Wilson Can Still Improve

Russell Wilson is likely the front runner for the ACC Player of the Year Award at this point in the season, as he is on pace for potentially a record-breaking year.

Russell Wilson is likely the front runner for the ACC Player of the Year Award at this point in the season, as he is on pace for potentially a record-breaking year.

Wilson is completing 59.5% of his passes and has thrown for 1,802 yards, which is second nationally, and 17 touchdowns with just six interceptions. He has passed for 300+ yards five times in six games this season. Only Philip Rivers (9 in 2003 and 5 in 2000) ever had as many or more 300+ yard games in a single season. Wilson has gone over that mark nine times in his career, which is also second only to Rivers' tally of 19 games over 300 yards.

Wilson has also thrown for three or more touchdowns in five games this season and 11 of his last 17 contests. He leads the ACC and is fifth nationally in total offense (327.5 yards per game), leads the ACC and is seventh nationally in passing yards per game (300.33), and leads the ACC and is third nationally in passing touchdowns (17).

He boasts a career touchdown-to-interception ratio of 3.6:1. The other 15 quarterbacks in ACC history with 50+ TD passes have a collective ratio of 1.6:1. In other words, Wilson's ratio is better than double the average amassed by the 15 most accomplished passers in league history.

With all that being said, Dana Bible believes he can continue to get better.

"I think I've been pleased the most with his development an growth through the course of the season," said Bible. "He's improved significantly, and I think he'll continue to grow and improve."

Wilson is on pace to throw for 3,604 yards, 34 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. If he reaches 34 touchdowns he would tie the ACC and school record set by Philip Rivers as a senior in 2003.

Because NC State is strong at a variety of positions, Dana Bible can virtually gameplan week-to-week based on attacking the defense's weaknesses just as much as highlighting his unit's own strengths.

Obviously it will all start with the passing game, as NC State has passed the ball more than it has rushed it in every game this season. Taking out Wilson's rushing attempts, NC State attempted 30 passes with 24 rushes versus Central Florida, had 40 passing attempts with 28 runs against Cincinnati, and had a 41/31 split in the win at Georgia Tech.

Over the past two games, NC State has chosen to attack even more in the air. The Wolfpack had 49 passing attempts with just 23 rushing plays in the loss to Virginia Tech and an astounding 56 passes with 13 rushes last week against BC.

State wanted to pass it more because Virginia Tech and Boston College are strong against the run, particularly BC, and was successful in altering its gameplan.

"It's a product of the entire offense," said Bible. "It's not just one part of the offense, it's the whole package. We have always taken that approach from the very beginning, that we'll be a multiple offense.

"We will feature what gives us the best chance to win. If that means different personnel or a different style of running, then we'll do that. That's all a part of the package that we teach right from the very beginning."

East Carolina is No. 99 in rushing defense, No. 110 in passing defense, No. 114 in pass efficiency defense, and No. 117 in scoring defense. What will NC State's offensive gameplan be against the Pirates?

NC State fans didn't know what to expect when freshmen Dean Haynes and Mustafa Greene opened the season at the top of the organizational chart at tailback. Most expected junior Curtis Underwood and sophomore James Washington to be counted on to carry the load at the position for NC State, but instead the Wolfpack coaches went with the two freshmen. However, even they weren't sure of what to expect.

"When we started the season we didn't know what exactly they could do," said Bible. "As the season has gone on and we've seen them in games, we've learned what they are capable o doing, what their strengths are, and what we need to stay away from.

"We have more history and knowledge now of what they are able to do, and because they are starting from so far back it's exciting to watch them grow each week and the gains are larger than maybe normal."

Haynes remains the starter and has rushed for 254 yards on 62 carries (4.1 YPC). Greene leads the Wolfpack in rushing (344 yards) and is averaging 5 yards per carry with four rushing scores.

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