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Three shots at victory over Florida State

What it will take to get the W this week

NCAA Football: North Carolina State at Florida State Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

SHOT #1: Force Florida State to beat you through the air

Like Clemson QB D.J. Uiagalelei, Florida State’s Jordan Travis is having himself an incredible year under center, reaching a previously unseen ability to sling the ball all over the field effectively and efficiently. Given that, this might seem counterintuitive; however, NC State’s defense is strong at stopping the pass (9th in the nation in pass efficiency defense). Just last week, the Wolfpack held Uiagalelei to a 67.1 pass grade (via PFF), significantly under his 85.7 season pass grade.

FSU’s Travis will present another high-level challenge, entering last week’s game against Wake Forest with a 92.2 pass grade, which was the 2nd highest grade among FBS QBs at the time and he did nothing to hurt that rating against the Deacs.

The Seminoles have a trio of highly effective running backs, too, in Treshaun Ward, Trey Benson, and Lawrence Toafili. Those three backs have combined to average over 6.2 yards per carry on the season. That production combined with Travis’s passing efforts has given the FSU offense balance. If NC State can make the Noles one-dimensional by shutting down the running game and playing to a strength of the Pack, that will give them a shot at winning on Saturday night.

SHOT #2: Protect Devin Leary

Needless to say, the Wolfpack’s offensive line looked woefully ineffective against Clemson. QB Devin Leary was hit way too often and way too hard. Florida State’s defense has it’s own share of elite pass rushers, so this issue isn’t going to go away on its own. Another effort like last week in pass protection won’t cut it. Run blocking is another thing, but giving Leary time to make some plays is critical to the offense moving the ball. As Essad pointed out in his film review this week, even with as poor as the wide receiver group has been, a few plays were there for the taking last week if Leary had more time in the pocket. Protecting Devin Leary will give the Wolfpack a great shot at getting the W.

SHOT #3: Crystal Head Vodka

Again, this segment is going with liquors that I personally own. Vodka is not exactly something I drink a lot of, so I’m limited here. I’ll also be honest: I bought this thing for the sweet bottle. To me, vodka is vodka, so... you know... whatever.

But! We’re playing Florida State this week, and what better to mix some of that fresh Florida orange juice with than some vodka.

(Yeah, this is a weak effort from me this time. I’m ashamed of myself, really.)

So have yourself a shot and let’s get the Pack back in the W column!