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As I mentioned this morning, I blame the NC State offense primarily for yesterday’s loss to Louisville.  I am by no means letting the Wolfpack defense completely off of the hook though.

Failing to Contain

Louisville Quarterback Lamar Jackson shredded the NC State defense for 121 yards on the ground.  Jackson isn’t much in terms of a Quarterback, completing 10 of his 27 pass attempts yesterday.  Mike Rose was right though.  Jackson is a great track runner that is more than capable of making opposing defenses look embarrassing.  Two of his 19 rushing attempts accounted for 92 of his 121 yards.  The first one was Jackson’s 68-yard touchdown run.  Pharoah McKever was at Defensive End on this play, and instead of carrying out his task of hitting the quarterback, he hit the running back that Linebacker Airius Moore was already hitting, and the Wolfpack lost contain, giving Jackson an open field to run down.  On the second one Darian Roseboro, another Wolfpack backup, lost contain just like McKever.  Jackson’s run put them in a perfect position to kick a field goal.

Are either of these plays excusable?  No.  Defensive Line Coach Nielsen likes to run a rotation on the line, and while that provides its benefits, it also can expose weaknesses at times.

Outside of these two runs, Jackson ran the ball 17 times for 29 yards, for an average of 1.7 yards.

Breaking Through The Line

Coming into yesterday’s game, 3 of NC State’s top tacklers were Defensive Linemen.  That pattern didn’t continue yesterday.  Only 1 member of the Wolfpack Defensive Line was in the Top 7 in tackles yesterday (B.J. Hill had 7 tackles).  It doesn’t surprise me that Hill did his part of not letting the ball get past him, because in my opinion, he has been NC State’s best defender thus far.  What this does reveal though, is that the the Cardinals were able make it through the Wolfpack 1st line of defense with ease yesterday.

Moving The Chains

Louisville didn’t unload an enormous amount of total yards on the Wolfpack defense, but they were really efficient at grinding the ball down the field.  They had 20 first downs, converted 44% of their 3rd down opportunities, and held the ball for 33:04 minutes.  NC State’s opponents averaged 10.5 first downs, converted 18% of their 3rd downs, and held the ball for an average of 20:45 heading into yesterday’s game.

Overall, The Defense Wasn’t Bad

Coach Doeren referred to the poor tackling by the Wolfpack defense in the first half.  Was the Defense sloppy at times?  Yes.  But I think they still gave NC State a chance to win, and the offense couldn’t capitalize.  The Cardinals had 306 yards of total offense, which is by no means an onslaught.  They averaged 4.2 yards per play, which is the exact number that the Wolfpack’s opponents had averaged in the first four games.  Louisville’s starting Running Back Brandon Radcliffe averaged 3.1 yards per carry.  They had 10 tackles for loss, which was a season-high.

The Wolfpack Defense could have played more disciplined ball, but I think they adjusted well and had a decent performance against their first ACC opponent.

Matthew is Co-Owner of Pack Insider. He writes for all sports, with a focus on football and recruiting, and is in charge of business strategy. He is an NC State alum who majored in business. Matthew is also the lead pastor of The Point Church in Cary, NC.

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NC State Football

NC State Legend QB Roman Gabriel Passes Away at the Age of 83



NC State legend Quarterback Roman Gabriel has passed away at the age of 83.

Gabriel’s Accolades

  • 2 time ACC Player of the Year (1960 & 1961)
  • 2 time 1st Team All-American (1960 & 1961)
  • 2 time 1st Team All-ACC (1960 & 1961)
  • 1st ACC QB to throw for 1,000 yards in a season
  • Left NC State with 22 school records and 9 ACC records
  • #1 pick in the AFL and #2 pick in the NFL
  • 16-year NFL career with the Rams & Eagles
  • 4 time Pro Bowler
  • NFL MVP in 1969
  • Led the NFL in Passing Yards in 1973
  • Led the NFL in Touchdown Passes in 1969 & 1973
  • Inaugural member of the NC State Hall of Fame
  • Ranks 1st all-time in Rams history in Touchdown Passes & 3rd in Passing Yards
  • First player to have their jersey number retired at NC State, on January 20, 1962.

Praying for the Gabriel family!

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NC State Baseball

NC State has Dominated UNC in Athletics in 2023-24



After NC State clinched a series victory over UNC last night in Baseball, I thought it would be a good time to relish in how the Wolfpack has dominated the Tar Heels Athletic Program as a whole in 2023-24.

The Wolfpack Baseball team has won the first two games in the series against the Tar Heels, clinching a series victory over UNC for the first time since 2021. It marks the first time NC State has won a series against the Tar Heels in Raleigh since 2016.

NC State defeated UNC in Volleyball 3-1, winning in Chapel Hill for the first time in 25 years. The Tar Heels had won the last 5 matches against the Wolfpack.

The Wolfpack defeated the Tar Heels 39-20 in Football in Carter-Finley Stadium. It marked the 3rd consecutive win over UNC.

NC State lost both regular season games to UNC in Men’s Basketball, but when it mattered most, the Wolfpack defeated the Tar Heels in the ACC Championship Game 84-76, winning their first title since 1987.

The Wolfpack Women’s Basketball team lost to their rival in Chapel Hill, but defeated UNC 63-59 in Reynolds Coliseum. NC State has won 5 of the last 7 against UNC.

In Gymnastics, NC State defeated UNC 196.725-194.925 in Raleigh. This marked the 3rd straight victory for the Wolfpack over the Tar Heels.

NC State’s Men & Women’s Swimming & Diving teams both beat UNC. The Men won 258-93, and the Women won 196-157.

The Wolfpack Wrestling team defeated UNC 33-6 in Reynolds Coliseum. NC State has won 11 straight Duals against the Tar Heels.

The NC State Men’s Tennis team defeated UNC 4-0, winning against their rival in back-to-back years.

The Wolfpack Women’s Tennis team has defeated the Tar Heels 4-3 on two occasions thus far this season, and will face their rival again today.

The Cross Country teams didn’t have individual meets against UNC, but the Women obviously beat them, because they won the ACC Championship. The Men didn’t, finishing 8th in the Conference, with the Tar Heels finishing 1st.

The only other NC State athletic team that didn’t taste victory against UNC this year was the Women’s Soccer team, losing 0-4 in Raleigh.

Of course, each of these NC State athletic teams has much higher goals than just beating their rival, but there’s no denying how sweet it is to beat the Tar Heels.

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NC State Football

WATCH: Hollywood Smothers Leads NC State in Rushing at the Spring Game



Redshirt Freshman Hollywood Smothers seemingly was the 3rd string Running Back in NC State’s 2024 Spring Game a few weeks back, but at the end of the game, he had more rushing yards than any other back.

Smothers rushed the ball 8 times for 75 yards. He possesses explosive speed, as well as excellent vision.

Check out Pack Insider’s Tape of Smothers from the Spring Game.

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NC State Football

NC State Offers FCS Interior Offensive Lineman D’Angalo Titialii



NC State offered Interior Offensive Lineman D’Angalo Titialii (6’2″/320) today. After entering the Portal, the Wolfpack were the first to offer him.

Titialii spent his first three seasons at Portland State, which competes in the FCS. This year, he was the starting Center for the Vikings, and the year before he was their starting Left Guard. Over three seasons, Titialii started in 28 of the 32 games he played in.

Titialii is an intriguing prospect, considering he can play numerous positions on the Offensive Line.

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