After a mostly dominant performance against Eastern Kentucky, several position groups stepped up their performance in the shutout. Which ones performed the best as the Wolfpack head onto the road?
Jacoby Brissett was very solid once again with no interceptions and a very high completion rate. While he still didn't throw much down the field, he did a great job on the short-to-intermediate passes. Finishing a game against any opponent at 17-22 and a touchdown is a solid performance. Jalan McClendon also showed flashes in mop-up duty completing four of his eight passes.
Matt Dayes was very solid once again, averaging 4.8 yards on his 24 carries (116 yards) with three touchdowns. More than just his production, his ability to carry the load for two games in Shadrach Thornton's absence has been crucial. Dakwa Nichols had one carry and lost a fumble on that carry, so the position gets a knock there. Reggie Gallaspy came in and was productive once again.
This position was one of the most improved from week one, with the catalyst being Jumichael Ramos. The junior had a great game, hauling in scene catches for 95 yards and giving the Pack a legitimate number one target all game long. Bra'lon Cherry added a difficult catch along the sideline, while Nyheim Hines turned a couple of short passes into decent gains. Maurice Morgan made his first catch, and former walk-on Gavin Locklear added one as well.
It is hard to judge this group after a combined one catch for a five yard touchdown from backup Benson Browne. Starter David Grinnage was only targeted once and it was a poor throw from Brissett. Cole cook was solid blocking, as usual.
Another great performance from the Swiss Army Knife, adding a touchdown in his nine touches for 112 yards. A great 31 yard reception in which he earned 29 or so of the yards was maybe the play of the game. He is still on pace for his two touchdown a game goal.
The line did its job again after a very rough start against former Ohio State star Noah Spence. During the second half, the run game started to find its groove due to the line, and the quarterbacks steadily had more time. Unfortunately, starting guard Alex Barr went down with a minor injury, but Bryce Kennedy was able to get some more experience.
The line did a solid job in week two, creating a little more pressure on the quarterback, with BJ Hill and Bradley Chubb putting in great performances. Mike Rose also recovered from what the coaches deemed a lackluster week one performance. We have yet to see Kentavius Street and Darian Roseboro leave a major mark, although Roseboro has had a few pressures on the quarterback.
Airius Moore and Jerod Fernandez both had good games in their three quarters. While still not credited with a sack or turnover, they were stalwarts in the run game, which will help as they begin to face more physical teams.
The Pack DBs held the Colonels to 77 yards passing on 7 of 21, which is a success in any metric. The only weak spot was when the lengthy Jeff Glover had a strong series against Niles Clark. Without Jack Tocho, Clark and Mike Stevens filled in and held the EKU receivers to low totals. Hakim Jones had an extremely strong game against the run, with several hits in the backfield and a few more right at the line of scrimmage.
This was a mixed bag for the Wolfpack, with the kicking game struggling (blocked field goal and a 36.5 yard punt average) but a strong return game. Bra'lon Cherry had two long punt returns and another called back from a block in the back. He seems poised to take one to the house in an upcoming game.