2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 27 NC State Wolfpack
The 2017 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the NC State Wolfpack
No. 27: NC State Wolfpack
NC State Wolfpack Prespring Status
It could’ve been a very, very different offseason. While the Wolfpack basketball team is dealing with coaching issues of its own, the football program might have undergone an overhaul – or it would’ve been a discussion – if Dave Doeren and the Pack didn’t win three of their last four games. State managed to not only get bowl eligible in the final game of the regular season, but it did it by beating North Carolina – that helped. Blowing out Vanderbilt 41-17 in the bowl might have set the tone for 2017 – at least that’s the hope.
Only three starters are gone from an offense that fizzled for a long stretch in the middle of the season, but seemed like it figured it out late, while the defense gets back eight starters from the nation’s 24th-best defense.
NC State Wolfpack Biggest Issue
Replacing Matthew Dayes. Losing S Josh Jones early to the NFL, and having to replace CB Jack Tocho is a concern, but the rest of the defense should be terrific. Offensively, when things bogged down, the Pack turned to Dayes, who led the team with 1,166 yards and ten scores, carrying the ball 200 more times than the No. 2 back, Reggie Gallaspy. The running game wasn’t a rock, and everyone else who gained a rushing yards returns, but Dayes was the main man, hitting the 100-yard mark eight times.
NC State Wolfpack Biggest Positive
The defensive front might be among the nation’s best. It’s hard to get too much love and respect in a conference with Clemson, Florida State, Miami, and others cranking up amazing defensive lines, but with Bradley Chubb returning for his senior year, NC State has a loaded front seven that should be every bit as good as the one there finished eighth in the nation against the run. The Pack outsacked opponents 37-17 last season, with Chubb coming up with ten sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss. Almost all of the pass rushing production returns.
Really, Why Are The NC State Wolfpack Ranked Here?
Which NC State will show up? Will it be the one that was so strong early and almost beat Clemson, or is it the one that couldn’t get the offense going against the better defenses in the middle of the season? The D should be even nastier, while the O should be more consistent if the running game works. Watch out – while State won’t be good enough to win a title, this will be the type of team no one wants to face.