NC State recovered from early jitters to overcome a 10-0 deficit to beat Duke at home 31-20. The defense intercepted Duke three times to give the offense the chance to win the game.
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Thread: Duke

  1. #1
    Administrator Ken Stallings's Avatar
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    Default Duke

    The Pack finally returns home for the first game since the season opener played back on 19 Sep, nearly a month ago!

    Duke is the opponent, and there is currently no network broadcast. The game is available on ESPN3 online.

    Game time is 15:00.

    Ken

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    Senior Jinx99's Avatar
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    Penalties go both ways, Ref.

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    Administrator Ken Stallings's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, except for one pass interference call made against us that was highly questionable, the rest of the calls in this game so far have been good. The INT was not caused by PI. The two players got their feet tangled up and that is not supposed to be flagged for PI. The Duke player just frankly made a better play on the ball than did our receiver. The targeting call was likewise a good call. In the game today, the players have been told to take the helmet out of the game, meaning if you initiate contact with your helmet, it is subject to targeting. And if you initiate contact with your helmet to the head or shoulder of another player, it's practically guaranteed to be called. That's what was flagged. It was a textbook rule violation.

    Regardless, it wasn't the officials who caused us to breakdown on punt blocking and let nearly the entire Duke team past our line of scrimmage to not only block the kick, but take their pick of who would scoop up the ball and score. There were eight Duke players around the ball on the ground, and not one Wolfpack player. The only way to prevent that score, would have been the Duke player tripping over the turf monster.

    We're fortunate that the Duke QB threw the ball wildly and then for an INT on back-to-back plays in the red zone. Else, the Devils would have gone up 14-0 early. The first quarter was a case of one team (NC State) not showing up ready to play, and the other team (Duke) showing up mean and motivated to play hard.

    That better change real soon, or the Pack is going to lay a bitter egg at home.

    One other observation, the governor's restrictions of crowd size turns out to be pointless window dressing. Less than 5,000 in the stands and yet they are all concentrated in the lower bowl around midfield. With that little separation between people, there is no objective point to avoiding an unrestricted crowd.

    Ken

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    Administrator Ken Stallings's Avatar
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    One cannot say that the defense is winning this game for the Pack, because Duke still leads in third quarter. But, any chance that the offense has to pull it's head out with a loud popping sound and win this game, is due entirely to the defense keeping them in the game. An INT and a goal line stand robbed Duke of at least 10 points and likely 14. The defense also forced Duke twice to settle for field goals. Duke has scored just 20 points despite the scoop and score on the punt block, and having the ball in the red zone several times, including a sack and fumble by Devin Leary.

    Ken

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    Administrator Ken Stallings's Avatar
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    But, as I wrote all that, the offense did sustain a TD drive to take the lead 21-20. And that opportunity is again, due primarily to the play of the defense.

    Now, if we can manage to stop laying the ball on the carpet, perhaps we can put this game away.

    Ken

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    Administrator Ken Stallings's Avatar
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    A crucial interception blunted another would be Duke drive, and the Pack offense has done just enough, with a field goal to make it 31-20 with 3:17 left in the game. Barring a collapse, the Pack may have done enough to win this one.

    Ken

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    Administrator Ken Stallings's Avatar
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    It was poetic justice really that Duke missed a long field goal, to remove any real chance of them winning this one. Even in a clear prevent situation, the defense still kept Duke off the board.

    It was a nice comeback win for NC State. The hallmark of a good team is when it can cough up an early deficit and keep itself together to recover and win. That's what happened in this one. Again, the play of the defense has been noteworthy for its improvement since the debacle at Virginia Tech. The defense did the job today. They picked off Duke's Chase Brice three times, and each of those plays snuffed out Duke drives that were either already in the red zone, or close to it. Special teams were a mixed bag, as both teams had punt blocks resulting in a scoop and score touchdown. I cannot recall another game where that happened.

    Ken

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    Super Moderator LSmith's Avatar
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    Hope Leary is ok. Heard someone say a broken leg. Hope not. Hockman is not our man. Even his TD pass today was poorly thrown and should have been intercepted.

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    Administrator Ken Stallings's Avatar
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    That hit on Leary was a dirtier play than it appeared to be. The rule is clear, once the slide is started, the player is ineligible to be hit, and yet, two Duke players continued to dive into him. That is what caused the ankle to turn over, and it may have caused either a significant sprain or a break. It would have been a personal foul penalty regardless, but when one of the two Duke defenders lowered his helmet into Leary's head, that was a brutal situation. He was correctly tossed from the game for targeting.

    Seems players are just not getting the message. Bad as it sounds, perhaps the solution is to start adding additional game time lost. A full game equivalent for the first call of a season, two games for the second, and season long ban for any third call, and that's equivalent, meaning a season ban can carry over to the next year. There's just no reason to lower the helmet and I would also be in favor of flagging an offensive player for lowering his helmet.

    Ken

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