfer portal. Leary will have one year of eligibility remaining. He's thrown for 6,807 yards and 62 touchdowns, making him one of the most productive portal quarterbacks available. https://t.co/N36c52JU47
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) December 5, 2022
Leary has 1 year of eligibility remaining, and he will likely be the top Quarterback name in the Portal.
Big programs with a need at Quarterback will be picking up the phone quickly, and many of these schools likely have the ability to offer significant NIL money.
Heading into this season, Leary was not expected to be back for the Pack in 2023. After the numbers he put up in 2021, he was expected to forgo his final year of eligiblity, and enter the 2023 NFL Draft. With that being said, after not having the start to the season that was expected, and tearing his pec in the 6th game of the season against FSU, the future for Leary became blurry.
When True Freshman Quarterback MJ Morris entered the scene for the Wolfpack, playing at a high level, things got even more blurry.
Would he still go pro, even though he didn’t have a season that saw his stock rise? Would he return to NC State, where there might be a position battle in 2023? Would he transfer to another school of higher prestige giving him more of a spotlight for the 2024 NFL Draft?
This isn’t a shocking decision by Leary. It probably is what makes the most sense to Leary, and also what makes the most sense to NC State. It is clear that MJ Morris seems to be the future at Quarterback at NC State. I love NC State, but I’m not dumb. Leary can also see his draft stock rise by transferring to a bigger program.
Leary has been incredible at NC State, throwing for 6,807 yards and 62 touchdowns in 4 seasons. In total he has been at NC State 5 years, and he has been nothing short of an exemplary representative of the university. When he went down, he was an incredible teammate and leader, despite not being on the field.
We wish you the best Devin! You have a bright future ahead of you, and you will always be a part of the Wolfpack family.
What We’re Hearing About A Candidate for the NC State Offensive Coordinator Position
NC State is in the hunt for a new Offensive Coordinator after Tim Beck accepted the Head Coaching position at Coastal Carolina earlier today.
As a result of taking the position at Coastal Carolina, Beck will not serve as the Wolfpack’s Offensive Coordinator in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl against Maryland on December 30th. Rather, NC State Running Back’s Coach Kurt Roper will be calling the plays in the Bowl game.
RBs coach Kurt Roper will call plays for NC State's offense against Maryland.
— David Thompson (@daveth89) December 4, 2022
The question now is, who will fill Beck’s shoes as the Offensive Coordinator at NC State?
From what I’m hearing, there is significant interest from NC State in Willy Korn, the Co-Offensive Coordinator at Coastal Carolina, and the interest is apparently mutual.
Would be kind of crazy, right? The Wolfpack’s Offensive Coordinator becomes the Head Coach at Coastal, and then their Offensive Coordinator becomes the Offensive Coordinator at NC State.
This is Korn’s 6th season on staff at Coastal. In his first two seasons, he served as the Chanticleers’ Wide Receiver’s Coach, but beginning in 2019, Korn stepped into the position of Co-Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach.
In 2021, Korn led Coastal to have the most efficient passing attack in the FBS. The Chanticleers’ offense under Korn ranked 4th in completion percentage, 5th highest in total offense. Coastal was just 1 of 5 teams to average over 40 points per game in 2021.
This year, Coastal ranks 8th in the FBS in team passing efficiency.
Over the past couple of years, Korn has developed Quarterback Grayson McCall, a former 2-star recruit, into being a legitimate NFL prospect. McCall has been one of the best Quarterback’s in the nation under Korn.
Check out McCall’s stats over the past three seasons: 8,019 yards, 77 touchdowns, 8 interceptions, 70.4%, 187.7 passing efficiency rating.
Korn is only 33 years old, and is one of the most promising offensive minds in College Football.