2. KEYS TO THE SEASON
Biggest Key To The NC State Offense
Find more of a consistent running game again. NC State has relied on the passing attack under head man Dave Doeren, but last year was the first time the program finished with fewer than 2,000 yards on the ground since 2013. Even worse, the Pack averaged under four yards per carry for the first time in five seasons, too. It was too easy to rely on Jacoby Brissett and Ryan Finley over the stretch, but the backs are in place – and there’s going to be more running from the quarterbacks – to add some explosion to go along with more consistency.
Biggest Key To The NC State Defense
It would be nice if the pass defense could keep quarterbacks under wraps. The pass rush, as always, will be there. The Wolfpack have come up with 30 sacks or more in each of the last five seasons, but the secondary got hit hard during the first part of last year. To be fair, teams were throwing to try keeping up, but State allowed 200 yards or more nine times in the first 11 games, getting ripped apart for over 400 yards by Syracuse and Florida State along the way.
Key Player To A Successful Season
QB Matt McKay, Soph.
Florida State transfer Bailey Hockman is an interesting option, and redshirt freshman Devin Leary is eventually going to be a factor for the program, but it was McKay who stepped up and looked the part this spring. The 6-4, 210-pounder isn’t going to throw like Ryan Finley did, but he’ll add another dimension to the attack with his mobility and running skills. The passing side came together this offseason, but with his speed, the issues with the team’s overall running game production should go away … if he’s the starter.
Key Game To The NC State Season
at Florida State, Sept. 28
Of course the November 9th game against Clemson is a big deal, but getting there with that game mattering is the big key. NC State has managed to do a nice job of remaining relevant midway through seasons. This year, if the Pack can beat West Virginia on the road, they should be 4-0 going into the ACC opener against a Florida State team that really, really, really needs a hot start, especially at home. Beat the Noles, and NC State should be sky-high going into an off-week to prepare for Syracuse.
– NC State Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2018 NC State Fun Stats
– Sacks: NC State 35 for 197 yards – Opponents 11 for 72 yards
– Time of Possession: NC State 33:07 – Opponents 26:53
– Penalties: Opponents 89 for 698 yards – NC State 60 for 581 yards