Dave Doeren’s decision to replace Dave Huxtable with Tony Gibson at defensive coordinator was met with a collective meh and the fear that maybe not all that much would change on the defensive side in 2020. But Gibson told The Wolfpacker that he plans significant changes to that unit, which is reassuring.
We won’t know how committed to an overhaul the staff is until the team hits the field next fall, but at least Gibson is aware that adjustments are needed. I’d be far more worried if he were simply excusing away 2019 with injuries, because I don’t think that would be an honest assessment.
NC State has got to figure out some ways to become more disruptive defensively—even with excellent defensive line play, the defense as a whole has been average at best at forcing turnovers over the last few seasons. You can’t just flip a switch in that respect, but there’s been something other than just bad luck responsible for the flat takeaway numbers.
Hopefully Gibson has some ideas for that, whether it comes out of the 3-3-5 formation or something else, I don’t really care as long as there’s improvement. That’s one of the most effective ways to expedite a turnaround: give your offense more opportunities on short fields.