The Wolfpacker

July 2013 Football Preview

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Football 2013 What They Are Saying About The Pack Quick Guide • "There are playmakers in the passing game, namely with [Rashard] Smith and [Bryan] Underwood, who was second in the ACC with 10 touchdown catches last season. On defense, [Dontae] Johnson and [D.J.] Green have pro potential and will be better because of the experience on the defensive line." — Lindy's Sports College Football Preview • "NC State, the classic underachiever of the last few years, gets rising coaching star Dave Doeren to run the show — and look how it all begins. The Wolfpack have a favorable schedule that could translate to — ready for this? — as many as 10 or more wins." — Matt Hayes, • "The Wolfpack are 13-11 in ACC play the last three years and thanks to a 16-3 record at home in that span, they are trying for their fourth straight bowl. NC State has the fewest amount of returning starters in the ACC By Ryan Tice (10) and also loses 20 lettermen (45%). They have a new head coach and must learn new schemes on both offense and defense. Still, the talent Sophomore running back Shadrach is there and seven of Thornton is NC State's leading returning rusher, after carrying the ball 154 times my nine sets of power for 694 yards (4.5 yards per attempt) ratings call for the and three touchdowns in 10 games as a Wolfpack to rookie last season. have a winning photo by ken martin season." — Phil Steele's College Stats To Watch Football Preview, 1. First-quarter points allowed: NC State was a notoriously slow starting team under Tom O'Brien, which projects and that must change in the new era. The Pack allowed at least 13 points in the opening frame of five games and lost them all.The only game that NCSU held its opponent to less than 13 points in the first quarter and NC State to play lost was the Music City Bowl, where Vanderbilt took a 7-0 lead in the first en route to a 38-24 victory. Auburn in the InThe first frame was actually the only quarter that opponents outscored NC State last year. Foes held a dependence Advo120‑101 advantage in the opening 15 minutes, but NCSU outscored other teams by a combined total Care Bowl Dec. 31 of 264‑213 over the remaining periods. The Names, Games and Numbers To Know Heading Into The First Season Under Dave Doeren Returning Leaders For NC State Passing: None Rushing: Shadrach Thornton (694 yards, 3 TD) Receiving: Quintin Payton (798 yards, 2 TD) Tackles: Dontae Johnson (70) Sacks: Darryl Cato-Bishop (6.5) Interceptions: Juston Burris (3) 2. Rushing offense: The Pack orchestrated an attack that relied heavily on the passing game under the previous regime, and for good reason — Russell Wilson and Mike Glennon are currently drawing NFL paychecks.Therefore, NC State's ground production in the last couple of years isn't surprising, but it is still a little jarring. The Red and White ranked 108th last year with an average of 111.1 yards per game on the ground, and their 3.07 yards per attempt was ranked 114th. Expect that to change under Doeren and new offensive coordinator Matt Canada. Last year, Doeren's NIU squad ranked 12th nationally with an average of 238.2 rushing yards per contest and ninth with 5.4 yards per tote, while Canada's Wisconsin squad checked in at No. 13 with an average of 236.4 yards per game on the ground and No. 18 with 5.21 yards per attempt. NCSU has not averaged more than 3.5 yards per carry for an entire season since 2008, but they should have the horses to break that streak — veterans Shadrach Thornton and Tony Creecy combined for 1,170 rushing yards and 10 total touchdowns in 2012, and both are also proven receiving options out of the backfield. 3.Turnover margin: Two years ago, NC State led the nation with an astounding 27 interceptions and ranked second with 39 forced turnovers en route to a plus-14 turnover margin. The plethora of opponent miscues was the key to the team's success — not surprisingly, they went 8-0 when forcing three or more turnovers and 0-5 when causing two or less. Last year, the Pack's production dipped to 16 interceptions and 24 forced turnovers; they finished the year with a turnover margin of minus-nine, which ranked 99th nationally.They continued the winning streak when the team forced at least three miscues, but that only occurred three times. The bad news is that four former defensive back starters must be replaced, and only four of last year's 16 picks return to the roster. However, redshirt sophomore cornerback Juston Burris tallied three in his debut last year and senior Dontae Johnson, despite not having a career interception, is an outstanding second-year starting cornerback who contemplated an early jump to the NFL in the offseason. 100  ■  the wolfpacker 100,102.Quick Preview.indd 100 7/2/13 9:55 AM

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