Virginia Tech downed NC State 28-13 Friday night. This was a game where so much contributed to the defeat, but there were three main reasons NC State left Blacksburg with the loss.
1. NC States Front Seven Could Not Generate pressure.
States D-Line couldn’t generate a push after the first quarter, which by itself wouldn’t be a huge issue, but even when they dialed up the blitz they were not able to speed the game up for Brendon Motley. On two of his touchdown passes the plays had entirely too much time to develop. Defensive backs are going to get beat when the quarterback has all day to throw. Moving forward NC State is going to have to do a better job of getting to the quarterback.
2. Passive Play-calling
After re-watching the past two games the offensive play-calling is discouraging. Abandoning the run at times, burning too much clock at others, it seems as if OC Matt Canada is getting too caught up in trying to “out scheme” the opponent. Also, it seems that they forget Jacoby Brissett is a fifth-year senior, and when he has actually taken shots downfield this year, he has looked pretty accurate. NC State isn’t going to be able to consistently dink-and-dunk down the field against ACC caliber competition. They are able to get teams to commit 8 to the box to stop the run, and at some point they are going to have to be able to make them pay for it.
3. They Did Not Respond Positively To Adversity.
NC State was their own worst enemy Friday night. There were far too many penalties that kept drives alive, and put them in a bad position, but when good teams have their backs against the wall, they bear down and limit the damage. NC State wasn’t able to do that. Another indicator of how good a team is, is how they respond when someone goes down. Dave Doeren advocates a “next man up” mentality, but on Friday night, the next man wasn’t ready. NC State was looking pretty good until Safety Hakim Jones went down and Germaine Pratt was forced onto the field. Pratt is talented and capable, but obviously wasn’t ready to play. Lastly, NC States defense was on the field and needed a stop down 8 late in the fourth quarter. Not only did they not come through, they lost containment and gave up a long touchdown run.
Kansas State Rolls Out Hype Video of Their Freshman Quarterback
When Kansas State lost their Offensive Coordinator Collin Klein to Texas A&M, the fear of Wildcat fans was that Freshman Quarterback Avery Johnson would follow. After 4-year starter Will Howard announced he would be entering the Transfer Portal, holding onto Johnson, who was a 4-star consensus prospect in high school, was a desperate need for K-State.
Kansas State rolled out a hype video of Johnson, revealing that he was changing his number from 5 to 2, which has been his number his entire life prior to college, establishing the fact that Johnson wasn’t going anywhere.
— K-State Football (@KStateFB) December 7, 2023
Johnson played in 7 games this season, completing 25 of 35 passes for 301 yards and 3 touchdowns, with no interceptions. He also rushed the ball for 225 yards and 6 touchdowns, averaging 5.0 yards per carry.
Out of high school, ESPN ranked Johnson as the #77 overall player nationally, the #3 dual threat Quarterback, and the #1 player in the state of North Carolina. Rivals ranked him as the #1 dual threat Quarterback.
NC State LB Payton Wilson Wins the Bednarik Award!
NC State’s Payton Wilson won the Butkus Award earlier this week, naming him the best Linebacker in college football. Tonight he won the Bednarik Award, which has been given out annually to the best defensive player in college football since 1995.
Wilson beat out Alabama Linebacker Dallas Turner and UCLA’s Defensive End Laiatu Latu.
Prior to this week, no NC State Linebacker had ever won the Butkus Award. Prior to tonight, no NC State defensive player had ever won the Bednarik Award.
Below is a list of the former Bednarik Award winners.
In one week, Wilson has done what no other Linebacker of defensive player at NC State has ever done.
Go ahead and retire the #11 already!
Wake Forest Transfer WR Welsey Grimes Commits to NC State!
NC State just picked up their first transfer of the 2024 class, and it’s a big one. Former Wake Forest Wide Receiver Wesley Grimes (6’2″/187) just committed to run with the Wolfpack.
As a Sophomore this season, Grimes caught 20 passes for 339 yards and 4 touchdowns in 12 games. As a True Freshman last year, he played in his 6 games, collecting 4 receptions for 33 yards and a touchdown.
In all reality, Grimes is coming home. He was a 4-Star prospect out of Millbrook High School here in Raleigh. ON3, 247Sports and Rivals all ranked Grimes as a Top-250 prospect in the 2022 recruiting class, with Rivals ranking him as the #36 overall player nationally, the #4 Wide Receiver, and the #2 player in the state of North Carolina.
From a recruiting rankings standpoint, Grimes instantly becomes the highest ranked player on NC State’s roster. Since he played as a True Freshman, Grimes has 3 seasons to play 2 years of eligibility.
Back in 2021, Grimes chose the Demon Deacons over NC State, Tennessee, Duke and Louisville. On December 8th, 2023, Grimes decided to come back home and run with the Pack.
Kansas State will be Without Their Offensive Coordinator & Starting Quarterback Against NC State
Kansas State will be without their Offensive Coordinator and starting Quarterback when they face NC State in the Pop-Tarts Bowl on December 28th.
New Texas A&M head coach Mike Elko, who just left the same position at Duke, paid big bucks to hire Wildcats Offensive Coordinator Collin Klein as his OC, who had been serving in the position at Kansas State for the past 2 seasons. For the past 7 seasons, Klein has served as the Wildcats Quarterbacks Coach.
This season, Kansas State ranks 23rd in Total Offense (446.1) and 14th in Rushing Offense (199.7).
As Quarterbacks Coach, he helped develop four-year starter Will Howard, who announced he would be entering the Transfer Portal on November 27th. This season, Howard earned 2nd Team All-Big 12 honors. In 12 games, he threw for 2,643 yards and 24 touchdowns (10 interceptions). Howard also rushed for 351 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Howard will be replaced by Freshman Avery Johnson. There was speculation that Johnson might follow Klein to Texas A&M, but he will be starting for the Wildcats in Orlando against the Wolfpack.