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If Mississippi State wants to make those cuts, that’s fine

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NCAA Football: South Florida at North Carolina State Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Chunk plays, let’s talk about chunk plays. I’d like to talk about chunk plays.

The reason why chunk plays are so important is because they shorten the operation for the offense, thereby decreasing the opportunities for said offense to fuck something up. Fewer snaps, fewer opportunities for mistakes.

A Mike Leach offense runs slightly counter to this, operating on an otherwise assumption that reps and cuts can end in victory—and sometimes they do, because the other team runs out of patience.

You never want to bail anyone out by giving up chunk plays, which depending on the context may be a cry for help. You especially do not want to bail out the air raid, which tries to terrify everyone with “we’re going to throw all the time” to hide the fact that it is screaming “we can’t run and wish to gain five yards this time and all of our players are terrible.”

Hitting explosive plays is not the goal of this offense, though it is uniquely capable of being frustrating. Mississippi State is going to have some prolonged drives where it feels like they’re in 3rd-and-3 all the time and NC State can’t get a stop. Even when they’re down three scores.

This is where NC State needs to show its maturity, and this is obviously not an easy prospect, but State will have to take a knee for a good part of the fourth quarter while also swatting some gnats.