First of all, I am in no way qualified to do this. And given what a tedious exercise it was, I don't know if I will ever do it again.
Still, since the game seemed to be a microcosm of RU's entire season, I thought I could learn a lot by meticulously watching the bowl. Watching games, viewers have a tendency to follow the ball, and can't notice the particulars of each individual play. Specifically, what goes overlooked is line play and coverage. I took special care to pay a lot of attention to the former here. That, and it gives me a better chance to see if my intuitions and snap judgments from throughout the season are backed up by the tape. Let me reiterate though: observers can't tell for sure exactly what the assignments were in coverage or blocking. I have made due the best I could with a certain amount of guesswork.
Unfortunately, there's very little that I can say about coverage. Simply put: on a normal 4:3 screen, the viewer does not get to see the whole field. Proper evaluation of receivers and defensive backs requires access to Coaches' film. If you're wondering why I spend very little time evaluating those two units, that's why. The viewer only sees the result of busted coverage if it leads to a big play.
I have prepared a few cliff notes below, and then comes the raw play by play.
The cliff notes:
- By far, the most striking aspect of the game to me was the play of left end George Johnson. He's always been an enigma to me, with a penchant for making strikingly athletic plays at times, and disappearing at others. I have always thought that he was good against the run though. Johnson was a revelation in this game, the best player on either team in the trenches by far. I do not know how good the NC State right tackle is. However, I do know that, despite not registering any sacks, Johnson had an absolutely monster game and was in the QB's face for nearly the entire day.
- Jonathan Freeny was a pleasant surprise, looking better than I had remembered Westerman this year (albeit, playing injured). Silvestro had a very solid game. NC State did their homework, doubling Tverdov a lot, who did not make a ton of his customary big plays. I didn't see a ton of rotation on the DL in this game. Bines and Noonan were in there at times, neither really stood out.
- The linebackers look very well coached. As expected, Malast and D'Imperio were standouts.
- Overall, this was a masterful defensive coaching performance by Greg Schiano. I think he did some of his best work this year, and is one of the true innovators in college football. He's right up there with Jim Johnson, Steve Spagnuolo, and Dick LeBeau as far as masters of the blitz. They understand, it's not just about pressure; it's about the right kinds of pressure. You have to disguise it, keep the offense on your toes. You can't just telegraph that you're coming from here and let the offense know where to fortify their protection.
- Not a terrible game from the DBs, from what little I did see.
- I didn't even know who NC State's defensive coordinator was. However, I thought Mike Archer called a very good game. It was a figurative chess match, as their linemen were acting just like ours, with all sorts of fancy twists and stunts in the first half. They seemed to tire as the game went on though, while ours didn't wear down or let up in their intensity.
- No big complaints about Teel, and it's good to see Underwood back in form. Britt is Britt. Corcoran continued as a hot hand out of the backfield.
- Good gameplan overall from John McNulty. I wish though that he'd not overthink himself at times (the emphasis on trick plays may be coming from Schiano). Some times he just gets pass happy and sticks the offense in the Shotgun for a full series. He did a better job of mixing it up here though. While the running in the first half was ineffective, it probably paid cumulative dividends in the second half.
- When asking why Martinek doesn't see the ball sooner in games, it may be because he's seen as a pair of fresh legs after defenses have had to tackle Jordan Brooks for a few quarters.
- In the defense of the other backs, our run blocking looks very bad. I think Brock is a fair bit better than Graves in that regard. Corcoran is nothing special. The line desperately needs another year of S&C and film study.
- It's not just hype, Anthony Davis is our best lineman. He's still a bit raw though. I like him on pulling, but what I really want to see is him and (everyone else) flattening people. Admittedly, this is a bit of an obsession of mine because I've been spoiled by the past few years.
- If George Johnson was the best player I saw in the trenches, Art Forst was the worst. He played exactly how you'd expect a true freshman to play. He struggles badly with the mental aspect of pass protection (similar to what we saw with Haslam earlier in the season), and he and Haslam have trouble adjusting to blitzers.
- The OLine as a whole is fairly good at pass protection. They rely more on technique and athleticism, using just enough holding to get by. NC State didn't appear to have any big-time edge rushers, but they did do a nice job of generating a rush, and we didn't effectively adjust until the second half. What seemed to call off the dogs for good was an effective running game.
- I did not like NC State's gameplan on offense. Overall, I think they came into this year expecting to rebuild into a traditional Tom O'Brien team, and they had a big OL and a big back to that effect. Suddenly, Russell Wilson comes along, and he's a supernova that propels them singlehandedly to wins. Wilson was almost a crutch, bailing them out of poor play after poor play. It seemed like they had the bulk to try to wear down our rush eventually, which would have helped a lot later on, but they chose to not hammer it for the most part. Once Wilson went down, they had nothing. You'd have to expect it eventually; he has a light frame, and went out twice this year due to injury during the season.
- Harrison Beck is terrible. Daniel Evans is better, but not even remotely in Wilson's league. They were finished the second he pulled up limp. NC State spent most of the game in the Shotgun.
- Much was made over the fact that another QB was injured vs. Rutgers. The fact is, we rush the passer more than other teams, we're going to have more hits on them. Wilson came up lame following a scramble though; and don't forget, Shady McCoy is the one who took out Bill Stull.
- On further review, the first half was a lot closer than it appeared. There was the missed FG, and I thought Rutgers was hosed on two bad spots that led to fourth and shorts. The non-call on a fumble was correct, but I was infuriated by two non-calls on OPI that led to big plays by NC State, and a non-call on DPI for interfering with Britt.
Ok, it gets REALLY long from this point onward. I'm not kidding about going over every play. Special teams not included. I was quite possibly insane for doing this. You most definitely are if you can slog through every mundane line.
14:53 - NC State lines up in the Shotgun. NCS line pushes RU off the ball. Greene forces a fumble, J. McCourty recovers.
14:43 - One back, trips right. Completed pass to Underwood over the middle.
14:12 - Toss sweep right to Young. Kevin Haslam fails to pick up the DB, instead choosing to double a LB that Blaze had handled.
13:29 - Shotgun, empty set, 5 wr. Ruch fails to pick up twisting DT. Blaze guesses wrong on the other one. Teel faces a ton of pressure and almost throws a pick.
13:22 - Shotgun, trips left, 1 back. NC State brings the zone blitz. Ruch is pushed back a little more than you'd like to see. Teel does a great job of hitting Underwood in stride.
12:53 - Shotgun, slot wr, split backs. Draw to Young. Ruch and Haslam are the culprits here, getting no push.
12:18 - Shotgun, empty set Throw rushed because NC State did a great job disguising the blitz.
11:59 - Shotgun, 1 back, trips left. Bad overthrow by Teel targeting Graves.
11:39 - Wilson scramble.
11:07 - Hard to read this play because of the opening camera angle. It seems like RU overloaded to the left and guessed wrong.
10:27 - Good pressure from Johnson, forces an incompletion.
10:20 - Silvestro and D'Imperio blow up a run.
9:35 - Rutgers in a 3-3-5. Wilson has a ton of room to run. Questionable spot.
9:10 - Quick hitch route to the WR, who had room to run because of a safety blitz. D. McCourty and Lefeged have a lot of trouble tackling.
8:42 - Same play, this time read perfectly. Textbook tackle by D. McCourty.
8:04 - RU caught in zone. Slot WR passed off to Lefeged, burns him.
7:54 - RU lining up in Strong I. Teel has plenty of time to throw. Checks down to Britt on a comeback route.
7:11 - 3 wide. Anthony Davis gets great push off the ball. Ruch and Blaze don't, Haslam loses his man upfield. Brooks chose to run behind his fullback, but going left may have been the better call. Bad spot on the ball, it should have been a first down.
6:21 - Bunch right. OL doesn't get any push.
5:52 - 3 wr. PA Brooks, CB blitz, Teel completes it to Britt over the middle, who's getting a huge cushion from the safety in single coverage. NC State brought five, Forst lost his man.
5:15 - Shotgun, 3 wr. Forst getting destroyed, Davis loses his man. Fake handoff to Britt. Teel overthrows Corcoran running the wheel route down the right sideline. He was trying to hit him in stride, and probably figured that overthrowing it was better than a pick.
5:07 - Corcoran motions out wide left. Counter right with Brooks behind Blaze. Haslam fails utterly, while Brock was doing a decent job. Blaze was too high and missed his block.
4:36 - Shotgun, 3 wr. Good protection. Teel checks down to Campbell underneath.
3:55 - Decent pressure, Silvestro knocks down ball at LOS.
3:51 - Safety blitz. 8 in the box, NC State snaps out of Shotgun. Draw to Eugene is immediately sniffed out, George Johnson beats his man and tackles for a loss.
3:11 - 8 in the box against NC State in the Shotgun with 2 backs. 7 come on the blitz. Jarvis Williams pushes off Jason McCourty but doesn't get called, huge NC State gain.
2:41 - Holy hell are we giving their WRs a huge cushion. NC State back fails to chip Malast, and he's closing in just as Wilson releases. Not J. McCourty's fault there, just an incredible throw by Wilson.
2:24 - Shotgun, draw off tackle to Eugene. No chance, Silvestro and Tverdov motor past the OL and blow the play up.
1:49 - Silvestro at DE. Silvestro and other DE overpursue. LBs all drop into coverage, so Wilson has a huge running lane to his left.
1:11 - D'Imperio breaks up what should be an easy catch for Andre Brown.
1:00 - 2 wide left. Davis looks great moving downfield. Rest of the line is mediocre, but enough defenders overpursue to open a big hole in the middle for Brooks.
:23 - 4 wide. Teel has enough time to take a 5 step drop and get rid of the ball, but Forst was beaten on a stunt. Dangerous throw into double coverage, but Britt catches it. Britt is fearless, he knew he was going to get leveled and didn't care.
15:00 - 3 WR with a FB strong. PA to Brooks. NC State brings six, and RU doesn't do a great job of picking them up. Teel throws to Corcoran, who was the right read. Corcoran had a step on the covering LB and could have gotten decent YAC if Teel hit him in stride, but the pass was way overthrown.
14:56 - Shotgun, 3 wide, Shamar Graves shifts to FB to stay in for protection and helps Haslam double the LE. OL has some trouble keeping track of the stunts up front. Unfortunately, Teel misses a WIDE OPEN Underwood in an end zone by a step. Brown (I think) was also open on the right sideline.
14:49 - Shotgun, trips left, MRob in the backfield. NC State only brought four, but they're disguising and varying their rush well, and this time Ruch is the culprit. Teel overthrows Britt on the right sidelines. If Britt caught it, he would have gotten clobbered by the incoming safety. Dennis Campbell was (what else?) running a drag. There were no defenders in the vicinity, so the smart play would have been to check down to Campbell for the easy first down.
14:38 - NC State lines up with two TEs. Brown runs for three yards. That was all on the Wolfpack OL, knocking back our guys a few yards. Greene comes in to stop him from getting more yardage, with the assist from Malast and Bines.
14:02 - Back to the Shotgun. Two LBs blitz, and D'Imperio has a straight path to the QB, forcing Wilson to get away with it. The problem? Jarvis Williams starts off with eight yards of cushion. He quickly pulls up, and catches the ball uncontested before Jason McCourty can come back. Good tackle to prevent the first down.
13:21 - D'Imperio lines up opposite the TE, and Munoz is coming too right next to him. FB picks up Munoz to buy him a little time. A scrambling Wilson rifles one away to his nearest receiver on the right sidelines. It was overthrown, but Jay Smith makes a nice catch and Lefeged can't back up in time. Lefeged does level him though.
12:58 - Bines and Noonan (I think) pull off a textbook stunt to force Wilson into an incompletion.
12:52 - We bring up Munoz to the line (but he drops back when the play starts), and NC State lines up two TES opposite to him on the weak side. One dives and brings Freeny to the ground. Tverdov beats his man too. Malast sheds his block, but the problem is that the TE picks up Munoz, and the LT gets D'Imperio just long enough for Andre Brown to get past him for nearly 20 yards. Very nice play by Brown here.
12:24 - Blitz! All three linebackers are coming in, and Wilson is running for his life. Unfortunately, Owen Spencer out of the slot beats Joe Lefeged in single coverage for another big gainer. Nothing wrong here on paper, Wilson just has a knack for placing the ball in impossible spots like with this play.
11:57 - Wilson fumbles the snap, combined with Johnson and Freeny beating their blockers, and Silvestro getting through on a twist, he has no chance at all.
11:11 - PA fake draw, pump fake, lots of time to throw. Great play on the ball to break the pass to Spencer up by Courtney Greene.
11:03 - Malast comes on a blitz outside. Freeny pressures Wilson into a bullet downfield that isn't close to a completion. Good series as a whole that emphasized the "bend but don't break" mentality of the defense. Too bad they would soon break.
10:49 - Strong I, PA. Forst gets BURNED and Brooks is no help. Teel steps past the pressure and dumps off to Corcoran in the flat for a first down. Good play.
10:23 - Graves lines up as a receiver but motions inside as the ball is snapped. Toss left to Brooks is quickly blown up. Davis and Graves do a poor job blocking, as does Dennis Campbell.
9:34 - Two WR right, TE weak. Brooks gets 4 on the ground behind Corcoran and Davis.
8:50 - Shotgun, 3 WR. Teel takes a 3 step drop and quickly finds Graves in the slot running a curl pattern to the left. BAD spot, I think he had it, but Rutgers has to punt.
8:12 - Shotgun handoff to Jamelle Eugene. D'Imperio makes a great play here, easily disengaging his blocker to blow up Eugene just as he's hitting the gap.
7:44 - D'Imperio shoots up to the LOS right before the snap. Nickel comes on a blitz, with Greene taking responsibility for the slot wr. WR on the right sidelines has a decent cushion, but Jason McCourty does a good job of breaking things up.
7:38 - That looks like a 3-3-5, Linebackers act like they're creeping up to blitz pre snap, but one drops back into coverage and one spies. Oh my god, you have to see the twists on this play, it's a thing of beauty. Both Johnson and Freeny get open with perfectly timed twists. They force Wilson out of the pocket, scrambling to his left, and D'Imperio disengages from his blocker and forces Wilson into a grounding penalty. I want to enter into a domestic partnership with this play, which, coincidentally, is now permitted in the state of New Jersey. That's Greg Schiano football right there.
7:22 - After the shank, the good guys have the ball at the NC State 44. I formation, PA to Kordell Young, Teel quickly gets the ball out to Corcoran on the right sideline (Young was also open too, looked like Jack was a higher read progression).
6:42 - LB blitz. Draw to Young, who converts for the first even though I still hate how our line looks in run blocking.
6:11 - Looks like Britt is the only WR on the field. PA Brooks, end around to Britt. Tons of space, they didn't see it coming at all.
5:41 - NC State rushes all their LBs. Teel has to hurry his throw because Forst is beaten. Brown drops the pass as he's hit, and a diving Corcoran can't make the save.
5:35 - Oooh, this is like a West Virginia play. Britt is in motion before the play and comes in for the fake handoff, but the ball really goes to Brooks. Brooks get five, with once again little help from his line.
4:50 - Back to Shotgun. NC State brings two blitzing LBs. Forst (AGAIN) guesses wrong. MRob is running a wheel route and Teel overthrows him under pressure. The blocked FG after this play was a real killer.
4:38 - No one picks up Freeny. The true hero of this play is George Johnson, who's able to cut off Brown, and Freeny and Bines remove any doubt.
3:56 - LBs are coming again. Wilson panics and dumps off to the slot WR, who bobbles it. Greene has chance for an int but can't hold on, and then it goes through Freeny's hands. So close. Noooo, D'Imperio down.
3:51 - Looks like we're in a 3-4, and three LBs drop into coverage and one spies. Wilson dumps off to underneath WR, and David Rowe appears to tackle him short of the first down marker. Problem. The receiver appears to leap three yards for a first down. The ground clearly does cause a fumble here. Unfortunately, a great play that went against us.
3:19 - Decent protection, Tverdov doubled. Wilson throws downfield, OH MY GOD SPENCER HAS FOUR YARDS ON THE NEAREST DEFENDER. However, he has to hold up to make the catch, and in that split second, Ryan D'Imperio somehow catches up to him and breaks it up. Superman. What football acumen. Why was a LB covering Spencer again? Oh, because we rushed six and doubled another receiver, that's why.
3:09 - Silvestro beats his man, but is picked up by Brown in protection. Wilson rolls out right. Munoz can't get him! Tverdov can't catch up with him! Argh.
2:36 - Another LB blitz. D'Imperio has a clear shot at the QB and gets a piece of the ball as it's being released, it falls harmlessly to the ground.
2:33 - We're in nickel and only rush four. Wilson has all day to throw, dumps it off to Brown for four.
2:01 - Greene has a clear shot at the QB, but can't make the tackle! Tverdov misses the tackle. Another Pat White moment, Greene still should have made the play.
1:52 - Another DB blitz at the last second. Wilson doesn't know what the hell and just throws it away.
1:48 - Blitz, blitz, blitz. Argh, BLATANT OPI on Williams not called. not Devin McCourty's fault.
1:21 - Only four coming here, Greg's mixing it up. Stunting Johnson comes free. Stunting Freeny is picked up, leaving Silvestro to be doubled. Johnson can't make the play though, and there are enough blockers downfield to spring Wilson for another big gain. Wilson's limping. Perfect stunt by Johnson, Williams beats Devin McCourty, but can't pull down the fade which was overthrown.
:43 - Johnson gets picked up at the last second by a guard, Freeny gets dragged by Brown for two yards for a td.
:38 - Starting off at the 40 because of an out of bounds kickoff. Shotgun, trips right. Davis gets beaten, and the DE levels Teel as he releases it to Britt. Britt gets leveled in the back before the ball is there. Where the hell is the DPI call? You can't say that's uncatchable with a big target like Britt in the vicinity. Now I'm pissed at the officials.
:33 - Draw to MRob, Blaze beaten, immediately sniffed out. ASdasfdsfdsn.
14:50 - Forst's hand technique is really bad. Wow, Haslam looking good here. Brock does a nice job on the edge, Campbell too. Nice eight yard gain by Brooks.
14:31 - PA Brooks. Haslam beaten badly, Teel shows some good pocket awareness in escaping the rush, and Kenny Britt is WIDE OPEN in the middle of the field. Nice work finding a hole in the zone.
13:54 - 3 wr, more PA. Teel overshoots Corcoran over the middle, but Jack makes a nice one-handed grab to haul it in.
13:15 - PA, again. Wheel route to Corcoran down the sidelines, and it goes right through his hands. Win some, lose some.
13:09 - Corcoran splits out wide right. Davis is looking awesome here, Haslam and Blaze both get beaten. Good block by Forst to spring Brooks for a big gainer. Britt is a willing blocker.
12:24 - Looks like RU is in a short yardage formation. Brooks doesn't convert. Looks like there was a miscommunication, as both Ruch and Forst passed on taking on the tackler.
12:09 - QB sneak. Blaze is down. Ruch is taking snaps on the sideline, IIRC Barbieri came in for a few plays at LG.
11:51 - Corcoran is lined up to the right near the LOS left of the TE, and Underwood is on his other side. Corcoran shifts back, handoff to Brooks, Ruch pushes a defender to the ground and is called for holding.
11:21 - Britt is lined up on the left, and is in motion as the ball is snapped. Wait, why didn't Davis take his man? Oh snap, toss to Davis, flea flicker! Interesting wrinkle, but a horrible play. Davis threw to Underwood in the end zone with two defenders draped over him.
11:09 - Shotgun, good protection. Underwood runs a slant from the slot for a short gain.
10:25 - Shotgun, fade to Britt in the end zone incomplete. There was a fair bit of uncalled contact here.
10:07 - When NC State just keeps it simple, they can really push our DL around. I understand the crazy stuff when Wilson is in there, but I really think they missed an opportunity by not just pounding the football. As an aside, I like the way our LBs shed blockers. If you ever watch Ohio State, I sometimes wonder about their staff, because it seems like once you get a hand on the Buckeye LBs, they're done. Not the case here. Oh yeah, the play was for a respectable four yard run.
9:30 - Looks like Dana Bible is abandoning the Shotgun stuff with Beck in there. The Pack fail to pick up Silvestro, Johnson beats his man, D'Imperio comes in clean, and Brown has no chance.
8:51 - Ok, there's the Shotgun. We're lined up in a weird formation, with only two guys with their hands to the ground, four standing up, and Lefeged in the box. Greene is back in coverage, and I can't see the 11th man. You sometimes see the Patriots do stuff like this. Only the two down linemen rush, everyone else drops back. Zaire Kitchen (?) stays in the middle to spy, so everyone ignores him, and what's this he's got a free shot at the QB on the delayed blitz! At this same time, Johnson also breaks free. Post-play zoom shows that Kitchen had leveled the QB. Now you know why they ran the first two plays: Beck has zero field awareness whatsoever.
8:28 - Malast blocks a punt and we have great field position. NC State is taking a page out of our playbook by overloading rushers where we don't expect it. Campbell runs a quick curl inside, and Teel barely gets it away to him before getting leveled. After that hit by Leonard and other shots, NC State fans have no right to complain about our rush.
7:41 - We try the "fake QB walks to the sidelines play" from earlier in the season. NC State sniffs it out for a loss.
6:57 - Shotgun. Underwood runs a curl inside from the slot, cuts, and darts toward the end zone. Great YAC by Underwood.
6:39 - NC State is at the 46 yard line because of a big return, and the PapaJohn's guy is on commentary. Freeny is moved to the left side, and gets a free shot at the QB with the TE taking on Greene. Beck is rushed and overthrows a wide open receiver.
6:34 - Greene comes in on the blitz. Johnson and Freeny are still flipped. Johnson and Freeny easily get in, and the entirely defends swarms in to tackle Brown.
5:58 - Defense is in a 3-4. Tverdov FINALLY beats the double team. No one picks up the LDE and LILB (can't identify them, but I think I see Johnson back on the right), who force Beck into another horrible overthrow.
5:42 - PA, and it's the immortal Britt Flag route down the sidelines. And as in 90% of the times it was tried this year, it doesn't connect. Lots of defenders around Britt too (Tom O'Brien clearly had been watching his film), and Teel was leveled as he released it.
5:34 - Shotgun handoff to Brooks. Tackled for a loss, Haslam lost his battle, no one picked up the other tackler.
4:48 - Shotgun, 4 wide. Jump ball to Britt is deflected and picked off. Wasn't a bad throw.
4:38 - Trench stalemate, no one picks up incoming Lefeged who has a clear shot at Eugene. Rutgers is daring Beck to beat them by loading up the box.
4:00 - Good protection, and that's an int right to D'Imperio at the one yard line. Awful read by Beck.
3:48 - Seems like we sub in Campbell for Ti a lot on running downs. Ruch is beaten, but Kordell drags the tackler for four yards.
3:06 - Shotgun, 3 wide, Corcoran motions out left before the snap. Teel finds Britt on a quick hitch, he creates good YAC.
2:28 - Great play by Teel to hit Brock in stride, great catch.
1:50 - There's our first Martinek sighting. 3 wide. OL is only so so, but Joe shows great burst, balance, and vision to quickly find the hole and rocket through it.
1:14 - Martinek motions out left before the snap again. This time, Ruch clears a massive hole through the middle, and Martinek cuts back for an even six.
:28 - Martinek cut like Kordell, but he has the power of Brooks. Our line looks a little better when it can hit the second level like in this play. Ruch pulls downfield and opens up a big hole.
15:00 - Two TEs and a fullback, and surprisingly Teel hands off to Corcoran. Blaze isn't getting anything. Forst is down, replaced by Barbieri.
14:29 - Same formation. Fake handoff to Corcoran, pitch left to Young, play goes nowhere. From what I can tell, Davis and Brock went downfield to sell the fake, and Graves had his own guy to worry about. They probably thought Willie Young would overpursue, but he doesn't bite on the fake, and is able to bring down Young for a loss. I hate this sequence of calls.
13:42 - And the reason why is this. The offense gets predictable - they're back in a Shotgun empty set. I think Teel was going for Graves, but he overthrew him by a mile. There were a couple better options. Mostly, I'm just upset that we were in third and goal in the first place.
13:23 - First play is a Shotgun handoff, and Brown shows some nice moves in making something out of what should have been a tackle for no gain. Daniel Evans has replaced Beck at QB.
12:40 - Andre Brown stumbles out of the gate. Nice play by George Johnson though.
11:53 - The LBs crowd the LOS, but we end up only bringing four. David Rowe on Anthony Hill is a bit of a mismatch for us, Hill can make catches merely by using his height advantage as he does here. Uh oh, Evans is already clearly better than Beck.
11:25 - Here come the linebackers again. NC State does a good job in protection, but again forgets about Malast and doesn't have anyone to pick him up, Evans just throws it away.
11:18 - Lefeged smells run and charges in before the ball is snapped. Johnson tackles Brown for no gain.
10:37 - Tverdov stunts free, forces the early throw, and argh, it's caught by Jarvis Williams matched up against Devin McCourty. These third and long conversions are getting annoying, and that's been the story all game. You should not be able to do that after failing on the first two downs; not with Russell Wilson out of the game.
10:11 - Did I mention that Johnson was a beast? Now they're doubling him. Malast shoots through the gap, and Brown walks into the waiting arms of D'Imperio.
9:29 - NC State is in a Shotgun formation with two TEs flanking the line, and receivers to the right. Freeny drops into coverage on the weak TE. They rush six, but Tverdov sees the other TE taking off and running free toward the end zone and rushes to go after him. It's all for naught, as Evans barely escapes the rush to strike the wide open Hill as he walks into the end zone. This was a gamble that didn't pay off.
9:21 - We bring five, Munoz forces Evans into an incompletion. 2 pt conversion fails.
9:14 - We're in a Pistol this time. Ruch guesses wrong and lets his guy in, but not to worry, as Teel strikes a wide open Campbell.
8:39 - Good protection. Britt lines up in the slot with no CB lined up against him, and cuts right downfield at a 45 degree angle. One on one with a safety down field? Hooray for zone. Finally a TD, finally Britt is acting like Britt. Great throw too.
8:22 - Bad kickoff. NC State is in a Shotgun with two TEs. Lefeged comes racing in before the snap. Freeny drops back, and Malast replaces him on the rush. The Wolfpack RT has to worry about blitzers, so Johnson gets a free shot at the guard inside, and it's great how he just pushes him aside and storms toward the QB. Beck finds Jarvis Williams coming over the middle, and he's again able to use his size advantage to tower over Devin McCourty.
7:57 - Hey OL, you should probably block Tverdov.
7:14 - Rushing five, Malast comes in. Johnson gets close to Evans, but overpursues just enough to give the RT a fighting chance. Evans had to get rid of it with Malast rushing in from his blind side.
7:06 - Silvestro drops back, leaving only three rushers and a zone across the field. Is Johnson that good, or is the NC State RT that bad? Actually, what's REALLY bad for the Wolfpack is that Freeny appears to pushing back their 300 lb+ left tackle. It can't be this easy, you shouldn't be able to get pressure with only three. Ball is underthrown, and there's the perfect position by Devin McCourty for the int.
7:00 - Ty I think is running into the backfield for the fake end around. OL in general looks bad, Ruch loses his man who tackles Martinek for a loss.
6:13 - PA. Teel looks to Corcoran right in the flat and dumps it off, and he does a 1.5 on the Leonard scale for a few yards. Nice, solid play.
5:23 - Davis on the pull, and if Martinek has a hole, he'll take it. He really does look like Rice out there at times.
4:44 - Corcoran in motion wide left. Barbieri and Blaze miss their blocks and Martinek only gets two yards. In fairness to Blaze, he's limping around at this point.
3:57 - Teel to Corcoran again, and he does a nice job of fighting for more yards. Keep that clock moving.
3:08 - WR screen, Underwood. ESPN didn't show the start of the play. I did see Campbell and Corcoran spring a few blocks.
2:34 - Davis, Ruch, and Blaze open up a monster hole to the left, and you can just visualize Martinek salivating. The vision, balance, cutting, motor; it's all there. Add on a facemask.
1:58 - Run blitz, not enough blockers, Joe goes nowhere.
1:50 - All the LBs are rushing, Martinek is valiantly holding off two to Teel's left. Britt is streaking across the middle and would get clobbered, unknown WR is clearing out the left side of the field, leaving Corcoran with some space to work with. Teel overthrows it though. A better pass could have been a TD.
1:43 - Two TEs, FB. So that's how it's going to be. And Martinek goes straight up the gut, actually garnering two yards after contact. This might have been the right call in order to kill the clock, but it's one you hate to see.
:41 - Squib kick takes a few more ticks off the clock. It's a cover five, we're officially in prevent mode. Evans has a running lane, but he's no Wilson. He fires it right into Devin McCourtey's hands, but he just breaks it up.
:33 - Kitchen teases the blitz, but takes Hill. Facing no pressure, Evans fires a jump ball to Hill, who's able to get out of bounds.
:28 - Another tease from Malast. Silvestro drops into coverage. They're doubling Tverdov, and two other white jerseys are just standing around. Freeny breaks free and Evans just throws it away.
:22 - Exact same defense as the last play. D'Imperio, covering Hill, has a near miss on the int over the middle.
:17 - Good protection, but Evans panics and throws wildly into double coverage. Greene int, and that's all she wrote. Looks like he could have went to Hill for another easy first down and maybe had a chance at a spike and one last bomb, it would have been close.