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NC State opponent William & Mary ranked No. 10 in preseason FCS coaches poll

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NCAA Football: William & Mary at Virginia Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve spent the offseason looking way past William & Mary, but, uh, maybe we should stop doing that. The Tribe are coming off a nine-win season and return a 1400-yard rusher as well as an experienced quarterback. They are ranked 10th in the FCS preseason coaches poll.

As much as the quality of this William & Mary team might be concerning, it’s also in a way a bit of good fortune. Shifting from a cruddy FCS team to FBS competition in the span of a week can be jarring, which leads to slow starts.

NC State really really does not need a slow start in week two at East Carolina. There’s not a ton of difference between the Tribe and the Pirates, who were effectively a Syracuse equivalent last season. That should be useful to some degree.

Unless William & Mary beats State, in which case things are gonna be rolling downhill on Dave Doeren in a hurry. There’s a fine line between utility and disaster in a situation like this.