The NC State Spring Game took place this past Saturday, but thanks to ACCN opting to show lacrosse, fans missed a huge chunk of the beginning and the end. If you want to watch the full game, we have it right here.
As with any spring game, it’s a time to get a lot of questions answered about the upcoming season. Here were some of our biggest questions coming in, and how we feel about it after watching the game.
Is Leary ready?
Any time a player has a serious injury, there are going to be questions about whether or not they’ll be able to fully recover.
Leary started off strong last season and looked like he was going to be the next great NC State quarterback. However, a fractured fibula derailed those plans. Leary has since has time to recover, but will he be the same guy he was at the start of 2020?
After watching the game, we’d have to answer ‘Yes.’ Leary looked great. You’d never know he was coming off such a serious injury. He looked mobile, he looked poised and he looked…himself.
The redshirt sophomore signal-caller was on point from the get-go and finished 12-23 for 175 yards and 2 TDs, including a 58-yard strike to Porter Rooks.
Now, it wasn’t perfect, he threw an INT and had some missed throws early in the game, but as he settled in, he looked great. His progressions, his understanding of the system and his big arm all showed, giving Pack fans some confidence that he’ll be able to get back to where he was when he got hurt last season.
What does the defensive depth look like?
With Payton Wilson and Drake Thomas sitting out, still somewhat recovering from offseason surgeries, who will step up?
Two of NC State’s best players on defense aren’t suiting up and that’s fine. We don’t need to rush anyone back for a Spring Game, but it did give us a chance to see who will step up.
Two guys you had to be pleased with was freshman 3-star LB Cayden Fordham who had a 14 yard INT return for a TD and Jordan Poole who was praised by Doeren after the game for his effort.
What about the running back depth?
It’s hard to imagine a situation where NC State is going to have depth problems at RB, but again, this is NC State.
With Ricky Person Jr and Bam Knight both sitting, we got to see what Delbert Mimms III and Demarcus Jones II could do. We also got to see Jordan Houston get a more featured role, and while Mimms and Jones didn’t really get it going, Houston did. The sophomore got a nice amount of run last season but is expected to see an uptick in usage this year. His 49 yards and TD led all RBs and should instill confidence that NC State will be well-manned in the backfield this season.
How did the backup QBs look?
With Hockman gone, Ben Finley is the new #2 and he looked decent. While his numbers won’t jump off the stat sheet, Finley went 10-20 for 154 yards, and did not throw a TD on the day, but he did look a lot more poised in the 2nd half.
Meanwhile, 4-star freshman Aaron McLaughlin didn’t see a ton of action, going 0-3 on the day.
Both of these guys have high ceilings, but need time to mature. If Leary can stay healthy, we won’t see too much of either guy this season, giving them the time they need to get ready when their number is called.