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Avoiding The Upset From The Get-Go

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Games like this one are tough. We’re on the road at night. And we’re playing a conference opponent with a new coach who has something to prove.

This is Dave Doeren’s first year at the helm for NC State. He was previously the head coach at Northern Illinois where he won two consecutive MAC championships. He’s young. Clemson will be the highest ranked opponent he will have faced thus far in his short career. And you can bet he’s pumped for it.This is a huge game for Doeren. He’s been on the cusp of becoming a big name coach for a few years now. And a win for him against Clemson would launch him into the forefront of the "coaches to watch" conversations. He’ll have his team amped to face the Tigers. And he can win the game if he keeps his team hanging around.

We need to take control of this game on our first possession.

The best way for our rushing attack to help us take an early lead is to set up the play action. NC State’s defense is going to have their ears pinned back and coming after Tajh. I’d like to see us force them to honor the run and then take a deep shot off the play action.

Scoring fast will help take the crowd out of the game. And scoring fast again will help keep the crowd out of it. Let’s suck the wind out of that place in the first quarter. Let’s send the fans back to their tailgates before halftime. Then we can grind it out on the ground and smother the clock.

Burn. Then churn.

So here’s what I’d do if I were The Chad on the first three plays on offense.

1. Inside run to McDowell
2. Sweep to Sammy
3. Play-action bomb.

What would you do on the first three plays if you were The Chad?