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We made it to NC State football game week!

So long, offseason.

North Carolina State v Pittsburgh Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

It’s amazing what a difference a couple of years can make. The way the 2019 season played out was about as demoralizing as anyone could have imagined, leaving us to wonder if maybe the Dave Doeren era was nearing an unpleasant end.

The roster situation wasn’t as dire as it seemed at times, what with the rash of injuries and below-average quarterback play conspiring to make that a lost season. NC State bounced back to an impressive degree in 2020, and all it took was a sign of life from the passing game, some better fortune, and a favorable schedule.

Fast forward to today, where the optimism couldn’t be much higher as we count down the last few days before the 2021 season-opener, and the ‘19 debacle feels like a distant memory—an aberration rather than a defining time period for Doeren.

The same group of guys who struggled through that difficult year have a chance this fall to put together a special season. They saw how bad things can get but came through the other side the better for it, and the Wolfpack heads into this fall in a position of strength.

There’s a few days yet to dream big before the football on the field begins to tell us what sort of team we have, but mostly it’s nice not to have to worry about State having to answer a bunch of key personnel questions. We’re in a much better place these days, which makes this opening game week just a bit more fun than the last couple.