NC State 38, Wofford 17
"I never thought a wishbone game would go four hours." -- TOB
This photo captures yesterday's theme nicely:
There's also this one:
Four hours. Twenty-six penalties will do that.
We neither out-gained nor out-first-downed Wofford, yet still won the game comfortably thanks to said penalties and several egregious mistakes committed by the Terriers inside of their own 20. And maybe that's fitting. On far too many occasions during the losing streak, it was the Pack winning the game on paper but losing it where it mattered.
Although Wofford's success on the ground wasn't surprising, I couldn't help but feel a bit disappointed. O'Brien, however, was pleased:
"I'm ecstatic the way the defense played against these guys," O'Brien said.
The Terriers did, after all, run the ball 57 times; so while the 211 yards allowed looks bad, they got there on less than four yards per carry. That I can live with. We're going to need a huge effort from the front seven in order to have a shot next week, but that's a post for another day.
During the post game press conference, O'Brien noted both the unique challenge presented by the wishbone/flexbone offense and the unique way in which it has to be defended, and commented, "you spend a week not really getting better on defense because you spend all week defending these guys."
Harrison Beck's modest performance (16-32, 113 yards) isn't bothersome to me; he didn't need to do a lot and he didn't try to. He was also hurt by several dropped passes and an illegal touching penalty that nixed a long TD pass.
Even if it did come against an undersized opponent, it was nice to see the offensive line establish itself and block for the run effectively. Andre Brown was fantastic in tandem with the line's efforts, averaging better than six yards per carry. As a team, the Pack averaged 4.8 yards on 45 carries. Controlling the line of scrimmage helps your backs avoid being tackled for losses, and that's crucial to keeping the offense on schedule (a major failure last week).
Car TFL TFL%(So, for example, the Pack ran the ball 45 times against Wofford and was tackled for a loss six times. Sacks are excluded.)
vs. UCF 28 5 17.9
vs. BC 24 6 25.0
vs. Wof 45 6 13.3
This was to be expected; had the offensive line not imposed its will on the Terriers, I would officially be freaking out.
All else aside, whenever this is written about the other team...
They can blame themselves, not the schedule, for this disaster.
Honestly, the buzz around here all day was that this was going to be a decent game. Wolfpack fans seemed to be expecting a better fight from Wofford and some were genuinely nervous. And it should have been a good game. But the Terriers came out tripping over their own feet and the result was a 38-17 loss at Carter-Finley Stadium.
...and not about us, as it often is, then it's been a good weekend.