#24 Clemson vs. NC State pit-wolfies (4-5, 1-4 ACC)
I've seen NC State play two games this year, against Sakerlina and then FSU. What I took away was that Russell Wilson (177/293 2351yds 24TDs) really has an NFL-quick release. At times the bullets he throws are so hard that his receivers can't hold them, and he has some of the touch issues that Parker has on short throws. He runs well too, and more often than Parker (78 car, 294yds, 4TDs). He's thrown 5 picks in the last two games against FSU and Maryland, but 2 of those picks were hail mary throws vs. FSU. I think he's right behind Ponder as the best QB in the ACC. Against Sakerlina they had a pitiful offensive performance, but at the time I thought O'Brien would have their act together and they'd be playing better, and they are (at least on offense). Right now they are 30th nationally and 3rd in the ACC in total offense, 17th nationally in passing offense.
Talk about the similarities of facing another good offense this week with another good quarterback who's playing well right now.
Steele: "He's a very good quarterback. He's put up big numbers. There are similarities in what they do. They're multiple in their personnel groupings, same personnel groupings and multiple in some formations. I don't think we'll see 19 of 37 quick throws like we did last week. I don't think. We may.
He's not running as much as I remember him doing. He's capable of doing it. Against Duke, he did."
He doesn't seem like he makes a lot of mistakes. He doesn't throw a lot of interceptions, either.
Steele: "The other guy had a lack of interceptions, too. They do throw the ball down the field a good bit. That group we just played, they had thrown the ball down the field, but had thrown a lot of quicks and screens, too. He's well-coached. He's got a quick release. I think that's the biggest thing."
They seem to use their tight ends and running backs a lot in underneath routes.
Steele: "They get a lot of catches. They check the ball around a good bit. They'll throw it vertically down field to the tight end, too. This is kind of welcome to our world. We've played the TCU QB, he was in the top 25, Skinner is in the top 25 and Harris and Ponder. This guy is, too. It's what we do. It's what we've seen."
Talk about Tajh Boyd's role as the scout team QB and that helping your defense.
Steele: "He's got a quick release. He's got an uncanny abability to lead people. Very rarely does the scout team QB have that kind of effect on the defense. He's trying to make you look bad and he's in their face. And they love him to death. He's got an unbelievably quick release. He's got quick feet, he's a good runner, he's tough. He's got a cannon for an arm. We sat in there and watch defensive film sometimes and run back the throwing motion and see how quick it comes out of his hand. It happened last night. Chris Rumph was sitting there and commented on it. The guy is amazing. He's got a lot of talent. But he's got IT too."
WRs Owen Spencer and Jarvis Williams both have around 400-500 receiving, and they really utilize their backs and TE G. Bryan in the passing game. RB Toney Baker has 588 on the ground and 280 receiving, and his backup has 65 carries for 226 yards and another 80 yards receiving. Their OL is above-average, due to injuries in part, and is a fair bit better than ours.
Bear in mind some of these stats were piled up against bad defenses: Murray State, Garder-Webb, Duke, FSU and Maryland. They did manage to beat Pitt and put 38 points on them.
So why is this team having a terrible year? Injuries, turnovers, and this defense.
-Former LSU head coach Mike Archer runs a scheme not very different from what VK ran. Its a 4-2-5, that plays alot of Cover 2/3 Zone. He zone blitzes a good bit more than Koenning did though. Boston College put 54 yards on us, and NC State couldnt stop them (see below). Duke ripped them to shreds. FSU ate them alive, but that one is understandable. All of them ran a quick-paced offense against NCSU. Their LBs are sophomores and the Secondary is mostly freshmen. DE Willie Young is fast and quite talented, and Corner DeAndre Morgan has potential, but I see nothing on this defense that should stop Clemson. Its hardly better than FSU's overall, but they do a bit better against the run. I expect the Tigers to come out and try to run the ball against this Nickel, and if that has success then open up the passing game more.
Does N.C. State play more zone coverage than you're used to?
NAPIER: "They're similar to maybe Boston College, Wake Forest. You can see (Tom) O'Brien's footprint in the defense and how they've evolved the last couple of years. They do a heck of a job coaching their guys.
"They're more zone coverage, but they play a lot of fire-zones. Zone-pressure type stuff."
Fire zones are covered here.
-The Pack is sitting at 108th in turnover margin nationally, 13 in the last 5 games.
-They sit at the bottom in punt and kickoff coverage and I don't see a touchback in their kicking stats. Spiller Time.
-A blurb on this game from Every Day Should be Saturday...
RISK LEVEL 4: Attempting to leave the Church of Scientology
Clemson -7 vs. North Carolina State, noon
Earlier this week I did a post for Dr. Saturday about Clemson’s ascent to the top of the ACC’s Atlantic Division and how the burden of being a favorite has been the program’s kiss of death in recent years. If recent history is any guide, then, the Tigers’ upset alert should be at DEFCON 1 this weekend. But Tommy Bowden is no longer around to trip over his own shoelaces in big games — and the Tigers’ opponent this weekend is North Carolina State, who’s allowed an average of 44 points to its last four opponents, a group that includes such scoreboard-ignitin’ juggernauts as Duke, Boston College, and Maryland. (Or to look at it another way: Clemson gave up only 54 net yards to Boston College earlier this year; State generously allowed 480.) The only thing keeping Clemson from romping here is its lingering irritable-bowel syndrome that always seems to pop up in big games; if Dabo Swinney truly has worked some kind of magic on the Tigers’ psyche, C.J. Spiller figures to romp in Raleigh and power his team to a big win. And Clemson can save the embarrassing upset for next week, when Al Groh will be raging away at his VCR for having failed to tape "NCIS" and looking to take his frustrations out on somebody.
Dollar Bill Doug-EDSBS
-NC State has been killed by Injuries: OUT FOR SEASON
Mario Carter, TE - knee, arguably their best tight end, but Soph. George Bryan has done well.
Ryan Cheek, LB - hip,Denzelle Good, OL - shoulder (freshman from Gaffney)
T.J. Graham, WR - stress fracture/leg, James Washington, HB - knee - Their best kick returners
Nate Irving, LB - leg, obviously an NFL draft pick
Colby Jackson, FB - knee
R.J. Mattes, OG - knee
Everett Proctor, QB - shoulder
Jeff Rieskamp, DE - sports hernia
Rashard Smith, CB - knee
Javon Walker, S - knee
PROBABLE: Ray Michel, LB - ankle
Which is just bad luck. We've been very lucky to have hardly any serious injuries this year. Bowers will remain out for this weekend, but Sensabaugh, Chancellor and Butler will be back at CB. I expect to see a little more Byron Maxwell though. Kantrell Brown has been cleared to play again. Safety Spencer Adams has had the flu but is available.
----In all, on paper I would expect this game to be closer than the FSU game. State can score points, and can stop other teams a LITTLE better than FSU. The only worry I have is that a) O'Brien has a good track record against us, and b) its NC State and those bitches have screwed things up for us in the past. Thank God Dick Sheridan is not there.
Notes of interest...
- J.K. Jay, who almost took the RT job, has had to quit school, per Swinney. He's had Mono and his disc injury hasnt healed, and he has to have another back surgery in December. Its not looking great for him to be back before August. You cant do alot of lifting with that back injury. Honestly, it might be a 50% chance he even gets to play football again.
-Top Recruit MLB Justin Parker went from Clemson being in the lead to Sakerlina back in the lead, and it seems that its a heavier lead than we'd hope. He takes an official for the Florida game this weekend, and he says he plans to make his decision in the next few weeks. I have a feeling this one will drag on later though, and we'll get our official visit. He says he plans to (unofficial) visit for UVA next weekend. Why would he commit when Florida puts 50 on them anyway?