I really pictured that game going differently in my head. No matter what was going to happen last night, there wasn't a chance it was going to be a repeat of last year's display of inept offense. No, if anything, it would be the defense that would cost NC State the win.
Uh...right. I guess that's why, a day later, I'm still more shocked than anything else. South Carolina's defensive line did an unbelievable job controlling the line of scrimmage, and the few opportunities the Pack had were squandered by poor execution and penalties.
NC State's drives:
#1: 1 play, -3 yards (lost fumble)
#2: 9 plays, 25 yards (punt)
#3: 3 plays, 5 yards (punt)
#4: 3 plays, 6 yards (punt)
#5: 3 plays, 2 yards (punt)
#6: 5 plays, 3 yards (end of half)
#7: 6 plays, 14 yards (punt)
#8: 3 plays, -6 yards (punt)
#9: 7 plays, 35 yards (field goal)
#10: 12 plays, 53 yards (punt)
#11: 5 plays, 16 yards (turnover on downs)
All told: 133 total yards on 56 plays, 2.4 yards per play. (Against South Carolina last year: 138 total yards on 57 plays, 2.4 yds/play.) State averaged 1.9 yards per carry (though if you take the sack yardage out of the equation, that figure looks a lot better: 3.7 yds/carry) and 3.0 yards per pass attempt. Russell Wilson was hounded all night and when he did have time he didn't take advantage, though there were a couple of times where the offense narrowly missed on a big breakout pass play, and another occasion where a long completion was negated because of a penalty.
Just a terribly frustrating night, much more disappointing than last year's opener. At least the game last year made sense.
-- I don't know how it looked on television, but I thought the students did a good job with the white out. It didn't look like the alumni portion of the stadium was any redder than it usually is, though, which was disappointing to me. If we can't get everyone to wear red for a stunt like Thursday's, we're probably never going to get to the point where every Saturday is the unofficial red out that it should be.
-- This year's intro video plays to the tune of that detestable fight song cover. No surprise there. Why do you hate me, assistant athletics director for marketing Chris Alston?
-- New field looked great.
-- I've mentioned in the past that a pet peeve of mine is punting the ball from inside the opponent's 40 yard line. Based on the studies I've seen on the subject, I'm of the opinion that it is rarely correct to punt in that situation. On State's second-to-last possession, the coaches elected to do just that despite the fact that it was the Pack's longest drive of the night, one of their rare forays into Gamecock territory, and the fourth quarter was half gone. Playing for field position there is NFL-style pansyball.