Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Midseason Report: NC State
By Andrea Adelson
Record: 4-2, 1-1
The Wolfpack got their signature win in the first half of the season, erasing a 16-0 halftime deficit to stun No. 3 Florida State 17-16 a few weeks ago. Just when you thought NC State was going to end up being a big disappointment, the Wolfpack go and do the unexpected. That has been the M.O. of this team in recent years, and coach Tom O'Brien deserves a large amount of credit for getting his players ready to play. Now if they can win out, they play in the ACC championship game. But there are still questions this team must answer.
First, can their offensive line continue to make strides the way we saw against the Seminoles? Despite missing three starters, NC State gave up just one sack against Florida State, a team with the two leading sack-masters in the ACC. Quarterback Mike Glennon had time to throw, and that helped facilitate the comeback.
Second, has the secondary found its stride? All-American David Amerson has had a rough start to the season, in losses to Miami and Tennessee in particular. But he rebounded nicely against the Seminoles. NC State needs him to be the shutdown cornerback he was a year ago. Case in point -- the Wolfpack rank last in the ACC in pass defense.
Third, can the offense find consistency? That has been particularly elusive this year, given some of the injuries along the line and in the backfield and at receiver. NC State is in the bottom half of the league in total offense and scoring offense and has gone over 30 points just twice against FBS competition.
Offensive MVP: Glennon. He started off the season shaky with four interceptions against Tennessee, but since then has played decently, throwing for 1,681 yards, 12 touchdowns and seven interceptions this season. His performance against FSU alone gets him the MVP, after converting three fourth downs on the game-winning drive and throwing for 259 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
Defensive MVP: Brandan Bishop. Bishop leads the team with 47 tackles and also has a team-leading two forced fumbles. Bishop has been one of the most consistent players on a defense that has had its share of ups and downs. But in the biggest win of the year, Bishop had a team-high 11 tackles and two pass breakups against the Seminoles.