NC State vs FSU: Let the Season Begin!
Believe it or not, the game between the Wolfpack and the Seminoles on Saturday afternoon is the second ACC showdown game of this season. The first was FSU/Clemson, but to hear most folks talk, this week’s game will be an FSU romp.
Looking for some Wolfpack love, I went to Backing The Pack over at SB Nation. And there I found this from Akula Wolf.
Like most, the esteemed Mr. Wolf feels that the Pack has played no one (sound familiar?) and will be utterly destroyed on Saturday. I beg to differ.
One only needs to look at the history of this series to gain a little perspective. In their last ten matchups, State is 4-6 vs the Noles. The last two times the teams met in Raleigh, the Pack won 17-16 over the #3 team in the nation. NCSU was an 18-point underdog in that one.
Want more? OK, let’s look at the QB position. Of course, Florida State boasts the defending Heisman Trophy winner and national champion signal-caller Jameis Winston. But this year’s version is embroiled in a controversy that cost him an appearance against Clemson. And did you see his coach’s surprise when he showed up fully decked out in uniform at the start of the game? That did not look like a coach and field general who are on the same page.
Of course, quarterbacks on other teams have dealt well with controversy before. But we have never really seen Winston come back after a benching. Can you honestly say this whole issue isn’t inside his head, after the whole standing-on-the-table incident? And that it won’t effect his play? Didn’t think so.
And what about the Wolfpack QB? Jacoby Brissett is not exactly chopped liver. Right now, he leads the conference in QB rating at 166.7. Winston is third at 157.4. Not saying Brisett is better; just that they are on that same plane, whether or not the world has realized it yet.
What about the ground game? State is fifth in the ACC in rushing, FSU 13th (stats do not include Notre Dame). Both Shadrach Thornton and Matt Dayes are top-ten rushers, in 8th and 10th respectively. Florida State’s Karlos Williams at 18th is their only top-20 ballcarrier.
Now let’s talk about the elephant in the room: schedule. I will admit that the Seminoles have played the tougher slate, obviously with no one on the Pack’s side of the ledger to compare with Clemson or Oklahoma State. But before we get too hung up on this, consider that NC State has played the same number of non-FBS schools that FSU has: one (Presbyterian, while FSU thrashed The Citadel).
I say all this not to try and convince the nation that NC State can pull this off. That ship has sailed; those minds are made up. No, I instead implore the Wolfpack fans to believe this one more time. Akula Wolf, I am talking to you. Come Saturday, the stadium will be packed with believers, but there are many more Pack fans out there who don’t think we have a prayer in this one.
Wolfpack Nation, there is at least one believer. Join me.
First, I take exception to your comment that everyone is assuming an FSU blow out. Most FSU fans are thinking, maybe a 21 point win, and probably 10-14… maybe even a loss. No one has forgotten 2012 in Tally. Not only that most outsiders seem to think NC St will do better than the -28 line, which is nuts, as the money coming in has moved the line to -20 or -21 at one point. That is an entire td, which is a lot in gambling terms, and only in a matter of a few days. (Side not, I have no clue why book makers set the line at -28 initially early this week. Usually you want to make a line that brings in even money, then the casino keeps all the vigs/profit for themselves. Putting it at -28 only seems to be bringing money in on the NC State side. If NCSU covers, and I believe they will, prob at most 10 point FSU win if not outright loss by FSU, casinos will have to eat into profits to pay the difference. Part of me thinks Vegas knows something, as they are no fulls, part of me thinks this line makers stubbornly sticking with some of the initial lines over the summer that had the game at -38 FSU.)
Second, I took exception to your jab at Jimbo and Winston not being on the same page. As Jimbo and most insiders have said the equipment managers screwed up and laid a close. Why would this happen? Well in the past, often, suspended players will dress but sit the entire game. Obviously this not a standard situation, and Jimbo was pissed that someone dropped the ball. Before you say Jimbo is covering for him, Den Lebatard on his show with his father confirmed what I said, that it is not unusual for suspended players to dress, especially if at one point it was not to be a full game. He believes, and he is no FSU lover, that this was a screw up between Jimbo and the line of communication to equipment staff. Please do not be so reckless with your comments.
Third, comparing Presb. to Citadel is nuts. Citadel is a chop-blocking team that took out three of our DTs. One player on Citadel bragged about trying to hurt FSU players, and got himself suspended as a result. Point is FSU put it in vanilla mode big time, just trying to avoid any more injuries. I did not hear Presb bragging about trying to take out NCSU players.
Fourth, when you play two top 25 teams stacked with talent a third FCS school, you cannot just focus on the comparable FCS schools. Sorry but that is irrational.
Fifth, I think it will be a close game, but do not sit there and act like FSU is ignoring NCSU. No one has forgotten them. Trust me, no one is looking ahead.
Sixth, remember when NCSU has often beaten FSU in NC, it is at night. This is a 3:30pm. I think there is a huge difference in that stadium, as with most, between night and day games. Night games just bring out the ghosts for FSU in that place. Day games not so much, but yes we lost once in a day game not that long ago up there. Although, that FSU team was pretty bad if I remember.
Seventh, the FSU team that last 2 years ago was alright, but really struggled in ways that played into NCSU’s hands. This years team has running the ball issues, but still gets yards and tds. Also, the D has improved since Okl St, as last week showed. Clemson could not run it. It relied on its QB playing well. Brisset is solid, but not that great. I do not see NCSU doing what Clemson or Okl St did. Also, we have immense talent at the RB position. LOS is probably going to lose his spot very soon, and Pender and Cook have looked far better. Also, the O line has one new addition that has caused chaos, our center. Stork leaving hurts, because the center makes the change in blocking assignments generally, and the new guy does not seem very good at that. Fortunately that can be fixed. Eventually when it is, you will see that talented O line get much much better. Historically FSUs o line under tricket get better not worse. So, do not relax and assume victory just yet on that front.
We will see, but I though I should set you straight on some things.
Indeed we will. And thanks for the update on the situation regarding the “uniform incident”, although I still believe there may be more to this than you infer. As for everything else, I like your passion and welcome yours and all dissenting opinions. But I do take issue with your scolding me for “reckless comments”.
I, too, am entitled to my opinions and I stand by that right.
Can’t wait for Saturday!
They were reckless. Sorry for the reality check. You held yourself out as a writer for this site. That comes with a responsibility for accuracy and at the very least identifying multiple views on uncertain issues. Otherwise expect responses like mine. Comes with the business.