NC State knew ahead of the time that Boston College RB Andre Williams would be a handful and he proved to be all that and more as the Eagles steam rolled the Wolfpack en route to a 38-21 win. Pack Pride takes a look back at State's weekend matchup with BC.
In a Nutshell
Unfortunately for NC State, an anemic offensive attack has been a
given since the beginning of conference play. For most of the season
the defense has been solid but that certainly wasn't the case
against Boston College.
BC dominated the Wolfpack's defensive line, opening gaping holes
along the way which helped Andre Williams to a staggering 339 yards
rushing and two touchdowns.
The Eagles showed that you can be one dimensional on offense and
still win when you limit mistakes and make just enough plays on
third down to sustain drives.
Offensively it was the same old sad story. The Pack simply hasn't
been able to manufacture enough points to put themselves in a
position to win. There were opportunities for State but they
couldn't capitalize and never found anything they could sustain
consistently. Throw in a special team's mistake on a botched field
goal attempt and it all culminated in the Wolfpack's seventh loss of
No one expected NC State to shut down the Boston College rushing
attack. Andre Williams is the nation's leading rusher for a reason.
However, there's not much excuse for the way the Eagles completely
manhandled the Wolfpack's defensive line, a unit that is supposed to
be the strength of the team.
Sure, you're going to give up yards but there's no way the Pack
should have yielded 420 yards and nearly eight yards every time the
Eagles ran the ball. That total was the second most in Wolfpack
history and the worst performance by an NC State defense in more
than 30 years.
Other than Robert Caldwell, NC State is fairly under sized at
linebacker so whenever Williams got to the second level he owned a
tremendous advantage. As the game wore on you could see it take a
toll on NC State's defenders as they started reaching for tackles
instead of squaring up.
NC State had cut the Boston College lead to 20-14 in the fourth
quarter after a perfect pass from Rashard Smith to Quintin Payton
for a 49 yard touchdown score.
It was at that point that State had to have a big series out of
their defense if they hoped to win. Instead, BC went 72 yards in two
plays but on both plays, the Pack still had an opportunity to change
On the first carry the ball was knocked loose from Andre Williams.
It appeared Juston Burris had an opportunity to scoop the ball up
but he whiffed and a Boston College lineman fell on the ball.
On the very next play Williams ran through a massive hole in the
Wolfpack defense but Burris broke off of a wide receiver block and
was able to knock the ball loose at the one.
Yet again, State had a chance to either recover or knock the ball
through the back of the end zone but could do neither. BC recovered
in the end zone, took a 28-14 lead and for all intents and purposes,
ended the game.
Each week there are plays that, if made, give you a chance to win.
As is often the case with teams that struggle to win, they usually
don't make those plays and that's definitely been a recurring theme
for the Wolfpack.
Whether it be trick plays, going for it on fourth down, needing a
defensive stand or coming up for a loose ball, NC State hasn't been
able to make plays and that's played a huge role in their 0-7
Thornton Struggles Without Mitchell
Shadrach Thornton has been an effective offensive weapon over the
last few games for NC State. Boston College made a concerted effort
to shut him down Saturday and they succeeded. Without running QB
Brandon Mitchell in the game to provide an additional running
threat, BC was able to focus on Thornton and held him to just 56
yards on two carries.
Down 17-7 at the half, NC State had several opportunities to get
back in the game but the offense couldn't muster anything when it
had the chance.
Boston College went three and out twice, punted three times and put
up just a field goal in its first four possessions of the second
half. That opened the door for NC State to get back in the game but
they couldn't take advantage.
State went three and out on its first three possessions of the
second half, mustering a pathetic 13 yards of offense and no first
downs in the third quarter.
Bright Spots in Places
If you're looking for any kind of silver lining for NC State, it has
to be that they do have some young players that appear to have a
bright future for the Wolfpack.
TE David Grinnage has shown that he may have the best hands on the
team as he made yet another spectacular one-handed grab against BC.
Why he isn't a bigger part of the NC State offense is a head
CB Jack Tocho continues to play well and showed on a couple of
occasions that he didn't mind getting physical with RB Andre
DT Monty Nelson battled all day against BC and his five tackles were
the best of any defensive linemen. Nelson has a tremendous motor and
as he fills out, will become a force up front.
WR JuMichael Ramos had his best game for NC State, totaling five
catches for 109 yards including a 52-yard scoring strike from
NC State will have to change gears in a big way as they transition
from the grind it out style of Boston College to the wide open
passing attack of East Carolina.
One thing is for sure. If State isn't mentally prepared to play this
game, the Pirates have the ability to run the Wolfpack right out of
their own stadium. ECU can score points in bunches while State
hasn't shown the ability to score on anyone.
The Pack desperately needs to win out to stem the tide of negativity
and gain some positive momentum headed into the stretch run of the
recruiting year. State needs to be able to show their recruits that
they've turned the corner. Accomplishing that begins against the
Pirates and it'll take the Wolfpack's best effort of the year to
pull it off.
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