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"Overall I'd say our teams were evenly matched"
Areas Miss State was better: QB, OL, DL, secondary, coaching
Areas NC State was better: LB until Wilson was hurt, punter
That doesn’t look evenly matched to me. The score pretty much bears that out.
Comment 2 replies
Why would anyone say we looked like the more talented team?
Based on what, exactly?
Comment 2 replies, 16 recs
From the Athletic today
Q. Who do you think has the biggest rise of a team not ranked in the preseason poll? — David R.
Matt Fortuna: Maybe it’s just me, but it does seem like this year’s preseason AP poll has a lot more party crashers than usual (Indiana, Coastal Carolina, Louisiana), which means that some of the more traditional names (Oklahoma State, Auburn, Michigan) have been left out of the Top 25. And while I could make a case for a number of unranked teams to rise up the rankings throughout this season — Northwestern is the reigning Big Ten West champion, Liberty is coming off a 10-1 season, Ball State returns 18 starters from a 2020 unit that finished ranked 23rd — I’m going to go off the beaten path and pick NC State.
Bear with me, as I’m sure this is the ultimate kiss of death for fans of a Wolfpack program that has made a habit of getting their hopes up, only to fall just short of a breakthrough. But this team should be pretty darn good. It went 8-4 last season despite quarterback Devin Leary being limited to four games. The Pack return 18 starters. Defensive coordinator Tony Gibson told me in the spring that this could be the best defense he has ever coached. If Leary can stay healthy and build off the progress he showed in limited action in 2020, this group has a chance to be the second- or third-best team in the ACC, as there are a number of veteran playmakers in the backfield and among the receiving corps.
The schedule isn’t great, as Miami and North Carolina are the Coastal crossovers and the Pack open ACC play with Clemson. (Although better to face the Tigers sooner than later, I suppose.) Still, judging a team in the preseason off its purported schedule strength has usually been a fool’s errand. Go with what you know. NC State received the 31st-most votes in the AP preseason poll. It could be top 15 with this roster.
Bolded emphasis is mine…