NC State Beat: MVPs and Interesting Stats

Playing FCS teams is meaningless. You simply cannot make any judgements on how “well” or how “bad” you think your team played. In all honesty, it is a glorified spring game.

This past week, NC State played, and defeated fairly soundly, South Alabama. The Pack did what they were supposed to do, by jumping out to an early lead and never allowing the Jaguars to get anything going offensively. But, of course, you can’t take anything away from what you might have seen last Saturday. This coming Saturday is not different.

NC State will play the Citadel on what has been deemed Military Appreciation day at Carter-Finley Stadium. While others talk about what a great “test” this will be for the Pack, I merely roll my eyes. Sure, the Citadel hung a lot of points on Appalachian State a week ago. But the Mountaineers lost to East Carolina, fairly handily, for crying out loud. There is never a time a BCS team, like NC State, should have problems with a FCS team, so I’m not really going to worry with it. (Unless they lose. In which case, I will go all angry blogger on TOB’s … You get the point.)

Since I’m not looking back at last week’s game, and not looking forward to this week’s game either, I figured I would do this week’s NC State beat a little different. This week, I have decided to just throw out a few interesting observations, stats, and the MVPs from the first few weeks of the season.

He’s Back: After being torched against Tennessee, All-American corner David Amerson has had an interception in each of the last two games. Now with 15 career interceptions, Amerson is just one INT away from tying the NC State career record. With turnovers seemingly being the only aspect of the NC State defense that is good, David Amerson may just be the most important player on the Pack defense. State will need him more than ever moving forward into ACC play.

Offense Sputtering: Through three games, the NC State offense has struggled to score points. Sure, they put 28 on South Alabama in the first half, but see my rant about playing FCS teams above to know how I feel about that one. The Pack rushing attack is nonexistent, as they have barely managed 100 yards per game thus far. The great, almighty, experienced offensive line cannot run block, and they can’t keep Mike Glennon upright. When Glennon has time, he has been as good as advertised. Rumor has it that State may be turning to a more “pass happy” offense. Hopefully, that will allow the offense to be more effective, but nothing is going to change without the offensive line getting it together.

3rd Down Defense: The Pack haven’t been great on defense this season, at all. However, when it comes to third down, the Pack hunker down. This season, NC State’s opponents have only converted 26% (11/42) third down attempts. That’s tied for 12th in the nation. While the unit hasn’t been great, they have been good when needed on third down.

Offensive MVP: I want to say Mike Glennon here, but with four interceptions through three games, I just can’t. I’m going with wide receiver Quintin Payton. If it was not for Payton coming on as Glennon’s “go-to-guy” I shudder to think what the quarterback’s production would look like this season. The 6’4 wide receiver leads the Pack with 238 receiving yards and averages 19.8 yards per catch. He has been the one constant in the Pack offense this season, and is their only big play threat to date.

Defensive MVP: Yes, David Amerson is the All-American. But, safety Earl Wolff has been the best football player on the NC State defense.Through 3 games, Wolff has amassed 28 tackles, picked off a pass, and recovered a fumble. Earl Wolff is the heart and soul of the NC State defense, and while Amerson may get all the hype, it is Wolff who makes everything work.

This weekend’s game against the Citadel is just another practice on the field, in my opinion, for the Pack. But what this game represents is much, much more important. Saturday has been designated as NC State’a annual Military Appreciation Day. I would be remiss if I did not mention this and take a moment to recognize this special day.

I, almost more than anyone, enjoy spending my Saturday’s watching football, questioning coaches decisions, yelling at the television, and then writing a little something about it for Inside the ACC. However, without the men and women of our military, who day in and day out risk their lives to protect our freedom, we would not be able to enjoy Saturday college football as we do.

So on this Military Appreciation Day, and every day, I would like to thank each and every member of the United States military. You are what makes this country great. Thank you for your service, and God bless you all.

NC State blogger Spencer HardisonSpencer Hardison has been writing about NC State athletics for over a year for various web sites, and has been talking about and passionately pulling for the Pack since the day he was born. He lives by the idea that numbers never lie, and firmly believes that defense wins championships. Spencer is one of the more opinionated and passionate people you will ever meet. Basically, he’ll argue with a wall, if said wall doesn’t agree with him. All in all, Spencer loves to be opinionated, make bold statements, and prove to everyone that he is right and they are wrong. Oh, and Taylor Swift has written three songs about him. You can find Spencer on Twitter at @SpencerHardison.

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