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Clinic Talk: What ‘Canes fans can expect from NC State

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6-4 Hurricanes will take on 5-5 Wolfpack in North Carolina

North Carolina State v Syracuse
5-5 Wolfpack lost 4 games by a combined 20 points
Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The NC State Wolfpack have been just within reach of being an 9-1 program after losing four games by a combined 20 points. People are going to look at the records and think “well they’re only .500” but that would be a huge mistake considering two of their close losses are to FSU in regulation and Clemson in OT. However, much like this entire 2016 season has been around the country, they also dropped close games to BC and ECU and a blowout loss to Louisville. What stops a team from winning those close games? Penalties- NC State is ranked 118th in penalty yards while even Miami is only 114.

The Pack are looking to throw on your defense and take a few deep shots while mixing in a zone running scheme. NC State is ranked 78th in scoring offense putting up 27PPG, while Miami is scoring 35PPG after big offensive games against UVA and Pitt.

As you can see above, NC State doesn’t do anything too out of the ordinary. They thrive on outside zone in the running game.

As well as a stacked backfield shotgun toss play with a wrapping guard.

And a stretch/OZ with a lead blocker down inside the 5.

I can see Elder being left on an island while Coach Diaz works to get a safety down in the box and run some cover 1 or cover 3 behind it.

Every time we’ve featured a trick play, it’s gotten to Miami. Above- it’s a little slot around play against the Noles.


On Defense, NC State is running a blended 4-2-5 and 4-3 look. They’ll widen a speedy ‘nickle’ player out to the field side to cover more ground versus the run and pass. He’s undersized and quick.

Above, you can see how they widen out to defend Clemson. If Kaaya sees 5 in the box with a 2-high shell, I hope it’s auto-check to a run call.

Clemson tries to throw into this look and it’s an easy interception for the Pack.

Here you can see 7 guys sort of in the box, or is it 5? I think RPO’s would be great against this look as you try to get a feel for the flat defender and whether he’s in the pass or run game.

Above, you can see a nice NC State goal line stand on 4th and goal against the Tigers. They put 8 in the box and play the NC State type of defense you would think of from 2000-2006 under Chuck Amato.

I’m sure Brad Kaaya is licking his lips at seeing Syracuse throw play-action and attacking NC State deep... I just hope the ‘Canes don’t keep going to the pass interference offense on 3rd and 2.

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