Sunday, November 09, 2008

Watch Me Jumpstart

From The Technician:

The Wolfpack (3-6 overall, 1-4 ACC) was determined to keep its bowl eligibility hopes alive and even used a quote from a movie as motivation during the week. J.C. Neal said the extra motivation helped. He would know, his kickoff return got the team going in the right direction early Saturday.

“Coach O’Brien quoted a movie, “Blue’s Brothers” and said ‘we are on a mission from God’,” Neal said. “And we bought into that quote and we put on a show from them tonight.”

The Blue Devils did what it appears they've generally done all season--chip away slowly but surely. Nothing disastrous, but nothing spectacular, either. They put together three double-digit-play drives, but only one netted them points. That's how it went for Duke, which was methodical but couldn't quite produce the big plays in the big spots.
       Plays   Yds   Yds/Play
NCSU 59 377 6.4
Duke 80 411 5.1

-- Sandwiching JC Neal's kickoff return were two long Duke drives. The first, a 16-play march, consumed seven-and-a-half minutes; the second went for 12 plays and ate another four minutes. So by the time Russell Wilson finally had the ball back in his hands, the Wolfpack defense had essentially been on the field for the last twelve minutes of game time--a worrisome development, to say the least. Fortunately, the offense responded with its longest drive of the afternoon: 12 plays, 89 yards, five minutes. Had we gone three-and-out there, half the defense might've collapsed with exhaustion during Duke's next series.

-- Credit to Clem Johnson for his TD-saving shoestring tackle in the third quarter. That play immediately preceded the goal line stand.

-- Russell Wilson attempted more questionable throws than we've grown accustomed to, but his receivers seemed to come down with all of the 50-50 balls. Ant Hill's catch in particular was awesome. Just one of those days, I guess. Reminded me of the Florida State game a couple years back.

-- Highlights courtesy the N&O.

-- Bowl eligibility, here we come. We're on a mission from god, after all.