NC State Offense vs. UConn Defense
If you're a glass half full person then you probably feel that, except for a 30-second stretch against Tennessee, NC State played the Vols fairly even the rest of the game. Unfortunately that 30-second stretch counts too and the Pack has to clean that up if they hope to come away with a road win against Connecticut.
Obviously, eliminating mistakes will begin with the Pack's leader on offense, Mike Glennon. He has to see the field better and in situations where the play isn't there, he must throw the ball away and live to see another play. In the past this hasn't been a consistent problem and there's no reason to think it will become one now.
Glennon can't do it on his own, however. The Wolfpack offensive line is experienced and have to do their part to keep Glennon upright and give him the time to make smart decisions. Another aspect of this is avoiding obvious passing downs which will allow the Huskies to tee off and bring pressure.
State's receivers also have to do their part by catching the football. Asa Watson can be a huge threat for the Pack but he needs to become consistent catching the ball. Mustafa Greene is another player that had a huge drop against the Vols. Collectively, State's receivers have to help their quarterback out and make the routine catches to keep the sticks moving.
DO WHAT YOU DO
After their opening game against Massachusetts, Connecticut ranks first nationally in total defense, scoring defense and fourth in pass and rush defense.
But the fact is, the Huskies aren't facing Massachusetts this weekend. NC State has the speed at receiver with Bryan Underwood and Tobais Palmer and the horses at running back to have success on offense.
The Pack became somewhat one dimensional against Tennessee but State always seems to be at its best when it has a fairly even mix of run and pass. State will likely always trend more towards the passing game but they need to show the ability to run the football and this is always crucial when playing on the road.
While Connecticut's numbers may have been impressive in week one, this is still a team that gave up better than 280 yards per game through the air in 2011. So, if the Pack is able to mix in the run and get the Huskies worried about State's rushing attack then it very well could open up some big plays down the field.
GET IT TO THE PLAYMAKERS
Under Tom O'Brien, NC State has traditionally run an offense that doesn't necessarily utilize specific players, particularly in the passing game. Instead, it's a system approach that has interchangeable parts regardless of game situation.
From an outsider's perspective, it seems somewhat obvious that Tobais Palmer and Bryan Underwood are the two guys with big play potential. Obviously Underwood is just coming back from injury but should be 100% against Connecticut.
State has to find a way to get the ball in these player's hands more often whether it be on simple toss and catch plays that allows them to use their explosiveness in space or on deep passes that stretch the field.
Glennon needs these options to keep the Huskies honest at the line of scrimmage and the potential is certainly there for the Pack to break a long one at some point during the game.