It was painful to watch. My emotions went from hope, to sadness, to frustration, to disbelief, and then to anger. Certainly this was not what Tom O'Brien was brought to Raleigh to do. I mean, to lose is one thing—but to be embarrassed is another.
BREAKING IT DOWN
I anticipated a Wolfpack loss to South Carolina. After all, South Carolina has more returning starters and a first rate defense, not to mention this game would be played in Columbia. I figured the South Carolina defense would allow the Gamecocks to pull away in the end.
However, there were a couple of things I did not figure on.
1) I had no idea just how bad the offensive line is for NC State. Not only were they not able to block, they were unsure of who to block. If anything takes luster off the shutout the Gamecock team pitched, it is this. At least junior high teams know who to block. Also, the center may want to learn how to snap the ball.
2) Defensively, NC State wore out. I knew this would happen—this team has no depth on defense. The first team was adequate, but the replacements were out of place and slow. I simply was amazed at the drop in talent when the second team players would rotate into the game.
3) NC State seemed complacent. I watched as the players seemed to accept the fact they could not win and were simply going through the motions. I was not prepared for this. Even Baylor showed emotion as Wake was beating them.
I do not see NC State winning more than two games this year unless many things improve. I see a trend with the Wolfpack that dates to last year.
Against South Carolina, the offense scored no points. In the last game of 2007 against Maryland, the offense scored no points. In the 11th game last year, the Pack scored just 18 points against Wake. (Wake had seen their ACC divisional title hopes dashed the week before and were emotionally down.)
This is a horrible trend. It may get a jump start next week against William and Mary, but Clemson, ECU, and South Florida are waiting in the wings.
THIS AND THAT
1) Why would Steve Spurrier start Tommy Beecher? Better yet, why would he keep a quarterback in the game that threw four picks and could not move the team?
2) Hot seat? You heard it here first. Chuck Amato was 7-5 in 2005 before dropping to 3-9 in 2006. If O'Brien wins just two or three games this year, the Pack fans will want another coach.
3) It has been a long time since I was reminded why everyone disliked Spurrier. It was not because he won at Florida. It is because he does not know how to act when he wins.
Say what you want, but being up 20 against NC State was the same as being up 60. Calling a post pattern up by 27 with seven minutes to play in the game is classless. But I am sure the rest of the SEC remembers his comments and the way he "ran" up the score.
It's funny—no one dislikes Paterno, Carroll, or Osborne. But I am not sure Joe Pa calls a post pattern up by 27 with seven minutes left to play.