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.
NC State Locks In an Official Visit with Notre Dame Transfer Center Zeke Correll
NC State is in need of a starting Center (I did confirm with NC State Center Dylan McMahon himself that he is heading to the NFL), and the Wolfpack coaching staff has prioritized Notre Dame Transfer Zeke Correll (6’3″/306). I confirmed with a source that Correll will be on an Official Visit to NC State next weekend.
Correll is a Graduate Transfer, with one year of eligibility remaining. He is a multi-year starter for the Irish, starting in 30 of the 41 games he played in. Out of high school, he was a consensus 4-star prospect, with 247Sports ranking him as the #81 overall player nationally in the 2019 recruiting class.
247Sports ranks Correll as the #3 overall Interior Offensive Lineman in the Portal, and ON3 ranks him 6th. Correll’s strength lies in pass protection, recording a grade of 78.0 according to ProFootballFocus, which was 2nd on the team. His run blocking grade on the other hand was 57.5.
Adding a multi-year starter from the Notre Dame Offensive Line would be a win.
It Looks Like NC State Center Dylan McMahon Will Not be Returning in ‘24
NC State redshirt Junior Center Dylan McMahon was honored on Senior night, but walking on Senior Night doesn’t guarantee that the player won’t return for another season if they are eligible. It has been unknown at this point if McMahon would return for a final season in Raleigh, or enter the 2024 NFL Draft.
It looks like McMahon will be heading to the NFL, after accepting the invitation to play in the 2024 East-West Shrine Bowl.
McMahon is a 4-year starter at NC State, starting in 43 of the 48 games he has played in. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. ranks McMahon as the #9 Center in the 2024 NFL Draft.
McMahon was a 3-star prospect in NC State’s 2019 recruiting class out of Savannah, Georgia.
Breaking Down NC State’s Assistant Coach Salaries
USAToday runs a report every year on the salaries of Head Football Coaches, Assistant Coaches and Strength Coaches. Here’s a look at the salaries of NC State’s Assistant Coaching staff.
Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers – Tony Gibson – $1.3 million
Offensive Coordinator/Inside Wide Receivers/Tight Ends – Robert Anae – $899,000
Running Backs/Special Teams Coordinator – $548,473
Offensive Line – Garrett Tujague – $520,000
Defensive Line Charley Wiles – $490,023
Assistant Head Coach/Wide Receivers – $482,966
Safeties – Joe Deforest – $430,459
Quarterbacks – Kurt Roper – $430,459
Cornerbacks – Brian Mitchell – $417,205
Nickels – Freddie Aughtry-Lindsay – $330,644
NC State ranks 4th in the ACC in total pay of Assistant Coaches. Tony Gibson is the 2nd highest paid assistant Coach in the ACC (28th overall), and the highest paid Defensive Coordinator. Robert Anae is the 4th highest paid Offensive Coordinator in the ACC, and the 7th highest paid Assistant.
With 9 wins, in accordance with Head Coach Dave Doeren’s contract, the salary pool for Assistant Coaches increases by $300,000. If the Pack wins a 10th game, that number becomes $400,000. (WRAL)
NC State Wants Pop Tarts
NC State wants Pop Tarts. Who doesn’t?
According to Brad Crawford of 247Sports, NC State has requested the Pop Tarts Bowl, which will be played on December 28th in Orlando, Florida.
You might be like, I’ve never heard of the Pop-Tarts bowl. That’s because this is the first rendition of the Pop Tarts Bowl, but it used to go by other names you might be familiar with: Cheez-It, Camping World, Russell Athletic, Champs Sports, Tangerine, Micron PC, Carquest, and Blockbuster (the last three were when the bowl was in Miami).
Below is an updated list of 15 bowl projections, with 12 of the 15 picking NC State to go to the Pop-Tarts Bowl.
(The three above the line have changed their projections since my last bowl projections post on 11/28.)
The Athletic – Pop-Tarts Bowl – NC State vs. Kansas State – December 28th – Orlando, FLA
CBS Sports – Pop-Tarts Bowl vs. Oklahoma State – January 1st – Tampa, FLA
College Football News – Pop Tarts Bowl vs. Kansas State – December 29th – Jacksonville, FLA
OddShark – Bad Boy Mowers Pinstripe Bowl – NC State vs. Rutgers – December 28th – New York City, New York
Covers.com – Pop-Tarts Bowl – NC State vs. Oklahoma – December 28th – Orlando, FLA
USA Today – Pop-Tarts Bowl – NC State vs. Oklahoma State – December 28th – Orlando, FLA
247Sports – Pop-Tarts Bowl vs. Kansas State – December 28th – Orlando, FLA
Athlon – Pop-Tarts Bowl – NC State vs. Kansas State – December 28th – Orlando, FLA
ESPN – Pop-Tarts Bowl – NC State vs. Oklahoma State – December 28th – Orlando, FLA
ESPN – Gator Bowl – NC State vs. Tennessee – December 29th – Jacksonville, FLA
Sporting News – Pop-Tarts Bowl – NC State vs. Oklahoma – December 28th – Orlando, FLA
Fox Sports – Pop-Tarts Bowl – NC State vs. Oklahoma State – December 28th – Orlando, FLA
Action Network – Pop-Tarts Bowl – NC State vs. Kansas State – December 28th – Orlando, FLA
College Football Network – Sun Bowl – NC State vs. USC – December 29th, El Paso, TX
Betting Pros – Pop-Tarts Bowl – NC State vs. Kansas State – December 28th – Orlando, FLA