The biggest reason to buy NC State heading into the 2022 season is its defense, which was good even despite the injury problems it faced in 2021 and will almost certainly get better if it keeps its best contributors healthy.
If you’re looking for a dose of unfiltered June, David Hale is here to provide. (Just be careful, since too much unfiltered June can be hazardous.) Hale spent this morning talking about the ACC’s linebacker groups and gave NC State’s the nod for best in the league.
You know which team has an unquestionably great LB unit? That'd be NC State. The Wolfpack lost their top two LBs to injury last year and their unit still had the ACC's top run stuff rate and were top 3 in missed tackles, pressure rate & opponent QBR.— ️♈️ (@ADavidHaleJoint) June 20, 2022
Obviously it's more complicated than this, but just for fun, here are the numbers for 2021 Drake Thomas and 2020 Payton Wilson & Isaiah Moore combined: 143 solo tackles, 36 for a loss, 61 run stuffs, 12.5 sacks, 47 pressures, 5 PBU & 5 INT. If they're all healthy... look out.— ️♈️ (@ADavidHaleJoint) June 20, 2022
If there was an upside to what happened last year, it’s that it allowed Drake Thomas to really come into his own as the leader of the linebackers while Isaiah Moore and Payton Wilson were absent. He held that defense together.
Now we just need the football gods to give us a break on the injury front. I’d say the team’s earned it, and personally I think it would be irresponsible to deprive college football fans from seeing Thomas, Wilson, and Moore on the field together for the entire season.