Let’s be honest, a week ago we were all thinking that State was going to prove themselves in Starkville. We were going to beat a SEC team and truly make this season special.
Then State lost the game…
Then they lost Wilson and Fagan…
And, collectively, WPN lost their minds…
But the double-edged sword of sports is, you always get your hopes up again. Here’s some reasons we shouldn’t be panicking yet.
1) Depth beyond Wilson and Fagan
The news earlier in the week was a complete sucker punch. While it didn’t look good with Wilson in an air cast Saturday night, by no means did it seem he was done for the year. The same could be said for Fagan.
They are both huge losses, don’t get me wrong, but I’m also in love with this secondary and LB crew, as a whole. There’s a reason Isaiah Moore has worn the coveted 1 jersey for back-to-back seasons. And if there is anybody that could go from great to absolute monster, it’s sophomore Drake Thomas. The direct replacement is Jaylon Scott and I really think he takes advantage of increased minutes, as he did towards the end of last season.
Out of the two, I actually think Fagan was the bigger loss. He looked awesome and the secondary room is slightly smaller than the LB core. But that’s not to say that Tanner Ingle is going to slowdown AT ALL. Jakeen Harris is going to have to play next level and a group of young guys have to take it up a notch.
In short, the losses hurt…but this most certainly isn’t the end of the world with the depth that State has in those positional groups.
2) As long as State doesn’t lose to…State
I brought it up once and I’ll bring it up again; NC State was the reason for the loss in Starkville, not Miss State being the better team. Everybody, to a man, would say that the Wolfpack’s speed and size matched up more than equally to SEC’s Miss State. Redzone struggles, unimaginative play calling and sloppy preparation is what was the nail(s) in the Pack coffin.
Leary looked lost under the road lights, but maybe home cooking will do him well. The running game is going to get a whole lotta carries to get back in stride. Plus, you know the defense is ready to handle the pressure. This isn’t a team that’s in search of an identity, they just need to accept they are a straightforward, meat and potatoes group that needs to play all out, downhill football.
As a continuation of sorts; Things could be worse in the schedule department.
Furman should be a win…LA Tech is solid but State should take care of that game too. Can we steal one away from Clemson? BC just lost their stud QB. I don’t think it’s crazy to think about State, in the very near future, getting back on track. Hopefully they threw away whatever the hell they were trying to do in Starkville and gets back to Wolfpack football.
The ACC is more than suspect this year and the home/road balance is nice for State. Take these three straight games at Carter-Finley and make them count.
3) Coaching Mindset Change
Can’t wait for a fired up WPN to have their eyeballs pop out due to extreme eyerolling when I say this…
I think Miss State game was a serious wakeup call for this coaching staff. Their career year just flashed before their eyes and there seemed to be a sense of “boy, did we f*ck that up” in many of the press conferences. Doeren said the normal “shooting themselves in the foot talk,” but I thought came back with a different tone later in the week.
Doeren is going to get this team ready. Beck is going to get more creative. This team is going to change from “we can do this” to “we need to do this”. There is a next man up feeling in the air, that is elevated by players knowing mediocrity is no longer acceptable.
I just think the Miss State was needed to reach this next level…which is sad, but true.
Let’s get rolling again. #GoPack