Connect with us

NC State Football

Breaking Down NC State’s Chances at a New Years Day Bowl

Published

on

Prior to last night’s updated College Football Playoff Rankings, NC State’s chance of landing a Major New Years Day Bowl (NY6) were going to be an uphill battle. With the CFP committee bumping the Wolfpack from #21 to #14, an NY6 bowl became a much more likely scenario.

Joe Giglio of the News & Observer used his trusty Yellow Pad to break down how the Major Bowls would shake out if the season ended today.

A few things have to break NC State’s way in order for the Wolfpack to land in a Major Bowl, because the cards aren’t stacked in their favor.

The Orange Bowl has an ACC tie-in, and if it weren’t one of the two Bowls making up the College Football Playoff Semifinals this year, the #2 ACC team (according to the CFP rankings) would automatically be in the Orange Bowl on New Years Day. With the Orange dubbed as a CFP Semifinals host, the ACC technically doesn’t have a tie-in to a Major Bowl in 2018.

So how does NC State land in a New Years Day Bowl?

For starters, the Wolfpack needs to win their 4 remaining regular season games: Wake Forest, Louisville, UNC and East Carolina.

Secondly, NC State most likely needs Syracuse to take an L. Even if one of the teams currently projected to go to one of the major bowls loses, the Orangemen sit one spot ahead of the Wolfpack in the rankings currently, giving them the next hypothetical spot. Syracuse still has to play #3 Notre Dame and #17 Boston College. Odds are they aren’t winning out the next three games.

The Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl both have conference tie-ins that make them impossible landing spots for the Wolfpack. The Rose Bowl will be Big Ten vs. Pac-12, and the Sugar Bowl will be SEC vs. Big 12.

That leaves the Fiesta Bowl and Peach Bowl as the only two Major Bowls that are on the table. Neither one of them have a conference tie-in attached to them, and they will be filled with the remaining teams that are ranked the highest in the CFP Poll. The only team that is locked into either the Fiesta or Peach is the highest ranked Group of 5 school, which is currently #12 UCF.

As you can see from Joe’s Yellow Pad breakdown above, if the season ended today, LSU, Kentucky and West Virginia are the three teams that would land in the Fiesta and Peach Bowls.

#11 Kentucky already has two losses, so one more loss, and they are out. Unfortunately, their remaining schedule is Tennessee, Middle Tennessee State and Louisville.

#7 LSU has two losses, but they have a good chance of winning out: Arkansas, Rice, Texas A&M.

#9 West Virginia, who NC State was slated to play earlier in the year, but was cancelled due to Hurricane Florence, only has one loss. The close to their season isn’t an easy one. They have to play TCU, Oklahoma State, and finish with #6 Oklahoma. The most likely scenario is that they will have to play them again the very next week in the Big 12 Championship Game, but they could slip prior to that.

Teams that are currently projected in Major Bowls with conference tie-ins could slip in the upcoming weeks, shaking things up and opening up spots.

#6 Oklahoma (1 loss) has a rivalry game against Oklahoma State this weekend, followed by Kansas, then ending the regular season against #9 West Virginia.

#10 Ohio State (1 loss) has #18 Michigan State and #4 Michigan left on the schedule.

A lot can happen in the next three weeks.

Things could break NC State’s way, and they could win out, and find a way into a Major Bowl on New Years Day. The Wolfpack have never played in a Major Bowl.

On the flip side, NC State could feasibly finish 10-2, and land in Orlando at the Camping World Bowl.

There is also a disastrous possibility that NC State underachieves, and finds a way to lose one of the next 4 games, against an opponent they will be double-digit favorites against. If that happens, I have wasted a lot of time writing this article.

It would be truly magical for NC State to land in a Major Bowl for the 1st time on New Year’s Day.

The Wolfpack’s next order of business is to beat Wake Forest on Thursday.

We will keep you up-to-date with all the different Wolfpack bowl scenarios as the upcoming weeks unfold.

 

 

 

 

 

NC State Football

Previewing NC State’s Opponent: Louisville

Published

on

Louisville has not been NC State’s friend over the years, beating the Wolfpack 6 times in 8 opportunities (3-1 as ACC foes).

Louisville, Kentucky, has not been kind to NC State. The Wolfpack have never won a game on the road against the Cardinals (0-4).

Last year’s 39-25 victory on a Thursday night marked NC State’s 1st victory over Louisville as ACC opponents, snapping a 3-game losing streak. The Wolfpack will look to start a streak of their own today.

This Louisville team is a far cry from the teams led by Lamar Jackson.

The Cardinals have been in a life-without-Lamar hangover all year, entering today’s game on a 7-game losing streak, and a 2-8 overall record.

During the 7-game losing streak, Louisville’s opponents are averaging 48.7 points, 322.2 rushing yards, 501.2 total yards per game, and their turnover margin has been -8.

Louisville practically ranks in the 100’s in every statistical category on the year.

Despite the horrific stats, especially on defense, the Louisville offense has proven capable sporadically in 2018, producing over 400 yards of total offense in 4 of their ACC games:

Florida State – 421 yards
Georgia Tech – 483 yards
Wake Forest – 532 yards
Syracuse – 413 yards

The Cardinals deploy 2 quarterbacks on a weekly basis: Sophomore Jawon Pass and Freshman Malik Cunningham. Pass serves as Louisville’s primary passer (no pun intended), and Cunningham primarily comes in to run the ball. In fact, Cunningham leads the Cardinals in carries (60), rushing yards (308), and is averaging 5.1 yards per carry. Pass has only completed 54.3% of his attempts for 1,893 yards and 8 touchdowns (11 interceptions).

Senior Jaylen Smith, Lamar Jackson’s favorite target, is still around, but he’s missing his former quarterback tremendously. After earning 1st Team All-ACC honors in 2017, Smith only has 31 receptions (team lead) for 463 yards and (team lead) a touchdown.

Junior Trey Smith is the starter at Running Back, and has been successful when given the chance, averaging 5.3 yards per carry, but his touches have been limited with the Cardinals having to chase points nearly every game.

Pretty much the only respectable aspect of Louisville football right now is their pass defense, which ranks 22nd nationally. I would be remiss not to mention the fact that Sophomore Rodjay Burns is an extremely dangerous punt returner, averaging 16.4 yards per return. He ranks 2nd in the ACC and 10th nationally.

Life without Lamar Jackson has been bleak, but what will life without former head coach Bobby Petrino be like? Can interim head coach Lorenzo Ward wake up this Cardinals squad to protect their house, and finish the year strong?

On paper, NC State should make easy work of Louisville, but as we learned last week, there’s a reason you play the game. Wake Forest took that paper, balled it up, and chucked it in the trash.

If Louisville is going to treat this like their bowl game, then so should NC State. If they do, they will win.

Continue Reading

NC State Football

NC State Wearing All-White Against Louisville

Published

on

NC State will be wearing ALL WHITE on the road against Louisville tomorrow.

The Wolfpack is 2-2 this year in ALL WHITE. They are 1-1 in the standard white uniforms, and 1-1 in the Ice Wolf uniforms.

Standard White
Marshall – 37-20 (W)
Clemson – 41-7 (L)

Ice Wolf White
Georgia State – 41-7 (W)
Syracuse – 51-41 (L)

After tomorrow’s game, the Wolfpack will have worn ALL WHITE in half of their games in 2018.

Continue Reading

NC State Football

VIDEO: Dave Doeren Talks After Practice Before Louisville

Published

on

Head Coach Dave Doeren met with the media after practice today before NC State’s game on the road against Louisville this Saturday. The video is ABOVE and a bulleted breakdown is BELOW.

  • Thankful for Close-King Indoor Facility. They’re (Louisville) a turf field. It’s supposed to be beautiful down there on Saturday. Being outside in the rain wouldn’t have really helped us prepare for what we are going to see element wise.
  • Practicing outside sometimes takes away from focus, because you’re playing with wet balls and your footing is challenging. On the turf it wouldn’t be. It’s also flu season. So, trying to keep guys healthy through this too is a big part of that.
  • You know, their issues are not ours. We expect to see a very good football team that’s going to play hard. I’ve read everything I can read. They’re making football fun for those guys and that’s what they should be doing. For us, it’s what do we need to do better. We’re going to have to adjust throughout the game because there could be some new things they haven’t shown. Our guys just have to be really coachable. It’s about executing with great technique and effort. Finishing plays and having fun while we’re out there. That joy you have for the game is really important.
  • You do everything you can to help your guys and deal with what comes. You know, the injuries are a part of the game. You’re recruiting for the future all the time. Developing for the future all the time. Obviously, I think we showed that early in the year with all the players we lost to the NFL, but we had good players ready to go. Now it’s been sustaining the injuries that have come and guys are working hard to be ready to play and take that opportunity.
  • Our guys have been able to get in games and understand how it’s different than they thought it was going to be, grow up, and not use a year in that process. It’s helped our depth when we’ve had injuries. So, you know there’s always going to be things that you wish were different, but I’m using it (new 4 game redshirt rule) the best that I can. I think it’s helped a lot of our guys and it’s definitely kept them practicing a certain way knowing that they could get called any time to play.

Continue Reading

NC State Football

NC State’s Dave Doeren’s Week 12 ACC Media Teleconference Transcript

Published

on

NC State head coach Dave Doeren answered questions on the weekly ACC Media Teleconference today before the Wolfpack’s matchup against Louisville Saturday. Here’s the transcript:

THE MODERATOR: We’re joined by Dave Doeren from NC State.

COACH DOEREN: I have had a good week here getting prepared for Louisville, and our guys really came back to work on Tuesday and had a great practice and excited about the way they’ve prepared, the way they’ve worked and bought into getting back to the fundamentals of the game of football, that felt like we didn’t do as well as we’re capable of in last week’s game. And it’s exciting to see the guys do that. They’re a resilient bunch of guys. They’re awesome guys to coach and excited about this next opportunity in a road game with Louisville who is obviously going through a tough situation, but I know there will be a lot of spirit and fight from their ball club. So look forward to that game.

Q. When you have kind of a deflating loss like that maybe the guys didn’t expect, didn’t see coming, what do you as a coach say to them to try to make sure it doesn’t have a hangover effect and you have this bounceback?

COACH DOEREN: I think the best thing you can do with anyone you’re working with is be honest and own the things that are yours and ask them to own the things that are theirs. And point out the things that are correctable. And then get together with the guys. And to me it’s opportunity coming up here to play another football game. And every week, whether we win or lose, we want to be better than we were the week before. And obviously we weren’t able to do that last week.

So you use it as an opportunity to grow as a coach and as an opportunity to grow as a player. And it’s not about blame. It’s about fixing things and getting things back to where we can win a football game.

Q. To get the offense back where it had been was it just fundamentals as you said or what have you been able to —

COACH DOEREN: There’s several things. We dropped five balls and a couple of them would have been really good catches but we’re capable of making really good catches and on the line of scrimmage I just didn’t think we had played as fast’s with have and guys were off target on some things and Wake Forest did a good job. So I mean part of it is the way they played. But we weren’t the same as we’ve been on our landmarks and our zone schemes and sustaining blocks and creating spaces for our running backs in the run game.

When you get five red zone possessions and get one touchdown and two of those three that you don’t score, you drop touchdown passes. I mean, that’s hard to say that we were doing the wrong things. We just gotta finish plays and that’s fundamental football. Blocking, catching, running, breaking tackles, leveraging the football and that’s what we focused on this week.

Q. When you’re playing a team that has an interim coach and is down a bunch of coaches on their staff, how do you just prepare for what challenges they might present for you, if they try and do anything different, or you just go by what you see on tape?

COACH DOEREN: I think there’s naturally going to be some adjusting that we have to do in the game. I mean, I would assume that with the new play caller coach Galloway that he’ll have some wrinkles. Their defensive coordinator hasn’t changed. So you expect to see the same types of things they’ve been doing.

I know they’re going to be very spirited. I know Lorenzo’s going to do everything he can to make football fun for those guys and be honest we’re doing the same thing here. We just want our guys to play the technique and execute the plays and have fun doing it. And however they come out in the game, you know, whether it’s pass at quarterback or one of the athletic quarterbacks that they have, we have to adjust and there will be things going on on the sideline that we have to do a good job with our guys and be able to play within the scheme and adjust to what they’re doing.

Continue Reading

Trending