The Wolfpacker

September 2013

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 37 of 95

Outperforming Expectations N Five Keys To Success For NC State By Jacey Zembal C State hasn't been this unpredictable going into a season in quite some time. The Wolfpack has enough unknowns, especially at the quarterback position, that it is hard to handicap what this season will evolve into. NC State finished 7-6 last year and reached a bowl game for the fourth time in six years, but the standard has been raised with first-year head coach Dave Doeren, who has been entrusted to help the Wolfpack reach a higher level in the future. The media picked NC State to finish third in the Atlantic Division behind Clemson and Florida State. Here are five keys The Wolfpacker has selected that will help determine how much success NC State achieves this season and whether the Pack can exceed those expectations. 1. Establish The QB Position As A Winning One Whoever emerges as NC State's longterm starting quarterback will have to be the player who makes the job of the other offensive players easier. Doeren had playmakers at quarterback his first two years at Northern Illinois between Chandler Harnish and Jordan Lynch. He also saw pocket passers manage the offense well when he was defensive coordinator at Wisconsin. Fifth-year senior Brandon Mitchell, a transfer from Arkansas, and redshirt junior Pete Thomas, who transferred in from Colorado State, have been battling throughout fall camp, but the ultimate answer at the position might need a few games to be established. Russell Wilson won a five-man battle in 2008, but he needed four games to establish himself. However, when he led NC State to a 30-24 overtime win over East Carolina in September, that proved to be his watershed moment in Raleigh. Wilson passed for 210 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions in the win. The odds are good that both quarterbacks will get their chances to play early in the season. Whichever quarterback can move the chains, get points on the board and protect the football will be the obvious choice. Redshirt junior Pete Thomas is battling for the starting quarterback job, which is a situation that may need a few games to sort itself out. photo by ken martin 38  ■  the wolfpacker 38,40.FB Five Questions.indd 38 8/23/13 2:58 PM

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