Brandon Mitchell earned the start at quarterback and he was sharp early as State jumped out to a lead it would never surrender. Unfortunately, his day was cut short by a left foot injury that's going to keep him out probably for at least a month, and maybe longer. He finished 3-for-3 for 93 yards and had 19 yards rushing on a handful of carries. If he doesn't get hurt, maybe State gets 60 today.
So the fuck it goes.
If Mitchell's brother is to be believed--he was tweeting about the injury during the game--then this is Pete Thomas' show for five or six weeks. Thomas was pretty shaky initially, struggling both with his accuracy and whatever pressure Louisiana Tech brought. He threw an interception inside the Bulldogs' five yard line and was incredibly fortunate that Tech fumbled it right back seconds later.
The coaching staff didn't show a lot of confidence in Thomas, but he did have his moments, and it's also important to remember that this is a kid who had not played a down of college football since 2011. It takes some time to get back.
There was a lot to like today, setting the Mitchell injury aside. NC State ran for more than 230 yards, and yeah, Louisiana Tech had a lot of guys to replace, but we only did that once last year, and it was against an FCS team. Matt Dayes showed real promise; he's going to be a really good player for us down the line.
Nik Sade was outstanding--he didn't miss a field goal, and he was drilling kickoffs through the back of the end zone with regularity. Wil Baumann was, well, Wil Baumann, but Sade looked like an all-conference kicker today. Marquez Valdes-Scantling had a fine debut, grabbing four passes for 87 yards.
In general, it was an encouraging effort. I'd be pretty pumped if we'd gotten this result without any injuries. There's always gotta be a wrench in the works, though. We know that well by now.