4. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE NC STATE DEFENSE
– NC State has turned into a factory for defensive linemen. The Pack was able to overcome the loss of Bradley Chubb, BJ Hill and others off the 2017 line and got a fantastic season out of the front four. This season, losing Darian Roseboro on the outside and Eurndraus Bryant on the inside isn’t a plus, but James Smith-Williams is a strong pass rushing end to work around. It’s NC State – it’ll be another good line.
– Leading tackler Germaine Pratt was the star of the defensive show, but he’s gone, and Isaiah Moore is a good linebacker in the 4-2-5 alignment. The line will have to handle the heavy lifting at getting into the backfield – Pratt tied for the team lead in sacks, too – but this group will pop.
– There might be players lost across the board, but the secondary gets back S Jarius Morehead and most of the key parts. However, the pass defense gave up over 260 yards per game and got hit way, way too hard by teams throwing the ball to keep up in shootouts. However, this group was terrific on third downs.