NC State has had a bad habit of not just playing poorly on the road, but also folding at the same time. When it goes bad, it goes really bad, and then the whole thing collapses on itself. Saturday was the best example of that we’ve seen so far this season. This is the only context in which the word best could be attached to NC State football today.
To get this particular party started, Bailey Hockman and the offensive line were flat terrible. Hockman nearly threw about three interceptions before he was finally picked off the for the most comically easy pick-six you will ever see. It was 7-0 at that point, but the deficit may as well have been a million for how State was playing.
Hockman looked clueless while he was in the game, and eventually gave way to Devin Leary, who was decent in relief and at least did not turn the ball over.
But the Wolfpack was pretty much buried by its lack of offense early on as Boston College was able to set the tone by running the ball from the lead. NC State played right into the Eagles’ hands, allowing them to rely entirely on their ground-and-pound preference without requiring new starting quarterback Dennis Grosel to do anything. Grosel was a mere 6-15 passing and it did not matter in the least.
The Eagles ground State into a fine paste in the second quarter—they will challenge you to man up and tackle their enormous running backs and if you show weakness, you are in trouble. When State started flailing with arm tackle attempts, it was over. The game’s real simple sometimes.
NC State could have perhaps reset the nature of the contest when it drove the ball inside the BC one after falling behind 7-0. Instead, State put together a truly gruesome string of play calls and turned it over on downs. Two plays out of the shotgun from the half-yard line amounted to nothing. Instead of just lining up under center and taking care of it, they made life overly difficult on themselves. Again, this game is not complicated except where you make it.
Boston College took that stop and ran (literally, a lot of the time) from there.
This offense stinks. It’s awful. And Des Kitchings is worse. Rough combo. Far too much to overcome on Saturday, with far too many disadvantageous spots created for no reason. The defense can’t always be there, and it wasn’t today. What you get in this case is an ugly exposure.