I'm not exactly sure what to say about this game. My emotions were all over the place last night, even though I was strangely confident. I'm happy to take a Thursday night road win, as South Carolina, USC, USF, BYU, and WVU have all bit the dust this season in similar situations. On the other hand, NCState had a very bad rep, and justifiably so by their play leading up to this game. The rest of the nation won't realize that the 'Pack got back several key players from injury and had a QB that continued to grow and develop. No, the public will see 26-17, and that's not impressive. I predicted 30-16, so I can't be too disappointed. In a way, I wish we were more monotone, playing more consistently above average, rather than great and terrible. Nahhh, I'm glad we flash the brilliance, because I know we can and will continue to fix the mistakes. I am going to withhold judgment at this point until I watch the film, which should happen within the next 48 hours, hopefully. It is great film, by the way. Until then, let's evaluate the goals we set from a pure numbers perspective:
Keep NC Sate in 2nd and long: 40% of First Down Rushes for 1 or fewer yards. (The STUFFED %)
FSU stopped NC State's rushes for 1 or fewer yards only 4 of 12 times. That's 33%, which is not acceptable against a team of the Wolfpack's caliber. I'll look at this more closely in film review, but we did turn things around in the second half. Look at the difference:
1ST HALF: 5 first down rushes, 0 stops, 4 for 10+ yards.
2ND HALF: 7 first down rushes, 4 stuffs (57%), 1 for 10+ yards
I have to think Mickey made adjustments here, I just don't know exactly what they were without watching this in slow-mo.
Use penetration to get stops: 40% Win Rate on 3rd+ 4th n short rushing
There were no rushes on 3rd or 4th down.
Keep reading for the rest...
Don't have your good work go for naught: 2 or fewer draws of 3rd and 8 or Longer for first downs.
Again, no draws on 3rd down.
No rushing TD's in the red zone. Make NCST throw the ball.
This is a win. They didn't get it done.
Take good angles to the football: No more than 2 runs over 15 yards and no runs over 35 yards.
I won't be able to tell if this was entirely angles related, but this is failure. They had 3 runs over 15 yards, and many runs over 10.
No good day: Wilson under a QB Rating of 90 overall.
Wilson had a rating of 139, so um, yeah total failure here. If this kid had decent touch on the intermediate routes, he could have had 3 more completions. Then again, if he had that, he'd be Tebow.
Limit Big Plays: no more than 4 passes of 15+ yards
5 passes of 15+ yards, again, this was bad.
Selective Pass Interference: do not give up the deep ball. If they do throw it, interfere like crazy.
We didn't get flagged on defense. The refs let both sides of the ball clutch, grab, maul, harass, and in some cases tackle the receiver before they caught the ball. Still, we gave up a deep ball that we might have been able to interfere on, and that play went for 67 yards to the house. Mangum needed to tackle that guy once he realized he was beat.
Hit Willson: Play to the echo of the whistle. Have a sack rate (sacks / (pass plays + sacks)) of 7.5% or more.
This was one of the poorest defensive efforts I have seen in a long time, and the numbers back up what my eyes saw. FSU amassed only a 3.9% sack rate (1 of 26), which isn't getting it done. We also didn't get many kill shots on this kid.
Be studs on 3rd down: make the tackle when they throw underneath and don't allow them to get the 3rd down. Limit Wilson to double digit QB rating on 3rd down.
This, this was just excellent all game. We are really good tacklers on passing plays. Wilson was horrific on 3rd down throws, and our coverage was tight. Florida State 3rd down pass defense: 3-8, 38 yards, ONLY ONE OF WHICH WENT FOR A FIRST DOWN!
This goes to show that if we win on first down, we will win the ballgame. 3rd down pass defense is highly correlated with winning (3nd highest stat I think), and we have been monsters in this area all year, and continued to be so tonight. It is so crucial to win on 1st down, as it eliminates play action and allows us to pin the ears back and go.
NC STATE did not have a 3rd down conversion to a wide receiver all night. Incredible. They were just 1 of 9 on 3rd down all night (all passes, one of which was a sack).
Do not fall for play action on short yardage downs: DB's rarely make these plays but are usually the ones burned for trying to help out too much.
This was their only 3rd down conversion of the night, ans I can't complain too much here. Good overall, though they rarely had 3rd and short.
Create 2 turnovers.
Someone commented that Myron Rolle wears anti-stickum. We didn't create any turnovers, which is annoying and not acceptable.
No Plays of 45+ Yards. I doubt NCST can repeatedly drive on this team. Let's make them try.
They had the 67 yard pass play, and didn't drive on us often, so this was a failure. We can't allow that.
10 "Stops" Mickey defines a stop as a turnover, punt, or a surrender on downs. That's fine by me.
We had stops on 7 of their 11 drives, but I think Mickey needs to adjust this goal. We simply hold the ball too long on offense to realistically expect 10 stops.
Less than 50% Red Zone TD Scoring
They entered the red zone twice, scoring a TD once. Credit Dana Bible, the play they ran to get the 20 yard TD was a great call. The farthest NC State entered was the 7, and we stopped them there.
One major gripe: We can't allow people to throw slants in the red zone, especially not guys like Wilson who have no touch on the ball yet have a cannon. That was stupid, even though they didn't complete the pass.
No scores off sudden change (make NCST get a first down off a turnover. Do not allow the home run after a turnover)
There was no sudden change, so this goal can't be evaluated.
Hold NCST under 300 Yards. Mickey's goal is 300, and that is generous.
This was a really poor defensive effort overall and I expect Mickey to rip these guys a new one and reflect his disappointment in the press conference.
I have to run some errands now, but I'll have the offensive numbers up after a bit. Also, the film this week was GREAT, so I'll have a field day breaking this stuff down.
The Offense by the Numbers
No more than .33 drop per 5 throws
35 throws, means I'd tolerate 2.1 drops. 3 drops is more than 2, and some of these were questionable. This was a bad area.
QB Rating of 135+ (13 completions in 25 attempts for 200 yards; 2 touchdowns and 1 interceptions), (16 completions in 30 attempts for 240 yards; 2 touchdowns and 1 interceptions), or (18 completions in 35 attempts for 280 yards; 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.). Clearly, we're not a high completion % pass game, but Jimbo has stated that he doesn't care about that.
Hmm, 136 will work. Patting self on back for nailing that one.
No careless throws into the flat.
Done and done. I put this in every week because these throws are very dangerous.
Sack Rate (sacks / sacks + pass attempts) of less than 5%.
8% > 5%, and that's not acceptable. The pass protection was horrible. McMahon is a terrible football player. Zebrie is very young and has the frame to eventually grow into a good player, but he played poorly. We're not ready to handle serious pass rushers. Credit Ponder for keeping this number in single digits.
8 Yards per Attempt
7.26 Per Attempt is a good number, and if we catch some of the drops, this would be over 10. Not a bad performance here.
Very encouraging here, as the only fumble was on special teams.
2 plays with 15+ YAC (can you say bubble screen?)
We scored on a bubble screen of 17+ yards, and had several others that went for long yards. Very good execution here.
No more than 1 BadReadBadThrow (BRBT) per 15 passes
This was obviously a good day for Ponder, and I'll re-eval this when I watch the film again, but I counted only 1 BRBT here, so that's a positive.
65% of carries by FSU RB's on First down go for 2 or more yards (win first down)
FSU's backs ran 8 times on first down (we really did a nice job throwing the easy stuff when they were loading up against the run). We gained 2+ yards on 6 of the 8 carries, which is awesome. I'll have more on our poor oline play later on, but Fisher did a nice job of not wasting plays running on first down.
40 yards rushing from Christian
Ponder ran for 53 yards, but was sacked 3 times and in college, sacks are counted as rushing yards, dropping his total down.