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Thursday, October 8, 2009

So yeah...Duke

Despite my relative lack of activity here on the blog, State nevertheless plans to host the Blue Devils this weekend on new turf with a revamped secondary.

Duke's aerial attack + State's tweaked secondary could = bad news for State, particularly if the issues that plagued the Pack against Wake Forest continue (poor tackling, stupid drive killing/extending penalties, etc.). You know David Cutcliffe and the offensive staff of the Blue Devils had to be drooling when they got the film from the Wake game. Mike Archer's "umbrella" zone coverage gives QBs plenty of opportunities for quick outs and slants when the Pack's corners set up 5-10 yards from the line of scrimmage.

Three things to look for this weekend:

1. A sense of purpose on defense. Against Wake, the back seven of State's defense seemed content to let the play come to them, not the other way around. The front four did a great job of generating pressure, but sacks alone won't shut down an opponent's passing game. The linebackers and secondary need to dictate to Duke's offense through punishing hits and solid tackles that limit yards after the catch. In short, State's back seven needs to crank up the aggression level.

2. Can State establish a running game? Russell Wilson had plenty of time to throw last week, but because State's run blocking was largely ineffective, Wake had the ability to drop more defenders into coverage and take away the big play. State's offensive line needs to re-establish the line of scrimmage downfield when the Pack runs the ball, driving Duke's defensive line off the ball rather than simply negating their push.

3. How will the new turf hold up? Yeah, Lee Fowler toured the turf today, and yeah, he says it's good to go. Would we expect him to give it the thumbs down if it weren't? Of course not. Expecting new sod laid on Tuesday to have taken root by Saturday is ambitious for even the greatest of turf managers. I look for the majority of the turf between the hash marks to be a heaping mess of turf chunks...let's pray no one from either squad gets injured.


  1. hopefully, the rain will hold off. if it rains all day, that would only make the turf more slickery

  2. Wonder whose going to be replacing TOB?

    Whose on the market?

  3. Field held up real well...especially for those 4 kneel downs with time left on the clock!!!