Rhythm Key to Pack's Offense

RALEIGH, N.C. -- In the first half of Saturday's loss to Duke, the NC State offense looked like a well-oiled machine, matching Duke score-for-score en route to being tied at 21 at halftime with the Blue Devils.

However, in the game's final 30 minutes the Wolfpack offense simply could not find its rhythm. Limited time of possession and turnovers in the second half certainly did not help State, but even when the Pack did get the ball the points just did not come as easy or as often as they had in the first half.

Part of the reason for the offensive lull could have been what Duke was doing on offense. The constant Blue Devils assault put added pressure on NC State to score; something which offensive players admitted made them press.

"We got into panic mode so that's not good," offensive tackle Julian Williams said Wednesday.

Williams said the team has stayed positive throughout the week even after the disappointing results against Duke.

"In the ACC anybody can beat you and Duke proved it last week. I guarantee you it won't be the last team they beat this year," Williams said. "Anybody can beat you in this conference so you have to come ready to play every week so that's how we're taking it."

That "panic mode" Saturday resulted in only seven second half points which came off a kickoff return courtesy of T.J. Graham. Receiver Owen Spencer said the offense got into the mindset of trying to match the Blue Devils each time it stepped on the field rather than just playing.

"As you saw in the first half, it was just a gun show," he said. "They answered and we answered and all it takes is one team to be off beat and they came up big on that. They took advantage of the opportunity they had and just like Julian said we went into a panic mode trying to put up points. We got out of rhythm on offense and that was a very vital part of the game. We have to capitalize on that."

The Wolfpack will get its chance to capitalize on offensive rhythm against the Eagles on Saturday, something Spencer said the team is looking forward to. The Boston College defense is giving up a little more than 20 points per contest so far this season and allowed Virginia Tech to tally 48 this past week in Blacksburg, Virginia.

"We're pretty positive. You have to look back on last game because you have to learn from your mistakes," Spencer said. "Going up to Boston will be a big game. Obviously it's a conference game and road game and it's a big game for the coaches to win because it's their arch rival but we're not going to make it too big. Right now we're just looking forward to going up there and getting a win and it will be a big boost for us."

At 0-2 in the ACC, Saturday's game against Boston College is perhaps more important than any game this season, something Williams said the team is aware of.

"You have to get a win to get the bad taste out of your mouth, but we're pretty positive," he said. "We have to go up to Boston and steal a win. I say steal one because in the ACC you have to win at home and when you go on the road you have to steal one or two. We feel pretty good."

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