I didn’t write a recap of the USA game because I wake up at 6:00 AM on Saturday mornings to teach a continuing education writing seminar at Saint Augustine’s, and by the time 7:00 PM rolls around, I’m basically drunk on no sleep and irritable.
I didn’t write a recap of the Louisville game because it was (me being lazy) a symbolic gesture not to show up, just like the Pack.
But this, this cannot stand. Plus, the game was on a Friday night and I had enough time to think up what joke I want to make about coach Doeren’s ACC record (besides the record, itself being one). Lemme clear my throat, hold on.
*Gargles hot salt water with a pinch of dashed expectations*
The NC State Wolfpack built upon a disappointing loss to the Louisville Cardinals by getting pretty much curb-stomped by the shockingly-not-terrible-the-night-they-play-NC-State Virginia Tech Hokies. With the loss, coach Doeren’s 3-15 ACC record would make even Julius Caesar nervous (Boom). Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer’s glassy stare was unmoved by (probably anything) the victory, while coach Doeren is searching (yet again) for his first ACC win of the season.
Against Pitt, Virginia Tech’s offense looked like a spilled jar of old coffee grounds.
100 total yards
12 1st downs
9 (NINE! WHAT HOW) rushing yards on 33 attempts
91 passing yards on 20 attempts (3.3 ypa)
QB Motley: 9/20, 91 yds, 1TD/3INT, 11.1 QBR
On Friday night:
358 total yards
20 1st downs
200 (a slight improvement) rushing yards on 36 attempts
158 passing yards on 29 attempts (5.3 ypa)
QB Motley: 14/28, 158 yds, 3TD, 70.6 QBR
. . . I mean, what and how.
The Pack secondary would have lost a 4th grade game of capture the flag and the pass rush was as existent as inexpensive organic produce.
This reverses the trend of the first four games (against pretty crappy competition) of a dominant defense that was prone to give up one or two big plays (ok, so that’s apparently gonna be a trend all season) is troubling. Since State has given up big plays and long drives to both Louisville and Tech (a combined 3-6 record before playing State), things don’t really look awesome with Clemson and FSU (and literally anyone else) still on the schedule.
Brissett’s numbers were fairly understated during the ‘preseason,’ but I’d attributed it to not needing to throw in blow-outs or wanting to keep the more aggressive playbook under wraps until conference season.
Maybe I was giving Brissett and the coaching staff too much credit.
A few months ago, I didn’t realize my microwave was on low, and I kept heating and heating and heating a plate of leftovers, and I was like ‘This is peculiar, the temperature isn’t changing, no matter how long I leave it in there.’
And this is how I feel about Brissett. He overthrew the long ball in the opener last season. He still does. He held the ball too long in the pocket last year, especially in a stretch between the FSU game and Syracuse. He still does. He looked like he was more worried about not throwing interceptions than making assertive throws downfield or over the middle. He still does.
Brissett’s versatility as a runner is only a versatility if he’s actually a threat as a passer. He completed 12 passes on Friday for 113 yards. His team was losing most of the game, leading one to think that when passes were called, the plan was to throw aggressively in order to score quickly.
State had one (1) play over 20 yards from scrimmage. A pass to a running back.
3) Run. The. Ball.
When coaches go away from what works, like runing when you’re a team that averages over 5 yards per rush, maybe, or not blitzing when your secondary can’t cover a pie with tin foil, it hurts me. I’ve started thinking it might be a good idea for State to invest in an offensive coordinator advisor who redirects offensive coordinator Matt Canada to consider running plays on 1st down and to save play action for 2nd or 3rd and short. Or create a play chart that looks like a lunch menu and some options are only available later.
‘Sorry, coach, you can only order that on 3rd and 2.’
State going away from the run is Batman sliding over the hood of the Batmobile and somersaulting into a golf cart in order to make chase. Do what works. It’s just stupid. Incomplete passes and sacks on 1st down put the Pack into another throwing situation, and with Brissett scared of his own shadow, that’s not a recipe for success.
A bye week. Thank goodness.