Going into Saturday, NC State’s offense had failed to score more than 21 points against an opponent with a pulse—and that was with Devin Leary. So I suppose what we got in his absence wasn’t shocking, but it was still disappointing.
The same problems that plagued the unit all year were there against Syracuse, when they really really could have benefited from not having those problems for once. Bafflingly bad execution in spots, pre-snap penalties—the whole standard mess but exacerbated by Leary’s absence. It left chunk plays, and points, out on the field.
The pace at which this offense plays has been killing me all year, but particularly as the struggles have mounted. It’s got to be tough to establish a rhythm, or avoid coming out of your stance if you’re a lineman, when you’re sitting on the ball for 25 seconds every play. What I wouldn’t give for a little bit of tempo here and there, if only to make the offense go play rather than sit there and think, and who knows, maybe NC State could force the other team into some mistakes for once.
Jack Chambers didn’t look all that comfortable running the zone read, but it’s a little late in the year to go and re-make the offense into something closer to what he ran at Charleston Southern. So we’ll just have to hope that his learning curve is a sharp one.
But he’s got to have some help from this coaching staff, and the Syracuse game was not encouraging on that front. It’s a good time for a bye week because there is a lot about the approach offensively that could use a re-evaluation. They had best use the time wisely.