Excitement … Anticipation … Disappointment … Hope … Satisfaction … Relief. Those nouns describe the roller coaster of emotions that little kids go through leading up to and through what they call the best day of the year … Christmas. For college football coaches it’s called National Signing Day, which falls tomorrow.
It’s a little different in that most of the recruits have already verbally committed, but there’s always some last minute surprises that make the day interesting. Even though most of the classes are already set, I’m sure that most coaching staffs in the country still sit anxiously around the fax machines waiting for the National Letter of Intents to come in making it official.
Recruiting has become it’s own sport within college football. John Brandon of Grantland.com put it best, “Only a good winemaker can make good wine, but nobody can make good wine out of bad grapes.” DFCF’s translation, you can’t win if you don’t have good players. TOB recently sat down and chatted with college football recruiting guru Tom Lemming about his recruiting philosophies. Here’s the video:
TOB has never been a great recruiter, which listening to him talk is pretty understandable. He continues the “champions on the football field” mantra, but it’s hard to win championships when you’re finishing in the bottom half of your conference in the recruiting rankings year after year. I’ll discuss that in more detail and talk about the commits that I’m the most excited about tomorrow after TOB’s presser. In the meantime, here’s a good NC State Signing Day Snapshot by the guys over at ACC Sports Journal.
I hope everybody enjoyed the holidays. The holidays are always better for me when the Pack is in a bowl game and a bowl game win is the best so it was happy times in DFCF land. Best wishes to everybody in 2012. Before I move on here are my Belk Bowl thoughts and the final Pack the Caption of the 2011 season (photos by Ethan Hyman/N&O).
State improved to 14-11-1 all-time in bowl games (has won 5 of past 6) and won bowl games in consecutive seasons for only the 4th time in school history.
TOB now has a career 8-2 bowl record (2-1 at State).
David Amerson added 2 more INTs to his already impressive season to set the ACC single-season INT record (13) surpassing UNC’s Dre Bly’s record set back in 1996. Amerson’s INT return for TD was the play of the game and the deciding score.
Mike Glennon finished a pretty good season with 264 yards passing and 3 TDs earning himself Belk Bowl MVP honors.
It was a Special Teams nightmare for the Pack … a botched punt (led to Louisville TD), allowed Louisville to convert a fake punt (led to Louisville TD), and allowed Louisville to recover an onside kick (State defense nullified). And we continue to have one assistant coach that’s dedicated solely to handling Special Teams … unbelievable! Hard to win a game after getting dominated like this on Special Teams, but we found a way to get it done.
The key to the Pack’s season this year was the defense’s ability to force turnovers … 3 more in this game raised the season total to 39, good for 2nd best in the nation.
Hey Teddy ... it's the Boogeyman!!!
You complete me!
Interceptions: Easy as 1, 2, 3
Shake, Shake, Shake, Shake your booty
Guys, who pissed in the Gatorade cooler?
Also, ncsu01 does a great job of putting together highlight videos of NC State football games. Here’s his Belk Bowl highlight video:
In case you’ve been hiding under a rock here’s what you’ve missed this week:
All I can say is it sure has been nice to have a little spice put back into this rivalry. I could have done without the two Chancellors lamely apologizing to each other, though. If I was Randy Woodson I would have laughed in Holden Thorp’s face and told him how big a douche he is. Too harsh? C’mon, that’s why they call it a rivalry. Go to hell Carolina!!!
Head-to-Head Results: UNC leads the all-time series with a 63-31-6 record (first game was 1894), but the rivalry has been pretty even recently. The series is split 7-7 over the past 14 meetings with eight of those being decided by 8 points or less. State has won the last 4 in a row, but three of those wins were by a combined 9 points so it hasn’t been in dominating fashion. With a win this weekend, State would match its longest winning streak in the series (5 in a row from ’88 – ’92). The Vegas underdog has won 10 of the past 14 games outright and, good news, Carolina is a 3.5 point favorite in this one.
Interim Head Coach: Everett Withers (1st season, 6-3) … took over a month before the 2011 season started after Butch Davis was fired amid an NCAA investigation.
Players to Watch:
QB Bryn Renner (#2, So.) was a highly rated prep QB that has played very well for the Heels in his first year as starter. He’s completed 72.7% of his passes for 2,195 yards, 19 TDs, and 9 INTs. Had a 4 turnover game against Clemson two weeks ago, but played his best game of the season last week against Wake (21 of 28 for a career-high 338 yards and 3 TDs).
RB Giovani Bernard(#26, RS-Fr.) has been an absolute beast for the Tar Heels in the running game this year. Has 965 yards on 168 carries (5.7 ypc) including six 100-yard rushing performances to go with 11 rushing TDs. Also has 243 yards receiving and 1 TD. Will be the first Tar Heel to run for 1,000 yards in a season since Jonathan Linton did it back in 1997.
WR Dwight Jones(#26, Sr.) is a big, explosive receiver and the go-to guy for Renner and the Heels. Leads the team with 54 catches, 841 yards, and 8 TDs. Should see a lot of coverage by State’s Amerson so that will be one of the more intriguing matchups to watch.
DE Quinton Coples(#90, Sr.) is the biggest NFL prospect on the Heels defense. Right now ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. has him listed #7 on his Big Board. Has great size, strength, and athleticism so will pose a big problem for the struggling NC State offensive line. Has 35 tackles, 7.5 TFLs, 4.5 sacks, and 1 forced fumble.
LB Zach Brown (#47, Sr.) is the team leader in a lot of statistical categories (62 tackles, 9.5 TFLs, 5.5 sacks, 2 INTs, and 2 forced fumbles) on defense. He’s also another highly rated NFL prospect per Mel Kiper Jr. (#21 on the Big Board). Here’s what Kiper has to say about Brown, “An absolute flyer, isn’t big, but he can get after the quarterback, and also back up and cover like a safety.”
Offensive Summary: The Heels have a very balanced offense with some very athletic skill players so they can be very tough to defend. The winner in this series is usually the team that runs the ball best so I expect the Heels to run the ball early and often. If I was the Pack, though, I’d stack the box and make Renner beat me.
Defensive Summary: This isn’t last year’s Heels defense, but they are still very formidable.They are very active along the front seven with several NFL caliber players that can take over and dominate a game. They really struggle in the secondary, however, so expect the Pack to put pressure on them by taking some shots down the field.
Keys to the Game:
1. Good start … We have only scored 24 first quarter points all season and 0 against BCS conference opponents. We have to come out with some intensity and get on the scoreboard early.
2. Big plays … Our team (offense, defense, and special teams) has lived off the big plays. It would be nice to just grind out a win, but we don’t have the horses for that so we have to get some big plays Saturday and keep the Heels from having any big plays of their own.
3. The trenches … We have struggled the most this year on the offensive and defensive lines. On offense we haven’t protected Glennon very well and haven’t been able to run the ball consistently. On defense we have struggled stopping the run and getting pressure on the quarterback. We have to find a way to reverse these trends.
Prediction: As much as I want the Pack to win, I just don’t see it, but it’s a heated rivalry and you never know what’s going to happen. I do know this … DFCF is gonna be loud, so apologies in advance to those that sit around me. Go Pack!
This post isn’t NC State football related, but it’s sorta still the bye week so you’ll just have to deal with it. My NC State baseball teammate Mike Sollie is now a State Farm agent in Raleigh and stars alongside Aaron Rodgers in the new State Farm commercial. I laugh every time I hear Mike give his, “The discount double check?” line. The whole commercial is great! Check it out below. And if you’re in the Raleigh area and need an insurance quote give Mike a call.
I just ran across the this video on that thing the kids call the YouTube. I actually have yet to make it into Carter-Finley in time to see it on the new Jumbotron so this was the first time I had seen it. I like the concept, but I think it could have been executed a little better. Also, per one of the comments on the YouTube page, the team hasn’t run out of the tunnel at the right time. I don’t know if that’s been the case every game, but it did happen at least once and I will say that doesn’t surprise me. Precision and attention to detail are not NC State’s strong suits. I digress, here is the 2011 NC State Football Intro Video:
Jenn Brown calling the Cincinnati coach “Bitch” Jones on live TV was nowhere near the worst thing of the night last Thursday. That distinction would go to the abomination that was the NC State football team. Losing is never a good thing, but a 44-14 ass whooping on national TV makes it that much harder to take.
This team still has a lot of problems and we haven’t improved any from game one. Hopefully the extra days in between games this week will allow the players to forget about this game and give the coaches time to correct some of our problems. I’m a realistic fan so although I pull hard for us to win every game, I don’t expect to win them all. I do, however, expect our coaches to put a competitive team on the field every game. Last Thursday night was an embarrassment to all State fans (especially those of us in attendance) and is unacceptable.
It’s year 5 of TOB’s tenure so this is squarely on his shoulders now. Can’t place the blame on the previous coaching staff anymore. It’s time to come through on that whole “champions on the football field” thing we keep hearing about from the football program.
Ok, it’s time for you to vent too so I’ve picked some photos (all taken by Ethan Hyman/N&O) for this week’s Pack the Caption that give you that opportunity. Let her rip!
Finally … game week is here!!! I don’t know why, but the offseason has seemed extraordinarily long this year. It’s time to start talking games, depth chart, injuries, tailgating menus, and everything else. TOB had his first weekly presser this week to talk Liberty. I won’t bore you by rehashing that so go over to GoPack to get all the info and quotes. Here’s the depth chart (courtesy of The Wolfpacker):
A few quick thoughts … It’s nice getting Duran Christophe back so quickly after his surgery for a torn knee meniscus. No sooner than getting good news like that, though, we find out Sterling Lucas will be out the entire season with a knee injury. James Washington will get the first shot at stepping in for Mustafa Greene while his out with his foot injury. Other than that there weren’t many surprises. The biggest surprise will be if the depth chart looks the exact same next week for Wake and then again the following week for South Alabama and so on.
I’m ready to get out to Carter-Finley and start tailgating now. Saturday can’t get here soon enough. Here’s a video to tide you over until then. Go Pack!
The new home unis were unveiled last week and by now I’m sure everybody’s seen them. For all the hype that the Official NC State Football Twitter account tried to build up I was starting to expect gold plated unis. Of course that’s not what we got.
The unis are the new Adidas TechFit compression style that’s more lightweight and all that. The look of the new unis was a lot similar to last years’ with the differences being “State” across the chest and TV numbers added on the top of the shoulders. Here’s a cool video that shows off the new threads and even includes some comments from J.R. Sweezy and T.J. Graham.
I would like it if we got back to using the red jersey and white pants combination more for our home games. That is our traditional home uni and definitely my favorite color combo that we wear. I do worry about that, though, because the monochrome red on red combo was worn for 5 games last year (Cincinnati, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Wake Forest, and West Virginia) compared to just 2 games (Western Carolina and Boston College) for the red on white combo.
The team will unveil the away unis at the Meet the Pack Day on August 13 as well as a much anticipated alternate uni. I’ve heard that this alternate uni is all black and will be worn with a red helmet, but there are other rumors out there that it is all black with pink numbers for breast cancer awareness. Either way, I don’t like the idea of wearing black so hopefully they’re both wrong. It is believed that this alternate uni will be worn for the Central Michigan home game on October 8th.
GoPack posted a great article that goes through the history of NC State football unis and includes a photo gallery. Check it out here.