One Thing I’m Worried About
- Whatever Wolfpack hex fell over Winston-Salem in the late 90’s. Since the start of the 1997 season, NC State is just 2-11 against Wake Forest in Winston-Salem. The Deacs have had the privilege of the combination of Jim Grobe and Dave Clawson running the program for the last 23 years, but losing to two Jim Caldwell teams? Pathetic. Anyways, past performance has absolutely no bearing on what will happen this year, but it sure would be nice to turn that record on its head starting this weekend.
Two Things I’m Confident In
- The ability of the team to positively respond to adversity. As our good friend Essad so eloquently pointed out, Dave Doeren’s NC State teams have historically done a fantastic job of rising in the face of adversity to produce greater than expected results. The general reaction in the fanbase to M.J. Morris’ decision to redshirt the remainder of the year is surely not the same as that of the players in the locker room. I expect this team will rally around each other - and Brennan Armstrong, in particular - and deliver a cohesive, focused, and determined effort on Saturday.
- NC State’s defense and the havoc they can and will create. The Wolfpack defense has been phenomenal over the last three games, forcing 7 turnovers while registering 18 TFL, 6 sacks, and 10 pass breakups. Against a Wake Forest team that has struggled this year at keeping opposing defenses from making those very types of plays against them, it’s a matchup that favors the Pack.
Three Stats You Should Know
- Wake Forest ranks 133rd in the country (that is dead last) in opponent Havoc rate (that is the percentage of plays that result in a TFL, forced fumble, interception, or pass breakup) at 24.0% of non-garbage time plays.
- The Demon Deacons offense is averaging 15.3 points per game in ACC games this year.
- NC State’s defense ranks 14th in the country in opponent PPA (Predicted Points Added - expected points scored based on down, distance, and field position). The Pack D also ranks 24th in Stuff Rate.