banner
Caulton Tudor

Don't expect Pack to learn a lot in opener

Posted August 27

— Depending upon which power ranking you choose, there’s a fair chance NC State will open its football season Saturday against the 128th -- and weakest – team in the entire country at the Division I, FBS level.

Such are the expectations for Georgia Southern, a Sun Belt Conference team in its first season under head coach Willie Fritz.

At least six of the various preseason power indices have the Eagles rated between No. 120 and 128. It’s a humble football neighborhood that includes fellow Sun Belt members Appalachian State, Georgia State, Troy (which faces Duke on Sept. 6), New Mexico State and Idaho.

Virtually all of the conference ratings have the Sun Belt last in terms of overall expectations. Only Louisiana-Monroe, which hosts Wake Forest on Thursday, South Alabama and Louisiana Lafayette among the 11 Sun Belt schools are deemed strong enough to put on competitive showings against teams from the so-called “Autonomy 5” leagues -- ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC.

Just don’t sing that song to Florida (a Georgia Southern victim last season) and Wake, which lost last season’s game against Louisiana-Monroe in Winston-Salem.

But so much has changed at Georgia Southern -- which wound up 7-4 overall and 4-4 in the conference -- since last season that Wolfpack fans should legitimately wonder if anything of genuine consequence will be learned during this first game of Dave Doeren’s second season.

Georgia Southern ran a wishbone-like offense under the coaching of Jeff Monken last season. Monken was lured away by Army specifically because of that offensive system.
Fritz was a big winner with Sam Houston State (Huntsville, Tex.) at the FCS (Division I-AA) level, where his offenses ran spread options, and although he inherited an moderately experienced line with the Eagles, it’s likely the entire season will be one of irregular offensive experimentation for the coach and his players.

That said, State still has an explicit to-do list, of course.

The top priority in that regard has to be simply blending in a ton of new personnel. If there’s any justification at all for the frail, non-conference schedule, it has to be accruing game reps for a wave of newcomers.

This will be the nucleus of players who eventually determine where Doeren takes the program. And while the coach and many fans sincerely believe an impressive rebound is at hand, the facts remain that he still doesn’t have an ACC win and national expectations remain modest at best.

Those same power index ratings that put Georgia Southern so low don’t reflect much deference for State, either. The CBS Index has the Pack at No. 98, Dunkel Index at No. 96, Real Time at No. 111 in the combined divisions, Massey Index at No. 89 and ESPN at No. 74.

For reasons relating to confidence and unit harmony alone, new State quarterback Jacoby Brissett and his offense didn’t need an daunting opening-game test.

But overall, State’s biggest problem last season was a defense that struggled throughout, and particularly so in the eight ACC losses. The unit was dealt more than its fair share of injuries and two of its best performances -- against Clemson and Syracuse in the third and sixth games -- still ended in losses that negated any hope of generating momentum.

However, it’s difficult to imagine a scenario in which the defensive players and coaches get a meaningful reading Saturday -- and maybe even over the next three against Old Dominion, South Florida and Presbyterian.

In that vein, there’s still a distinct possibility that State could be 4-0, much improved offensively and yet encounter a staggering case of defensive shell-shock when the league schedule starts at Florida State a month from today.

23 Comments

This blogpost is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Boogalooboy Aug 31, 9:05 p.m.

    tarheel fan... Liberty... really

  • Honesty first Aug 31, 8:46 a.m.

    NCSU learned that either GA Southern is better than their ranking or the Pack has a LONG way to go. They also learned that their supposedly great fans will quit and leave in a heartbeat if the beloved Pack is getting beaten by the worst team in football

  • hokiesvt94@gmail.com Aug 30, 10:27 p.m.

    I beg to differ Caulton. They did indeed learn how to pull one out of their rear. Don't even assume anything on here Sir. I learned something in your writing in this one. How you ever played, coached, or anything? You totally assumed something that you had no knowledge about. Just like 0ver 90% of the writer's on this esteemed Forum. They haven't played nor coached either.

  • InTheNo Aug 30, 2:33 p.m.

    Best example of why Caulton should retire - again - that I've ever seen. Anyone who follows... View More

    — Posted by InTheNo

    Picked to finish 7th in their conference. Past teams aren't playing, which should be good for St... View More

    — Posted by 903 wejustnotthatgood

    Right, not the previous teams playing but GSU doesn't just forget about how they won SIX NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS and State won't forget how they went from one of the best in the ACC to the worst in one season. I think my point is made as State is being embarrassed in this game. GSU looks huge on the field compared to State. Debbie Yow should man up after this indisputable evidence that Doereen made zero progress in the off season and admit he is not suited for D-I and that she blew it by firing O'Brien. She should admit she abused her power, was wrong to make a change and that the change she made was a disaster. She should place Matt Canada in the position of interim head coach immediately following this game and begin a search for a head coach immediately with Tom O'Brien being the top candidate.

  • tarheelfan41 Aug 30, 1:25 p.m.

    NC State will open its football season Saturday against the 128th -- and weakest – team in the entire country at the Division I, FBS level.
    10-3 GSU....

  • heelsforever Aug 28, 2:56 p.m.

    Win these early season games against the cakes and you learn nothing even if it is a blowout. Lose to them or barely win and you know a whole lot about the team.

  • BadDayforButch Aug 28, 2:00 p.m.

    At least it is a D 1 team, unlike UNC

  • A cold, hard dose of Hans Aug 28, 9:09 a.m.

    Don't expect Pack to learn a lot in opener.

    Same can be said about Duke and UNC with their... View More

    — Posted by Truth 411

    It's all part of the massive conspiracy against NC State. First, Swofford plants Condoleeza... View More

    — Posted by Ken D.

    Now you're getting it.

  • Ken D. Aug 28, 8:49 a.m.

    Don't expect Pack to learn a lot in opener.

    Same can be said about Duke and UNC with their... View More

    — Posted by Truth 411

    It's all part of the massive conspiracy against NC State. First, Swofford plants Condoleeza Rice on the playoff selection committee to blackball the Pack, and now this!

    I mean, who writes a story about the hometown team just as the season is about to start? It's unheard of, I tell you!

  • 903 wejustnotthatgood Aug 27, 7:39 p.m.

    Best example of why Caulton should retire - again - that I've ever seen. Anyone who follows... View More

    — Posted by InTheNo

    Picked to finish 7th in their conference. Past teams aren't playing, which should be good for State.

More...

 

 

  • Sun Bowl: Duke vs. Arizona State

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Teams TBD

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Panthers vs. Falcons

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on FOX50

  • NFL: Oakland at Denver

    Sunday at 4:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Denver at Cincinnati

    Tonight at 9:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • CBB: Louisiana Tech at NC State

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on WRAL-FM

  • NHL: Hurricanes at Devils

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • Hawaii Bowl: Fresno State vs. Rice

    Wednesday at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
DEN
7:00pm Tonight
ECU
FAM
 
8:00pm Tonight
JST
NCCU
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
DEN
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
POR
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
UTA
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
ATL
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
LAC
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
SAC
1st OT
MEM 45
BYU 45
 
Final
BRAD 54
ARKLR 64
 
Final
CCST 55
BRO 67
 
Final
NW 63
ILLCH 46
Final
FSU 63
STET 59
 
Final
GWU 77
OHIO 49
Final
KNST 65
ELON 67
 
Final
ARKPB 70
SUTAH 61
 
Final
PSU 69
DART 49
 
2nd
UCI 49
UWGB 45
 
Half
COL 36
DEP 33
 
Half
PORT 38
L 24
 
1st
ABCHRIST 4
SCST 13
 
6:00pm Tonight
PURD
GWEBB
 
6:00pm Tonight
NKENTUCKY
IDAHO
 
6:00pm Tonight
FORD
MAN
6:00pm Tonight
OSU
UMO
6:00pm Tonight
MSU
CITA
6:00pm Tonight
GSOUT
TRUETT
 
7:00pm Tonight
WMICH
ALAAM
 
7:00pm Tonight
MNTER
BING
 
7:00pm Tonight
WAKE
BUCK
 
7:00pm Tonight
SYR
COL
 
7:00pm Tonight
RMU
DEL
 
7:00pm Tonight
VCU
ETST
7:00pm Tonight
FATL
EKENT
7:00pm Tonight
GTDNS
FAIR
 
7:00pm Tonight
ECU
FAM
 
7:00pm Tonight
ILLST
MAST
 
7:00pm Tonight
TEMPL
KU
7:00pm Tonight
PRIN
LIB
 
7:00pm Tonight
UNH
LIU
 
7:00pm Tonight
BONA
MDES
 
7:00pm Tonight
TENN
MERC
7:00pm Tonight
JMU
NORST
 
7:00pm Tonight
ALCOR
NDST
 
7:00pm Tonight
ND
NILL
7:00pm Tonight
CLEM
OU
7:00pm Tonight
UCF
SELA
 
7:00pm Tonight
NAVY
TOWS
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUT
TENNM
7:00pm Tonight
VT
VMI
7:00pm Tonight
ODU
WMARY
7:05pm Tonight
IND
NO
 
7:30pm Tonight
UCONN
CLMB
7:30pm Tonight
STJ
LBSU
7:30pm Tonight
WVU
WOFF
8:00pm Tonight
MCNST
CMICH
 
8:00pm Tonight
COLST
CSOU
 
8:00pm Tonight
SIUE
CHIST
 
8:00pm Tonight
MICH
COPST
 
8:00pm Tonight
MINN
FUR
8:00pm Tonight
TCU
GRAM
 
8:00pm Tonight
TULSA
INCWORD
 
8:00pm Tonight
TTU
LOYC
8:00pm Tonight
JST
NCCU
 
8:00pm Tonight
IOWA
UNF
 
8:00pm Tonight
VANDY
PENN
8:00pm Tonight
LAM
RICE
 
8:00pm Tonight
MISS
SEMIZ
8:00pm Tonight
BAY
SOUTH
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHAT
UAB
8:00pm Tonight
OKLA
WEBER
8:05pm Tonight
SILL
MURST
 
8:05pm Tonight
MIZST
ORU
 
8:05pm Tonight
DRAK
SIMPSON
 
8:05pm Tonight
UMKC
TENT
 
9:00pm Tonight
LSU
COC
9:00pm Tonight
AFA
JVST
9:00pm Tonight
UTEP
KSU
 
9:00pm Tonight
PROV
MIAMI
9:00pm Tonight
ARK
UWMIL
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
NDAK
9:00pm Tonight
GAELS
NE
 
9:00pm Tonight
NMST
NNM
 
9:00pm Tonight
NCOL
UCD
 
9:00pm Tonight
OREG
UCSB
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
WISC
9:05pm Tonight
EWASH
LCST
 
9:05pm Tonight
PORST
WALLA
 
10:00pm Tonight
NEV
MARS
10:00pm Tonight
CSFU
TAMCC
 
10:30pm Tonight
HOU
BSU
11:00pm Tonight
WICHS
LMU
11:00pm Tonight
WASH
TULA
11:00pm Tonight
SDST
UCR
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
NAS
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
OTT
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
PIT
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
ARI
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
SJS
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
CAL
8:30pm Tonight
CIN
DEN