In 2008 Tom O' Brien and his crew decided to red-shirt freshman Mike Glennon and have relativity unknown red-shirt freshman Russell Wilson become the starting quarterback.
That year NC State Wolfpack were 6-7 last year with four straight wins to get to it's first bowl game since winning the 2005 Mieneke Car Care Bowl against USF.
In 2009 the Wolfpack need three things if they are to compete for the ACC Title: Keep the injuries to a minimum, find a third receiving option, and play better on defense.
1) In the first game of the season starting QB Russell Wilson and the rest of the offensive unit struggled to get anything started against a tough South Carolina defense.
During the game Russell Wilson suffered a Grade 3 concussion and had to be taken out of the game.
That wasn't Wilson's only injury that season he also suffer a shoulder injury against ECU and a knee injury in the bowl game against Rutgers.
Wilson wasn't the only major injury lose, Nate Irving among others missed games with an ankle injury.
The Wolfpack have been one of the most injured teams in college football and if they are to take the next step and compete in the ACC week to week the injuries need to be minimized.
2) There is no question that Russell Wilson can hurl the ball down-field to receivers like Jarvis Williams and Owen Spencer, but who will step up to take pressure off of them?
In my opinion Red-shirt tight end George Bryan can step up to become Wilson's third Option.
He is 6-foot-6 and 255 pounds, Bryan has been timed at 4.8-seconds in the 40-yard dash.
He has already shown that he is one of Wilson's favorite options in the end-zone catching four touchdowns. On the season he caught 18 passes for 201 yards
If he steps up it can also limit the amount of times Wilson has to scramble out of the pocket which could limit the amount of injury's which would also help the team.
3) There is no question that the Wolfpack can score on offense scoring at least 21 points in nine out of 13 games.
The Wolfpack have a on-the-field leader in Nate Irving who is one of the best athletes on the defensive side of the ball.
Unfortunately the Wolfpack have lost Irving for the entire season due to injury, so experinced linebacker Ray Michel will have to step up and lead a relatively young linebacking core.
The defensive line also needs to put more pressure on the quarterback, more specifically Willie Young needs to apply more pressure on the QB.
The defensive back-field also needs to step up with the departure of second leading interceptions leader in Jeremy Gray.
If the Wolfpack can achieve these then they can reasonably reach the ACC Title game.