Matt Grothe was locked in from the get go, and with all the time in the world--even when they went five-wide--he casually found open receiver after open receiver. Their first half possessions looked like one of those Quarterback Challenge passing drills: short over the middle: ten points. Intermediate to the sidelines: 20 points. Deep over the middle: fifty points. I had the same feeling after their first drive that I did after Clemson's a year ago: we aren't stopping these guys. South Florida's punter, having seen enough, probably retired back to the locker room to see if anything good was on TV.
Grothe completed 11 of 12 attempts for 148 yards in the first quarter, and the Bulls piled up 339 yards in the first half, averaging nearly seven yards per snap.
State's offense, meanwhile, did nothing on first down all night; of the Wolfpack's 23 first down plays, only four could be deemed successes (three runs of 4+ yards, one lone, long completion). Harrison Beck was 1-11 on first down. The result...
2ND DOWN-SHORT... 1
2ND DOWN-MIDDLE.. 1
2ND DOWN-LONG.... 17
3RD DOWN-SHORT... 0
3RD DOWN-MIDDLE.. 2
3RD DOWN-LONG.... 12
Not exactly what I'd call putting us in a position to succeed.
-- Despite only completing nine of his 32 attempts, Harrison Beck still averaged a solid 7.5 YPA. It was an all-or-nothing kind of game (26.6 yds/completion).
-- I'm not a football coach, so correct me if I'm wrong here, but I believe the idea with the quick kick is to kick the ball past the line of scrimmage, and not out the back of your own end zone.
-- Must have been the swagger.