Wilson: Offense Must Stay Patient

Facing off against Georgia Tech certainly provides challenges for any defense. Something as simple as figuring out who has the ball becomes a hugely important decision that has to be made on almost every play.

Aside from the obvious challenges NC State's defense will face taking on the Georgia Tech attack, the Wolfpack offense will also have a challenge of its own -- to be patient.

The saying "sometimes the best defense is a great offense" couldn't be more true than when the opponent is a triple option team content with holding the ball for 10 minutes at a time.

For State's offense, a unit which has in some games shown the ability to be a quick strike group, being patient and taking what the Yellow Jacket defense allows will be key Saturday.

Quarterback Russell Wilson said head coach Tom O'Brien warned the offense about not getting lulled into a false sense of urgency because of the Georgia Tech style.

"He's talked to us about that with the offense as a whole. The main thing is taking it one play at a time and focusing on the opportunities that you do have," he said. "Don't make too much of it but stay in a rhythm and score when you can and get first downs."

When NC State takes the field Saturday in Atlanta, that mindset will have to remain consistent throughout the game for the Wolfpack to be able to handle the option attack well.

In its win last Thursday over Cincinnati, NC State's five scoring drives averaged under three minutes each, with the longest scoring drive of the game coming in at five minutes, 39 seconds. Three of the other four drives, all of which resulted in touchdowns, took less than three minutes.

In the second quarter of its victory over North Carolina, Georgia Tech held the ball for more than 10 minutes on a 20-play drive which left many of the Tar Heels gassed. Those types of possessions are the ones NC State will need to follow with a patient attack.

Wilson said the more NC State can have the ball, the better it will be for the defense and the team as a whole.

"The more you have the ball, the better, obviously," he said. "Every time we get the ball is an opportunity to score and get first downs and win the game. That's the way you have to look at it."

NC State's offense will also be taking on a different looking foe Saturday when it faces Georgia Tech's defensive scheme, which includes a base 3-4 scheme mixed with some four down line looks. Wilson said the versatility of the unit is one its best features.

"They have a great defense and they can do a lot of different things and we've seen lot of different things as an offense," he said. "We know how to adjust to and we have to keep moving and take one play at a time and see that play and run with it."

Heading into the first ACC game of the season, the Wolfpack seem to be peaking at just the right time. The offense, which had struggled some in the first two games of the season, came together in the win over the Bearcats and the defense has already looked better than it did during much of the 2009 season.

While there is excitement over the 3-0 start, Wilson was adamant that the team has remained focused on the task at hand.

"There is a lot of excitement but at the same time we're just trying to stay steady and stay consistent on what we've been doing," he said. "Focusing on the small things and one thing at a time, that simplifies everything."

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