The Wolfpacker

March-April 2020 issue

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 31 of 51

32 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY JACEY ZEMBAL C State is heading into one of its most important springs in perhaps decades. The Wolfpack has undergone a metamor- phosis of sorts with coaches getting hired and job duties changed for the three that remained. That is what happens after a pro- gram goes 4-8 overall and 1-7 in the ACC. NC State will find out quickly where it stands in 2020, by playing at Louisville Sept. 3 and hosting Mississippi State Sept. 12. Here are five goals for the Wolfpack to accomplish during its spring practices, which started Feb. 27 and culminate with the Kay Yow Spring Game April 4. 1. Incorporate New Coaches And Terminology The mental and physical toughness of the Wolfpack was put to the challenge last year, and the results weren't good. NC State head coach Dave Doeren and wide receivers coach George McDonald are the only coaches left standing from the 2018 campaign, with five new coaches be- ing added for this season. NC State fans will need a program, espe- cially for the new defensive coaches. The offensive side is a little simpler with new of- fensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tim Beck, which led quarterbacks coach Kurt Roper to slide over to running backs coach. Rather than stay with the offensive terminology that started when Matt Canada and Eli Drinkwitz were the offensive co- ordinators, Beck will implement his own system that NC State players must learn. Tony Gibson has gone from co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach to now the only defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. The Wolfpack brought in Virginia Tech defensive line coach Charley Wiles and former Hokies cornerbacks coach Brian Mitchell. The secondary also has former NC State linebacker Freddie Aughtry-Lind- say, who arrives from North Carolina Central to coach the nickels, and new safeties coach Joe DeForest, who was at West Virginia. The revised 3-3-5 alignment has created some concerns at defensive end, especially after Coastal Carolina transfer Jeffrey Gunter, Joseph Boletepeli and Xavier Lyas have transferred out. Add in the loss of Lar- rell Murchison, James Smith-Williams and Deonte Holden to graduation, and Wiles will have a big challenge on his hands. 2. Develop A Winning Quarterback College football is dominated by the quarterback position, and NC State started three of them last year. The old saying is that if you have two quarterbacks, you don't have one — and three was a glaring ex- ample of that. "QB U" has been spoiled at the position with Philip Rivers, Russell Wilson, Mike Glennon, Jacoby Brissett and Ryan Finley all playing in the NFL since Rivers was drafted in 2004. Matthew McKay started the season, and then Bailey Hockman was tried before the Wolfpack settled on current redshirt sophomore Devin Leary. McKay has since transferred to Montana State, while redshirt freshman Ty Evans — a former three-star prospect that participated in the Elite 11 competition — has joined the fray. The Wolfpack threw for 2,749 yards, 14 N Bounce-Back Year Five Goals For NC State During Spring Practices Devin Leary will be squarely in the mix for the starting quarterback job, after throwing for 1,219 yards with eight touchdowns and five interceptions in eight games played as a redshirt freshman in 2019. PHOTO BY KEN MARTIN SPRING FOOTBALL PREVIEW

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