Still basking in the glow of being responsible for FSU becoming unranked for the first time since 2011? Well, there are some questions that linger as we now transition towards Syracuse and beyond:
1. We’ve seen NC State teams over the years “get up” for big games, then come down the next week against weaker competition. Do you see that happening next week against Syracuse?
TheRealEssad: Yes, I think they come down, but not to the extent we’ve seen in the past. This team is good, they can play with anyone, and now they know it. Expect a win.
PirateWolf: Every time I hear/see this type of concern, I immediately go back to 1998 when State followed up their historic 24-7 win over FSU with a 33-30 loss to a Baylor team that would end up winning only one other game all year. So, yeah, thanks for bringing that back up... But as for what will happen against Syracuse, I have no clue. That’s less because of State and more because of the Jekyll & Hyde nature of Syracuse. I expect a solid State performance and win, but I could see it as a close one possession game or a four score blowout just depending on which Syracuse team shows up.
Ejoebarry: I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about it, but I think we will be okay. It’s unfair to loop this team in with past State teams because not a single player on this team was around the last time we won a big game, but it’s a concern until proven otherwise. I think our seniors and Ryan Finley will be the difference and keep the team focused.
2. The trick plays have been fun to watch, but a little harrowing at times. Have you seen enough for a while, or do you want more?
TheRealEssad: I’m good with keeping those in the back pocket for now. I wouldn’t mind a fake kick though. That’d be fun.
PirateWolf: If they work, I’m fine with it (weak answer, right?); but there is a time and a place for them... and 3rd & Goal is probably not the time or place for a WR reverse pass.
Ejoebarry: They won’t go away, and I think that’s a good thing because we have so many guys who need the ball in their hands. In the red zone though? Cut that out. Shove the ball down their throat and get it to Harmon or Jaysam on third down.
3. The defensive line seemed like it lived in the FSU backfield. Do you think this was a fluke or have they turned a corner and we’ll see more of this?
TheRealEssad: The pressure will continue. FSU’s offensive line may have been on the weak side, but I think these guys and Hux will keep dialing it up. I want to see more gifs of Chubb sacking a QB from behind.
PirateWolf: The D-line has been playing better every week. I’m not sure you can expect the same level of performance as they had against FSU week after week, but this group is really good and always capable of repeating that performance against any given opponent. They should eat up a Syracuse O-line that is poor in pass protection, but not every O-line they face will have the exploitable weaknesses that FSU had on theirs.
Ejoebarry: It wasn’t a fluke, but I’m not sure how much pressure we’ll see this week because Syracuse has a such a quick passing game. This game is going to be a test for the linebackers and secondary; if they can force third and long, the D-line will take care of the rest.
4. Jay-Sam already has half as many touches this year as last, through four games. Should we be worried about over use with him, or his he just super human?
TheRealEssad: He is not of this world, and people in the NFL in the next couple years will learn the same.
PirateWolf: I’m not concerned with his usage (although he is averaging 12-to-14 more snaps per game vs last year depending on how you want to look at the data). Use him as much as you can while you can; he’s a unique talent and a game-changer.
Ejoebarry: A little bit. I’d like to see the ball spread around more especially earlier in the game. Louis, Harmon, Meyers, Riley, have all proven they need the ball. Get the ball to Jaysam on third downs and in the red zone, especially against teams we should move the ball against. Against FSU and Clemson? I have no issue with it.
5. Do you see any more apology donuts coming in the weeks ahead?
TheRealEssad: Probably, but just don’t get Dunkin Donuts again, bro.
PirateWolf: I sure hope not, but I’ll take some doughnuts if they’re just being handed out. I heard Krispy Kreme is coming out with a pumpkin spice doughnut, so if Doeren wants to win over sorority row...
Ejoebarry: We better not have to beg people to come to Louisville and Clemson. The crowd will be interesting against Louisville because it’s fall break but they are selling tickets that are usually student sections (the end zones I believe). Update: BJ Hill and Justin Jones were in Talley today passing out Dunkin Donuts.
What do you think? What questions are you still wondering about the rest of the way?