2009 Total Offense Rank (yards per game): 46
2009 Total Defense Rank (yards per game): 55
Graduation, injuries and legal troubles have left the North Carolina State Wolfpack reeling. Many starters are gone on both sides of the ball, and it will be up to the young talent to step in and produce. After recording only 5 wins last season, head coach Tom O’Brien has his work cut out for him.
The top three running backs from 2009 are all gone, 2 by graduation and 1 from injury. The most productive returning contributor from last season, James Washington, rushed for only 76 yards. He is likely to split time with Curtis Underwood who redshirted last year. The passing game was very good for the Wolfpack, led by quarterback Russell Wilson. He threw for over 3,000 yards and 31 touchdowns, fourth most in the nation. Leading receivers Owen Spencer and Jarvis Williams return after a strong campaign. Williams led the team in catches and touchdowns (11), but Spencer led in receiving yards (765 with a 25.5 average yards per catch). First team ACC tight end George Bryan’s future is in doubt after being arrested for marijuana possession. He was second on the team in catches and will be missed if he is not able to play this year. The offensive line returns only two starters, and one of them was arrested along with Bryan.
The defense lost all four starting linemen after ranking 114th nationally in turnover margin. The two projected defensive tackle starters were also arrested with Bryan and may be suspended. The starting secondary is made up of four sophomores, who combined for a total of 0 interceptions last year. The best news for the Wolfpack defense is the return of middle linebacker Nate Irving after missing all of 2009 with injuries from a car accident. He averaged almost 9 tackles per game in 2008 and was sorely missed last year. Leading tackler Audie Cole also returns.
Outside of the quarterback and starting receivers, there is almost no proven talent on the roster. Legal proceedings could have a big impact on N.C. State’s season, but either way, they should be a below average team.
North Carolina State’s odds to win the ACC: + 2500
College Teams: North Carolina State Wolfpack
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