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Austin & The Moose Discuss Week 6

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Austin Johnson:

Do you want to talk about Doeren's fake injury comment or should we just both slash our wrists instead since that would be more fun and productive?

Weather Moose:

I wish Dave would just shut his face about that crap. Between that and his comments on officiating, it lets this weird "the deck is stacked against us" attitude over your players. I mean, admittedly, the deck *is* stacked against State, but let's try and keep that on the hush hush. Saying what he said in a public forum is a lose/lose for State and I can't say that he regrets it since he's done it multiple times. I guess this is just what we're going to get with him?

Austin:

Dammit Moose I was hoping you'd pick wrist-slashing. But yes, he's a youngish coach who hasn't learned that he needs to check his actual emotions and thoughts at the door when he walks into a postgame press conference.

Tip your cap to the opposing coach, talk about some individual players who did well/poorly, don't say anything stupid and walk out. That's not the place to push an agenda, or even try to show off your winning personality. Do that stuff the rest of the week, but not in post game. Or just learn to be like Tom O'Brien, and bury your bitching about something in an off-hand remark that could be interpreted 10 different ways and then refuse to even acknowledge you know what a reporter is talking about if they ask you to elaborate.

But lets move on to a quick review of the game, because that absolutely deserves to be talked about unlike the previous topic. I feel like we learned two things.

1. The offense is legit, and should be able to score on just about anyone (spoiler alert - I think they'll have their worst performance of the season this week, however).

2. The defense is bad, but showing some signs of maybe not being the absolute dumpster fire it could be. They forced some turnovers, and Winston had to make some seriously tough throws in a few scenarios. Don't mistake this for praise, just signs of growth for a unit that is still undoubtedly going to cost the Pack a few more wins this year before it's done.

What were your overall thoughts? And how much does it change your overall opinion of the team as far as its ceiling? Do you think its safe to expect them to get to six wins or better now?

Moose:

Listen, if I were going to self-harm, I'd do it with alcohol. A much more enjoyable method.

Now, allow me to bring you back down a smidge. The offense this past weekend was....OK. Admittedly, 24 points in the first quarter is something, but NC State basically blew its wad too early. It's amazing what a competent quarterback can do, but there are still quite a few issues. 1 - Why is State so intent on bringing in the wildcat formation that has no element of surprise to it? It seemed like every play out of that set was a stuffed run up the middle that killed any sort of momentum that the drive had generated. They can get that all the way out of here. Or at least bring in a wrinkle. Some element of surprise.

And I know Brissett was under fire all game, but he has to take better care of the ball. His two fumbles were avoidable and incredibly costly. There were also several instances where he made poor throws to open receivers that would've extended drives. While he's an upgrade over last year, there's quite a bit more room for improvement.

The defense is bad. Super bad. I have seen no growth, really, from week to week. FSU was flat coming out, but once they got adjusted, it was 49-17. State allowed 49 points in 3 quarters. That's UNC-esque. Which is to say, terrible. And I don't think it's going to improve this weekend against a Clemson offense that's gotten quite a bit more dynamic with Watson. We'll see.

The FSU game didn't do much to change my overall thoughts on this year's team, mainly because the ACC is a big ball of dumb. I can't tell you, from one week to the next, who's going to play well. I still think they're staring at 5 wins overall with a chance to get to 6. So basically, I only see one guaranteed win the rest of the year, and that's Wake Forest. Everything else is a crap shoot.

What do you think about this weekend's match-up with Clemson? I see a huge letdown with the offense stalling and the defense getting gashed. Am I wrong?

Austin

Man, that was depressingly sobering because it was true.

I find it hard to blame Brissett for the mistakes, because with his mostly disastrous defense behind him he had to feel like he needed to play the perfect game to win. He was correct, and he made a few mistakes late that cost them because well FSU scored a touchdown pretty much every time it touched the ball in the second half.

I think it changed my perception of the season in this way - I expect for the Pack to be competitive in every game except for Clemson. The offense is good enough to keep them in it and they just need the defense to be slightly better than it's played the first five weeks to get as high as seven wins or so.

But yeah, this week... this week could be ugly.

Going on the road, facing a Clemson team that is just starting to get its offensive rhythm back (and its defense is super talented as well - UNC putting 35 on them is actually pretty impressive). Death Valley has been hell for the Pack for awhile now, and I don't really expect that to change this week. I haven't been super impressed with what I've seen from Clemson - shredding UNC's defense isn't exactly an accomplishment and they struggled offensively for most of the FSU game - but the combination of location, place on the schedule and talent gap don't give me high hopes for a competitive game.

Moose

I'm glad I'm not the only one (now) expecting this to be a complete letdown. So shall we get to the gifs?

This won't be really close. State will make a small mistake early and be down two touchdowns before we're out of the first quarter.

Clemson, 38-20

Austin

Ok I have a legit question about that GIF - was he wiping down his desk with gasoline before doing that?

But, yeah, I think this game will be more competitive early than you. I believe in more of a second-half wilting as the road environment and Clemson's talent wears them down.

Maybe a one score game going into halftime, then not particularly close by the end - Clemson 44-24 (that's right I'm predicting six Clemson touchdowns and a safety).