Wolfpack Football 2014 – Better Days
Well it’s almost time, so your Uncle Mikey is going to share with you his thoughts on the NC State Wolfpack’s chances for 2014.
First a look back. Last year was not bad. It was horrible, devastating, a catastrophe, a waste, a pile of steaming filth of unknown substances. 3-9, including zero conference wins. Defeat snatched from the jaws of victory vs UNC. Loathsome quarterback play, little or no defense, and a bunch of players trying desperately to adapt to a new coach’s system with no success.
So, not much to look forward to, right?
Wrong!!! Click through and I’ll tell you why there are plenty of reasons for optimism in the upcoming season!
Still with me? OK, here’s reason number…
1) The schedule…If you have read my past posts, you will find that I have not been too impressed with the Pack’s recent scheduling. Wave after wave of FCS and Not-Power-5 opponents do not, can not, prepare you for the monster that the ACC+BFF Notre Dame has become.
And let’s face it, this year is not much different, though the conference mandate toward tougher slates will bring some quality teams in for 2015 and beyond. The thing is, I’m not so sure this is a bad thing after last season. The Pack has to face Florida State, Clemson, Louisville, and the rest of the gang as always, so a breather or two (or three) may be just what the doctor ordered this time around. It is perhaps indicative of what last season did to my expectations, but I am actually intrigued by the opener on the 30th vs Georgia Southern. Once upon a time those Sunbelt newbies were FCS powerhouses, so it could get interesting.
2) Jacoby Brissett. I have been waiting for this guy to take the QB reins ever since last year’s spring game. His passes were crisp and he was the best on the field that day. Trust me, this Florida transfer is the best-kept secret in the ACC this year. Nobody is talking about him yet, but they will be. And he is only a junior.
3) Shadrach Thornton. The junior running back did not have the breakout season I expected last year, but he was injured for the first three games. My hope is he avoids the injury bug and starts living up to a promising freshman season in 2012.
4) Brian Underwood. This redshirt senior will bring his 13 career TDs back for one last hurrah. Hopefully he will have a more solid footing in Coach Doeren’s offense this year.
5) Dave Doeren. He stuck to his system last year no matter what as we all watched the losses pile up. This year we should see some return on investment in that strategy pay off in the form of wins. I believed in this guy when he was hired and I believe in him now.
To sum up, I am looking forward to a decent year in 2014. It is a beast of a conference we play in, much closer now to SEC level than ever before. But if we lose to FSU (as I think everybody will), Clemson, and Louisville then we can still pull off 9-3. If I take off the rose-colored glasses and admit that we are likely to lose to Syracuse and UNC on the road, that would mean 7-5. Even if we lose the nonconference game at USF, we could finish 6-6 and bowl eligible. My prediction is 8-4, upsetting Syracuse at their place and losing only to the Big Three and UNC.
Time will tell, but one thing is for sure. It’s time.
Let’s get started.