Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Thru 5 Games

NCSU Offense
CategoryPer GameNat'l RankRank Change
Rushing Offense89 yds110-9
Passing Offense191 yds84+10
Total Offense280 yds113-4
Scoring Offense16.6 pts110-9

NCSU Defense
CategoryPer GameNat'l RankRank Change
Rushing Defense174 yds90-9
Passing Defense226.6 yds85-14
Total Defense400.6 yds93-19
Scoring Defense30 pts91-10

The net punting remains solid, however.

The rest of the stats.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Beck Still Ahead Of Wilson On The Depth Chart

Per Heather Dinich, that's what Tom O'Brien said during this afternoon's teleconference. It's just Monday, so this may not mean much of anything. Since Wilson was listed as doubtful for USF and suited up, I tend to think he's day-to-day and will be probable for BC. TOB, of course, declined to offer an update on Wilson's status.

Update: From WRAL:

N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson and linebacker Nate Irving are currently listed as out for Saturday’s game against Boston College, but coach Tom O’Brien said the status of any injured player is likely to change at any time.

“Anybody not on the depth chart is [wait and see],” O’Brien said. “[Harrison] Beck is listed as the starter and we’re going into the week with him preparing to play.”

Here's the depth chart.

Take Me In And Dry The Rain

Grothe Over The Middle

Box Score

Matt Grothe was locked in from the get go, and with all the time in the world--even when they went five-wide--he casually found open receiver after open receiver. Their first half possessions looked like one of those Quarterback Challenge passing drills: short over the middle: ten points. Intermediate to the sidelines: 20 points. Deep over the middle: fifty points. I had the same feeling after their first drive that I did after Clemson's a year ago: we aren't stopping these guys. South Florida's punter, having seen enough, probably retired back to the locker room to see if anything good was on TV.

Grothe completed 11 of 12 attempts for 148 yards in the first quarter, and the Bulls piled up 339 yards in the first half, averaging nearly seven yards per snap.

State's offense, meanwhile, did nothing on first down all night; of the Wolfpack's 23 first down plays, only four could be deemed successes (three runs of 4+ yards, one lone, long completion). Harrison Beck was 1-11 on first down. The result...

2ND DOWN-LONG.... 17
3RD DOWN-LONG.... 12

Not exactly what I'd call putting us in a position to succeed.


-- Despite only completing nine of his 32 attempts, Harrison Beck still averaged a solid 7.5 YPA. It was an all-or-nothing kind of game (26.6 yds/completion).

-- I'm not a football coach, so correct me if I'm wrong here, but I believe the idea with the quick kick is to kick the ball past the line of scrimmage, and not out the back of your own end zone.

-- Must have been the swagger.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

George Selvie Eats A Lot

ESPN's Wright Thompson tries to match him bite for bite. Any article that includes this phrase...

the Tinkers-to-Evers-to-Chance of pork: bacon and sausage and ham

...is an article worth reading.

Jim Leavitt announced that Selvie, who hasn't practiced this week, will not start on Saturday:

"(McClain and Selvie) did some things, but not a lot," Leavitt said. "We're going to take them both, but we're getting the other guys ready. Is there a chance they might play? You know, maybe. Probably a long shot. ... Selvie's not going to start no matter what. I'm not going to allow it, just because he hasn't practiced. These other guys have taken all the reps. That doesn't mean George won't play a lot of football, but we're going to start guys who have practiced and worked hard."

The St. Pete Times caught up with Harrison Beck:

"They play pretty good defense, but the turnovers are usually backbreakers," said Beck, a transfer from Nebraska who started four games last season before suffering a shoulder injury. "Against Kansas, they sealed the deal at the end with a pick off the post route, and last year against West Virginia, their linebacker picked Pat White and returned it for a touchdown."

Avoiding turnovers will be a key for Beck, whose career numbers against BCS opponents are zero touchdowns and nine interceptions.

Speaking to WRAL, TJ Graham offeredd this priceless comment about Beck:
“[Beck’s] a gunslinger,” Graham said. “He throws it wherever, whenever. You could say Daniel and Russell are a little more conservative and use their brain to throw it while Harrison uses his arm a lot to get the ball where it needs to go.”

Wherever, whenever, baby. Because the receivers are always open, even when they aren't. Fuckin' A.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Aw, but ... we were gonna have a feud!

From today's press teleconference:

If you are the 12th ranked defense in the country, obviously you are well-coached and you understand how to play defense.

Suck on that, Wally.


As a third-string tight end, is it fair to say Bryan has exceeded your expectations?
Certainly. We had no idea he would be able to play and perform the way he did. He's got to do it again this weekend with another great defense coming in.

He's been a pleasant surprise, but I don't want to be in a situation where I see all these surprises.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

USF Defense Banged Up

Six starters hobbled:

No. 13 USF began preparations for Saturday's game at N.C. State with more than half its defensive starters held out with lingering soreness and injuries.

Only one -- linebacker Brouce Mompremier, who is out indefinitely as he recovers from a neck injury -- is definitely out for Saturday, and USF coach Jim Leavitt said he'll know Wednesday about the rest: defensive end George Selvie, defensive tackles Terrell McClain and Aaron Harris, cornerback Tyller Roberts and safety Carlton Williams.

"We usually wait until about Wednesday's practice," Leavitt said. "If they're really hobbling Wednesday ... then probably normally if they don't practice Wednesday, 80 percent they don't (play). We're going to prepare everybody else as if these guys aren't playing, and then we'll see."

Amateur quarterback-eater George Selvie is dealing with an ankle sprain, but it doesn't sound serious, at least not according to him.

TOB says it's on:

USF got some extra motivation Monday from comments made last week by N.C. State coach Tom O'Brien. He consulted with other college programs about the spread offense and how to contain it defensively but told reporters last week that USF was not one of the schools he talked with.

"South Florida? Did you watch them against Oregon?" O'Brien said of the Ducks' 56-21 rout of the Bulls in the Sun Bowl. "Go look at that game. That was the spread that they were defending. I'm not saying anything about South Florida's defense, but if they're the gurus, we'd better go somewhere else."

I know, right? Plus, South Florida's football program is just 11 years old. Would you seek advice from an 11-year-old? For our trouble we'd get a roll of the eyes and a "can't you see I'm on the phone? Shut the door."

Update: USF defensive coordinator Wally Burnham responds:

"Here's the way I feel about it: He's right. We're not gurus," Burnham said. "On the other hand, we try to handle things professionally and not say anything ... with class, not say anything about anyone else's coaching staff. He can say what he wants to. The other thing, I forget what bowl game they were in. That's all I've got to say."

Update #2: O'Brien's USF comment can be heard here (towards the end).

Thru 4 Games

NCSU Offense
CategoryPer GameNat'l RankRank Change
Rushing Offense104.8 yds101+5
Passing Offense179 yds94+6
Total Offense283.8 yds109+4
Scoring Offense18.3 pts101+8

NCSU Defense
CategoryPer GameNat'l RankRank Change
Rushing Defense156.3 yds81-3
Passing Defense214.5 yds71+2
Total Defense370.8 yds74-3
Scoring Defense27.3 pts81+4

The rest of the stats.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I'm not concerned.

"Goddamn vending machine's out of cinnabuns again."

*sighs heavily* "Christ, it's like every other week around here."

*Selects, inhales candy bar. Rides his own pass to
the fairgrounds, crashes through RBC Center roof.*

"No, Harrison, over there!"

"We're doomed!"

"Worry not, fair citizens!"
*Throws 80-yard pass into quadruple coverage for a
touchdown, kicks extra point.*

"Eh. I've seen better."

I don't even know anymore, man.

As we go up we go down.

Wilson, who threw three touchdown passes against the Pirates, suffered an undisclosed injury in the second half of the game but continued to play. He was evaluated on Sunday and O’Brien made the decision then to hold him out of this week’s game, which is slated to kick off at 7:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPNU.

The coach also announced that starting sophomore linebacker Nate Irving, the team’s leading tackler, will also miss this weekend’s game with a lower leg injury. Irving suffered the injury in the first half of Saturday’s win over East Carolina. He attempted to return in the second half, but missed most of the rest of the game.

The Irving news isn't surprising, but what the heck happened to Wilson?


Sunday, September 21, 2008

NC State 30, ECU 24

Box Score

From Tim Peeler's recap:

“For the first time since I have been here, we finally played 60 minutes of tough, hard-nosed football,” said Wolfpack second-year coach Tom O’Brien. “It paid off in the end.”

Huge Pocket

The offensive line brought its best effort of the season, giving Russell Wilson excellent pass protection, and Wilson responded with an outstanding effort of his own, completing 67.7% of his passes while averaging 6.8 yards per attempt. The passing game hadn't shown this much life against a I-A opponent since last October's UVa game.

The Wolfpack defense slowed Patrick Pinkney like no other opponent has this season, holding him to a sub-60 completion percentage and keeping his yards per attempt under seven.

Hi Ya

Hand Up


-- Wilson's play allowed the coaches to diversify their first down play calling a bit; State threw the ball on 45% of its first downs, and Wilson was 9-11 for 88 yards.

-- The Pack's 384 total yards were the most given up the East Carolina this season; ditto the Pack's 5.3 yards/play average. It was the first time in '08 that we've averaged more than five yards per play, and our highest total yardage out put since last year's Carolina game.

-- The Wolfpack has had an even-or-better turnover margin in all four games. We're averaging 5.5 penalties per game so far, down from 6.6 in 2007 and 7.2 in 2006.

-- Brad Pierson: six punts, 45.5-yard average.

-- Some ECU players thought it would be fun to mock the wolfie sign as they ran onto the field pre-game. Not seeing any hand signals from the Pirates after the game, Wolfpack fans near the visitors' tunnel helpfully reminded them how to properly form the sign.

-- It's nice when football is fun, isn't it? Rebuilding is a lot easier to stomach when there's a Saturday or two like yesterday.

-- Game photos.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Still a bit stunned here. More to come.

Andre Brown's Winning TD Run

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Friday, September 19, 2008

WPC Resorts To Bribery

Got this email today...

Free Ice Cream for Wolfpack Club Members:

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND: Free Ice Cream for Wolfpack Club Members

Attention ALL Wolfpack Club Members...The first 1,000 Wolfpack Club members (including Student and Junior members) to stop by Dail Plaza North 2 1/2 hours before each home game will receive free ice cream!Please bring your membership card.

Presumably they'll be serving rocky road.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Jamelle's Back

Injury report.

Jamelle Eugene should see his first playing time of the 2008 season against the East Carolina Pirates. NC State released the weekly injury report on Thursday night after practice, and Eugene has been upgraded to "probable" for the game, slated for a noon kickoff on ESPN. Eugene has missed the first three games this season with an ankle injury.

But Toney Baker is officially done for '08.

"We're a work in progress right now."

Yeah, you could say that.

Ken Tysiac offers a few tips to State's struggling offense:

Attack the perimeter.

After years of dancing in the backfield and trying to bounce too many plays outside, senior Andre Brown finally has established himself as a physical running back willing to churn out the tough yards between the tackles.

As opponents begin crowding the middle of the field out of respect for Brown, opportunities will open up on the perimeter. N.C. State might find the open space there with quick throws and an occasional quarterback run.

Which brings up something I've been wondering about all of those RB draws we've seen so far: what percentage of those plays are hand offs mandated by Dana Bible, and what percentage are reads made by Russell Wilson? Has Wilson just been shy about hanging onto the ball himself, or does the staff not trust him to make those reads yet? Injury concerns could be a factor as well.

Be less predictable on first down.

If you disregard the final, pass-happy drive at the end of the game, N.C. State ran Brown or Curtis Underwood on 14 of its 24 first downs at Clemson.

Here's the full-season run/pass breakdown:

            Run    Pass   Run%    Pass%   Yds/Ru   Yds/Pa
1st down 53 28 65.4 34.6 3.8 6.3
2nd down 36 23 61 39 2.4 5.4
3rd down 17 30 36.2 63.8 0.4 3.8

Adjusting for sacks...

            Run    Pass   Run%    Pass%   Yds/Ru   Yds/Pa
1st down 52 29 64.2 35.8 3.9 5.9
2nd down 35 24 59.3 40.7 2.7 4.8
3rd down 13 34 17.7 72.3 3.1 2.4
I think the two-yard differential between Yds/Pass and Yds/Rush on 1st down is within the range of acceptable passing premiums (though definitely nearing the need-to-pass-more point), but that could easily change as more games are played and more film is available to opponents. So we probably should start throwing more frequently. Not that there's a right answer with this offense. Just a potentially less-wrong one. The fact that we've used three quarterbacks doesn't help either.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hide The Women And Goalposts -- The Improved ECU Pirates Are Comin' To Town

Last year's win over ECU brought about the kind of bewildered joy that occurs rarely, especially over these last few years. I can't really explain it, but you probably know what I mean--when the team treats you to a huge pleasant surprise of a performance, something you never saw coming. Watching it unfold, I was transformed into the guy from those Bud Light commercials. Dude! Dude? Duuuuuuude. The high point of the season for me.

Although I'd expected the worst heading into that one, there were some signs of vulnerability in the Pirates; this was a team with a large positive turnover margin that obscured its poor underlying performance.

I'll have to find another reason for optimism this time around, because the 2008 Pirates are no such frauds; they out-gained and out-played both Virginia Tech and West Virginia, and those performances speak for themselves.

                   2007            2008

Yds/RushAtt 4.9 3.9 3.2 3.3
Yds/PassAtt 6.7 7.2 8.3 5.7
Yds/Play 5.7 5.7 5.4 4.3
(ECU's 2007 SOS: 76. Their '08 SOS: 22. I may delve deeper later this week, but for now a rough mental adjustment of the above numbers based on SOS will have to do.)

Chris Johnson has been as irreplaceable as everyone figured he would be, but the passing game has picked up the slack thanks to Patrick Pinkney's excellent early-season play:

              Comp    Att     Yds    TD   INT   Comp%   Yds/Att   Rating
Pinkney '07 121 200 1358 11 4 60.5 6.8 131.69
Pinkney '08 63 83 707 4 1 75.9 8.5 160.94

Can our Cash-less defensive line put on the pressure necessary to cut down on Pinkney's efficiency? I'm gonna go with no.

Not so much.

Stumbled upon this comment made by TOB last October:

We probably won't have anybody hurt the rest of the year and next year. We've had all of ours added up in three short months.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thru 3 Games


The Wolfpack (1-2) are one of three bowl subdivision teams who rank 100th or worse in all four of the major offensive statistical categories -- rushing, passing, scoring and total offense.

Washington State and Florida International are the other two.

NCSU Offense
CategoryPer GameNat'l RankRank Change
Rushing Offense97.3 yds106+3
Passing Offense153 yds100-6
Total Offense250.3 yds113+3
Scoring Offense14.3 pts109-9

NCSU Defense
CategoryPer GameNat'l RankRank Change
Rushing Defense150.7 yds78-3
Passing Defense216 yds73-22
Total Defense366.7 yds71-10
Scoring Defense28.3 pts85+1

The rest of the stats.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Kushner Done For The Season

Ken Tysiac:

N.C. State backup tight end Matt Kushner is out for the season with a knee injury, the school announced Thursday evening.


Redshirt freshman George Bryan, who started the season as a third-teamer, will start at tight end. Walk-on Eric Weaver will back him up, and coach Tom O'Brien said he might move an offensive linemen to that position if he needs a third tight end in a goal line situation.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Super Sub

Per Heather Dinich:

Beck has been more reliable as a bench player than he has a starter. In the four games he's come off the bench, Beck has thrown for 525 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. In his four starts, he has 624 yards, eight interceptions and no touchdowns.

No wonder Tom O'Brien quickly named Russell Wilson this week's starter. We just need Russell to hold things together for a few series or however long it takes Beck to transform from a crappy starter to a cromulent substitute capable of embiggening his role. Problem solved.

Thursday Items

Apologies for the lack of anything lately; turns out that moving is time consuming. Anyone get hurt while I was out? (Of course someone did.)

-- They're serious about mopeds in Clemson:

Coach Tommy Bowden said he isn’t considering banning moped use, since they’re a way of life for 10-12 players.

“We’ve got so many of them that (have them) that it’s just a way of transportation,” Bowden said. “I’ve never really thought about (a ban) and I don’t think I will, although I thought about it briefly. It’s a shame, because between him and Thomas Austin, that’s our experience.”

Their matching leather jackets are on back order.

-- Chris Hairston's accident has the Tigers in a tough spot:
Whether he likes it or not, he’ll be starting three freshman offensive lineman in Saturday’s noon kickoff against N.C. State — something Clemson hasn’t done since 1943.


“I don’t feel real good about playing freshmen up front, to be honest with you,” he said Wednesday.

I think that's... yeah, that's a faint sliver of hope. Crap. I thought I was going to have a week off. Where the tinge of optimism comes from at this stage, I have no idea. Beer's killed my short term memory, so I generally don't remember what happened in the week prior. That's gotta be it.

-- This week on Coachspeak For Cash: saying something and yet saying nothing:

C.J. Spiller and James Davis had big games against N.C. State last year. Is there any carry over to what you can do against them this year?
Bowden: They are a little bit of a different team. The players are playing with more confidence and intensity. I’m sure they’ve bought into Coach O’Brien’s program. More confidence and a higher level of intensity.

Judges? ... No, I'm sorry, we were looking for swagger/tenacity.

-- The Indianapolis Star examined special admissions (students who don't meet a school's minimum academic requirements but are allowed to enroll anyway) in college football. Fanblogs has a rundown.

-- The Hurricanes now have a third jersey. Could be worse.

-- Another reason why I should've stayed in Tucson for college: Arizona's got Hasselhoff. Actually, nevermind. There's no beating John Tesh.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Even George Tarantini Would Fire George Tarantini

The Technician spoke with the men's soccer coach last week:

Technician: What expectations do you have for the team this season?

Tarantini: The expectations of us are to be competitive in the ACC and go to the NCAA [championship tournament]. Anything less than that is unacceptable. My expectations are high. I don't think I've been this excited in a long, long time. I don't remember ever being so optimistic. But all those are good wishes. You have to prove [it] on the field.


To get to play on Friday or Saturday night will be a huge advantage for us. I have never talked about that before. You never heard me say anything like that. I never talk about facilities. That's not me. I play with whatever we have, and there was no excuse for us to not make the NCAA tournament.

So, from the coach himself, there are no excuses for not making the NCAAs, and missing the tournament is unacceptable. If/when the team does not reach that goal, then... right? Right?

The guys are off to an 0-2-1 start.

Clemson Offensive Lineman Hurt In Moped Accident

Celebrate a win indoors next time, okay?

The biggest concern right now on the offensive line might be the health of starting left tackle Chris Hairston. Team spokesman Tim Bourret confirmed Hairston suffered injuries in a moped accident Saturday night. Team doctors will evaluate Hairston today and make a determination on his status, Bourret said.

The line has already lost starting right guard Barry Humphries to a possibly season-ending knee injury. Hairston's backup, redshirt freshman Landon Walker, saw his first college action Saturday.

That's just one of several injuries the Tigers are dealing with on both lines:

The line has been hit hard by injuries, though. Senior tackle Rashaad Jackson is out until at least midseason with a knee injury, and Bowden said the defense misses his quickness inside.

Junior tackle Jamie Cumbie is out for the year with a wrist injury, and junior "bandit" end Ricky Sapp missed Saturday's game with a severely bruised knee.

Six of eight players on the defensive line's two-deep are freshmen or sophomores. Seven of eight entered the season without a career start, senior Dorell Scott the lone exception.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

And here come the pretzels...

Ninety seconds into the game, Daniel Evans attempted his first pass and it was picked off; as soon as the play was over, the boos started. The strong negative reaction so early on caught me off guard, but in hindsight I suppose it shouldn't have. Scoreless for nine quarters going back to the Wake Forest game, quarterbackless for five years going back to the Tangerine Bowl. Folks needed to release some frustration just to make room for what's still to come.

Evans's interception brought about one of those wow, we could really lose this game realizations. But William & Mary gave the ball back almost immediately, dismissing such a notion as absurd. And I was coming around--they'd made a compelling argument with that fumble, after all; I mean it's just a mediocre I-AA team we're dealing with here--until the Wolfpack offense came back out.

Daniel Evans
Comp Att Yds Yds/Att Comp% TD INT
vs. W&M 4 11 12 1.1 36.4 0 1
Season 8 23 49 2.1 34.8 0 3

What the heck happened?

The defense eventually put the offense in a situation where going nowhere would still leave us in position to score points--g'head and try to screw that up! (They didn't. Whew.)

Tip Drill
Alan-Michael Cash tips the pass.

Irving Pulls It In
Nate Irving gets a hand on it, brings it in.

The rest of the night played out much like last season's opener, except there was no double-digit deficit to overcome. Harrison Beck was again asked to save the day, and again he played well in relief. But this remains Russell Wilson's show, because we want and need to run the spread option if we're going to progress offensively. Hopefully we'll be able to characterize these first two weeks as the clear low point, though it's probably foolish to think the quarterback situation will not remain fluid.


-- We're ranked 116th in total offense. Hard to imagine an offense worse than ours, but there are two, apparently. Here's the rest of the ugly picture, though it isn't all bad: 4th in sacks per game, 16th in net punting (woo!), 25th in turnover margin.

-- They've improved on the defensive side, I'm sure, but I expected more than 2.2 yards per carry against the Tribe. Gotta cut that out, the expecting of certain small successes.

-- Clemson cruised past the Citadel, but the Tigers allowed over 400 total yards. Which is not to suggest that we might win next week, just that we might manage more than 10 points.

-- AC/DC noooooooooooooo!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Glancing At William & Mary

William & Mary finished the 2007 season at 4-7 (2-6), but with 18 starters back, they're feeling optimistic in Williamsburg. Coach Jimmye Laycock's team moved the ball well last season (mostly through the air) but, uh, ran into trouble on the defensive side, where their youth killed them.

                    Yds/Gm    Rk
Rush Offense 118.1 95
Pass Offense 278.1 12
Pass Efficiency n/a 25
Total Offense 396.2 40
Rush Defense 225.7 108
Pass Defense 167.5 12
Pass Eff. Defense n/a 96
Total Defense 393.2 83

The pass defense looks pretty, but the pass efficiency/rush defense numbers tell the story: it's not that foes couldn't throw the ball against the Tribe, it's that they never really saw the need.

   W&M Opponents
RushAtt/Gm 46.7
Yds/RushAtt 4.8
PassAtt/Gm 23.6
Yds/PassAtt 7.1
Comp% 64.6

W&M Offense

Quarterback Jake Phillips was undermined at every turn by his offensive line, yet still managed a fine season, throwing for 2801 yards (8.3 per attempt), 19 TDs and 7 INTs.

Laycock took what appears to be a "shit, this guys sucks, what about the next guy?" approach to the running game, and while some sucked less than others, the general theme and tone established in the team's season-opening 3.3 YPC effort against Delaware persisted.

The most effective and heavily-used of the RB bunch was freshman Courtland Marriner (anagram: Admiral Corner Turn). The Admiral is out of Saturday's game with an injury, though, and so is his backup. Which leaves the Tribe without two of the three guys who managed better than four yards per carry in '07; the replacements on the two-deep have a combined 19 career carries.

The receiver to watch is Elliot Mack (6-0, 195), who averaged 18.5 yards per catch last season (849 yards on just 46 receptions). The man behind Mack on the two-deep is a converted quarterback (also: the backup QB is a converted receiver), while the other starting receiver suffered a season-ending injury in the first game of last season. So it's hard to know what to expect from this group, aside from Mack.

W&M Defense

Bunch of guys back; you know the drill:

“I’ll be the first to tell you how great the defense looked during spring ball,” praised fourth-year starting quarterback Jake Phillips at Monday’s Media Day. “They really made it tough on us in scrimmages. Instead of a sit back and bend but don’t break philosophy, Coach (Bob) Shoop has them being a lot more aggressive and bringing pressure all over.”

In his second year as defensive coordinator, Shoop is tabbing his unit the “Green Swarm.”

“I want 11 men working as one and flying to the football,” explained Shoop. “We need to play with greater effort, run to the ball better and tackle. The players are understanding our higher expectations and what we want to do, but we have to demand more."

Phillips became the 500,000th college quarterback to say words to that effect about his defense in the preseason.

But there is reason to expect improvement, returning experience aside: their scoring defense (ranked 111th) didn't square with their yardage numbers (89th), in part because of some horrific fumble luck. The Tribe offense lost 12 of 18 fumbles, while the defense recovered six of 16. That's a mere 35.3% recovery rate, which you'd think would climb closer to a more typical figure this season.

Distinguished Alums

Assorted presidents and founding fathers, and Jon Stewart. Which gives me an excuse to post a Daily Show clip.

Childrens do learn. The defensive coordinator's bankin' on it.

Return of the hurricane bowl?

A dry Saturday isn't looking so good at this point; a 70% chance of rain throughout the day is the current forecast. Our offense in wet conditions? Do not want.

A bad day for a tent malfunction, I'm thinking.

Fail Tent
One interpretation of the NC State offense.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

NC State 87, Guelph 47

Box Score

NC State
Four Factors
Turnover Rate19.9
Off Reb Rate31.0
Four Factors
Turnover Rate29.2
Off Reb Rate34.3

          Pts   Poss    Off_Eff   Def_Eff
Guelph 47 75.3 62.4 115.6
NCSU 87 75.3 115.6 62.4

That's a little more like it. Trends from the weekend:

-- Up-tempo games. The 88-possession York game might be the fastest paced game we've played in this century. The Guelph game was considerably slower, but there were still a lot more possessions in that game than we're used to.

-- Forced lots of turnovers. If Sidney Lowe sincerely wants to push tempo this season, this is where it has to start. We stole the ball 26 times over the weekend, which could be evidence of a new level of defensive aggressiveness, or simply the result of facing an incompetent pair of opponents. A little of both?

-- Poor rebounding. We were out-rebounded, however narrowly, by both York and Guelph, which is highly alarming if not surprising. If there is one certainty about the upcoming season, it's that we will be thoroughly dominated on the glass by our ACC foes.

-- Great play from Brandon Costner. He shot 55.9% for the weekend and rebounded well to boot. He's back, I think.

-- Bad free throw shooting. Fifty-eight point seven percent for the weekend.

'Preciate your sympathy, guy.

South Carolina fan gives Russell Wilson the finger as he's carted off the field...