NC State wraps up the spring with a few key elements of the defense still up in the air, but the more intriguing questions are on offense, where a new QB and new coordinator will showcase their skill sets for fans in Saturday’s spring game. Here are three big stories to watch.
1. How comfortable does Jalan McClendon look at QB?
Dave Doeren said McClendon has exceeded expectations this spring, and the veteran QB seems ready to take the reins from Jacoby Brissett. Still, he’s been pushed by athletic backup Jakobi Meyers, and there have been a handful of practices this spring where Doeren said the competition has been neck-and-neck. Further complicating matters is that many of NC State’s best offensive weapons -- including Matt Dayes and Jaylen Samuels -- have been held out for much of the spring due to injuries.
2. What’s the status of the offensive line?
Doeren believes this is the biggest concern facing his team with some key veteran losses, including All-ACC performer Joe Thuney. Garrett Bradbury -- a project last year after being converted from tight end -- has made great strides this spring, and Tyler Jones has looked good too. But how will the whole group look together? That’s a much bigger question.
3. How much will Eli Drinkwitz show his hand?
NC State’s new offensive coordinator hasn’t gotten into many specifics about his offensive approach, and he won’t have a full deck of weapons to work with in the spring game anyway. So how much can we learn about what the Wolfpack will look like in 2016? Odds are, we won’t find out a lot Saturday, but it might be a good opportunity to get a sneak preview of the more up-tempo approach that’s likely to be utilized often once the season starts.