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The Wilson Effect

As I did a month ago, I'm going to take a look at how our opponents have fared against everyone they've played--excluding I-AA teams and NC State--and compare that to their performance against the Wolfpack. Rather than go team by team, I've split our opponents into two groups, drawing the line where Russell Wilson returned to the starting lineup for good. First, the opposing offenses:

 Full Season  vs. NC State
Opp Offense Yds/PassAtt Yds/RuAtt Yds/Play Yds/PassAtt Yds/RuAtt Yds/Play
AVG_First4 7.0 3.1 5.0 7.9 5.0 6.3
AVG_Last5 6.0 3.6 4.7 7.1 4.0 5.7

(First four opponents: USC, Clemson, ECU, USF. Last five: BC, FSU, Maryland, Duke, Wake.)

The Pack's secondary improved in raw terms over the second half of the schedule, from allowing 7.9 yds/attempt to 7.1, but that's come against a weaker group of pass offenses, so the raw change is probably more illusion than real improvement. The run D has made some real gains, but in general, we're still in the business of making everyone else look good.

Opposing defenses:

 Full Season vs. NC State
Opp Defense YdsAllowed/PassAtt YdsAllowed/RuAtt YdsAllowed/Play YdsAllowed/PassAtt YdsAllowed/RuAtt YdsAllowed/Play
AVG_First4 6.3 3.7 4.9 5.8 2.8 4.2
AVG_Last5 6.6 3.6 5.0 6.6 4.1 5.3

With a healthy and increasingly comfortable Russell Wilson under center, the offense has made significant strides, averaging an additional yard per snap over the second half of the schedule. In addition to throwing the ball well, Wilson's done more damage running the football; along with a more cohesive offensive line, that's helped the Wolfpack establish a consistent running game.