North Carolina State Football 2012 Bowl Capsule

North Carolina State Wolfpack


Tom O’Brien has been pretty consistent over the last couple of seasons putting a winning team on the field in Raleigh.  This season is not quite as successful as the last few years, which cost O’Brien his job, but the Wolfpack have proven they can win ball games.  They can stay with the strong teams long enough to make it interesting at the end.  Once again they found a way to beat Florida State.  Unfortunately in 2012, they had a few losses that make you scratch your head, which held them back from being a double-digit win team (see Tennessee, Virginia).  O’Brien has found a winning formula by continuously finding some of the best quarterbacks in the country to start for the Wolfpack.  He transitioned from Russell Wilson to Mike Glennon.  Glennon has been a huge part of their success this season.

2012 Record: 7-5, 4-4
Coach: Tom O’Brien
Coach Bowl Record: 8-2

Big Wins: 10/6 Florida State (17-16), 11/10 Wake Forest (37-6)
Bad Losses: 8/31 Tennessee (21-35), 11/3 Virginia (6-33)

With Glennon under center the Wolfpack’s passing game soars.  They are second in the conference in passing and Glennon eclipsed 3,000 yards easily this season.  That’s two seasons in a row that Glennon has thrown for well over 3,000.  He spreads the ball around efficiently.  Four receivers average three plus catches per game.  Bryan Underwood is the big play receiver with ten touchdowns for the season.  Glennon has a lot of options underneath to set up the big play down field to Underwood.  NC State’s defense cannot be overlooked either.  It may not be one of the more dominating defenses that O’Brien has had since he has been in Raleigh, but the 2012 version is still pretty effective.  The defense is ninth in the country in tackles for loss.  They get after runners in the backfield.  Opposing offenses only rush for 158 yards per game.  That’s seventh in the conference.  They are among the best in the country at pass pressure as they led the ACC in sacks.  They also hold opponents to just 24 points per game, one of the best marks in the ACC.

In recent years, the Wolfpack has had pretty serviceable runners in the backfield.  This year the run game never really got off the ground.  Tony Creecy and Shadrach Thornton are the leaders in the backfield and collectively they barely eclipsed 1,000 yards.  The running game does not generate much offense in terms of scoring either.  Less than ten touchdowns have been scored from Creecy and Thornton.  That really hamstrings the entire offense.  Despite the strong passing game, the Wolfpack averaged less than 30 points per game on the season.  Also, Glennon is a prototypical pocket passer and is more susceptible to big losses via sacks.  The offensive line is not as strong as it was last year.  NC State was the second worst team in the conference in preventing sacks.  Defensively, as good as the front seven were, the back end was a mess.  The defensive backs allowed over 260 yards per game.  One of the biggest reasons NC State had a difficult time putting teams away was that they turned the ball over quite a bit.  They were on the negative side of turnover margin all season.  That tends to keep inferior teams in the game even when they probably should not be.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Shadrach Thornton, RB, 655 yards
Passing: Mike Glennon, QB, 3,648 yards
Receiving: Quintin Payton, WR, 761 yards
Tackles: Earl Wolff, S, 110
Sacks: Darryl Cato-Bishop, DE, 6.5
Interceptions: David Amerson, CB, 5

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 116.92 (105th in nation, 9th in conference)
Passing Offense: 304.00 (20, 2)
Total Offense: 420.92 (50, 6)
Scoring Offense: 28.42 (70, 7)
Rushing Defense: 157.92 (58, 7)
Pass Defense: 261.75 (92, 9)
Total Defense: 419.67 (81, 8)
Scoring Defense: 24.58 (46, 3)
Turnover Margin: -0.33 (79, 7)
Sacks: 2.67 (20, 1)
Sacks Allowed: 3.00 (105, 10)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2011    Belk Bowl                       Louisville (31-24)
2010    Champs Sports Bowl        West Virginia (23-7)
2008 Bowl        Rutgers (23-29)
2005    Car Care of Texas Bowl    USF (14-0)
2003    Tangerine Bowl               Kansas (56-26)

*all team stats through 11/24


Bowl Central

NC State Shop