(*Yds/carry stats are calculated after removing sacks from the equation.)
It wasn't a great performance by State's offense, by any means, but as it turned out, all the Pack needed was that first quarter outburst. The defense was fantastic all afternoon, and the only score the Deacs managed was on a typically-Grobe trick play. Mike Campanaro caught a lateral pass and rather than running, as everyone on State's defense assumed, he tossed the ball deep to a wide open receiver. Then Wake Forest missed the extra point. It was that kind of day for the Deacs.
I'm not really sure how the Pack goes from giving up 3.2 yards per play in 2010 (at home) to 6.3 in 2011 (on the road) to 2.9 this year, but that's college sports for you. Mike Campanaro came into Saturday with 60 receptions for more than 600 yards, and he went for more than 90 receiving yards against the Pack last year, but he was a non-factor in this year's matchup, his touchdown throw aside. State controlled the game up front, which limited Price's options. I would like to understand why it is so hard to do this in Winston-Salem.
Anyway, NC State has only held an FBS offense to fewer than three yards per play one other time since 2007 (UNC last year). Against a Wake Forest team with a good quarterback that can nickel and dime opposing defenses with that stupid magic Grobe crap, this was very impressive. We've certainly seen plenty of the Grobe magic over the years.
It was also a good effort considering what had to be a distracting couple of weeks off the field. I wish I had any clue what to expect from these guys from week to week.