MANUFACTURING A RUNNING GAME
Defensively, every team wants to take something away from the opposing offense to make them one dimensional. It's no secret that Syracuse is going to try to take the run away from NC State in hopes of making the Wolfpack one-dimensional.
The Wolfpack ground game has dipped off since Matt Dayes went out, and it's been sort of a collective effort on the ground ever since. Jaylen Samuels has filled in as the starter with reserves Dakwa Nichols and Reggie Gallaspy getting carries. Jacoby Brissett has been asked to do more on the ground, and wideout Nyheim Hines has even lined at tailback as well.
Look for that type of approach to continue as the Wolfpack will need to keep Syracuse honest by establishing a ground game. It won't be one guy, but it's going to take a committee approach to produce yards on the ground against the Orange.
TAKING YOUR SHOTS
The run game is definitely a key for NC State on Saturday but Syracuse has shown that their biggest weakness is defending the pass.
The Orange ranks No. 115 nationally against the pass, yielding nearly 285 yards per game through the air. Syracuse will likely stack the box which means play action could work and their may be opportunities to go deep for the Wolfpack. This could be a game that plays out similarly to Wake Forest and BC for NC State when they used chunk plays to generate the majority of the offense.
Maurice Trowell... Nyheim Hines... Jumichael Ramos... Bra'lon Cherry... Jaylen Samuels... David Grinnage... the options for big plays are there for Brissett to work with.
State simply has to figure out a way to get the ball in their hands and allow them to make plays. If they can make that happen, the alignments they face defensively could play to their advantage.
DO THE LITTLE THINGS
When NC State plays under control they've been extremely efficient offensively this year. What they can't do against Syracuse is take themselves off the field. Penalties and negative plays have been the main culprit... stay on schedule and State can exploit a suspect Syracuse defense.
But it also comes down to execution.
At times, the offense has been a little off. On an obvious call to go deep, a lineman misses a block. Brissett makes a great throw and the receiver drops the pass. Maybe a wideout breaks wide open and Brissett doesn't see him.
The offense has to get back to clicking and clicking for four quarters. It all starts with doing the little things... doing your job. Hold your block an extra second longer... fight for the extra yards... make the catch that's contested, not just the easy grabs... you get the idea.
If NC State can do the little things it could be a explosive day offensively for the Wolfpack.