While watching the UAB-Miami game on Thursday night, it struck me how those teams were in completely different places early on. The Blazers already had a game under their belts, which clearly paid dividends for game two, while Miami was struggling to find its footing in what was its season-opener.
There is always a little bit of that for everybody to begin a season, but it seems more pronounced in 2020, for a bunch of understandable reasons. Everybody had their spring practices cut short, guys have been in isolation and left to their own devices more than usual, camps have been interrupted, etc.
I worry a lot about how NC State is going to look against Wake Forest in that first quarter or so, especially since the Deacs will have played a game already. That’s going to be an edge, even though Wake will be coming off getting pulverized by Clemson.
State’s got to make sure that difference in early execution isn’t enough to bury it early. There are going to be mistakes, they just can’t be the big ones that lead to easy scores.
Miami looked a lot better in the second half last night, and I expect the same will be true of NC State on the 19th. It’s getting to that stage of the game without too much of an adventure that’s the challenge.