SHOT #1: Just do something on offense
Listen, at this point, I don’t care. Hand it off every play, go with the triple option, chuck it deep, run the wildcat nonstop (okay, maybe I’ve gone too far). Just do something to move the ball when it’s in our hands.
No, NC State isn’t Iowa’s nepotism offense bad, but this Wolfpack offense has been one of the least explosive units in the country. And predictable. It’s been bad. So much so that teams aren’t even really rushing the passer anymore. They just don’t respect the offense’s ability to move the ball on their own.
Hopefully the Pack will have Demie Sumo-Karngbaye back for this one to get the running game back to that 1-2 punch he provides with Jordan Houston. Sprinkle in some designed QB runs by Jack Chambers and/or M.J. Morris (and maybe even Wheels Finley, Jr.?), and the run game could have some potency once again. That seems to be the most logical route to getting this offense to move the ball again.
It doesn’t have to be explosive plays or chunk plays; just move the ball. Give us fans (and the defense... heaven knows they need the other side of the boat to do some rowing, too) some reason for optimism.
SHOT #2: Don’t let the QB run
As we’ve discussed on this site for a while now, the one component that Tony Gibson’s defense has consistently struggled with is running QBs. In case you needed a reminder (stats adjusted to remove sacks):
- Holton Ahlers (ECU): 5 carries, 57 yards, 11.4 yards/carry, 0 TD
- Donovan Smith (TTU): 7 carries, 43 yards, 6.1 yards/carry, 1 TD
- Zion Turner (UConn): 7 carries, 46 yards, 6.6 yards/carry, 0 TD
- D.J. Uiagalelei (Clem): 14 carries, 78 yards, 5.2 yards/carry, 2 TD
- Jordan Travis (FSU): 6 carries, 128 yards, 21.3 yards/carry, 0 TD
- Garrett Shrader (Cuse): 16 carries, 82 yards, 5.1 yards/carry, 0 TD
If my math is correct, after adjusting the stats to remove sacks, Wells has rushed 44 times this year for 308 yards and 3 TDs. That’s a 7.0 yards/carry average. Oddly enough, his least productive rushing game was against FCS Wofford.
The Wolfpack offense was obviously the main issue in the loss to Syracuse, but the inability to keep Shrader from moving the ball with his legs kept one Syracuse drive going that resulted in a TD. In a 24-9 game, that’s a big deal.
In addition to Uiagalelei’s two rushing TDs for Clemson, he also had a long run that set up a FG for the Tigers in a 10-point State loss. Again, a big deal.
Stop Wells from moving the sticks with his feet and State will position themselves well to get the Hokies off the field and keep them off the scoreboard.
SHOT #3: Copper Fox Whisky
NC State only has one game against a team from the Commonwealth of Virginia this year, so I’m sure as hell using it for my favorite whisky: Copper Fox.
Hold up! Not only is this my favorite whisky, it also has a direct tie to this week’s opponent! From the Copper Fox website:
All of the grains used are grown locally by one farmer, and the 6-row Thoroughbred barley was developed for Copper Fox at Virginia Tech. We floor malt the barley in the traditional style, which allows us to develop and maintain a connection to the grain throughout our entire production process.
The American Single Malt by Copper Fox is my jam. They have other offerings which I’m sure are also tasty, but the single malt is the one I go for every time. The barley is dried with apple and cherry wood smoke, and while the whisky is barrel matured it’s infused with applewood and oak chips. Apparently they’re the only distillery in the world to use toasted applewood in the maturation process. That’s kinda cool.
The result is amazingness that needs to be tried. Trust me on this one, y’all.
So go get yourself a shot of Copper Fox and enjoy! Go Pack!