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Liberty vs. NC State: A statistical overview

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NCAA Football: North Carolina State at Virginia Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a struggle to find a source for advanced metrics since Bill Connelly moved to ESPN and his team sheets went offline, but this week I discovered a handy spreadsheet put together by Twitter user @HutchNGo, which breaks teams down by a half dozen efficiency measures on both sides of the ball.

Here’s how NC State and Liberty compare:

(The top half is NC State’s offense vs. Liberty’s defense and the bottom half is the reverse.)

It’s important to note up front that these are raw numbers, and Liberty’s schedule has been abysmal.

The Flames’ defense has clear problems in the running game, in terms of both consistency and vulnerability to big plays. NC State’s ground game has been pretty bad in both respects, but Wolfpack has the opportunity to turn that around at least of one week. It’d certainly help a lot.

Liberty’s offense has been plenty good against the soft defenses it has seen to this point, and the glaring worry from State’s perspective is the Pack’s tendency to surrender big plays on the ground. That’s something to watch given that Liberty wants to run the ball a lot. It may be a long night if State’s defense can’t step up here.

I’m confident the Pack will get its points but it would best avoid getting to a point where it feels like it has to score a touchdown on every possession. That pressure can end up making a difference, and not in a good way. We’ll see!