NCSU Team Preview
As I've been trying to do so far this season, I've gotten a blogger from our upcoming opponent to give a breakdown of their team and what to expect from them. This week it's Akulawolf over at SectionSix. I believe he's also a moderator at PackPride.com and has a pretty good feel for the 'Pack football team coming into tonight's game. As always, if you want to read what I had to say about the Jackets, you can visit his blog and take part in the discussion over there.
I attended NC State's last two games in
Atlanta...unfortunately. I'm sitting this one out in
the hopes that maybe I'm a curse or something.
NCSU total offense rank: 52
Running game, anyone? Here are NC State's rushing
totals against Georgia Tech over the last
2004: 72 yds
2003: -8 yds
2002: 57 yds
2001: 46 yds
The passing game hasn't really been a problem over the
span of the Wolfpack's losing streak against the
Jackets, and while we don't necessarily need to run
the ball well in order to win (despite what the last
four years might indicate), it would be kinda nice.
Several running backs will get carries on Thursday;
expect most of them to go to Toney Baker. Baker has
asserted himself over the last couple of games, and
now leads the team in attempts, yards, and rushing
touchdowns. I'm hopeful that Baker can have some
success on the ground, but that's going to depend on
an offensive line that's been pretty mediocre thus
far. Excepting the North Carolina game, the pass
protection has been good; the run blocking, not so
Jay Davis is back under center, and he'll be throwing
to essentially the same guys you saw last season.
Keep your eyes on wide receiver Tramain Hall and tight
end TJ Williams--they're the Pack's leading receivers.
Williams in particular has been one of Davis'
favorite targets over the last couple of years. He's
a good pass catcher who deserves a little more
recognition within the conference.
NCSU total defense rank: 13
We know this much: Reggie Ball can play terribly
(9-27, 3 INTs last year) and the Jackets can still win
Probably the most important individual matchup will
occur when Tech has the football: Calvin Johnson vs.
Marcus Hudson. As I'm sure you all know, NC State
likes to play a lot of press, man-to-man coverage, and
I don't expect us to make an exception just for
Johnson (the coaches are stubborn like that). So
we're probably going to see Johnson and Hudson going
at it most of the night. Hudson is an unusually tall
cornerback (6'2"), which makes him ideal for covering
It will also be interesting to see how the Wolfpack's
safeties--who don't have a lot of experience period,
much less against someone like Calvin Johnson--handle
those deep throws and whether or not they'll be able
to provide effective help.
At the other corner spot, AJ Davis has been less than
inspiring. Could be an advantage for the Jackets
You know all about Manny Lawson and Mario Williams, so
I don't need to go on about those guys. Under the
radar, though, is linebacker Stephen Tulloch, who has
40 tackles in three games. He's speedy, and one of
the best tacklers on the defense.
Do you think you could maybe just let us have this
I didn't think so.
NC State is averaging 10 penalties and 3 turnovers per
game. Should we hit those numbers on Thursday--and I
just assume that we will--Georgia Tech wins.