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NC State falls in Mayo Bowl to Maryland, 16-12

NCAA Football: Duke’s Mayo Bowl-Maryland at North Carolina State Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t know that anyone would be surprised to learn that NC State’s only offense in the bowl game came via field goal, but I am pretty sure all of them would be disappointed. But so it was and so it goes.

As far as ideal scenarios go, this never was one. State’s defense picked up the team twice early, first by stopping Maryland on fourth-and-goal, and then by picking a pass after Ben Finley threw one to set up short field for the Terps.

That NC State managed a 3-0 lead after all of that was a minor miracle, and not one that would last, on account of cold reality. Maryland scored the only touchdown in this game in the second quarter, which was enough to keep State playing back-footed and from behind the rest of the day.

Sixteen points allowed by your defense needs to be enough. It should be enough. But this NC State offense is just that bad—and free of imagination—that it can squander that kind of performance from its defense. The coaches can talk quietly about personnel all they want, and I’m sure they will, but the lack of imagination shown by this unit is not on the guys giving the effort.

It’s one thing to have a bad offense because you don’t have talent, and it’s quite another to just let your offense wallow because you went and took a vacation for three weeks and decided that changing coordinators would be good enough, whether or not you left this current team out to dry.

But that was Dave’s month, apparently. Just embarrassing.