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About Those Slow Starts

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Trying to get started:

Wolfpack coach Tom O'Brien said starting better has been a point of emphasis in practice this week as the team prepares for Central Michigan.

"We're working really hard mentally with this football team," O'Brien said Wednesday on the weekly conference teleconference.

Maybe the players need to wake up 45 minutes earlier on game day. Maybe the offensive staff needs to do a better job scripting the first series of the game. Here's one example of our troubles in the opening quarter (source: cfbstats):

NCSU Passing Comp Att Yds Comp% Yds/Att TD-INT Rating
1st Q 22 41 258 53.7 6.3 0-2 96.8
2nd Q 37 51 366 72.5 7.2 3-0 152.2
3rd Q 21 30 341 70.0 11.4 5-1 213.8
4th Q 32 48 343 66.7 7.1 5-1 156.9


This is one of those times where it's hard to separate cause from coincidence. That's a strange split, but is there an actual reason behind it? The "have to get warm to get going" factor? A lack of emotion to start the game? Indigestion? State's running game has improved as the game has progressed as well, though that's more a tale of halves than quarters.