(Yds/carry stats are calculated after removing sacks from the equation.)
The defense's performance on Saturday was easily their best of the season; they managed season lows in both total yardage and yards per play. They had a fair amount of help from the other team, of course--you don't allow fewer yards per pass attempt than yards per carry without an extra special effort from the opposing quarterback(s).
Michael Rocco was 7-19 for 36 yards, while David Watford barely completed more passes to his team than the Wolfpack secondary. Poor Watford was the victim of some unfortunate circumstances--two of his picks went off his receivers' hands, and the third was stolen by David Amerson on a miscommunication between Watford and his receiver. Nine times out of 10, that throw into the flats lands harmlessly on the ground, but in this case Amerson's awareness and athletic ability got him to the ball before that could happen.
NC State went big up front for this game, and that paid dividends. Virginia's running game was patchy at best and wasn't able to wear down the Pack's front seven. Here again Virginia's passing game was a factor, since NC State could cheat up a little more than they would otherwise.
As for the offense, it was technically their worst performance of the year on a per-play basis, but I suspect the final numbers wouldn't look so bad had the Pack's receivers actually caught the passes that hit them in the hands. Mike Glennon was good overall--in the first quarter especially--and should have had gaudier numbers to his credit.
Kudos to Tony Creecy, who more than quadrupled his season reception total in the Virginia game; he was targeted seven times and caught the ball each time. Bryan Underwood was boom or bust--his three receptions went for 125 yards, while George Bryan was invisible once again. Bryan's been targeted just 19 times this year, and no matter the drops, that's unacceptable. The coaching staff has got to find a way to get him more involved down the stretch; whether that means working with Glennon to get him to go through his progressions more consistently, or simply drawing up more plays for Bryan, something has to be done. Bryan's just wasting away.
Receiver targets through seven games: