Following the disappointing loss to Wake Forest we put out a tweet asking WPN for their thoughts on the state of the program. It really is an excellent thread with a variety of perspectives that you should check out if you missed. I feel like the majority of NC State fans are on the same page and think Dave Doeren is doing good things but I also feel most of us on that side could be convinced the other way.
So we wanted to embed the reactions as things get missed on twitter very fast and there was some good replies. We broke them down to 3 categories: Supportive, On-the-Fence, “Bust out the tiki torches we’re burning this mofo down!”
i've always wondered if "shooting oneself in the foot" is a characteristic of Doeren-led teams. Seems to be. I wonder how you fix something like that. No idea.
— James Auman (@jrauman) November 19, 2017
Also, remember when Clemsoning was a thing? I genuinely believe that’s where we are in the process at this given moment.
— Danny Lampron (@dannybob20) November 19, 2017
DD has shown he can recruit. He's been a head coach all of what, 7 years? He's learning. You're seeing tangible progress. He promised he'd compete with the Clemson's & FSU. He's doing that
— James Cunningham (@JamesIV1978) November 19, 2017
Honestly DD is building he program, he finally has his players in and playing… in my opinion we can Hux and go after Mike Houston at JMU as DC and next year with the addition of another coach go after a Special Team coach
— Christopher Bagale (@Wolf_Pack_fan) November 19, 2017
I think next season is a good opportunity to reset the DC. Have to replace front 6 due to graduation, you’ll have some injection of DB talent with the UT transfer and juco. Look for someone outperforming station – like Brown was at BC
— Baxter (@BaxterCavendish) November 19, 2017
Personally, I think offense is more of the problem than the defense. Awful decision on defensive switches tonight, but as a rule, the defense has held most opponents under their “norm”. Each loss the defense has held opponents to 30 or less (excluding ST). That should
— Matthew Watkins (@matthewewatkins) November 19, 2017
5-6 conference wins, in contention to reach the ACC championship game, first tier bowl games – these are what State fans have been wanting for years, and DD got us there.
— Doug Schneider (@Race4caster) November 19, 2017
Continuity is best for a program like State. Allow DD to build, State hasn’t done that before and it’s not worked. If people can’t see progress they are blind. As for Hux, tonight wasn’t on him. Hell this was SC all over!
— Stephen Apple (@apple_stephen) November 19, 2017
I think you have to stick with DD. He has built a competitive, physical and tough program. The defense held Wake to 337 yards last night we just don't make the plays to win these close games. We have depth, playmakers, and we have good young players and solid recruiting class.
— Haze Lancaster (@lazehancaster) November 19, 2017
Can't Fire DD right now. UT and Florida are open with other big 💰 programs possible. Upgrade at DC is needed for sure. OC has been good at times but struggles when he gets too cute. Imho, jury is still out on him. Team was in position to win. That's all the coaches can do.
— Derrick Dudley (@NCSURkTScIeNcE) November 19, 2017
Honestly not sold on DDs ceiling, but do really like how he has built a TEAM. Some questionable decisions but I can live w/them for now. Hux – should have been gone yrs ago. Need special teams coach. Need more in game adjustments (ex Ingram)
— William Deitrick (@wmdeitrick) November 19, 2017
I'm not a fan wanting to fire DD …let that be clear because I agree we do not want to hit the reset button …I just want a change of luck one of these days I guess…could upgrade on defensive coordinator
— Kyle Herring (@KyleHerring10) November 19, 2017
The staff has to be shaken up, you have got to fix the defense and ST issues that have been there for years: usually at least one 40+ yd play given up per game, a frequent inability to get key stops on 3rd down, terrible kicking, and poor kick coverage.
— Mr Rictus (@misterrictus) November 19, 2017
Honestly…I don’t know. DD is good if you’re okay with a lower ceiling. But if you want to shoot high…I don’t know
— Zach Yonk (@ztyonk) November 19, 2017
Since we lack a legitimate between the tackle RB. We keep trying to manufacture a running game because our depth at the position is bad. Need more depth. We haven't been able to overcome the Johnny Frazier bust
— Turbo Pack (@turbopack33) November 19, 2017
I just feel discouraged b/c it feels like everything came together and we'll only win 8 games. DD's shown progress each yr. Fire him and we start over again, stupid. He is building. Yea, Hux needs to go.
— Tucker Blankinship (@TuckerBlanc) November 19, 2017
I'm really frustrated with play calling. My gut says DD is right guy. I feel like he's building a good foundation, at least. Incoming talent looks good and I believe culture itself has taken a step forward from TOB (albeit not much room to go back)
— charlieyoung73 (@charlieyoung73) November 19, 2017
— Sonic Wolf (@Sonic_Wolf24) November 19, 2017
Ok so when we have another 7-5 season another 4 years in a row then what?
— Kyle Herring (@KyleHerring10) November 19, 2017
Has DD built up depth and a future of possible success? Sure. Am I any kind of confident we can win close games and get over the hump with this staff? No.
Do not think DD is the answer. Not sure who we’d be able to realistically target though
— Bill O'Donnell (@WROncsu) November 19, 2017
Yeah, big issue for me too. He is a prick to fans. Win something significant and maybe you can do that and hold support. But treat us like scrap AND under perform? Joke
— Brigmann Bailey (@beetlehound1) November 20, 2017
Strangest thought of all: expand funding for non-coaching support staff. Things like analytics and recruiting talent evaluators. Coaches only get maybe 20hrs/week with the kids, so incoming talent level and situational decision making (analytics) make real differences
— James Cox (@jrcox4) November 19, 2017
Yup, and that staff, plus the additional staff to scout/game plan, are what the “blue bloods” have that we lack. The coaches on staff are only as good as the information provided to them by the support staff, improve that information, and you hopefully improve on the field
— James Cox (@jrcox4) November 19, 2017
There are and one is running the DL in the NFL
— 🔴⚪️4life🐺 (@glasswolf54) November 19, 2017
That’s fair. It appears your concern is with the secondary, not the d-line, which is something I share. I think the line is solid next year still, but I agree with you that it won’t be enough to compensate for poor play on the back end
— Alec Lower (@AlecLower) November 19, 2017
I think this class coming in is going to be as special as that class. If the o line comes back minus Adams. All the rest are red shirt JR's the offense will be good. We'll be a top 25 team next yr because of that offense
— James Cunningham (@JamesIV1978) November 19, 2017
Hux needs to go and go to a 4-3. Hire ryan Nielsen as DC. He took a 3* young man and made him into the most dominant d lineman in college football. He made the line what it is. 4-2-5 doesn't work. Unc played same style and had worst D. Went to 4-3 following year and won 10 games.
— Brandon Black (@backinblack_wx) November 19, 2017
Dabo wasn’t afraid to upgrade his coordinators. First Morris then Venables. That’s what took Clemson from good to great.
— Matt Murphy (@the_mattmurphy) November 19, 2017
BEAR DOWN on these balls Sean Miller!!!!
— Red and White (@RedWhitePodcast) November 23, 2017
Did the Buzzfeed-esque headline work? Well here is a too-long-didn’t-read version as compensation.
TL;DR – The numbers bear out the narrative that we have been an average ACC defense over the last 3 seasons, and our 2015 and 2016 OOC schedules made our defense look way better than what it really was, especially in ACC play.
First, let’s start off with the basic defensive stats from the last 3 seasons in addition to the national rankings:
So as you can see here, we had a top 30 nationally ranked defense in 2015 and 2016 in terms of total yards allowed per game. Additionally, we had a top 30 scoring defense in 2016. You will notice the numbers from 2017 do not appear to be as strong as the 2015 and 2016 numbers, but it should be noted NC State has 2 more games to play (UNC+Bowl) so there is the opportunity for these numbers to improve or worsen.
So why are the numbers worse in 2017? The simple answer is: because of the statistics from the 2017 out of conference (OOC) games. Overall, we played a stronger OOC this year than we did in 2015 and 2016. Additionally, 2016 had the Hurricane Matthew game to skew the stats in the favor of our defense.
The 2015 OOC featured Troy, Eastern Kentucky, Old Dominion, and South Alabama which is very different from South Carolina, Notre Dame, Marshall, and Furman.
This is evident in the outcomes of the games (2-2 vs. 4-0) and in the underlying statistics from those games. The regular OOC schedule accounts for 4/13 games or 30% of the schedule, which means the regular season OOC can drastically affect defensive statistics on a per game basis.
In 2017, NC State’s defense has allowed 38% more total yards to opponents than in 2016, and 47% more points to regular season OOC opponents. The increase is more drastic if you compare 2017 to 2015.
So now we must discuss how we can more fairly assess NC State’s defense given the regular season OOC variability.
Yes, all Power5 Conference schools play cupcakes in their regular season OOC schedule.
Yes, the NCAA has changed the rules regarding OOC scheduling to reduce the number of cupcakes on the regular season OOC schedule.
The simple solution is to look at statistics only from ACC conference games, and to compare those stats to other ACC teams. This makes sense on many levels because every season we play 7 fixed opponents (UNC + Atlantic div) and 1 rotating Coastal Division opponent thus giving us a level of consistency. Additionally, the ACC is our peer group, so we should compare ourselves to the schools we are competing against each week on the field and off the field.
When you look at NC State’s defense vs. ACC opponents, a picture begins to emerge of a defense that is not in the upper 25% like the national rankings would suggest, but it is instead just an average ACC defense in terms of yards per game allowed and points per game allowed.
If you want to point out that the Atlantic Division is more competitive than the Coastal Division, I showed how NC State’s defense ranks compared to other Atlantic Division teams, with 7 being the worst team. Of note, over the 3 years, Syracuse consistently had the worst defense in the division.
As I outlined a year ago, teams are choosing to attack our defense with the pass instead of running the ball. In 2016 against ACC teams, NC State’s defense saw the fewest number of rushing attempts in conference, and in 2017 we have seen the second fewest.
Our defense is allowing a stingy 3.9 yards per carry in 2017, but that ties us with 3 other schools, and puts us ahead of 7 other schools. Just as in 2016, NC State’s defense is on pace to face one of the highest numbers of pass attempts in the ACC during the 2017 campaign.
Although the yards allowed per game has decreased slightly, it should be noted that there is a significant reduction in points per game allowed to ACC opponents over the last 3 years. This lends itself to the “bend don’t break” defensive narrative that surrounds Defensive Coordinator Dave Huxtable.
In 2017, NC State has the 3rd worst passing defense, in terms of passing yards allowed per game, BUT we are tied with Duke for 2nd best in the fewest passing TDs allowed (8) and we are in the middle of the pack for the number of rushing TDs allowed (11). So that is how you end up with a scoring defense in the middle of the ACC pack my friends.
*This is a guest post from friend of the program StatboyMatt. In future posts we will take a look at explosive plays and the record number of guys who have career days against Huxtable’s defenses.
DD to Miss. St?
Losing to Wake sucked
Hardcore Def. Analysis
@ER’s motivational speech
Oh yea and the State of DD and the program
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* Dustin back. Thanks for the concern while in Vegas. Apologize for the voice and coughing as I’ve been sick for going on two weeks.
* thanks for all the audio feedback, it will help us get better.
* Started slow, still found a way to win
* great second half (held pitt to only a FG)
* Narduzzi, why the hell did he switch QBs?
* That’s why he’s on a career trajectory that has him at Pitt.
Bye Week Goals
* Get healthy – no one listed on the injury report outside of the guys out for the year but still bumps and bruises. Perfect timing.
* watch teams in front of us lose
* ND vs USC
* ND guys saying this is their toughest stretch of games in history. USC, State, Wake, Miami, Navy, Stanford
* D – ND win against USC would be nice?
* Clemson vs GT
* Nebraska hires the Wash St AD, general theory is they want leach. Good fit? What would AD Dustin do?
* Got to talk about it and we hope to have a special edition with WolfpackPatrol, UNC Skates. Thoughts?
* 2 wins over ranked teams in a row! Beat Auburn 27-23. 206 in the air and 157 on the ground. In comparison Auburn had 165 in the air and 189 on the ground. Just that kind of game.
Lock of the Week
* – Don’t remember what mine was but I’m sure it was right!
* D – Bama is going off at 34.5 or 35 against UT and I want to take them but I won’t. Louisville +6.5 at FSU is hard to turn down. They’ll rebound after last week. I don’t think they’re great but they still have a Heisman trophy winner as QB1. FSU still hasn’t done much.
* E –
Top 4 –
* D – 1. Bama, 2. UGA, 3. PSU, 4. TCU
* E – 1. Bama 2. UGA 3. PSU 4. Clemson w/Bryant