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The Chunk Check: NC State’s early long-gain rates

Let’s see how this is going.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 09 Notre Dame at NC State Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

NC State’s lingering explosive play problem on offense from 2022 unfortunately shows no signs of abating in 2023, as it turns out Robert Anae cannot in fact work miracles. Regrettable, that.

I was curious how the offense’s rate of long games compares to last season, so I put the below table together based on’s long scrimmage play data. How chunky is the Pack feeling? Not nearly chunky enough.

Chunk Plays

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 150 25 (16.7) 4 (2.7) 1 (0.6)

You do need some actual play-makers in order to make plays—that’s just science—and the drop epidemic among certain wide receivers really ain’t helping by quashing opportunities before they have a chance to get going. Kevin Concepcion and Juice Vereen have obvious potential to get chunky (and, possibly, funky), but patience is needed for the freshmen, who really shouldn’t need to be this important this quickly.

Any halfway decent gains State can get from the rushing attack I consider gravy at this point, so the offense’s future prospects and ability to put more big plays together becomes a question of whether or not the passing game will level up from here. In terms of execution, there’s no doubt that it can. I’m not sure consistency is a luxury we’re going to get to enjoy, though.