#40 North Carolina State Football 2012 Preview

North Carolina State Wolfpack

2012 Overall Rank: #40
#5 ACC
North Carolina State College Football 2012 Team Preview
North Carolina State Team Page


Year five seemed like the year that Tom O’Brien and his crew has finally gotten things going right in Raleigh.  O’Brien did great things at Boston College and he is beginning to have the same sort of success at NC State.  He finally has a great quarterback to work with and his recruiting has been solid.  The Wolfpack are hoping to become a constant contender for Coastal Division crowns after a couple of down years.  Almost every year, they generate next-level players.  They are looking to sustain team success like they have with individual star players.

2011 Record: (8-5)
2011 Bowl:  Belk Bowl vs Louisville (W 31-24)
Coach: Tom O’Brien (33-30 at North Carolina State, 108-75 Overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Dana Bible
Defensive Coordinator:  Mike Archer

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: James Washington, RB, 897 yards
Passing: Mike Glennon, QB, 3,054 yards
Receiving: Tobais Palmer, WR, 496 yards
Tackles: Earl Wolff, S, 105
Sacks: Cato-Bishop/Art Norman, 5.5
Interceptions: David Amerson, DB, 13

Other Key Returnees: RB Tony Creecy, S Brandon Bishop, OL Cam Wentz, DL Art Norman

Key Losses: TE George Bryan, LB Audie Cole, WR T.J. Graham, DT Marcus Kuhn, LB Terrell Manning

NC State had a strong defense in 2011.  Their eight wins can be credited to that side of the ball.  They were tops in the conference and sixth nationally in turnover margin.  Stud cornerback David Amerson throttled passers with his ability to intercept balls.  He averaged one pick per game.  The front seven was also able to apply pressure to opposing quarterbacks.  They were top-10 nationally in sacks per game at over three, and seven tackles for loss per game.  They lose linebacker Audie Cole who contributed 108 tackles last year.  With Mike Glennon returning, the offense has a real shot to be good in 2012.  Glennon threw for over 3,000 yards and 31 touchdowns in 2011 and the 2012 season may be even brighter for a budding star.

The Wolfpack rushing attack will have to be better in 2012.  At just over 100 yards per game, NC State was second to last in the ACC in running the ball.  James Anderson returns at tailback, but the Wolfpack may not have their lead man to run the ball.  Perhaps by the second half of the season O’Brien will figure out a good combo of runners that he can use to increase yardage on the ground.  As good as Glennon was, his line was not quite as good.  He is more of a stationary quarterback.  As such, he was sacked over 2.5 times per game.  His numbers could improve dramatically if the line keeps him upright this season.

The Bottom Line:
NC State has the ability to challenge for an ACC championship this year.  It is a long shot, but it is also not totally out of the realm of possibility.  Glennon is one of the better quarterbacks in the ACC and Amerson might be the best pure cornerback in the country.  They have some nice pieces on this team.  With North Carolina being under NCAA sanctions, the Wolfpack have a chance to own the state of North Carolina.  O’Brien might have the team he has been trying to put on the field for a few years.  They have a good shot to win nine games.

Projected Bowl:  Belk Bowl

2011 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 104.85 (109th in nation, 11th in conference)
Passing Offense:  240.00 (54, 6)
Total Offense: 344.85 (94, 11)
Scoring Offense: 28.23 (54, 4)
Rushing Defense: 131.23 (37, 4)
Pass Defense: 223.69 (61, 7)
Total Defense: 354.92 (41, 4)
Scoring Defense: 24.69 (54, 6)
Turnover Margin: 1.08 (6, 1)
Sacks: 3.08 (T8, 1)
Sacks Allowed: 2.62 (98, 10)

Madness 2013 NFL Draft Rankings:
#6 David Amerson