2009 NC State Game Analysis: Hokies Execute on Both Sides of the Ball

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Leading up to the game, I’ll admit that I was expecting this one to be closer
than it turned out. Then I heard NC State was missing their offensive
coordinator, QB coach and WR coach. Then I watched Cody Grimm force three
fumbles on the Wolfpack’s first four snaps. And once I saw Ryan Williams dog
sled an NC State defender into the end zone, I knew this one was going to end in
a blowout.

The trend of close games with NC State was over, but another trend continued
– Tech’s domination this season of ACC Atlantic Division teams. In three games
(Boston College, Maryland and NC State), the Hokies hammered their
cross-division opponents, outscoring those teams from the Atlantic Division
122-33 (an average of 41-11). Although their chances are slim, the 38-10 beat
down of the Wolfpack kept the Hokies eligible and in the discussion for an
at-large BCS bid.

Let’s see how they did it.

Tech’s Offense vs. NC State’s Defense

NC State’s defense has been ravaged by injuries this season. Defensive
coordinator Mike Archer has taken some heat, but it’s a tough situation when so
many youngsters have to play, including three freshmen starters in the
secondary. This match-up clearly favored the Tech offense and the Hokies

Game Plans

Even though they had freshmen at both corners, the NC State game plan was to
crowd the box and zero-in on stopping Ryan Williams between the tackles. They
constantly walked a safety up based on pre-snap key reads, leaving those young
corners in one-on-one coverage outside. It was a curious approach, considering
how vulnerable they were in the secondary. Was that great respect for Ryan
Williams and Tech’s running game, or a show of disrespect for Tech’s passing
game? Perhaps it was both. The State coaches believed their best chance was to
sell out against Williams and take their chances that Tech’s offense couldn’t
make enough things happen down the