Consecutive nine wins seasons in Raleigh are not a normal occurrence. Four star recruits haven’t traditionally come easily (especially during the TOB tenure). But that hasn’t been the case in the Dave Doeren era and that’s where the silver linings for NC State’s football lies.
Raleigh in general is primed to be a great sports town. The enthusiasm, facilities and support, despite the results, are really a thing of rarity.
After a couple very disappointing early outings against West Virginia and Florida State, morale has been at a recent low for WPN…but it’s always darkest before the dawn.
Special things are being built in the NC State football program and it’s evident. Class of 2018 linebacker Payton Wilson and 2020 wideout Porter Rooks highlight the new talent that is becoming the standard in Raleigh. Heck, we are in the lead to get the #1 2021 all purpose back in the nation, 5 star Will Shipley.
This 2019 season promises to be a huge opportunity for the Pack to capitalize on a struggling ACC. But there are pressing issues the Pack must figure out before they we can establish any sort of dominance on the Atlantic side of the conference any time soon.
Key issues that need to be addressed
The quarterback position has been arguably the most controversial topic of discussion all season. A struggling Matt McKay was pulled early in the Florida State game and replaced by redshirt sophomore Bailey Hockman. While Hockman showed a tremendous amount of grit and determination against a tenacious Seminole defensive line, it did not appear apparent that he is the Wolfpack’s solution. I believe Devin Leary has the ability to turn on a much needed offensive switch for this offense. Leary, known for his arm strength, was able to showcase his skill set momentarily during the last Wolfpack drive in Tallahassee.
We must establish a competent quarterback ahead of next season.
Regardless of who is given the reins following the bye week heading into the Thursday night matchup against Syracuse, it’s imperative that offensive scheming must improve. And that’s brings me into the next issue that must addressed.
Offensive play calling this year has dramatically changed and understandably so. It’s a brand new team and a new scheme. Funny how that rhymes but it’s not funny how true it really is. We lost Eliah Drinkwitz to App State and replaced him with co-offensive coordinators. Ryan Finely and the best center in the nation, Garett Bradbury, headed to the NFL along with three of the Pack’s top receivers. The growing pains have been evident but luckily we aren’t of deprived of talent, we just haven’t been able to find chemistry between coaches’ play calling and players’ execution.
Clemson has shown their flaws, Florida State as well. The entire ACC is wide open in my opinion with Wake Forest and Clemson showing the most consistency thus far. With a couple big wins, NC State can easily be back on track and on the road to what’s been the goal ever since Doeren arrived, a ACC championship. Next year the Pack will likely be fielding the most experienced and talented team in recent memory. To take a step back this season would be detrimental.