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The Chunk Check: Finding a playmaker sure does help

NC State v Virginia Tech Photo by Ryan Hunt/Getty Images

NC State’s offense found its identity down the stretch of the regular season, and bolstered by the playmaking abilities of Kevin Concepcion, it really took off. The Wolfpack capped the season with its highest yardage total (504) and per-play average (6.8) of the year in the beatdown of UNC. It’s been quite the turnaround.

You can see the KC Effect in the big-play numbers.

Explosive Play Rates

Year Total Plays 10-19 yd gains (pct) 20-29 yd gains (pct) 30+ yd gains (pct)
Year Total Plays 10-19 yd gains (pct) 20-29 yd gains (pct) 30+ yd gains (pct)
2022 913 172 (18.8) 43 (4.7) 22 (2.4)
2023 795 144 (18.1) 42 (5.3) 42 (5.3)
2023 (Armstrong) 565 111 (19.6) 35 (6.2) 29 (5.1)
2023 (Morris) 230 33 (14.3) 7 (3.0) 13 (5.7)

State’s explosive play output lagged behind 2022 for a good portion of 2023 but started to hit a lot more home runs as it surged. Concepcion obviously had a whole lot to do with that. In a lot fewer snaps, NC State nearly matched its total of plays for 20-29 yards from 2022, and nearly doubled its number of plays over 30 yards.

These numbers still don’t rate well nationally, but within the context of State’s recent output, they’re really encouraging. With the potential playmaking additions coming through this year’s recruiting class, plus, perhaps, the addition of a veteran playmaker at quarterback in the near future, the offense looks poised to build on these gains next fall.