Today I’m introducing a new postgame piece called Nerdy Numbers. Basically, it’s an article where I can dump statistical analysis…aka…glory.
So…without further ado…here are the Offensive Nerdy Numbers from NC State’s 24-14 win over UCONN.
NC State didn’t favor a particular direction when it came to rushing the ball (These numbers exclude Brennan Armstrong’s rushing attempts). The Wolfpack ran 16 times to the left and 17 times to the right.
With that being said, one side was way more effective, and that was the left side. NC State averaged 6.3 yards per carry when rushing to the left, and 3.6 yards rushing to the right.
The Opposite of Air Raid
Entering into Week 1, whether or not NC State would emphasize rushing the ball in 2022 was a valid question. While Offensive Coordinator Robert Anae will adapt his play calling to the playmakers he possesses, in 2021 at UVA with Brennan Armstrong at QB, the play calling leaned heavily to the air. In 2021, UVA averaged 46 passing attempts per game, and 28 rushing attempts.
What we saw in Week 1 from NC State was nearly the exact inverse. The Wolfpack rushed the ball 46 times, and passed the ball 26 times.
- I think this is a result of a couple of things. First, Brennan Armstrong admittedly was quick to run the ball, and likely left receivers open down the field when he decided to tuck and run. Second, I don’t think the Wolfpack wanted to put a ton on tape for Notre Dame to watch. Third, we have to keep in mind that NC State is installing a brand new offense.
One of the biggest complaints about the Wolfpack offense under Tim Beck in recent years was playing it safe, dink-and-dunking the ball either behind the line of scrimmage, or within 10 yards from the line of scrimmage. With the arrival of Anae, the hope was that there would be more aggressive play calling, slinging the ball down the field, resulting in more explosive plays.
Similarly to the previous section, not much changed in Week 1.
27% of Armstrong’s attempts were either at the line of scrimmage or behind it (7 of 7). 39% of Armstrong’s attempts were between 1-10 yards, completing 7 out of 10. What this adds up to, is 2/3 of NC State’s pass attempts were for thrown for 10 yards or less.
Armstrong attempted 3 passes of 20+ yards, with all 3 falling incomplete. Porter Rooks was targeted on two of those, and Jalen Coit was targeted on the other one, which he straight up dropped.
It is interesting to note that all three of the deep balls (20+) were thrown at inside receivers.
The starting X and Y receivers, Julian Gray and Keyon Lesane, didn’t have a ball thrown to them beyond 10 yards. The backup X and Y receivers, Terell Timmons and Bradley Rozner, had three passes thrown to them between 10-19 yards (Rozner 2 & Timmons 1).
True Freshman Inside Receiver Kevin Concepcion led NC State with 5 targets. Running Back Michael Allen and Inside Receiver Porter Rooks both tied for 4.
NC State LB Payton Wilson Wins the Bednarik Award!
NC State’s Payton Wilson won the Butkus Award earlier this week, naming him the best Linebacker in college football. Tonight he won the Bednarik Award, which has been given out annually to the best defensive player in college football since 1995.
Wilson beat out Alabama Linebacker Dallas Turner and UCLA’s Defensive End Laiatu Latu.
Prior to this week, no NC State Linebacker had ever won the Butkus Award. Prior to tonight, no NC State defensive player had ever won the Bednarik Award.
Below is a list of the former Bednarik Award winners.
In one week, Wilson has done what no other Linebacker of defensive player at NC State has ever done.
Go ahead and retire the #11 already!
Wake Forest Transfer WR Welsey Grimes Commits to NC State!
NC State just picked up their first transfer of the 2024 class, and it’s a big one. Former Wake Forest Wide Receiver Wesley Grimes (6’2″/187) just committed to run with the Wolfpack.
As a Sophomore this season, Grimes caught 20 passes for 339 yards and 4 touchdowns in 12 games. As a True Freshman last year, he played in his 6 games, collecting 4 receptions for 33 yards and a touchdown.
In all reality, Grimes is coming home. He was a 4-Star prospect out of Millbrook High School here in Raleigh. ON3, 247Sports and Rivals all ranked Grimes as a Top-250 prospect in the 2022 recruiting class, with Rivals ranking him as the #36 overall player nationally, the #4 Wide Receiver, and the #2 player in the state of North Carolina.
From a recruiting rankings standpoint, Grimes instantly becomes the highest ranked player on NC State’s roster. Since he played as a True Freshman, Grimes has 3 seasons to play 2 years of eligibility.
Back in 2021, Grimes chose the Demon Deacons over NC State, Tennessee, Duke and Louisville. On December 8th, 2023, Grimes decided to come back home and run with the Pack.
Kansas State will be Without Their Offensive Coordinator & Starting Quarterback Against NC State
Kansas State will be without their Offensive Coordinator and starting Quarterback when they face NC State in the Pop-Tarts Bowl on December 28th.
New Texas A&M head coach Mike Elko, who just left the same position at Duke, paid big bucks to hire Wildcats Offensive Coordinator Collin Klein as his OC, who had been serving in the position at Kansas State for the past 2 seasons. For the past 7 seasons, Klein has served as the Wildcats Quarterbacks Coach.
This season, Kansas State ranks 23rd in Total Offense (446.1) and 14th in Rushing Offense (199.7).
As Quarterbacks Coach, he helped develop four-year starter Will Howard, who announced he would be entering the Transfer Portal on November 27th. This season, Howard earned 2nd Team All-Big 12 honors. In 12 games, he threw for 2,643 yards and 24 touchdowns (10 interceptions). Howard also rushed for 351 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Howard will be replaced by Freshman Avery Johnson. There was speculation that Johnson might follow Klein to Texas A&M, but he will be starting for the Wildcats in Orlando against the Wolfpack.
NC State’s Kevin Concepcion Earns Freshman All-American Status from The Athletic
NC State Wide Receiver Kevin Concepcion has been named a Freshman All-American by The Athletic.
Here’s what they had to say about KC:
WR Kevin Concepcion, NC State: “KC” easily won ACC Rookie of the Year this season after catching 64 passes for 767 yards, rushing for 297 yards on 7.8 yards per carry and scoring 11 total touchdowns. The 5-foot-11, 187-pound slot receiver from Charlotte was a three-star signee who proved he should start right away as a true freshman. Over his last seven games, Concepcion has averaged 117 total yards per game. (The Athletic)