Film Room series has returned! I’m sure you’re elated, as I’ve been getting tons of imaginary requests filing into my inbox for another one of these posts.
Here’s a highlight of a few areas that will be beneficial to this week’s matchup at Mississippi State.
Let’s go... to the video tape!
- My specific fever requires a prescription of not cowbell... but more wheel routes. I gotta have more wheel routes!!
I have loved this play for decades. Urban Meyer used to torch folks with it in the Chris Leak/Tim Tebow era at Florida. There was an overlap with Tim Beck being with him at Ohio State for a while, which is why we can see some similarities in play structure. Offensive coordinators pick up flavors of plays at every stop, and so far I have loved Beck’s play variety.
When executed well, the wheel route draws the defense to one side while allowing someone from the backfield to slip free. In the early 2000’s, I’d wreck shop with this play (and the triple option) in NCAA Football.
This play set up the Wolfpack’s first touchdown of the night.
Watch how Leary goes play action, then the rest of the offense shifts right, specifically drawing double coverage to the bottom receiver. This opens up Ricky Person to just beat single coverage on the defender expecting him to likely hang in the flat.
Expect Ricky Person and Bam Knight to be featured more as receivers this year. If you’ve got dudes with speed, get them the dang ball.
2. Let Ickey cook
This guy is a gem. Dave Doeren loves finding these types of high energy guys, and we love watching them. Ikem Ekwonu is a bedrock member of the left side of the offensive line, and he loves showing it. My favorite is when he hits a would-be defender dude, then smashes him again just for good measure.
BRING ON THE SYRUP!
Ekwonu is so good that he can block the shit out of you WHILE puking his guts out. Very impressive.
Ekwonu was named the ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week. You can definitely say he left it all out on the field:
I gotta chill out on the pedialyte https://t.co/TtJFVNdC44— Ikem “Ickey” Ekwonu (@BigIck79) September 3, 2021
3. Needs = touchdowns, especially in the redzone.
Seems obvious, duh. But Miss State was not great last year, but they are aren’t going to go away quietely. You have to score touchdowns, and keep pressing without taking your foot off the gas. Winning a game 42-0 last week is a good example of continuing to push even with a comfortable lead. This type of well executed blowout of an inferior opponent is something I have been waiting many years to see in Week 1’s.
Previous offensive coordinators refused to throw the dang ball inside the redzone. Not Beck.
Credit to Doeren for allowing the shift in mentality. Today’s offenses are pushing the ball down the field. We used to make fun of the Big 12 (what’s left of it, anyway), but that open style of play is permeating college football. You can’t settle for FG’s, gotta get the ball in the endzone.
He knows he’ll have to keep up with the Air Raid. It isn’t fully operational just yet, but them boys can still score in a hurry. Scoring 21 points in the 4th quarter of a comeback is no slouch. Yes, it was La Tech, but still shows the potential. Speaking of air:
4. Keep airing it out
Simple play, GREAT protection, Carter on a go-route. Let ‘er rip. Carter will improve with more reps on knowing where he is on the field. Keep your balance in bounds and that’s a touchdown next time:
Yes, Leary did underthrow one of these passes for an interception. That is going to happen, he hasn’t even played a full season at starter yet. I like that they went back the deep ball, showing confidence in him.
5. Ummm, more wildcat??
I don’t know, let’s just keep that one in the pocket for now (please don’t try it against Clemson).
It was also funny how everyone first thinks of Alec when State runs this play:
Love yall pic.twitter.com/5P1dJ33Wmn— Alec (@AlecLower) September 3, 2021
I will say this about that play. Leary sells it by looking back towards the snap, making the defense think it’s a flea flicker. After Person gets free he goes through four defenders for the score. And the rest of the team does a tremendous job with downfield blocking. Speaking of which!
6. Downfield blocking!
First of all, this was a 4th and 2 from their own 46 yard line, so kudos to Dave for sensing the opportunity to allow his players to cook. Bam Knight runs free for a 46 yard touchdown due to the commitment to blocking by his teammates.
Like when you see a chef’s kiss superb screen in basketball that leads to a backdoor layup, these blocks sure are purty.
Devin Carter could be the next big time receiver for NC State, he’s ready to fill the shoes after Emeka Emezie rides into the sunset after this year. But his commitment to the team and sticking with this block shows how well everyone is buying in.
Now let’s watch Ickey straight up splatter a dude then look for a second victim to hit once the first was issued a fatality:
7. Keep boning me
The takeaway bone needs to come out as many times as it did last Saturday. That was fun. Two of the three interceptions were from an inexperienced QB, yes, but largely caused by good coverage and increased pocket pressure forcing him to make a bad decision on the move.
More of this please:
Tanner Ingle pinning the ball to his helmet was extra nice:
P.S. All love to Mississippi State
Lastly, let me say that typing the word Mississippi is hella annoying. I have to think of the elementary school jingle way of remembering it literally every time. That being said, I’m viewing this weekend’s matchup as a friendly game between two friends. Credit to the Bulldogs and their fans for showing all class and support for NC State when they were unceremoniously dumped via drunk text at 2am by the NCAA in favor of a shinier option in Vandy.
Logan Tanner showed love in title game:
And their fans showed the love in the stands:
This will be like a meeting of two old friends having a friendly backyard scrimmage.
Both sides see the game as a way to offer a potential quality win. Mississippi State is basically the NC State of the SEC. The shinier, higher profile, more blue-hued in-state rival gets the majority of the publicity even when being completely average. I’d rather be the workhorse team that has to earn every inch of respect, and Mississippi State knows all about that.
I don’t want Mississippi State to lose so much as I want NC State to win, if that makes sense.
They will welcome us into their home not so much with welcome arms, but by banging the shit out of a bunch of cowbells.
At least the coaching staff is prepping the players:
Tomorrow @PackFootball takes on @HailStateFB in Starkville. NC State coaches getting the QBs ready by ringing cowbells during their weekly written test. Join us 7CT ESPN2! @AnishESPN @mikegolicjr pic.twitter.com/sV6UV2V4Y1— Taylor McGregor (@Taylor_McGregor) September 10, 2021
Let’s Go Pack, snap the ball already!