The Confidential

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Archive for the tag “Illinois”

State of the Pack: The season so far

Pack fans! It’s football season again!  Time to shake off the rust and run over the naysayers!!

But what are your impressions of this team so far?  Really hard to tell after only two games, so here are two viewpoints…

The Glass is Half Empty:

The team did win their opener vs Louisiana Tech 40-14 but in the process lost starting QB Brandon Mitchell to a foot injury which will keep him out 4-6 weeks.  They followed this up with a nail-biter vs Richmond of the FCS 23-21, scraping by on a field goal by Niklas Sade within the final minute after trailing by 11 points at the half.

In relief of Mitchell, Pete Thomas achieved a QB rating of 128.7 on zero TDs and two picks.  Against an FCS defense.  Woe is the Pack!!

The Glass is Half Full:

Hey, Louisiana Tech is not just any old team.  They posted a 9-3 record in the WAC last year and defeated both Illinois and Virginia in the process. Sure, the Richmond game was closer than expected, but they are probably looking ahead a little as they will begin conference play following a bye next week.  This will be a Thursday night game against a conference – make that a national – powerhouse.  More on that at the end of the post.

So What Should We Take Away?:

Let’s face it.  The Wolfpack isn’t set up for a BCS bowl run.  But a decent bowl invite should be in the cards.  That’s not bad for a first-year coach teaching a whole new system with recruits that aren’t, for the most part, his own.Dave Doeren NC State.jpeg

Next year, with Jacoby Brissett eligible to play QB and more of Dave Doeren’s guys coming in, should be even better.

But that brings us to the other point of view, the one I didn’t want to mention but can’t leave out…

Who Broke That Glass???:

Remember that marquee game?  The one on Thursday night, Sept. 19?

Run!!  Clemson is coming!!

Seriously, have you seen those guys?  As much as we would all like to think another Pack upset is brewing, there is very little chance the Pack will be Textile Bowl champs this season.

ACC-Big 10 Challenge Schedule

Listening to ESPN Radio on the way home from work and heard that the schedule for next season’s ACC-Big 10 Challenge had been released.

Here’s the lineup:

Tuesday, December 3

Florida State at Minnesota

Illinois at Georgia Tech

Indiana at Syracuse

Michigan at Duke

Notre Dame at Iowa

Penn State at Pittsburgh

Wednesday, December 4

Boston College at Purdue

Maryland at Ohio State

Miami, FL at Nebraska

North Carolina at Michigan State

Northwestern at North Carolina State

Wisconsin at Virginia

Admittedly NC State does not have the most attractive draw.  This is only right after the debacle of 2012/13; however I do believe the coming year will see a less star-laden but more focused Pack. Meaning, of course, this game is winnable, especially at Raleigh.

However there are some great matchups here.  Duke/Michigan and UNC/Michigan State, of course, but also the Battle of Pennsylvania, Pitt/Penn State; Syracuse/Indiana looks huge; and the first Challenge appearance of the Irish, Notre Dame/Iowa.

There is even a game in which I might end up rooting for the B1G team; er, go Buckeyes?

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