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NC State Football

Five Biggest Holiday Bowl Storylines for NC State

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It’s well established, but this Holiday Bowl is the biggest bowl game that State has played since 2003.

And it’s not even debatable.

As we look forward to the ballpark atmosphere in gorgeous San Diego, here are the five biggest storylines that could come out from this game.

 

1. Leary’s ACC POY Campaign Begins

While we’d love to sit in a dream world, where Leary is in the Heisman spotlight, we also understand what that would take. State would need to go undefeated next year and Leary would have to play out of his mind for a chance to even be considered. ACC has had only two Heisman’s in 20+ years. In the SEC and B12 (well, maybe that will be changing), it’s all about airing it out.

Thus, we think that with a solid showing in San Diego, Leary would become frontrunner for ACC POY. Pickett ran away with it this year, with 42 TDs to 7 INTs. Leary’s playbook didn’t seem to open up as much, and yet he went for 35-5. The margin is slim for Leary to make the move.

QB’s get a whole lotta love and with the potential for less competition in that category, Leary could make a huge jump.

 

2. State’s Best ACC Championship Odds in Forever

If you have a top ACC player, you have a top ACC team. State’s preseason ranking and odds for ACCC would probably never be higher.

If UNC can be top-10 to start the season, then surely (especially with some last minute returns from Thayer Thomas and Bam) State would be in that range. A win against UCLA, however, is a must.

If State wins, they sky is the limit. If State crushes UCLA? (Probably won’t happen – did someone order a heart attack?) Then not only is the sky the limit, but they’ll get the biggest boost of all, votes.

10-wins, big bowl win and everyone in the conference is searching for an identity next year. State is in the driver seat.

 

3. New Baseline for Program Success

This is already in motion. State can no longer be floating around 6-7 wins. They’ve built, over the last four season in particular, a new baseline for success.

Getting to double-digit wins, would mean the world to this program. It would bolster recruiting, while also being the most inviting of landing spots for transfers.

Also keep this in mind, over the last 12 years, an average of two ACC team per year hit double-digit wins. That’s it. Eight wins is great, nine is amazing. But anything over that it superb and ranks in the top percentile in the nation.

 

4. Developer U

Here’s something exciting. With a win, State becomes known as a primer developer of talent. Congrats UNC and Miami for getting stud recruits. You know where they grow and play best though? Raleigh, NC.

We got a good laugh as 5-stars went elsewhere a few weeks ago. But maybe you heard of our boy Ickey? Might go top-5 in the NFL draft? Oh, and he was nowhere close to being considered this good out of high school. App State, Charlotte or State?

State could have the best LB crew in the nation. WR talent is there. Potential top-3 round QB. Each and every position on this team has overdelivered. Each guy knows, State made them a better player.

QBU? Lineman U? Doesn’t matter. A win in primetime spotlights what State has been doing overall in player development.

 

5. WPN About to go WILD

This will be a major storyline with a win. Because if State pulls out a victory? All gas, no brakes for WPN.

This here fanbase is rabid, loyal and outspoken. The usual, “State Sh*t” could be on it’s deathbed.

Women’s Basketball should make a run in March. Baseball, Swim, Track, all doing their thing. But the pride and crown jewel of any college sports program is football. If this team ends up on top? Watch out.

If State wins, get ready for 24/7 365 talk until Fall. Which frankly, could be a good or bad thing.

NC State Football

WATCH: A day in the life with NC State QB Devin Leary

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Ever wondered what it’s like to be NC State QB Devin Leary? Well, this is as close as you’re going to get to finding out.

Mitchell Pehlke, a YouTuber who focuses on giving his followers an inside look at athletes and their sports, headed down to Raleigh to catch up with Leary prior to the upcoming season. Check it out as Leary walks Pehlke through a day in the life of an NC State football player.

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Check Out Adidas’ Ultraboost 1.0 NC State Colorways!

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Adidas has revealed their Ultraboost 1.0 NC State Colorways today!

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With early access, it looks like they will be available on August 29th.

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NC State Ranked 13th in 2022 AP Preseason Poll

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The 2022 AP Preseason Poll is out, and NC State ranks 13th headed into a season where the expectations are extremely high for the Wolfpack. This marks the first time the Wolfpack have been ranked in the AP Preseason Poll since 2003, and ties the highest preseason ranking in school history (1975).

  1. Alabama
  2. Ohio State
  3. Georgia
  4. Clemson
  5. Notes Dame
  6. Texas A&M
  7. Utah
  8. Michigan
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Baylor
  11. Oregon
  12. Oklahoma State
  13. NC State
  14. USC
  15. Michigan State
  16. Miami
  17. Pittsburgh
  18. Wisconsin
  19. Arkansas
  20. Kentucky
  21. Ole Miss
  22. Wake Forest
  23. Cincinnati
  24. Houston
  25. BYU

The AP voter and the Coaches were in one accord, with the Wolfpack ranked 13th in the 2022 Preseason Coaches Poll.

This marks only the 7th time NC State has started the season in the AP Preseason Poll. Sadly, the last 4 times the Wolfpack were ranked in the AP Preseason Poll, they finished the season unranked.

2022: (Final: ?)
2003: 16th (Final: NR)
1993: 25th (Final: NR)
1989: 24th (Final: NR)
1975: 13th (Final: NR)
1974: 18th (Final: 11th)
1973: 17th (Final: 16th)

The Wolfpack have finished the season ranked in the AP Poll 14 times:

2022: 13th
2017: 23rd
2010: 25th
2002: 12th
1994: 17th
1992: 17th
1991: 24th
1978: 18th
1974: 11th
1973: 16th
1972: 17th
1957: 15th
1947: 17th
1946: 18th

NC State spent 10 weeks in the AP Poll in 2021, which marks the most weeks the Wolfpack have been in the AP Poll in a single year since the 2002 season (16 weeks).

The Wolfpack finished the season ranked for the final 7 polls, now making it 8 straight with the Preseason Poll released, marking the longest streak since 2002, when NC State was ranked in 12 straight.

The highest the Wolfpack have ever been ranked in the AP Poll was 3rd in 1967, when NC State was 8-0 in Week 8.

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NC State 2022 Record Watch: Defense

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As we quickly approach the 2022 college football season, here’s a look at a few Wolfpack players that have the potential to move the ranks of the NC State record book, if they produce like they have in past seasons.

Junior Linebacker Drake Thomas currently has 11.5 career sacks. If he were to match last years total of 6, Thomas would finish the season with 17.5 sack, which would rank 9th all-time at NC State

1. Bradley Chubb 26
2. Mario Williams 25.5
3. Tyler Lawrence 24
4. Art Norman 23.5
5. Carl Reeves 22.5
6. Manny Lawson, 21
6. Mike Jones 21
8. Willie Young 20.5
9. Ray Agnew – 17
9. George Anderson – 17

Thomas also primed to finish in the top-10 in career tackles for loss. Currently, Thomas has 27 career tackles for loss. In 2021, he picked up 13.5 tackles for loss, making up almost half his career total. If Thomas were to match last years total of 13.5, he would finish with 40.5 career tackles for loss, which would rank 7th all-time. Super Senior Isaiah Moore has 28.5 tackles for loss, and he was on pace for 10 prior to injury in 2021. If he were to match that pace in 2022, Moore would finish with 38.5, which would rank 9th all-time.

Linebacker Isaiah Moore and Safety Tanner Ingle are taking full advantage of the extra year of eligibility that was granted to players due to Covid-19, playing their 5th year on the college football field this year.

Moore currently has 259 career tackles. Prior to injury in 2021, Moore was on pace to have 86 tackles in 2021. If he were to match that pace in 2022, he would finish this season with 345 career tackles, placing him in 9th place in school history.

Ingle currently has 228 career tackles, tallying 82 in 2021. If Ingle were to increase that number by 5 in 2022, he would finished tied for the 15th most tackles in NC State history.

Career Tackles

As a disclaimer, none of the people above had the opportunity to play 5 years of college football on the field. If Moore and Ingle move into the record books at seasons end, there will be an asterisk beside their names.

 

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