2011 ACC Blogger Football Preview, Pt. 2 – NC State

Posted by Griffin Wong on July 12, 2011 under ACC Football | Read the First Comment

NC State coach Tom O'Brien looking for some consistent success starting with new QB Mike Glennon. (Pic per OrangeandWhite.com)

2010 Record- 9-4

2011 Schedule – Picks

Sept. 3 – Liberty W 38-14

Sept. 10 – at Wake Forest W 27-10

Sept. 17 – South Alabama W 41-7

Sept. 22 – at Cincinnati L 27-17

Oct. 1 – Georgia Tech W 20-17

Oct. 8 – Central Michigan W 31-13

Oct. 22 – at Virginia W 28-17

Oct. 29 – at Florida State L 34-17

Nov. 5 – North Carolina W 21-20

Nov. 12 – at Boston College W 24-21

Nov. 19 – Clemson L 31-27

Nov. 26 – Maryland L 21-20

Key Conference Game: Maryland/Clemson- The Pack can take over 2nd in the Atlantic Division if they can beat both Clemson and Maryland.

Toughest Game: at Florida State- Playing in a hostile environment at Florida State will be a nightmare for every ACC team.

Offense:

Despite losing star quarterback Russell Wilson to Wisconsin (transfer), the Pack return three offensive linemen, center Camden Wentz, guard Zach Allen, and tackle R.J. Mattes and their leading rusher, Mustafa Greene, from 2010. NC State will need wide receivers and new starting quarterback Mike Glennon to step up if they want to succeed in 2011.

Key Returner:

Mustafa Greene- “A good running game is a quarterback’s best friend.” With a new starting quarterback and three returning linemen, look for Greene to have a solid season. As a true freshman, Greene led NC State with 597 rushing yards.

Must Step Up:

Mike Glennon- Glennon will make or break NC State’s 2011 season. If he can reduce turnovers and become a “game manager”, look for the Pack to have success.

Defense:

The Wolfpack were solid defensively last season, ranking 29th in the country in scoring defense. With 8 starters, including the entire secondary, returning, the Pack defense should be very stout in 2011. A standout at outside linebacker in 2010, Audie Cole will move to the middle so NC State can have their best 11 players on the field. Look for J.R. Sweezy to be a force at defensive end after an excellent junior campaign.

Key Returner:

Audie Cole- Cole lead the Pack in tackles last year with 97, and should anchor a Pack rushing defense that was 14th in the nation last season. Look for Cole to excel at the middle linebacker position in 2011.

Must Step Up:

J.R. Sweezy- Sweezy faced off season issues last season, and was even suspended for the first game of the season. However, Sweezy showed what he could do my accumulating 5.5 sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss. I fully expect Sweezy to break out in 2011.

Special Teams:

NC State had a solid kicker in Josh Czajkowski, but he’s graduated and now the Pack must find someone to replace him. It looks like Wil Baumann will take over the punting job in 2011. With two new starters, the NC State special teams unit could suffer this season.

Key Returner:

N/A

Must Step Up:

Wil Baumann/new starting kicker- Wil Baumann is the only punter on the NC State roster at the moment, and multiple candidates could take the kicking job. J. Ellis Flint and Chris Hawthorne are two names to look for as the next starting kicker.

Season Outlook: 8-4 (5-3)

Many are expecting weak seasons because of the departure of Russell Wilson, but the Pack return a total of 16 starters. The Pack should have a solid defense, but the season will ride on the offense and the play of new starting quarterback Mike Glennon. If Glennon makes good decisions, the Pack can finish as high as second in the Atlantic. With the rise of a balanced offensive attack, I expect the Wolfpack to have yet another solid season in 2011.

2011 ACC Preview: Where does NC State finish in the Atlantic?

  • 1st (43%, 17 Votes)
  • 2nd (30%, 12 Votes)
  • 3rd (8%, 3 Votes)
  • 4th (8%, 3 Votes)
  • 6th (8%, 3 Votes)
  • 5th (3%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 40

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  • Lance said,

    You have NC state beating GT 20-17 and on the GT preview you have GT beating NC State 20-17, which is it?