Confidence was high that State would pull off the win in Chestnut Hill, but that it was going to be a battle like the first half. The Wolfpack put together probably their best half in the Doeren Era, dominating all aspects of the second in a push to a 33-7 win over Boston College. This week, we play the numbers game to State’s big win against the Eagles.
2:16 | 2:57
Right off the bat, we’re giving you TWO numbers…Y’all are special.
2:16 was the time it took State to score on their opening drive and subsequently, 2:57 was how long it took them to score a defensive touchdown at the start of the second half. That’s wicked quick.
Ask any coach, in any sport, and they’ll talk about wanting to start fast. Nobody says, “well, we just want to show up, hopefully build slowly towards the last minute of each half.” While the first drive of the Eagles was less than ideal defensively, the two scores to start each half were ginormous for confidence. The second half scoop and score might have actually broke Boston College, as they were never remotely the same the rest of the game.
Here is where we also bring up how outstanding Devin Carter has grown in such a short amount of time. Unreal catch against Clemson and then comes back with the highlight of the year. So good in fact, that it was #5 on SportsCenter’s Top-10 plays of the day. **Very biased, but that play was criminally too low on SC’s list.
We witnessed the catch and maybe play of the year with that behind the defender, disappear into thin air and reappear in the endzone play. And in order to be taken down from that top podium spot, it’ll have to be a catch/play that no one has ever seen before or one that brings State a very, very big piece of hardware (wink, wink).
Each week, Carter has improved. Biggest factor has been his body control, allowing himself to be in better position to catch balls. He’s grasped that he can be just as fast, as he is physical. He is a legitimate threat to any and all secondaries and someone that Leary has confidence in, to go up and win 50-50 balls.
How amazing is it, to move from one receiver having a breakout season, to another one breaking State records?! On Saturday night, Emeka Emezie passed both Cotchery and Samuels to become State’s all-time reception leader at 203. He also solidified himself in the top-4 all-time in receiving yards, passing Spencer.
The guy has had plenty of ups and downs, but we think we speak for most of WPN when we say, it’s an absolute treat to say we watched him grow over these four years. A receiver who can do everything, from quick outs to deep routes. Some NFL is going to love saying they have him as a solid possession receiver.
Literally the only negative that can be said, is the yardage he gained on said record breaking moment, haha.
Outside of Emezie breaking records and Carter breaking DB’s souls…Freshman nickelback Devan Boykin might have been the player of the game. The man was everywhere and somehow further proves, this defensive core of the Wolfpack is so incredibly deep, it’s scary. LBs Moore and Thomas came up huge again, both leading the team in tackles. But Boykin…good lawd.
Two fumble recoveries, including the above scoop and score that singlehandedly altered the game forever in State’s favor. Then he also had two pass breakups, one of which saved a touchdown and kept points off the board (see below). Doeren has a good one for the foreseeable future.
Even with a weird shootout win over LA Tech and a bonus Clemson touchdown in OT, State’s defense is averaging 14.3 points against per game.
While we fully understand that they haven’t faced offensive juggernauts yet, to be able to hold folks to under two touchdowns in regulation is outstanding. Furthermore, State is without Fagan who was an absolute stud in his game and a half and Wilson, their first-team honoree and LB leader. Just imagine for one sec if this defense had everyone healthy?
The great news is that this team has proven depth. Maybe not all the way through the roster, but enough that second and some third string guys are stepping up and playing to a high level. All the credit in the world to Tony Gibson and Doeren. While the offense has had moments of being stagnant, this defense has done everything in their powers to be a difference maker, week in and week out.
State heads into their seventh game with a chance to already be bowl eligible. If they don’t shoot themselves in the foot out in Starkeville, this team is ranked in the top-10 nationally. So wish we could go back and replay that game, but instead, need to focus on the business at hand.
Another week and the ACC still hasn’t quite figured out who they want to be, as a whole. State’s next three games are against the “who the hell knows” crowd of the ACC. Miami, Louisville and FSU aren’t great, but they have sneaky enough moments to take one from a team that sleeps on them.
With that, we’re heading to Miami as an underdog (WTF?!). No matter what happens this season, State will always be in the position to prove people wrong. Frankly, it won’t change until State runs the table, as silly as that sounds. But in the end, WPN wouldn’t want it any other way.