ImposterCauster

Conference Commissioner
  • Content count

    3,320
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    15

Everything posted by ImposterCauster

  1. FTFY
  2. y tho
  3. You're being severely underrated rn. I don't see why you're not getting the votes you easily deserve
  4. Huh. Happy birthday I guess? Idk if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Either way, gg Seahawks
  5. Florida State has a Syracuse problem. The Orange hit the 'Noles with the 3-peat this year
  6. Disclaimer: you played Wake. That said your offense was fire; hope to see more of it in the future
  7. Hope everything gets better for you man. We're wishing you the best <3
  8. Without a doubt the best running back to play the game so far. Has a natty and a Super Bowl to show for it too.
  9. I will get better
  10. This is what the fans paid to see
  11. Call it a coaching/confidence crisis, but I'm looking to chat with anyone regarding offensive/defensive coaching, things to look out for, etc. I want to get better. The sim deserves better.

    1. Show previous comments  6 more
    2. rabidsnowman

      rabidsnowman

      I'm always looking for more people to discuss coaching with.  

    3. Franz Kafka

      Franz Kafka

      PM me!  I love talking strategery

    4. robcarlson77

      robcarlson77

      I too would be interested in chatting with some folks about strategy and whatnot. I may send a few of you a PM but if you're willing to help feel free to message me too.

       

  12. I will get better
  13. That might be a typo. 8.0 is the default number there on the empty game reports
  14. Starting to look bleak now, even though I've played three really good teams now. gg Bubada. McLean looked super sharp again. Wishing you the best this year
  15. Week 3 Preview: W2WR, Bold Predictions, Keys to the Game, and Predictions Teams in Action: TNF: Duke Blue Devils (2-0 at Tulane), Wake Forest Demon Deacons (0-1 at North Texas) FNF: NC State Wolfpack (0-2 at Rice), Miami (FL) Hurricanes (0-1 Miami (OH)) SM: Syracuse Orange (1-0 #4 Purdue), #22 Virginia Cavaliers (1-0 at Western Kentucky), Boston College Eagles (0-1 Army). Louisville Cardinals (0-1 Georgia State) SE: #25 Pittsburgh Panthers (1-0 at Virginia Tech), Virginia Tech Hokies (1-0 #25 Pittsburgh), #3 Clemson Tigers (1-0 at #5 Auburn) Teams on Bye: #9 Florida State Seminoles (2-0), Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (1-1), North Carolina Tar Heels (1-1) Thursday Night Football: New Orleans, LA: Duke Blue Devils (2-0) at Tulane Green Wave (0-1) What 2 Watch 4: Christian Collins unleashed. This seems like the kind of game where a player like Collins should shine. Tulane is stronger up the middle than they are on the outside, and the Green Wave have a decent enough secondary to give Bryce Thompson some issues. Collins has averaged 78.5 yards per game so far; he should easily beat that this game. Bold Prediction: Duke's defense picks up two+ interceptions while keeping Preston Tolliver contained. I say this only because Coach xkl has made the switch from Sam Sloan to junior Blake Norton at quarterback, and I personally think that's a very flawed move. The kid has less of an arm than Sloan, and Duke should easily capitalize on that while having big man Tolliver in their crosshairs. Defense should step up big this game. Keys to the Game, Duke offense: Take advantage of Tulane's non-existent pass rush. The Green Wave do not have playmakers on that defensive line; Thompson should be given plenty of time to find his receivers while both he and Collins should be given space to move the ball on the ground. Keys to the Game, Duke defense: Do not let Tulane get momentum. Under Coach xkl, Tulane have been a rather interesting team. While QB issues have remained a nagging pain, Tolliver has been solid. It's an offense that, when it clicks, can be super scary (as 2019 Purdue can attest). It's important to not let Tulane get those 2-3 big plays that can pick up some momentum. If Tulane is tame, this should be a walk in the park. Prediction: Duke 31-7 Tulane . As fun as Tulane can be sometimes, especially at home, I think Duke has more than enough to breeze by the Green Wave. Ahmed Mark will play a pivotal role in shutting down Tolliver, and the Blue Devils will be 3-0 and looking very sharp. Denton, TX: Wake Forest Demon Deacons (0-1) at North Texas Mean Green (0-1) What 2 Watch 4: Wake's average offense vs. The Mean Green Fighting Machine. Never in my life have I been so stoked to see a top defense end prospect go up against an offensive line as poor as the one that Wake will be fielding. This offensive line, however, is going to have to find a way to stop the Mean Javier Grady from tearing Hemana Toma an new one. If not, can Hemana Toma get the ball away in time? Wake's entire game could hinge on this alone. Bold Prediction: Oscar Sanderson breaks 100 yet again. The first-year starter out of Pilgrim's Knob did a decent number on East Carolina back in Week 1, and North Texas has an arguably worse front seven sans Grady. Assuming Grady isn't blowing up every play possible, Sanderson could be given an opening or two to capitalize on, and I fully expect the senior back to hit the century mark for the second time in as many games. Keys to the Game, Wake offense: Get rid of the ball. Toma will not have time to stay in the pocket and search for receivers this game. He will be forced out of the pocket early and often, and if he's not able to get rid of the ball, North Texas will be fully capable of capitalizing on the generous field position. Jacob Benson in the slot or Isaac Ferreira at tight end will be huge today in being dump-off targets for Toma. Keys to the Game, Wake defense: Keep Kamari Terry in the pocket. Whereas Terry has a somewhat solid arm, it's his legs that can really do damage against Wake's inexperienced front seven. If guys like Jaylen Grayson and Lamont Landrum can close the pocket around Terry without flushing him out, Wake can certainly thrive. It's tough to ask Wake to put any pressure on any quarterback, but containing and tightening the pocket is a must in stopping this North Texas offense. Prediction: Wake Forest 24-28 North Texas . Wake impressed me against ECU, but the Pirates seem to be having their own personal problems lately. North Texas isn't a giant in the Conference-USA by any means, but Wake's lack of playmakers and flimsy offensive line will spell defeat down in the Lone Star State. Friday Night Football: Houston, TX: NC State Wolfpack (0-2) at Rice Owls (0-1) What 2 Watch 4: The Ballad of Blake Fry. It's been a very sour start to the season for the Mount Carmel native, but their next opponent is a team that Fry was relatively successful against back in 2019. The times are different, yes, but it's a bit of confidence to a quarterback lacking it entirely. The Raleigh News & Observer has hinted at this being Fry's swansong with a poor performance; will #Frysman finally step up and save his job? Bold Prediction: The secondary records their first and second interceptions of the season in holding Eric McLean to under 300 yards. The best possible thing going for Kamari Cheatham and Co. is that Rice lacks a big-name receiver that can do any real damage. Keith Triplett will line up against Cheatham, and while Triplett has a clear height advantage, Cheatham is more than athletic enough to beat out the senior receiver. Jabari Scott has been waiting for his breakout game at free safety; this could very well be it. Keys to the Game, NC State offense: Avoid turnovers. Slight cop-out considering this was what I put last time, but I think it matters more here after seeing the Pack capitulate at the hands of Wazzou. Fry has thrown a conference-high five picks in two games so far, but Rice isn't Michigan or Wazzou, though they are still very scary, especially at home. If Fry can avoid the turnover bug at last, State's offense could very well come to life, especially with a slight mismatch at the WR1-CB1 matchup. Keys to the Game, NC State defense: Defensive line. Not as much of a cop-out because I'm being more vague about it, but pressure is included here. McLean is a great quarterback, but he's still young and susceptible to nerves. Whether it's Kameron Blackman or Isaac Holley or Manny McDermott, State has to find a way to get to the quarterback. Elsewhere, they have to stuff Nate Wooten. We saw great things from the D-Line against Michigan's run game, only for that to be washed away against Wazzou. If State's line returns to Week 1 form, McLean will have to beat State through the air. Prediction: NC State 24-21 Rice . Maybe wishful thinking, but with their backs up against the wall early, State takes advantage of a more manageable opponent and makes just enough plays to come away with their first win of the season, and a win they desperately need. Miami Gardens, FL: Miami (OH) Redhawks (1-0) at Miami (FL) Hurricanes (0-1) What 2 Watch 4: The evil twin makes a visit. Both Miami teams have had very successful histories, with the 'Canes recently making the College Football Playoff in 2018 after winning the ACC while the Redhawks were the premier dominant force in the MAC alongside Northern Illinois. Both took massive dives in 2019, but their seasons could not have started any different. Can the 'Canes reverse the momentum against Miami Other? Can the offense find some sort of life against a somewhat vulnerable Redhawk defense? Bold Prediction: Neither side will record a turnover. Odd and specific, but this is a really weird game. Whereas Miami ('Canes) have a poor offensive line and a decent pass rush, Miami U (Redhawks) have a more defined line without much of a pass rush. Zack Cera likely has a great game against an average Miami secondary, whereas we should see less throwing from the 'Canes when Ronnie Peterson is their running back. Keys to the Game, Miami offense: Give openings to Peterson. The sophomore running back has shown that he can make the plays on the ground to get the Miami offense moving, so it's pivotal that the offensive line gives Peterson lanes. That can be difficult against the Redhawks, but it really seems to be the best approach in this game. Keys to the Game, Miami defense: Make Cera uncomfortable. I might be sounding like a broken record, but the reason a lot of defenses tend to be bad against the pass actually falls on the pass rush; Miami provides no exception to this case. Nathaniel Harper is the man capable of stressing the Redhawks' line; if he can provide opportunities for his teammates to breach the line, the secondary might be given a bit of leeway in defending poorly-timed/rushed throws. Prediction: Miami (OH) 30-17 Miami (FL) . I actually think Nevada would prove to be a tougher opponent to the Redhawks than the Hurricanes might be on Friday. Outside of Ronnie Peterson, the 'Canes are a hot mess, and Ronnie isn't going to be able to carry them through this game, let alone this season. Saturday Morning: Syracuse, NY: #4 Purdue Boilermakers (1-0) at Syracuse Orange (1-0) What 2 Watch 4: Will Matt Jones like this? The Purdue quarterback is known for going off in big games, but Syracuse provides a rather unique challenge. Noah Tubbs is an underrated safety in the game, and Bradley Nunn has proven to be a top corner in the ACC; there's a reason the Orange have been a huge block for Florida State recently. The Orange match up quite well to this Purdue offense, but is it enough to stop the hype train that is Matt Jones? Bold Prediction: Giovanni Coley shows us why Anthony Smith is still the right selection at running back. Sadly, this won't be seen by Syracuse's non-existent coach, but Coley being listed over Smith is disrespectful to the performance Smith put up last season. Purdue's stout front seven will bring Coley back down to Earth in a game where the best running back should determine the winner. Keys to the Game, Cuse offense: Expose the linebackers. Rafa Munoz looked capable of such against Kentucky, pulling in 60 yards on just 4 catches. Purdue seems to be weakest at the linebacker position, so the Orange need to capitalize on the only potentially favorable matchup realistically. Keys to the Game, Cuse defense: Make Matt Jones have to throw to win. Generally, this is an awful idea with good quarterbacks, but in a situation where Cuse has the weapons needed to counter Jones and his receivers, the last thing they need is for Brendan Milton to have a big game. Syracuse have to keep Milton contained throughout the game; Purdue needs to be forced into having to throw the ball in order to move the offense. If this can be done, I think the Orange have a realistic chance of pulling the unthinkable upset. Prediction: #4 Purdue 38-23 Syracuse . This game has upset potential, but I don't think the Orange can generate enough pressure to unnerve Jones, nor do they have the tools to stop Milton from making Purdue multi-dimensional on offense. Coates and Coley look average at best, but Cuse hangs around for three quarters. Bowling Green, KY: #22 Virginia Cavaliers (1-0) at Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (0-2) What 2 Watch 4: A quick and easy checkmate. It'll take something special for the Hilltoppers to keep Matteo Rook from going off this game. With two receivers with relatively easy mismatches, Rook could very well throw for 400+ yards in this one. Bold Prediction: Jonathan Greer puts up 125+ yards as leading receiver. Better defenses have tried and failed to slow down Greer, leading me to believe that Greer against the entirety of this defense is a mismatch. Rook could and should find Greer open on several occasions, and I'd be far from shocked to see the senior tight end making a massive impact in this game. Keys to the Game, UVA offense: Sling it. I really can't say much about this. WKU doesn't have the secondary to stop Virginia. Throw it and you will score. Keys to the Game, UVA defense: Shut down Luka Patterson. Again, not much I can say given WKU's offense (although it was solid against ECU). Cameron Faulk and Soldier Brooks have the task of containing the 'Toppers top target in Patterson. WKU can get going if Patterson can find space, so it's important for Brooks in particular to shut him down. Prediction: #22 Virginia 42-10 Western Kentucky . The 'Toppers have kept it close with Oklahoma State and East Carolina, but Virginia can actually play defense. This should be a reassuring game for the Cavs after a relatively shaky performance against Old Dominion. Chestnut Hill, MA: Army Black Knights (1-1) at Boston College Eagles (0-1) What 2 Watch 4: Can the Eagles avoid a pitfall while recovering? Boston College hit the deck hard after falling to Iowa in what should've been a win, but now they return home to play what appears to be a much-improved Army side. Can the Eagles take care of business against a team they should also beat, or will Army have caught the reeling Eagles at the right time? Bold Prediction: There will be twice as many rushing yards than passing yards at the end of the game. Aside from both teams being more run-based this season, both quarterbacks don't seem to have great arms, and both secondaries are pretty solid. Maybe not as bold as some people like, but it's still my boldest prediction regarding this game. Keys to the Game, BC offense: Take advantage of Eddie Owens. Zahir Watts will be the focal point of the offense, but if Pickett is to throw the ball, his first glance should always be Owens against the overmatched David Finney. Keys to the Game, BC defense: Be stout against the run. Darius Butler will again be key in this game as he can plug any gaps left by the defensive line. Jamir Hurt-Braxton is the more dangerous of the two runners, but it's hard to see him getting past Butler in a 1v1. Prediction: Army 14-31 Boston College . Army always has upset potential but they never do pull through. I think this game could be easier than I made it out to be earlier, but Pickett has to play better than he did against Iowa in order for that to happen. Louisville, KY: Georgia State Panthers (0-1) at Louisville Cardinals (0-1) What 2 Watch 4: Two premier backs in the country. Evan Grant and DeSean Dockery in the same game? Sign me up. We've got arguably the most exciting running back in the country this year against a hyped up JuCo transfer. We should have a thriller, especially given that the Panthers gave Louisville issues last season. Bold Prediction: Is it unrealistic for both Grant and Dockery to break the century mark in this game? Both front sevens consist of quite a few good players, but I honestly think both backs are good enough to pull off that feat. Dockery in particular was impressive enough against Illinois' defense. Keys to the Game, Louisville offense: Bully the Panthers' at the line. If Dockery and, to an extent, Ayden Steele are going to make an impact on the ground, they'll have to be given room and time to make an impact. The Cards' line is pretty solid but has their work cut out for them against the Panthers though. Keys to the Game, Louisville defense: Limit Grant's yardage, because you won't stop him. Realistically, I don't think Louisville can stop Grant entirely, but they can surely slow him given GSU's offensive line. If the Cards can dominate the trenches defensively, then Grant can be slowed to maybe 3-4 yards per carry, which is decent but not great. Prediction: Georgia State 17-24 Louisville . Georgia State is solid despite suspect coaching, but they're no Illinois on defense, and the Cards' offense is more than capable on scoring. I don't think we'll see lots of points, but we'll see some great feature backs no matter how this game goes. Saturday Evening Football: Blacksburg, VA: #25 Pittsburgh Panthers (1-0) at Virginia Tech Hokies (1-0) What 2 Watch 4: The first conference game of the season, and it's a doozy. Pittsburgh comes in off a strong performance at rivals West Virginia, whereas the Hokies took care of Eastern Michigan. Winner takes control of the Coastal division, and for Pittsburgh, it's a crucial game in keeping up with Virginia. Bold Prediction: Trevor McKinney shuts down Samuel Ritter and picks up his first interception of what will be a great college career. We didn't see McKinney feature against the Eagles, but against a higher-profile receiver in Ritter, I think the young gun will rise to the occasion in this one. Keys to the Game, Pitt offense: Utilize Dovid Dobson more. Dobson looked impressive against the Mountaineers, and with the Hokies rolling in with a solid secondary unit, Dobson might have to play a larger role in the offense yet again. He should be a favorite of McConnell's in this game. Keys to the Game, VT offense: Win the war in the trenches. Maurice Ervin struggled to get moving against EMU's front seven; he'll need as much space/blockers as possible to prevent that from happening a second time, only this time in a big conference clash. Keys to the Game, Pitt defense: Abe Rock. It's no secret that the Hokies' will try to move the ball through Ervin, and Rock is, well, a rock in the middle of the field. The interior linebacker will clash with Ervin a lot; he either has to win these battles or hold off Ervin long enough for others to join the battle. Keys to the Game, VT defense: Don't let the slants best you. It's hard to imagine that Coach Jumbo is having McConnell throw anywhere other than the middle of the field. Dobson could be an issue for this linebacker corp, but it's important that the safeties trust in their corners and cheat up a little to help out in the middle. Prediction: Pittsburgh 27-13 Virginia Tech . Had Ralph Westfall or any of Tech's receivers been more impressive against EMU, I'd have potentially reconsidered, but I think the Hokies lack the offense to not only compete with Pittsburgh, but to compete in the ACC period. I'm weary of throw-only McConnell, but I have way more faith in Pittsburgh than Virginia Tech. Auburn, AL: #3 Clemson Tigers (1-0) at #5 Auburn Tigers (1-0) What 2 Watch 4: Two rivals and potential title contenders fighting to the nail out in the Plains. This is easily the marquee non-conference not only for this week, but for the rest of the season. Clemson comes in as national runner-ups and looked solid in beating TCU in Week 1. Auburn put on a show in their opener in Norman against the formerly-ranked Oklahoma Sooners. The atmosphere will be electric, and the game itself will be even better. Bold Prediction: Marcus Black will fail to break 250 yards passing and will not have more touchdowns than interceptions. Black is an absolute stud, but even he won't be able to break the immovable object that is Clemson's secondary. Marquise Holliday is way too good for a true sophomore, and Malachi Douglas will easily shut down Black's top target in Oscar Marroquin. Keys to the Game, Clemson offense: Corey Bolden has to step it up. Josiah McCray will be locked in an ever-so tight battle with JuCo transfer corner Kenyon Justice, and Chris Irizarry will have his hands full dealing with Tyrese Thompson. Coach Emperor has hyped Bolden in press conferences, but he'll be needed more than ever as he battles senior Thomas Mims, a proven cornerback from Auburn's 2018 team. Keys to the Game, Clemson defense: Make Black beat you with his arm. Black and running back Sean Meade are scary on the ground, but Black is totally beatable in the air with this secondary. If Meade can be kept frustrated throughout the evening, and if Black can be contained within the pocket, it's hard to see Clemson losing this game. Prediction: #3 Clemson 24-21 #5 Auburn . The Plains will be rocking, but in the end, it'll be the visiting Tigers that come away with the win by finding just enough in the passing game. Both defenses will be tough to crack in this game, but I think Clemson's will be a bit more resolute in the end.
  16. I think Maryland's pretty good, so I wouldn't have been terribly worried. You guys should be fine moving forward. Go Bobcats!
  17. Every year Buffalo gets me hyped only to let me down against Ohio
  18. Game Recap: Week 2 Players of the Week: Offense: WR Luke Cobb, Florida State - 18 catches for 270 yards, 4 TDs (69-7 win over UMass) *Side note: I try not to do back-to-back winners, but Cobb tied a conference record with 4 touchdowns and was one reception short of the conference record of 19, set by Mosi Bartos in 2015. **Benjamin Schuler was also a candidate after tying the conference record of 7 touchdowns, shared with Nick Hall (Cuse 2013) and A.J. Jefferson (UNC 2015). Defense: OLB Jack Ramsey, Florida State - 1 sack, 7 tackles (69-7 win over UMass) Special Teams: P Steven Tomlinson, Georgia Tech - 43.5 punting average (21-30 loss to #8 Alabama) FNF: Charlotte, NC: North Carolina Tar Heels (0-1) - 47, Charlotte 49ers (0-1) - 21 Max Laws has gotten much better. Somehow, someway, the worst QB of the 2019 season is among the best this season so far. Laws took over the game against the 49ers, throwing for 331 yards and 4 touchdowns to give the Heels a much-needed first victory. He looked somewhat decent against Texas Tech too, despite that game being an absolute wash. 2019 Max Laws might return in the near future, but the Heels are gonna enjoy 2020 Max Laws for as long as they can. Isaiah Peko rebounds. Granted, this was Charlotte, but this was a way better performance than his 11 for 33 debut against the Red Raiders. With 88 yards on 19 carries, Peko averaged a devastating 4.63 yards per carry and found his way to the endzone for the first time in his career, giving Laws all the help he could get on the ground. It was a stylistic balance that the Heels could thrive off of in games against the lower half of the ACC. Is Jeremy Patterson the best receiving target on the offense? Laws' favorite target so far, Patterson has 176 yards on 15 catches and 2 touchdowns in these opening two games, being tied for third in the conference in receiving yards (leading all tight ends). We knew UNC's receivers would be a huge problem going into the season, but the senior''s quick emergence in the passing game might provide the Heels with an actual threat in bigger games. Performance rating: 8/10. Much better look for North Carolina this week, albeit against a much worse opponent. The offense did a quick 180 from last week, but the defense still raises some questions after a mixed performance against true freshman Chris Billings. Blacksburg, VA: Eastern Michigan Eagles (0-1) - 24, Virginia Tech Hokies (0-0) - 35 Mixed reviews in Ralph Westfall's first game. To put it simply, Westfall was rather average against a relatively easy opponent in Eastern Michigan. The senior man under center completed only 16 of his 30 passes for just 199 yards, but he found the endzone twice and didn't turn it over. On the ground, he was largely ineffective, being bottled up for the most part in a 9-yard performance, though he did score himself. Westfall scoring three times is fine; everything else though was simply bland. Run defense needs help. Between running back Jamel Jamison and quarterback Giovanni Shaw, the Hokies gave up an average of 5.29 yards per carry. The Eagles gave Tech all they could handle for about three and a half quarters, and their ability to run it on this Hokie defense is a large part in their resilience. This won't fly in conference play; the Hokies have to be better prepared to stop the run/ Is the pass rush capable of stepping up in bigger games? The Hokies' front seven did a solid job of applying pressure to Giovanni Shaw, sacking the Eagles' QB twice while forcing him into several bad throws. It was a nice performance against an offensive line they should have dominated; can they keep it up next week in a crucial clash with Pittsburgh? Performance rating: 6/10. This honestly was closer than it should've been, and Westfall's performance exemplifies that. They'll have to do better offensively, and their defense has to contain Pittsburgh's vaunted run. Saturday Morning: Tallahassee, FL: Massachusetts Minutemen (0-0) - 7, #10 Florida State Seminoles (1-0) - 69 A record-setting day for the offense. As stated in our POTW section, Benjamin Schuler tied a conference record for touchdowns with 7. Luke Cobb set a school record with 18 receptions and tied the conference record with 4 touchdowns. UMass was as hapless as expected, but the 'Noles did not let up at all. It was a sight to behold. Painful running game will cost the 'Noles. 10. That's the number of running plays the Seminoles have called over the course of their two games. The 'Noles are so one-sided on offense, currently tops in the conference (and possibly the country) in pass-to-run ratio (118:10). It won't cost them against teams like UMass, but if they come across anyone with a solid secondary, or if Cobb has an off game, Florida State might find themselves in trouble without any presence on the ground. Defense quiet yet explosive. The numbers defensively are solid, holding Douglas Weaver to 4.16 yards per carry, dominating the Minutemen's poor offensive line, and holding UMass to 0-13 on third down. However, individual stats don't portray such a dominant performance. The 'Noles aren't afraid to get down and dirty, and that'll certainly help in games against tougher/more physical opponents (Duke, Florida, and Clemson pop to mind). Performance rating: 9/10. As much as I dislike the imbalance in Florida State's defense, this was about as dominant a performance as you'll see this season. The 'Noles breeze through the easiest part of their schedule; now comes conference play. Durham, NC: Western Michigan Broncos (1-0) - 30, Duke Blue Devils (1-0) - 33 (2OT) Thompson finds his groove. After a relatively poor passing game against BYU, the freshman quarterback vastly improved against a talented Bronco secondary, throwing for 235 yards and 2 scores on 21 for 34 passing and, most importantly, no interceptions. His ground game was good enough yet again, but the difference in the air between the BYU game and this game is outstanding. Defense not great but good enough. The Devils could've done better against Madison, but the Bronco running back is a monster to handle in himself, and given the opponent, holding him to 105 yards on 24 carries isn't half bad, although the 2 scores hurts. Duke made life difficult for Chase Sims, sacking him twice and picking him off twice more, and while Sims as still able to relatively move the ball in the air, Duke was able to make enough plays to ultimately stall out WMU in double OT. Reasons to believe. This was a huge game for Duke in their quest to make their first ever bowl game. With winnable non-conference games against Tulane and UNLV, and with very winnable conference games against UNC, Wake Forest, and Miami (FL), Duke has leeway to potentially drop any of those games and still make a bowl game. A lot of good things came out of this though, and Duke should be a worthy contender in their games against Pittsburgh and Virginia. Performance rating: 8/10. A three-point win in double OT against a team from the MAC might garner some very low ratings in a certain other conference, but against a very tough Western Michigan side, Duke ground out a huge victory, both physically and mentally. If Duke can improve on games like this, it's not out of the realm of possibility for the Blue Devils to compete for the division crown. Saturday Afternoon: Champaign, IL: Louisville Cardinals (0-0) - 9, #7 Illinois Fighting Illini (1-0) - 24 Dockery's debut brings mixed results, but it's not the basis to go on. 92 yards on 24 carries without finding the endzone isn't the best performance, but against a defense as dominant as Illinois', this is perfectly acceptable for a debut. Louisville might have themselves a pretty good running back in Dockery, although we need to see him put up the numbers that will make us believe he can carry what has always been an average-at-best offense. Rough opener for Steele. I called it in the preview, but Steele looked helpless against the Illini. The offensive line was essentially mugged, leaving Steele vulnerable for most of the game, getting sacked three times and being forced into awkward throws - three of which were picked off. A lot of this can be contributed to just how good the Illini are on defense, but there's always cause for concern when your quarterback can't get enough time to throw the ball. Defense holds their own despite exhaustion. Louisville didn't keep the ball often, making only three drives that amounted to anything important. The defense was able to overcome fatigue from being on the field way longer than the offense, performing valiantly against Jamari Nixon's arm (19 for 32, 199 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT). Ali Hester didn't get much going on the ground, although he was able to make a few key drive-extending plays that ultimately doomed the Cards. Performance rating: 5/10. You could argue worse given the numbers, but I liked what I saw from Louisville's defense and DeSean Dockery in his debut. Passing game should improve seeing as the toughest secondary remaining is Clemson, and Dockery should find way more space to show off his top-notch speed. No need to worry, Louisville. Iowa City, IA: Boston College Eagles (0-0) - 20, Iowa Hawkeyes (0-1) - 38 Defense no cause for panic, but cause for concern. Lots of questions were raised about the Eagles' defense after their trip to Iowa City as they allowed Mikeal Black to complete 21 of his 29 passes for 245 yards while allowing Black and Nathaniel Donaldson to find the endzone three times on the ground. The defense was unable to pressure Black throughout most of the game, and the front seven was relatively helpless in stopping big run plays. It's not a disastrous performance from the defense by any means, but it's definitely something to worry about moving forward. A struggle for receivers. Whether it's the adaptation needed for BC's newest group of receivers or Donte Pickett just having an off game, the normally hyped passing game for the Eagles was rather lacking in this one. It'll take a while for the offense to adapt, making Zahir Watts that much more important a player. How much will Zahir have to carry? Again, I don't think performances like this should cause widespread panic, especially considering it's week one. That said, it's obvious that Watts still looked fresh as a returning starter, going for 114 yards on 24 carries. If the passing game keeps at this poor-ish pace, will Zahir have to carry more and more of the workload? Wait before overreacting, but it's something to think about in the near future. Performance rating: 4/10. I give Johns to first-game jitters from BC's new offensive starters, but it was poor from the first-timers throughout this game. Defense looked weak in a few areas, leaving lots of room for improvement this season. They have the talent to compete for the division, but BC have to figure out the offense. Saturday Evening: Morgantown, WV: Pittsburgh Panthers (0-0) - 44, West Virginia Mountaineers (0-0) - 33 The Scramblin' Panthers took flight. Pittsburgh seems to have decided to revert back to their trademark aerial game, with Grant McConnell throwing 39 times as opposed to Jaeden Daniel running the ball 14 times (McConnell did not take the ball on the ground surprisingly). It definitely seems the way to go after putting up 44 points on a solid Mountaineer defense, especially given that Daniel still found the endzone twice. Poor defensive play or great offense from WVU? It's no secret that West Virginia's offense is among the best offenses in the country. J.C Weldon has grown into his own after a rough opening games in Morgantown, and Mohammed Foster looked all but a Heisman candidate after a phenomenal performance. Pittsburgh simply couldn't keep up with Weldon, and Foster was an absolute beats both in the air and on the ground. Mohamed Mustafa also looked great against Pitt's front seven, which had taken some hits due to graduation at the end of 2019. It's not a great start for the Pitt defense, but they won't play many offenses as scary as this one. No pass rush whatsoever. Losing Michael McBride in the offseason definitely hurt, and it showed as Pittsburgh put next to no pressure on Foster. The front seven recorded just one sack and had few hurries, hence allowing Foster to either make standard throws or to simply get outside the pocket and take it downfield. This can and will be a big problem down the line if it can't be fixed. Performance rating: 7/10. Offense gets a very good grade out of this game, coming up big when the defense faltered. Huge road win against a very good rival could lead to very promising things to a promising team. Tuscaloosa, AL: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (1-0) - 21, #8 Alabama Crimson Tide (0-0) - 30 Jackets lose, but Beckett gets revenge. It was a dreadful performance last year in Atlanta for Beckett, but he took it to the Tide in T-Town. Beckett only threw one interception this time as opposed to three last season, and the young quarterback completed 24 of his 38 passes for 280 yards and found the endzone 3 times (as opposed to none in a 30-0 loss last year). Beckett was able to spread the ball around often, proving to be a much larger pain for Bama. Pass defense can't keep up. The Yellow Jackets allowed two receivers to reel in 90+ yards on the day. A.J. Edwards is obviously a talented player at the receiver position, but giving up a yard short of a hundred to Lamont McLeod, the Bama tight end, can only spell disaster to a defense that will likely struggle this year in that department. It clearly wasn't a good day for the Tech secondary. Jackets came out with fire, but got extinguished. Georgia Tech went into T-Town upset minded, and it clearly showed in the first half. Tech outplayed Bama, leading at the half by a score of 21-10. That fire seemed to go out early on in the second half, as the Yellow Jackets played similar to how they played in Atlanta last season. Bama outscored Tech 20-0 in the second half to win the game, but the first half performance was valiant. Performance rating: 6/10. Solid road performance against a top ten team. Offense continues to look good while the defense desperately needs some help. Might not be a problem if Beckett and Co. can outscore their opponents though. Raleigh, NC: #12 Washington State Cougars (1-0) - 49, NC State Wolfpack (0-1) - 6 Many reasons to worry offensively. Going into ImposterCauster's initial season with the Pack, everyone knew that Blake Fry was a project. 15 games later, he's still 100% a project, opening the season with two nasty games, albeit against two Top 15 sides. Still, a 0:5 TD-interception ratio is absolutely horrid, and his legs don't come close to make up for it. Keith Harley isn't nearly good enough to make up for this, and the receiving game lacks that reliable playmaker or easy target for Fry. Questions have to be answered, and they have to be answered soon. Kamari Cheatham's lowest moment. Not many receivers had done too much against Cheatham in his time with the Pack, but he simply could not keep pace with Elijah Talley. There are worse receivers to get beaten by for sure, but Talley flat out embarrassed the cornerback with 10 catches for 140 yards, with two of those catches going for scores. Cheatham has to mop up his game and fast; Cobb and Josiah McCray lurk around the corner. Isaac Holley? The defensive tackle looked like the best player on a sloppy defense last season, consistently breaking through offensive lines and putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Two games in, however, and he's yet to really be a presence in the backfield, as has the entire defensive line. Holley has been relatively tame up the middle alongside Emmanuel McDermott, and he have to wonder if the switch to a 4-3 has a large impact on that. Performance rating: 1/10. The first 1 of the season simply as a result of timing. NC State had just returned home from Ann Arbor after a hard-fought loss to Michigan, and this is how they follow it up? The results speak for itself; the Pack have to get back on their feet (paws?) against Rice. Stat Leaders Passing Yards: QB Benjamin Schuler - 900 yards QB Max Laws - 611 yards QB Josh Beckett - 580 yards Completion Percentage: QB Christian Coates - 70.00% QB Benjamin Schuler - 67.80% QB Grant McConnell - 66.67% Passing Touchdowns: QB Benjamin Schuler - 12 QB Josh Beckett - 5 QB Max Laws - 4 Interceptions: QB Blake Fry - 5 QB Benjamin Schuler - 3 QB Ayden Steele - 3 QB Rating: QB Christian Coates - 174.28 QB Benjamin Schuler - 160.34 QB Grant McConnell - 151.54 Rushing Yards: RB Keith Harley - 163 RB Christian Collins - 157 RB Isaiah Peko - 121 Rushing Touchdowns: QB Bryce Thompson - 4 4 tied with 2 ( , , , ) Receiving Yards: WR Luke Cobb - 409 WR Anthony Swanson - 202 2 tied with 176 ( , ) Receiving Touchdowns: WR Luke Cobb - 6 WR Nicolas Singer - 3 3 tied with 2 ( , , ) Tackles: OLB Calvin Rudolph - 13 DT Mohamed Caldwell - 12 2 tied with 11 ( , ) Sacks: DE Omar Vasquez - 2 DE Nicholas Gonzales - 2 Many tied with 1
  19. This is one of my favorite article series on the site tbh
  20. You know, back when I joined, I never would've imagined a world where EMU and NIU were in the bottom 4. Crazy how things have changed in two short seasons
  21. There's only two words that I need to say to answer the question for this week. I'm home.
  22. I can die somewhat happy now. gg Steelers. I've loved seeing you guys for the better part of a full season now
  23. Oh
  24. Week 2 Preview: W2W4, Bold Predictions, Keys to the Game, and Predictions Teams in Action: FNF: North Carolina Tar Heels (0-1 at Charlotte), Virginia Tech Hokies (0-0 EMU) SM: #10 Florida State Seminoles (1-0 UMass), Duke Blue Devils (1-0 WMU) SA: Louisville Cardinals (0-0 at #7 Illinois), Boston College Eagles (0-0 at Iowa) SE: Pittsburgh Panthers (0-0 at WVU), Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (1-0 at #8 Bama), North Carolina State Wolfpack (0-1 #12 WSU) Teams on Bye: #4 Clemson (1-0), Syracuse Orange (1-0), Wake Forest Demon Deacons (0-1), Miami (FL) Hurricanes (0-1), #24 Virginia Cavaliers (1-0) Friday Night Football: Charlotte, NC: North Carolina Tar Heels (0-1) at Charlotte 49ers (0-1) What 2 Watch 4: How does Isaiah Peko rebound off a horrid first start? Texas Tech might have a pretty solid defense, but nothing excuses Peko's less-than-mediocre performance down in the French Quarter. Peko was only able to pick up 33 yards on 11 carries, failing to find the endzone and fumbling the ball over to the Red Raiders. Charlotte is no Texas Tech, as Johnny Taylor and the South Florida Bulls proved, but another poor performance from Peko will only spell further disaster for Max Laws and the Tar Heel offense. Bold Prediction: Jeremy Bouchard will have a punting average under 30.0 again. Something tells me starting a true freshman kicker at punter isn't a good idea. After averaging 28.5 yards per punt against Texas Tech, the Fairmont product is still listed on the depth chart, and another awful day of kicking the ball away will make this game much closer than it really should be. Keys to the Game, UNC Offense: Give Peko room to run on the outside. As bad as Peko was in New Orleans, the offensive line could easily be blamed for his catastrophic game. Charlotte provides a weaker challenge on the edges, so Finn Huff and Dylan Calvert have to block for the senior back. If he can get space on the edge, the offense might be able to get something going at last. Keys to the Game, UNC Defense: Contain Billings. The true freshman QB for the 49ers had a poor debut against South Florida, starting nothing with his arm but pulling off some decent yards with his legs. The Tar Heels' defense has to keep Billings from doing any real damage on the ground, and that might be harder given how dominant Josiah is at the line. Plays busted by Harden will likely result in Billings taking off, and if UNC's linebackers aren't ready for it, Billings could find himself making drive-extending runs throughout the night. Prediction: North Carolina 23-17 Charlotte . The Heels may be bad, but they should have enough to handle Chris Billings and the Charlotte offense. Expect a lot of Josiah Harden. Blacksburg, VA: Eastern Michigan Eagles (0-1) at Virginia Tech Hokies (0-0) What 2 Watch 4: The debut of Ralph Westfall. The redshirt has been designated as the one-year successor to Matthew Dobbs, and while he won't be nearly as flashy on the ground or as hyped by Hokie faithful, he's still going to be the starting QB unless he plays incredibly poor in the next few games. He gets a fairly simple opponent in Eastern Michigan, whose best player is arguably free safety Zachary Dumas. It's not a stacked defense, so Westfall will have this game to work out the kinks before a pivotal Coastal division showdown with Pittsburgh next week. Bold Prediction: Maurice Ervin is held under 90 yards rushing. Ervin returns as Tech's leading rusher from last season (only returning rusher in all fairness), but the converted fullback wasn't fantastic by any means last season. EMU's defense isn't loaded by any means, but they do have some solid talent (take defensive tackles Shane Horton for example) to potentially stifle Ervin and force Westfall to make some plays. Keys to the Game, VT Offense: Open up holes for Ervin. With Kai Hagen, Aaron Petersen, and Cole Fay on the line, the Hokies should have little problem with bullying this Eastern Michigan defensive line. That said, Ervin will only have a solid game if he can get the space needed to pull off these 5-yard+ runs. If Ervin succeeds, the Hokies will likely succeed. Keys to the Game, VT Defense: Give Shaw hell. San Jose State of all teams was able to crush the confidence out of the redshirt sophomore quarterback, picking him off three times throughout last week's game, including two picks on back-to-back drives early in the first. Lucas Freeman and Trevor McKinney should be licking their lips at an opportunity to bully some receivers and embarrass the opposing QB. Prediction: Eastern Michigan 13-34 Virginia Tech . Tech's secondary will have a ball with Shaw, and that will open up several opportunities for Westfall and Co. to do some damage with a short field. Too wide of a talent gap for EMU to compete. Saturday Morning Football: Tallahassee, FL: Massachusetts Minutemen (0-0) at #10 Florida State Seminoles (1-0) What 2 Watch 4: The effects of having a roster with zero starting experience in the FBS. Honestly this isn't fair to the Minutemen; their first game will be against a quarterback with a full arsenal of weapons at his disposal, including arguably the best receiver in football. This might possibly be the ugliest game you will see all year. Bold Prediction: Florida State puts up 60+ points by the end of the day (this isn't even that bold to be honest). Greater teams have tried and failed, but this FSU offense has just the right amount of dynamism, and the FSU defense is way too good for the Minutemen to get anything started. A short field for this offense is brutal, especially against a defense as untested as this one. Keys to the Game, FSU Offense: Run the ball more. Please. Have some mercy on UMass while also seeing if new fullback-turned-running back Raymond Shook has any upside to him. Keys to the Game, FSU Defense: Apply pressure to the quarterback. Harrison Lancaster is the best player on the offensive side of the ball, and he might just be able to do some work with his legs. With three sacks combined in FSU's win over Wyoming last week, expect Nicholas Gonzales and Tyler Ashworth to bully their way to Lancaster. Prediction: Massachusetts 3-66 Florida State . I'll show sympathy by giving UMass a field goal, but honestly, I fear that this is a best-case scenario for the Minutemen. Florida State should put in the backups by halftime. Please put in the backups. Durham, NC: Western Michigan Broncos (1-0) at Duke Blue Devils (1-0) What 2 Watch 4: How does Duke's defense deal with DeSean Madison? You can argue that Bryce Thompson is the bigger storyline going into this game, but Duke has had their struggles in the past with great running backs. Madison certainly seems to qualify as an up-and-coming running back up in Kalamazoo, following in the footsteps of Manny Fields and Gabby Shields. Duke's front seven is tough, but are they tough enough for this challenge? Bold Prediction: Bryce Thompson will have no touchdowns in the air but multiple touchdowns on the ground again. The Broncos' defense is actually a pretty solid counter to what Duke wants to do in the air, with Sean Taylor and Jaylin McQueen looking to lock down Sean Spaczek and Kaden Lloyd, respectively, and with Kareem Boykin expected to take away Thompson's safety net in either Amari Nicholson or Owen Workman. Thompson will likely find the space on the ground once again, but he'll get nothing done in the air. Keys to the Game, Duke Offense: Establish some sort of presence on the ground. Thompson and Christian Collins did a decent job at doing that in last week's game at BYU, but WMU has a tougher front seven arguably. Collins could get the offense moving if he were to get space on the edge, but getting there is an absolute must for this Duke offense. Keys to the Game, Duke Defense: Make Western Michigan one-dimensional. This entire game rides on whether or not Duke can stop Madison, in all honesty. Chase Sims won't have what it takes to beat Duke's secondary with his arm, so it becomes pivotal that Duke force him to try to do just that. Make Madison a non-threat and make Sims beat you. Prediction: Western Michigan 20-16 Duke . I think it's completely plausible that this Bronco squad is better than last year's team, arguably the best in program history. This will be a low-scoring game for sure, but the Broncos have more to shut down Duke than Duke has to shut down WMU. Close one, and it could definitely go either way. Saturday Afternoon Football: Champaign, IL: Louisville Cardinals (0-0) at #7 Illinois Fighting Illini (1-0) What 2 Watch 4: DeSean Dockery makes his first Division 1 start. It's a shame it has to come against last year's #1 defense though, especially considering the Illini had no rust on that side of the ball in a 36-6 demolition of Arkansas. Unless Dockery makes a dent in this Illini defense, this wouldn't be a good game to form opinions on the JuCo transfer running back, but the matchup is mouthwatering to say the least. Bold Prediction: Ayden Steele will have more completions than Louisville will have points, and Steele won't have a lot of completions. Again, this rides on the unknown that is Dockery, but the Cards simply don't have enough outside of the running back position to compete with Illinois' monster defense. Expect Steele to complete some 13-odd passes this game, with Louisville potentially not hitting double digits. Keys to the Game, Louisville Offense: Ride Dockery. The passing game is not going to be the Cards' gateway to success this game. If they can create holes for Dockery, then Louisville have a chance. Creating holes alone is going to be hard against an Illinois defensive line that consist of three future pro players. Keys to the Game, Louisville Defense: Get into the backfield. Illinois' offensive line isn't the best in the land, but it held up amazingly well against the hapless Razorbacks of Arkansas. Jamari Mixon was given all the time in the world to find open receivers, and Ali Hester was essentially handed his rushing lanes on a silver platter. Louisville has to be able to apply more pressure to the Illini backfield, else the result will be more or less the same. Prediction: Louisville 10-28 Illinois . It's hard to see an offense like Louisville's doing much to Illinois' defense, and that's factoring Dockery into the equation. He'll get his first touchdown as a Cardinal, but otherwise he, alongside his teammates, will have a very frustrating afternoon in Champaign. Iowa City, IA: Boston College Eagles (0-0) at Iowa Hawkeyes (0-1) What 2 Watch 4: The return of Zahir Watts. The redshirt senior running back had himself quite a season in his first as a starter, and now he's back to up his draft stock and to keep BC in the upper echelon of the ACC. With yet another senior QB making his first start, Watts is expected to carry the Eagles, and he'll be looking to emulate DeNorris Jackson's performance last week against this same Iowa team. Bold Prediction: The Eagles' leading receiver will be JuCo transfer TE Manny Ferguson, and it won't be close. With the loss of BC's trio of pro-receivers, Donte Pickett has to rely on either two freshman receivers or a tight end out of Rhode Island. Iowa's much more suited to stopping the two freshmen, so expect a lot of dump-offs to Ferguson. Keys to the Game, BC Offense: Don't be predictable. When breaking in a new QB and new receivers, it's common for teams to use the running game as a crutch until something is firmly established in the passing game. Iowa won't make the same mistakes they did against DNJ and the Knights, so BC can't rely solely on Watts to carry the offense. Dump it off or catch the linebackers off guard with a few slants. Mix-ups will be Boston College's best friend. Keys to the Game, BC Defense: Pressure Mikael Black. The junior QB can be deadly when given time against average to above-average secondaries, and BC's secondary, despite consisting of Andrew Boyd, is nothing too special. Michael Britt and others need to find their way past a solid offensive line for Iowa. The linebackers can't be exposed for too long in this game. Prediction: Boston College 27-23 Iowa . It's a tough game in Iowa City, but the BC offense has just enough in them to stave off the upset. Expect a rougher season in Chestnut Hill, but it should get off on the right foot. Saturday Evening Football: Morgantown, WV: Pittsburgh Panthers (0-0) at West Virginia Mountaineers (0-0) What 2 Watch 4: Pittsburgh's offense sans Rodrigo Rogers. A hole at running back has opened up with Rogers' graduation, leaving it up to senior Jaeden Daniel to try and emulate some of the magic that he struck alongside Grant McConnell last season. Pitt's offense was much more run-oriented than in years' past, but will that revert itself back with the drop in talent at running back? We'll get some answers in the Backyard Brawl. Bold Prediction: Mohammed Foster and Grant McConnell will be within 5 rushing yards of each other by the end of the game. Both QBs make their names with their legs, and both will have challenging defenses to try to break through. Except very similar rushing numbers between these two quarterbacks. Keys to the Game, Pitt Offense: Keep the ball away from Hudson Adam. Pitt has a solid O-Line protecting McConnell, and hopefully the dual-threat QB can find the success on the outside that helped Pitt beat the 'Neers in last season's Brawl. If McConnell and Daniel can avoid Hudson Adam up the middle, then the ground game should see relative success. Keys to the Game, Pitt Defense: Don't let Foster do damage on the ground. Without Michael McBride anchoring the defensive line, the 'Neers should be able to pick up more yards up the middle this year, especially considering Mohammed Mustafa's growth over the past season. Still, it's Mohammed Foster that remains the greatest threat, and while the secondary should be able to contend with Foster's weapons, it's the front seven that has to step up to keep him in check. Prediction: Pittsburgh 28-38 West Virginia . West Virginia has only gotten better while Pittsburgh has lost quite a few key pieces. The Coastal Division challenger drops a tough one in Morgantown, but they'll still be very competitive this season. Tuscaloosa, AL: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (1-0) at #8 Alabama Crimson Tide (0-0) What 2 Watch 4: Anthony Swanson strikes back. It was an awful performance last season in Atlanta as the Tide rolled to a 30-0 win over the Jackets. The Tide lose plenty of important pieces this season, but they line up a free safety in the corner position across from Swanson. That's a matchup to keep an eye on throughout the game; Swanson's success or failure could determine just how close Tech comes to pulling the upset. Bold Prediction: Swanson and A.J. Edwards will combine for over 275 yards receiving. We know what to expect from Beckett-to-Swanson, but the brand new tandem of Pugh-to-Edwards should light up some fireworks against Georgia Tech's below mediocre group of corners. This could be a very big day for receivers in T-Town. Keys to the Game, GT Offense: Take advantage of Bama's youth in the secondary. The Tide's secondary is young and inexperienced, and although quite a few have the potential to be starters in the pros, they lack the big game experience that guys like Anthony Swanson bring to the table. Jahmir Rolle might also find himself useful as a dump-off option for Josh Beckett, although the linebackers are much more experienced. Keys to the Game, GT Defense: Get to Pugh before he can get to his receivers. It's a near-impossible task given how good this Bama offensive line is, but Josh Fenton and Tasura Lesa, among others in Tech's front seven, have to put pressure on Pugh. If given time, Pugh can and will find A.J. Edwards and Drew Abbott with plenty of space. Tech's corners stand next to no chance against Bama's top two receiving threats, so it becomes the pass rush's job to force bad throws. Prediction: Georgia Tech 19-38 Alabama . The Beckett-Swanson connection might prove to be a Top 5 tandem in the country after this, but this secondary will need all the help it can get in containing Bama's two big playmakers. Raleigh, NC: #12 Washington State Cougars (1-0) at North Carolina State Wolfpack (0-1) What 2 Watch 4: Heart attack vs. heartbreak. Whereas Washington State was able to avoid an upset at the hands of UConn last week, the Wolfpack blew a lead late in the game to lose at a Top 10 Michigan side in overtime. Body language might actually be the biggest part of this game; will Wazzou play scared in fear of another close game, and will the Pack come out hanging their heads with dreams of what could've been still lingering? The mental game takes priority in Raleigh. Bold Prediction: Keith Harley will have twice as many rushing yards as WSU's Andrew Butts. If both games last week were of any indication, it's that Butts isn't good enough to carry when David Oates is struggling, and NC State's front seven has vastly improved against the run. Neither running back will have a huge impact on the game, however. Keys to the Game, NCSU Offense: Don't turn the ball over. A huge part of why State couldn't close the door on Michigan was Blake Fry's turnovers. The senior had one of his roughest games under the new regime, and he'll have to avoid giving the ball away for State to have success against a solid Washington State defense. Keys to the Game, NCSU Defense: Put pressure on Oates. It's a recurring theme in this guide, but it especially holds true here. NC State's front seven barely generated any pressure against Gabe Cooper last week, and Cooper made them pay late on in the game for it. Mayberry and Blackman weren't bad in that game, but they'll have to be better against a compact Cougar offensive line. Isaac Holley and Manny McDermott also need to make their presence felt in the backfield. Prediction: Washington State 31-21 NC State . It's another close one for the Pack under the bright lights of Carter-Finley, but the Cougars will be too hot to handle in the air.
  25. What Now? What lies in store for New Orleans in the 2nd half of the season? Will they be able to recover from an 0-8 start? Can they avoid the dreaded 0-16?