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NC State 35, South Alabama 13

I'm happy about a win under any circumstances, but when we play a game in September, especially against a team like South Alabama, I spend the majority of the game projecting the future. That's part madness for sure, because who knows what is going to change down the line. Still, I can't go into these games without looking for a statement to the effect of, "see, you didn't need to worry this much, we'll be all right." I didn't quite get that tonight.

Mike Glennon was exceptionally efficient--for the second straight week he was the least of State's problems--and the game was never in doubt even if it was frustratingly close all night. Liberty we beat handily in the margins. South Alabama was no match on a per-play basis but our fortune was nowhere near as good as it was in week one. It's the per-play aspect that's predictive so what am I worried about? The play in the trenches. In games like this the gameplan just shouldn't matter that much. I wanted to see us render them ineffective with decisive play up front on both sides of the ball. Didn't happen. South Alabama had an easier time of it on the ground than we did and that's pretty horrifying.

Defensively we couldn't do much of anything with a 4-man rush, and it didn't really matter what we did when they ran the football. Offensively the pass protection was good but the run blocking was garbage. We're three games in but I think it's safe to say this: we're no better running the football than we were a year ago, and I don't think there's been much in the way of noticeable improvement up front. If you can't put a significantly undersized team like South Alabama away through sheer force of will, that says some very bad things.

Injuries are killing the defensive line. We still can't run the football for shit. And now Terrell Manning has a knee injury, the extent of which we still don't know. I realize how all of this sounds a few hours after we won a football game, which is a win which is good and hooray and stuff. I just don't know about this team's prospects. Right now I don't think this is a bowl team.