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July 19, 2013

NC State preseason magazine round-up

Phil Steele's 2013 College Football Preview

Preseason All-Americans: LS Scott Thompson - 1st team

Preseason All-ACC selections:
TE Asa Watson - 3rd team
DT T.Y. McGill - 3rd team
OT Rob Crisp - 4th team
DT Thomas Teal - 4th team

ACC forecast:
1. Florida State
2. Clemson
T3. Maryland
T3. Wake Forest
T3. NC State
6. Boston College
7. Syracuse

1. Virginia Tech
2. Miami
T3. North Carolina
T3. Georgia Tech
T5. Virginia
T5. Duke
T5. Pittsburgh

Bowl prediction: Independence AdvoCare, Dec. 31 vs. Auburn (SEC #10 vs. ACC #7)

National 1-125 ranking: No. 58 in Steele's Power Poll

Individual players ranked among top draft eligible players:
Quintin Payton - No. 49 WR
Asa Watson - No. 11 TE
Rob Crisp - No. 27 OT
Thomas Teal - No. 21 DT
T.Y. McGill - No. 44 DT
Rashard Smith - No. 20 PR

Positional groups listed among Steele's top 45 individual units:
No. 33 defensive line in the land
No. 23 special teams

ACC unit rankings
QB - 8
RB - 8
WR - 8
OL - 13
DL - 6
LB - 13
DB - 12
ST - 4
Coaching - 12

Quotes To Note:

- "The Wolfpack are 13-11 in ACC play the last three years and thanks to a 16-3 record at home in that span, they are trying for their fourth straight bowl. NC State has the fewest amount of returning starters in the ACC (10) and also loses 20 lettermen (45%). They have a new head coach and must learn new schemes on both offense and defense. Still, the talent is there and 7 of my 9 power ratings call for the Wolfpack to have a winning season."

- "Dave Doeren did a great job at NIU, but inherits just 10 returning starters and NC State loses their star QB. They were -9 in turnovers last year and despite going 7-5 in the regular season and 4-4 in the ACC, they were -30.8 yards per game in ACC play. On the positive side, they are getting more experience than you would think at QB getting Colorado State transfer Pete Thomas and of course, with Doeren's Wisconsin background, the running game will be solid. There is plenty of talent on the defensive side of the ball as the cupboard was left far from bare and despite criticism, the departed O'Brien thinks this year's squad could get to a bowl. Seven of my 9 sets of power ratings calls for another winning season for the Wolfpack and the first-half home schedule is soft enough to have the players buying into Doeren's program."

- "NC State has not had a 1,000-yard rusher since 2002. ... With Doeren as the new head coach, I give them a shot at getting that elusive 1,000-yard rusher."

- On the offensive line: "While less experienced (just 42 career starts) they can only remain healthier and could top last year's weak numbers."

- On the defensive line: "This is the most experienced the line has been in years and should significantly improve upon last year's underwhelming numbers."

- On special teams: "This year, the two specialists are now juniors and Doeren's special teams units at NIU finished #47 and #15, so I look for continued improvement although Palmer did have two kickoff return touchdowns last year and must be replaced."

More tidbits:

- NC State is 20-5 in home openers with each loss coming against an FBS competitor, including four from BCS conferences.

- The Pack is 10-1 over the last four years at home against non-ACC foes.

- NC State is 14-0 since 1992 against FCS opponents; this year they will host Richmond, who they are 17-1-1 against all-time.

- NCSU will also host Central Michigan, who Dave Doeren played twice during his head coaching stint at NIU. Doeren and his team went 1-1 against the Chippewas, including a 55-24 win last year.

- The visitor in the NC State-Wake Forest series is 2-15 in the most recent 17 tilts, including six straight losses. The contest will be held in Winston-Salem this season.

- The Pack will also play Syracuse as an ACC matchup for the first time in 2013. State is 6-0 all-time against the Orange.

- The visitor in the NCSU-FSU series is 1-6 in the last 7 contests. Although the game will be in Tallahassee, it is a good bet that the Seminoles will be ranked and NCSU has topped a foe ranked in the top 25 during each of the past eight years. The Pack is 5-2 against their last seven ranked opponents.

- NCSU has recorded a win in six straight trips to Durham, including their last game at Duke - a 27-17 contest in 2008. However, the Pack is also 7-21 in its last 28 ACC road games.

- Steele listed NC State as the least experienced team in the ACC and No. 121 overall.

Athlon Sports' College Football preview magazine

Preseason All-ACC selections: None on two full teams.

ACC forecast (Predicted overall, ACC record)
1. Clemson (12-1, 8-0)
2. Florida State (10-2, 7-1)
3. Maryland (7-5, 4-4)
4. NC State (7-5, 3-5)
5. Wake Forest (6-6, 3-5)
6. Syracuse (4-8, 2-6)
7. Boston College (4-8, 1-7)

1. Miami (9-4, 6-2)
2. Virginia Tech (8-4, 5-3)
3. Georgia Tech (8-4, 5-3)
4. North Carolina (8-4, 5-3)
5. Pittsburgh (6-6, 3-5)
6. Virginia (4-8, 2-6)
7. Duke (5-7, 2-6)

ACC Championship game prediction: Clemson over Miami

Bowl prediction: AdvoCare V100, Dec. 31 vs. Auburn

National 1-125 ranking: No. 54

ACC unit rankings
QB - 11
RB - 8
WR/TE - 6
OL - 12
DL - 4
LB - 12
DB - 10

Quotes to note
- "Doeren won at a high level in two seasons at Northern Illinois, with a 23-4 overall record and a 15-1 mark in the MAC. The Huskies outgained their MAC opponents by an average of 119 yards per game during the regular season in his two years."

- "NC State athletic director Debbie Yow deserves credit for moving quickly. Doeren was hired on Dec. 1, just one day after he led Northern Illinois to a MAC title. He appears to be a good fit for a program that can't seem to get over the hump in the ACC. NC State has not had back-to-back winning records in the ACC since 1991-92."

- "Junior Pete Thomas, a transfer from Colorado State, is in line to replace Mike Glennon at quarterback. Doeren won't ask the 6'6", 234-pound Thomas to run like Jordan Lynch did at NIU, but the Wolfpack will need him - or sophomore Manny Stocker - to be effective running an up-tempo scheme."

- "A veteran trio of receivers - Bryan Underwood, Quintin Payton and Rashard Smith - should excel in the new scheme."

- "The early exit of David Amerson to the NFL could be a case of addition by subtraction. Amerson made big plays (18 interceptions in two seasons), but also took big chances and got burned in some of NC State's worst losses."

- "NC State athletic director Debbie Yow has already said she expects 2013 to be a rebuilding season, but Doeren won quickly at NIU with a roster he inherited from another coach. The offense will have to run the ball more effectively, and Thomas will have to learn a new scheme. The defense should be able to carry the mail, especially with the first four games at home, as the team adjusts to the new staff. Don't expect State to be a significant factor in the ACC Atlantic Division race, but there is enough talent on the roster to return to a bowl game for the fourth straight season."

More tidbits
- Athlon ranked Dave Doeren as the No. 9 hire this offseason with a grade of, 'A-.'

- NC State has not averaged more than 3.5 yards per carry for a season since 2008. Conversly, Dave Doeren's NIU squad averaged 5.4 yards per tote in 2012, which led the MAC.

Lindy's Sports College Football preview magazine

Preseason All-ACC selections:
OL Rob Crisp - 2nd team
CB Dontae Johnson - 2nd team
AP Rashard Smith - 3rd team
LB D.J. Green - 3rd team

ACC forecast
1. Clemson
2. Florida State
3. Maryland
4. NC State
5. Syracuse
6. Syracuse
7. Wake Forest

1. Miami
2. Georgia Tech
3. Virginia Tech
4. North Carolina
5. Pittsburgh
6. Virginia
7. Duke

Bowl prediction: The magazine did not include bowl predictions

National 1-125 ranking: No. 64

No NCSU players or positional units appeared in the magazine's national rankings.

Quotes to note
- "Doeren is a noted recruiter and had major success at Northern Illinois. Wolfpack fans are hoping to see the high-powered attack that helped NIU average 41 points last season, but it'll take time."

- "The Wolfpack will take its lumps against Clemson and FSU, but Doeren can find six-plus wins."

- "There are playmakers in the passing game, namely with Smith and Underwood (who was second in the ACC with 10 touchdown catches last season). On defense, Johnson and Green have pro potential and will be better because of the experience on the defensive line."

- "The transition to Doeren's offense might take more time than NC State has this season. The offensive line, a problem for most of Tom O'Brien's six-year tenure, remains an issue. The program has produced two straight NFL QBs, but a third is not on the roster."

- "Running backs Tony Creecy and Shadrach Thornton will get more opportunities in coordinator Matt Canada's up-tempo offense. Improving the running game, which ranked 108th in the NCAA last season, is Canada's top priority."

- "With three starters and six regulars back on the [defensive] line, the Wolfpack should be stronger up front. Perhaps a safer approach in the back end will help improve a pass defense that ranked 83 rd in the NCAA."

More tidbits
- Lindy's named linebacker Zach Gentry as its ACC special teams demon.

Sporting News' College Football preview magazine

Preseason All-ACC selections: No NCSU players were selected to the one squad listed in the magazine.

ACC forecast
1. Clemson
2. Florida State
3. NC State
4. Maryland
5. Syracuse
6. Wake Forest
7. Boston College

1. Miami
2. North Carolina
3. Georgia Tech
4. Virginia Tech
5. Pittsburgh
6. Virginia
7. Duke

Bowl prediction: Music City Bowl

Quotes to note
- "Doeren's flexibility as a coach is an asset. He learned about ground-and-pound as an assistant at Wisconsin and opened his mind to a hurry-up offense at Northern Illinois."

- "There are big concerns at linebacker, where NC State lost two full-time starters and the returnees own a combined seven career starts. The Wolfpack does get a boost with the return of senior outside 'backer D.J. Green, who started for half of the 2011 season, back from a yearlong suspension."

- "NC State was middle-of-the-road - both in the ACC and nationally - in just about every way on defense last season."

- "Teams can handle change in different ways, and it could be a tough first year for Doeren. But the schedule - eight home games, with trips to Duke and Wake Forest - is favorable enough that the Wolfpack could turn in a winning season."

More tidbits
- Sporting News assigned the BCS' new coaching hires 1-16 confidence points, with the coach they were most confident in succeeding earning 16 points. They awarded Doeren nine points as the coach they were eighth-most confident in, behind, in order: Mark Helfrich (Oregon), Willie Taggart (USF), Gary Anderson (Wisconsin), Bret Bielema (Arkansas), Butch Jones (Tennessee), Sonny Dykes (Cal) and Kliff Kingsbury (Texas Tech).

N.C. State NEWS


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