Things are too hard for the NC State offense right now.
The Wolfpack didn't have a single play over 24 yards in the loss to Virginia Tech, and that came on the first play of game, a quick pass to Jaylen Samuels.
The lack of explosive plays has put a lot of stress on the Wolfpack offense to grind out drives, and it hasn't been happening. Virginia Tech loaded the box and applied pressure to Jacoby Brissett, daring the Wolfpack to consistently beat them on the perimeter. NC State had success in spurts but just didn't do it enough.
It's hard winning ACC games scoring 13 points, at home or on the road. NC State has to find a way to be more explosive offensively... there is a need for more chunk plays and easier scoring drives because several strong defenses remain on the schedule for the Wolfpack.
Grinding out drives won't be easy.
This section has been fairly easy to fill this season for NC State, but it's not this week.
Three? That's hard to find, but Jumichael Ramos flashed when watching the game back. The junior receiver didn't receive many targets and finished with just two grabs for 21 yards, but one was an 8-yard touchdown reception he made over the top of a Virginia Tech wide receiver.
NC State entered 2015 looking for much more production from the wide receiver position. Last year the group struggled to get open, had drops, and overall underperformed. Ramos has been one of the bright spots through six games for State as he's shown he can make catches in coverage, has been extremely reliable, and could be a redzone weapon.
With Ramos, it's been more than just the numbers. He looks like a confident player who has clearly taken his game to another level.
Now NC State must find a way to get Ramos, and the rest of the receivers, more involved moving forward.
That's about it for the offense, but the special teams deserve a lot of credit, particularly the two young kickers.
Freshman punter A.J. Cole averaged 43.8 yards per punt with a long of 51-yards and three-of-five downed inside the 20-yard line. Cole has been terrific this season.
Freshman kicker Kyle Bambard had easily the best game of his career, drilling both of his field goal attempts (33/36). That should really help his confidence heading into the bye week.
Bambard has to be more consistent, but both look like they can be counted on when needed.
C- The night started well for NC State's offense with scores on two of the ifrs three possessions. However, the Wolfpack managed just three points the rest of the night, and that's not good enough.
There was only one turnover, which was basically meaningless on the final offensive snap, but there just weren't enough plays being made.
No big plays... 5-of-15 on third down... four sacks allowed... again, the offense has to do more for the Wolfpack.
This week is critical to the season. NC State limped into the bye last year on a four-game losing streak and finished the season winning four of the final five games. Can they make similar adjustments this year?
The Wolfpack certainly needs to tweak some things offensively.