This week's three observations will take on a decidedly more positive tone with a victory over Old Dominion. With a week off to dissect things, they should use the positives to their advantage going into the game against Wake Forest.
1. The Jalan McClendon Offense is Intriguing
A new wrinkle shown during the ODU game worked well in the red zone. McClendon scored on his first three attempts and provided a solid read option threat. While this wasn't a top opponent, it was good to get some successful practice running that look. While Finley has been fine in the red zone so far, getting McClendon reps and having a serious passing threat out of the wildcat is a bonus.
2. More Receiver Touches
Last year the backs had an inordinate amount of the receptions. This meant the offense was more one-dimensional and that crucial players like Matt Dayes and Jaylen Samuels put more wear on their tires. With Stephen Louis emerging as a legitimate threat and Kelvin Harmon looking like a current and future problem for secondaries, Ryan Finley has real weapons down the field and not just safety nets.
3. State is Still Struggling With Top Receivers on Defense
Both William & Mary and Old Dominion's top receivers had big games against the Pack secondary. While these are both good players in their own right, they would be fourth or fifth options at schools like Clemson, Florida State, and Notre Dame. A good showing against Wake Forest would instill some confidence, but the secondary needs to improve come conference play.
— Thad Moss and Cole Cook both got their first career touchdowns this week. Great week for 8-letter named tight ends. (Whoa, Tight End is an 8-letter position. We might be on to something here.)
— Darian Roseboro had a breakout game and both Justin Jones and Kentavius Street had a few great plays. This must continue going forward.