As the 2014 ACC Football campaign nears, NC State football fans are cautiously optimistic about the team’s success. After enduring a frustrating season last year, State fans saw enough progress and positive signs from first year coach Dave Doeren’s squad to suggest things may be better this season.
We can hope.
If improvement is to be made, the Pack will have to successfully maneuver through a hellish schedule. This is a real concern. If ever a schedule was suited for a return to eligible Bowl status…it was last year.
Sadly, week after week the Pack squandered its home games, 4th quarter leads and opportunities against winnable teams leaving them with a miserable 3-9 season, that included a 0-8 Atlantic Coast Conference record. Erratic quarterback play, inconsistent offense, and a porous defense left fans wondering what could have been. Last year the Pack swept the “Little Three” (Louisiana Tech, Richmond and Central Michigan) then went on to lose its final 8 games.
Hmmm, this setup sounds eerily similar to the upcoming 2014 season.
This year’s “Little Three” consists of Georgia Southern, Old Dominion, and Presbyterian College.
Say what? Yes, I said Presbyterian College.
How in the Sam Turkey did Presbyterian College end up on the Wolfpack schedule? What benefit is there for a struggling ACC program to defeat such an opponent? However, the devastation from losing to one would be immeasurable.
(Sigh) I’ll defer and save that rant for another day.
Should the Pack complete the sweep of the aforementioned trio, the remaining nine opponents will be difficult. Not only is the talent level of Florida State, Clemson and Louisville superior, but the Wolfpack has a propensity to lose games against Wake, Georgia Tech and Boston College even when the teams are relatively equal.
And then of course there is the UNC game. If anyone knows how that one will turn out, I know of a Manziel fan base in Cleveland who would love to hire your services.
Lastly, beating Syracuse in New York and downing a South Florida squad in Tampa will be no small feat. That said, optimism reigns supreme. As always Wolfpack fans will continue to hold strong for the day when they too can bask in the sunlight of national recognition. Hell, even Duke had their day last season, and a few years ago Wake Forest had a great run.
Coach Doeren, please take us to the Promised Land…or anywhere near it.