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NC State position grades, Syracuse edition

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

A return to victory for the Pack sees some upgrades in performance for most position groups. Putting up a lot of points bodes well for the offense, but there were a few breakdowns defensively as well as a big play on that side.

QUARTERBACK
Brissett had a little better time Saturday than against Florida State, when he had to shoulder the entire load by himself. He finished with 21 completions on 33 passes for two touchdowns to one interception. Brissett had time to survey the field on Saturday and it made a difference. He did have the one poor interception, but outside of that was pretty impressive. Jalan McClendon did quite literally hand Syracuse 7 points with his unforced fumble, however.
GRADE: B+

RUNNING BACK
With the third and fourth string backs seeing all of the carries, Saturday's performance on the ground was solid. Both Reggie Gallaspy and Dakwa Nichols had career highs in yardage combining for about 160 yards on the ground and a pair of scores. This will surely boost confidence heading into the rivalry game against Carolina.
GRADE: B+

WIDE RECEIVER
A decent but not world beating game from the wideouts, with Jumichael Ramos having a solid performance with 8 catches and a touchdown. Outside of that, only Nyheim Hines made a big impression, but he did it in the backfield as well. Maurice Trowell, Bra'lon Cherry, Gavin Locklear, and Johnathan Alston each pitched in a reception.
GRADE: B+

TIGHT END
David Grinnage and Cole Cook combined for 44 yards on 3 catches, but also did good jobs in the run blocking scheme. The Pack offense runs better when these two are involved in more than just blocking.
GRADE: B

JAYLEN SAMUELS
One of the quieter games for Samuels this season, but he still had a touchdown. With the lone touchdown catch for 7 yards and 6 carries for 47 yards, he was effective, but not used as much as usual. Perhaps this was to rest him up for this week.
GRADE: B

OFFENSIVE LINE
When a team goes for over 500 yards against a P5 team, it's hard to complain. Maybe the unit's best performance of the season, they helped guys like Gallaspy and Nichols have their breakout games at the right point in the season.
GRADE: A

DEFENSIVE LINE
Another strong performance from the team's strongest unit. The highlight of the day was of course Darian Roseboro's pick six that out the game away in the second half. Constant pressure did not give Syracuse's quarterback much time at all. The lone breakdown was the Jordan Fredericks run to start the second half.
GRADE: B+

LINEBACKER
A good, but not standout, effort from this group. Riley Nicholson has continued to improve as a freshman next to Airius Moore, with the two looking like a strength going forward. If Jerod Fernandez can fight his way back into the starting rotation, that would not be a bad thing, however.
GRADE: B-

DEFENSIVE BACK
They did not force any turnovers, but did not really get burned often either. They were beaten a few times in the mid-range passing game, but nothing glaring stood out (a good sign for defensive backs). Juston Burris did give a scare late when he had to be helped off the field, but appears to be fine.
GRADE: B-

SPECIAL TEAMS
Hines and Cherry both had average days returning the ball and AJ Cole had one of his worse days as a punter, but it was not terrible (39.3 yards per punt. Kyle Bambard hit a 46 yard kick off the post, which ironically might be his best kick of the year.
GRADE: C