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Presbyterian vs. NC State: The Blue Hose offense ain't coming out of its coma this week

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Don McPeak-US PRESSWIRE

Presbyterian is heading into the weekend on the strength of an upset victory over a ranked Furman team, but the Blue Hose sure as heck didn't pull that off with a lot of offense. They managed only 10 points and 192 yards against the Paladins, and at this point in the season that qualifies as their best offensive performance against an FBS or FCS opponent.

Moving the ball has been a challenge for the Hoose (the moose?) since their FCS move, and it will be again on Saturday night. That doesn't mean State can take this game off--if it were me I'd at least wait a couple quarters--but the Wolfpack would have to try pretty hard to give up enough points to make an upset even remotely conceivable.

Presbyterian Offense Yds/G Pts/G Yds/Play Yds/Pass Att. Yds/Rush
2013 298.4 18.6 4.8 6.0 4.0
2014 159.5 6.5 3.0 3.8 3.5

(Stats from games against FCS/FBS opponents only. Yds/Rush calculated after sacks have been removed from the equation.)

More than two-thirds of Presbyterian's total yards this season came in their second contest, a blowout win over an NAIA school that just restarted its football program a few years back. In their other two games--against Northern Illinois and Furman--the struggle has been terrible. The numbers from those games are in the table.

The Hose are light on experience offensively; only three players have made double-digit starts. Quarterback Heys McMath started a half dozen games in 2013 and has been under center for all of PC's games this season, but he hasn't done much to inspire confidence in his arm.

As a result, Presbyterian probably would prefer to lean as little as possible on McMath, despite the offense's spread tendencies. The Hose already have called more than 120 running plays, while calling just 51 passes. The team fell short of 100 passing yards against the Huskies and the Paladins. They weren't getting much from the ground either, but they nonetheless called 63 running plays in those losses against 43 pass attempts (seven of which ended in sacks).

Presbyterian's offensive line is green and, not surprisingly, on the small side. Sophomore Jacob Nesmith, who is listed in the game notes as the starting left tackle, weighs 240 (!) pounds. The center and right tackle also check in well under 300 pounds. Some ominous signs of impending doom there.

Tobi Antigha and Jeremiah McKie were the team's top two receivers in 2013, combining for 1,251 receiving yards. If the Presbyterian offense has a luxury, it's there. If PC's offensive line can't buy the time necessary to make those guys relevant parts of the game plan, though, those receivers may as well not exist.

It's difficult to picture the Hose generating much of anything against NC State on Saturday, even with all the problems that the Wolfpack's defense has had early on. I mean, never count out a major mental blunder or two on State's end that could cost the Pack some points. In general, though, the task is straightforward this week and really shouldn't be tough to accomplish. (I didn't even knock on wood after I wrote that.)