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Marcus Stone gets promoted

Not surprisingly, Chuck Amato has decided to start Marcus Stone against Southern Mississippi. Although Stone was just 6-of-16 against Wake, he led State on both of its touchdown drives. For the season, Stone is 16-32 for 230 yards, 3 TDs and 1 INT.

Like the team itself, Jay Davis started the season looking quite solid, but it's been all downhill since then. NC State has dropped to 85th in the nation in total offense after another rough go of it against the Deacons.

I like the move not only because the offense is struggling but also because we've never really gotten to see what Marcus Stone brings to the table. Davis is a known quantity at this point; he's started enough games to show us where his ceiling lies.

Stone has mostly played in spots; a little here, a little there. More often than not, his playing time was cautiously choreographed--designed QB runs, plenty of handoffs, a few safe passes. Sitting at 2-4, we don't have much to lose; from now on, the only thing limiting the playcalling with Stone in the game should be his grasp of the playbook.

Hopefully, we'll see a more exciting and dangerous offense against the Golden Eagles. Marcus is a much better athlete than Jay, and I think his (Stone's) scrambling ability alone will make things more interesting. Whether or not Marcus can make good, consistent decisions for 60 minutes remains to be seen. I'm not optimistic, but I figure Stone can't be any worse than Davis in that department. And hey, at the very least, he's got this going for him.

I liked this comment from Amato (from the above-linked GoPack article):
"Marcus threw two touchdown passes in the game and you can't take that away from him," said Amato. "It's time to find out how good he is. These two young men have been fighting for that position the last year and a half, in a very competitive fight. I said [to Stone] `you've got the ball and you don't need to be looking over your shoulder. Jay is there, but you don't need to be looking over your shoulder.' We've got to give him an opportunity."

Injury is likely the only thing to result in Stone's removal this Saturday. Unfortunately, as Chuck notes, that is a legitimate concern:
"... Marcus is capable of doing a lot of things. Every time we tried to get him in last year he got hurt. It happened two weeks ago; he threw one pass, the guy hit him and he hyper-extended his knee. Hopefully, none of that will happen and this will be good for all of us."

Cheers to that last sentence.