Tuesday, February 8, 2011

NC State Wolfpack 2010 Review

2010 Record: 9-4 (5-3), Tied 2nd Atlantic
2010 Bowl Game: Champs Sports Bowl, defeated West Virginia 23-7
2010 Schedule/Results
Western Carolina, W 48-7
@ UCF, W 28-21
Cincinnati, W 30-19
@ Georgia Tech, W 45-28
Virginia Tech, L 41-30
Boston College, W 40-17
@ East Carolina, L 33-27
Florida State, W 28-24
@ Clemson, L 14-13
Wake Forest, W 38-3
@ North Carolina, W 29-25
@ Maryland, L 38-31
West Virginia, W 23-7

406.7 yards per game

Russell Wilson was as advertised in 2010. He was a smashing success, and was the driving force in taking NC State to their first bowl under Tom O'Brien. Wilson passed for 3563 yards and 28 TDs, but still tossed 14 picks on the season. He still tried to force things on a few too many occasions, but without him, the 2010 seaosn would have been a different story. Wilson's 274.1 yards per game were what drove the ship. Wilson was also second on the team in rushing with 422 yards and a team leading 9 TDs on the season. The question is now whether or not Wilson will be back for one more season in 2011, or if MLB will finally offer him to much money to say no to this summer. If Wilson turns away from baseball for one more season, then the Wolfpack can breath easy, as he would be the starter for one more season. If not, then the Pack turns to junior to be Mike Glennon, who played extremely sparingly in 2010, completing 9 of his 13 pass attempts for 78 yards. Tyler Brosius is the only other returning QB for the 2011 season, and he will be a sophomore that has never taken a snap, although he has tremendous size for the position. Brian Taylor, a 3 star prospect, will be here in 2011.
The running game was almost non-existent in 2010. Mustafa Green only picked up just over 10 touches per game this season, and led the team with 597 yards rushing and picked up a measley 4 TDs on the year. Not exactly what you want when you are trying to kill a clock and keep a lead. Dean Haynes rushed for 320 yards and 3 scores, while James Washington ran for 215 yards and 1 TD. The good news is that this group is very young. Greene and Haynes were both freshmen and Washington was a sophomore. Due to the youth of this group, O'Brien did not recruit anyone who fits in to this spot, unless Athletes Juston Burris, Hakim Jones, and Maurice Morgan translate into this spot.
There was solid production from the top three receivers in Owen Spencer, Jarvis Williams, and TE George Bryan. The bad news is that Spencer, Williams, and #3 receiver Darrell Davis are all seniors. That is a huge productivity void in the passing game, and could weigh in on Wilson's decision to come back. Bryan will be a senior in 2011. Spencer was the best of the lot, having caught 60 passes for 912 yards and 4 scores. Williams hauled in 52 grabs for 713 yards and 5 scores, while Bryan picked up 35 catches for 369 yards and 3 scores. TJ Graham, Steven Howard, Jay Smith, and Quinton Payton will battle to replace the starters. All will be seniors except for Payton, who will be a sophomore. Hakeem Flowers is the lone true WR in the recruiting class. Mario Carter and Asa Watson return to back up Bryan at TE, and Benson Browne joins as a freshman in 2011.
Jake Vermiglio will be the only loss on the line at Tackle, but the rest of the line was very yuoung this season, so depth should be plentiful in 2011. RJ Mattes is the other starter tat OT coming back, and Mikel Overgaard and Robert Crisp will step up to battle for the open spot. Andrew Wallace and Zack Allen will both return at the guard spots, with only reserve Gary Gregory moving on to graduation. Camden Wentz will return at center, as will his primary backup Wayne Crawford. The line added extra depth through recruiting in Alex Barr, Scott Thompson, and Joseph Thuney. Thuney and Barr are both 3 star guys, while Thompson enters as a 2 star.

340.5 yards per game allowed

The news on the line is 50/50 leaving 2010. Both ends return in 2011, but both starting tackles are gone to graduation. DE JR Sweazey was the leader on the line, having registered 50 tackles on the season. He also led the line with 11.5 TFLs with 5.5 sacks on the year. He returns. Backup DE Michael Lemon had 3.5 sacks on the season, but starter Jeff Rieskamp was almost non-existent in the pass rush with only 2 sacks this seaosn. Lemon has graduated and is no longer in the picture, leaving a small void on the edge. Natanu Mageo will be missed in the middle as well, as he registered 7.5 TFLs in 2010. The Pack will need to improve on getting into the backfield in 2011, and with that in mind, O'Brien brought in 5 new linemen to improve depth at this spot, including 6-4 321 lb. DT Carlos Gray.
The return of Nate Irving from the effects of a horrific car crash was an inspiring story in 2010. Irving returned at full speed and played in all 13 games in 2010, collecting 92 tackles in the process. Irving was constantly in the backfield making plays, as he more than led the team in TFLs with 21.5 and also collected 7 sacks. He was joined at LB by Audie Cole (86 tackles) and Terrell Manning (75). Irving moves on now, but Cole and Manning will be back in 2011, along with Dwayne Lucas and Sterling Maddox, both of which will get a crack at trying to replace Irving in the starting lineup. Michael Peek and Brandon Pittman were added to the group in the 2011 recruiting class.
Sophomore Earl Wolff was a major force in 2010, as he led the team in tackles from his safety spot with 95 on the season. He is not quite a ball hawk however, as he only had one pick all season. Fellow safety Brandon Bishop was the ball hawk in the secondary, as he collected 4 picks on the season. Both were sophomores in 2010, so expect more big things to come in 2011. CB CJ Wilson was also a sophomore in 2010, and even though he only collected 2 picks, he took both of them back for scores. Wilson also broke up 6 other passes on the season. David Amerson was listed as the other starting CB going into the bowl, and is only a freshman, He was not exactly super productive, but he has time to grow. The good news is that the entire secondary will return intact, as even all 4 backups return for another go. Tyrell Burris and 4 star Rodman Noel were also added to the group, and I look for Noel to push for big reps in 2011, as he was the star of this class.


Josh Czajkwski was solid in 2010, knocking in 20 of his 26 FGs on the season, but he moves on with Chris Hawthorne stepping into his spot. Hawthorne nailed his only FG attempt of the season and will be a sophomore.
Andy Leffler and Jeff Ruiz shared the punting job, but neither was at all great at it and both averaged under 40 yards per punt. Leffler is gone, but Ruiz remains for 2011, and improvement must be expected. Two new kickers were added in the recruiting class in Wil Baumann and Niklas Slade.


This was finally the year where O'Brien was able to push the Pack to another level, but will he be able to keep it there? Everything depends on Wilson staying on at QB, as if he leaves, the entire thing could fall like a house of cards. There is very little depth in the receiver corps, so even if Wilson does return, he may not have as much success.

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