College Football News Preview 2020: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the NC State Wolfpack season with what you need to know.
5. College Football News Preview 2020: NC State Wolfpack Offense 3 Things To Know
– All of a sudden, the offense just stopped. The Wolfpack attack that had no problem blowing past the 5,000-yard mark for five straight years under head coach Dave Doeren – and flirting with 6,000 in 2018 – wasn’t even close last season, finishing 11th in the ACC in total yardage and 12th in scoring.
After scoring 28 points or more in nine of the last 12 games two years ago, the 34-23 win over Ball State was the only time in the last ten games last year when the team scored more than 26.
There were two massive problems: 1) turnovers – more on that later on in the Keys To The Season – and 2) a lack of passing efficiency.
QB Matt McKay left for Montana State, but Devin Leary is back after taking his lumps as a freshman. The 6-2, 212-pounder only hit 48% of his passes for 1,219 yards and eight scores with five picks, and 6-2, 208-pound junior Bailey Hockman hit 56% of his throws for 546 yards and a score with four picks. Leary has the inside line on the gig again, but freshman Ben Finley will get a long look.
CFN in 60 Video: NC State Wolfpack Preview
– The running back group was really, really, really young – three then-freshmen and one sophomore – and they’re all back. Now-sophomore Zonovan Knight led the team with 745 yards and five scores, sophomore Jordan Houston is a slasher who was second on the team with 526 yards and two scores, and 6-1, 220-pound Ricky Person Jr. is back after running for 229 yards and three scores despite missing half the season with an ankle injury.
The offensive front that was good in pass protection and wasn’t a huge part of the problem – even though it wasn’t quite consistent enough. Fortunately, most of the starters are expected back. Starting guard Josh Fedd-Jackson is in the transfer portal, but there’s hope for an even stronger season around the other four parts.
– Tabari Hines is gone, but everyone else returns to a receiving corps that should be good if the quarterback play is better. 6-3, 210-pound senior Emeka Emezie is a big No. 1 target who led the way with 56 grabs, but he didn’t do much deep – that’s not his game, though.
6-4 sophomore Devin Carter is another big target – he was second on the team with 456 yards – and Thayer Thomas smallish quick receiver who can do a whole lot more than 31 catches. Throw in All-ACC tight end Cary Angeline, and there’s a lot to like about this group.