Game 1 Thoughts from 19-AA

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

From the top…

  • Great crowd at kickoff today. Got there on time… loud… and full through the first half.
  • Despite going through the same pregame rituals as in prior years, the guys were visibly pumped on the sideline pre-game and on the field during the first 7-8 minutes or so. They looked ready to go – and that was rare over the past few years.
  • Rashard Smith was clearly the focus of the offense while Mitchell was in the game – we were obviously trying to get it into his hands as much as possible, and it worked rather well. That kid’s going to have a fun season if it keeps up. I honestly cannot fathom why we stopped even trying to go to him – but it seemed to coincide with Mitchell’s departure. Gameplan change with new QB? Or coincidence? We’ll see next week.
  • With Mitchell at the helm, our offense was, quite simply, scary… at least against La Tech. I agree with Steven that we name our score today if he doesn’t get hurt.
  • As mentioned above, Valdes is a stud. Period. GREAT hands, GREAT size, good enough speed. Excited about that kid.
  • Dayes looked very good…. Creecy did at times… but Dayes has the speed and shiftiness that our backs need to make the first defender miss, since our O-Line still isn’t exactly gouging massive holes. That being said, we piled up a shit-ton of yards and four scores on the ground… and it’s tough to complain about that.
  • As good as our offense looked with Mitchell in, it looked pedestrian with anyone else at the helm. We seemed terrified to let anyone else throw it – and I can only hope there’s not a good reason for that. I’m fine with putting Shireffs in – but he’s gonna have to put it up 1/4 of the time for him to have any chance of success on the ground. La Tech was basically laughing at us after about 5 plays with him back there – they just stuck 9 guys in the box and pinned their ears back. I’m deeply concerned that, in the absence of Mitchell, we’re looking at a Davis/Stone situation. Prove me wrong, guys – please.
  • After we got into the middle part of the game, it was just balls-hot out there. The guys lost their energy, the crowd lost its energy… was just brutal. So I get that it wasn’t the most pleasant thing to sit through – but folks were bailing out of a game that was FAR from decided… and the kids needed a 12th man to give them a lift. That 12th man was gone – and that really sucks. I’d hope for more from our fanbase. If a game’s decided one way or the other, fine – but in a 2-score game in the 3rd quarter, you should be in your seat. Period.
  • The defensive line was very good – not great, but very good. Against this La Tech O-line, they still may have underperformed a bit, but we thankfully have good skill & depth there.
  • The linebackers were pretty invisible. I don’t recall hearing a linebacker’s name called all day.
  • The secondary was mostly good – but damn, Burris needs to learn to wrap up. He had at least 3 blown tackles out in space. That can’t happen.
  • We were very fortunate with the La Tech fumbles. They likely gave us 17 points… at a time when that was the difference in the game.
  • On the flip side, the two PI calls on La Tech’s first series seemed quite dubious… especially the first one. Other than that, officials were thankfully invisible.
  • I already bitched about the students – which I don’t normally do, because they’re normally the strong suit in the stadium. They were today til 5 minutes to go in the first half. After that, a no-show. Evidently, they had too much shit to go throw on the ground. One other thing here, though – while they were loud, they didn’t appear to use their full allotment of tickets – there were empty seats up high in their section. That was pretty damn surprising for the home opener against a legit opponent in DD’s debut.

Alright – guess I’ll stop now. Great day overall. I’ll take 40-14 anytime. It sure didn’t feel like a 26-point win most of the day.

And damn you, #ncstateshit. There are 75 guys you can hurt – why Mitchell? He’s the one – the ONE – who completely changes who we are as a team. Just fuck.

And finally, the part that's awesome beyond awesome... On one of the placards we use to signal plays into the offense… is none other than a picture of Ron Burgundy. It looks like his picture is one of the symbols that represents something & can be used to call a formation/play. Oh, how I would love to know what it means…

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