Posted: 8:00 a.m. Monday, Sept. 2, 2013
By Akula Wolf
(Yds/carry stats are calculated after removing sacks from the equation.)
One of the stats that really jumped out at me was the number of plays NC State ran Saturday, but as it turns out that wasn't a huge departure from a year ago. NC State ran 87+ plays three times in 2012, averaged 80 snaps per game, and finished 10th nationally in plays from scrimmage. That surprised me. I mean, I guess it makes sense in hindsight, it's just not the sort of thing that comes to mind when one thinks "Tom O'Brien and Dana Bible offense."
With all those plays against Louisiana Tech came a staggering amount of possession time--State's ground game was useful for once, which definitely was a contributing factor. Louisiana Tech's offense had the ball for 6:35 in the second half. That's insane. Tech didn't run more than five plays on any drive over the final two quarters. The Bulldogs went three-and-out on four of their seven second-half possessions, and they fumbled the ball away on the first play of another. On the bright side for those guys, they'll be really well rested for the next game.
Even factoring in sacks, NC State averaged 4+ yards per carry. State did that against an FBS opponent in 2012 all of one time (against Miami's shitshow defense), so this an achievement unlocked for 2013. It's not a clear indicator of progress, mind you, but we have to start somewhere.