PREVIEW: NC State takes on Troy Trojans



On Saturday, first year head coach Neal Brown and his Troy Trojans will make an appearance at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, North Carolina to face NC State opening the 2015 football season.   I used the word appearance not to slight the Troy, Alabama team, but if THIS Wolfpack team is to have the breakout year that many are hoping, they need to take care of business.

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The Pack, unranked in major polls, has gotten some buzz as one of several potential surprise teams of the season.   To meet those expectations, Troy, Eastern Kentucky, Old Dominion and South Alabama have to all be dispatched decisively.   If they can accomplish this, the Wolfpack will be 4-0 entering their week 5 showdown with ACC foe Louisville.

Simply put, to gain national respect you have to win the winnable games, then win games against better quality opponents.  To have an outstanding season, the Pack needs to knock off those they aren’t supposed to win.

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This Wolfpack team has that capability.

First up is Troy, a former perennial power in the Sun Belt Conference coming off a 3-9 season.  No longer the power they used to be, the Trojans have not had a winning season since 2010.

NC State will however,  be without their leading rusher from last season in Shadrach Thornton because of undisclosed team violations that occurred during the spring semester. Thornton, a senior who rushed for 908 yards with split duty last season, will miss both the Troy and Eastern Kentucky games.  While it’s never a good way to start the season, it does provide an opportunity for others to step up.

Backups Matt Dayes, Dakwa Nichols and freshman Reggie Gallaspy II will get their chance to show what they can do.  This is the third such suspension for Thornton who sat out previous games due to misdemeanor possession of marijuana and simple assault charges.  Something tells me with the depth and talent on this roster, Thornton’s collegiate career may be nearing an end if he doesn’t get it together.  Distractions such as these are never productive and ultimately undermine continuity and team chemistry.

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Coastal football: Grayson McCall has entered the transfer portal
Coastal football: Grayson McCall has entered the transfer portal /

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  • What to Expect

    Senior quarterback Jacoby Brissett will pick up where he left off last season as the dynamic versatile All-ACC caliber talent capable of rushing and throwing with great success while leading the Pack to its first win of the season.

    Expect the Pack’s young defense to dominate early and often as NC State wins big:

    NC State   31 –   Troy  13

    When:   Saturday, September 5, 2015

    Where: Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, NC

    Time:     6:00pm         ESPN3

    Next: NC State Football Season Preview