Previewing Saturday's ACC regular season finale between NC State and Boston College and hopefully Frank Spaziani's last game at the reigns of the Eagles
BC Interruption: NC State is heading to another bowl, yet talk around town is that Tom O'Brien might be on his way out. Where is the frustration level of Pack fans?
Backing The Pack: The frustration has been mounting throughout the season, though in hindsight I'm not sure what we should have expected from this team. They've been bizarrely erratic, which is part of the reason why I think frustration has been higher than in years past. It seems like there also have been more questionable coaching decisions this season, but that may be selective memory on my part.
It is difficult to get a feel for the whole situation; Tom O'Brien can win eight games or more for the third season in a row, which is a good run, historically speaking, for NC State football--padded non-conference schedule aside. It's awfully tough to justify parting ways with someone producing eight wins at a school with little tradition like NC State.
There absolutely is a faction of the fan base ready to move on. As for how the administration feels? That's tough to gauge.
BCI: Just like every season with TOB the season is filled with highs and lows. Can you go over some of the peaks and valleys of the 2012 season?
BTP: They played terribly to open the season against Tennessee, played terribly at Miami, then responded to beat Florida State the very next week. Yeah, I don't know how that works either, but the two weeks spanning the Hurricanes and Seminoles games do more to describe this NC State team than I ever could. They've looked very focused and tough to beat at times, and then they've imploded spectacularly on other occasions.
BCI: BC's defense has been positively awful for most of the season. What NC State offensive weapons should we be aware of this weekend?
BTP: Freshman running back Shadrach Thornton has been a pleasant surprise, but I still wouldn't count on State's ground game having a huge impact. In all likelihood, the Pack will rely on Mike Glennon to carry the offense, and he'll be looking for guys like Tobais Palmer (who just set an ACc single-game record for all-purpose yardage) and Brian Underwood, who has scored 10 touchdowns this season. Neither one is big, but their speed has burned opponents for big plays on several occasions.
BCI: BC's pass defense is bad, but somehow NC State's is even worse. Where is NC State struggling on defense, and where have they seen success?
BTP: To some extent, a secondary is only as good as a team's front four, and NC State has had problems generating pressure against teams with superior talent. I'm not sure Tyler Bray was touched by a State defender in the opener, and Clemson's Tajh Boyd was mighty comfortable last Saturday. State tends to take more risks than most defenses, and when they bring extra guys and they don't get to the QB, well...
The other problem, surprisingly enough, is David Amerson. He was out to lunch during the early portion of the season, and in fact teams have not shied away from throwing at him because they've realized how they can exploit him for big plays. He gets in trouble when he tries to do too much, and at times it seems like he thinks he can bait a QB into a throw and then recover and make a play in every situation.
BCI: Prediction Time (two parter): Who you got on Saturday? And who gets fired first, Frank Spaziani or Tom O'Brien?
BTP: State will win on Saturday, or maybe it won't. I have no idea how this team is going to respond week-to-week. State should be angry after the Clemson game and should be able to take care of business on Senior Day, but I'm done guessing about these guys. And I would have to think Spaz is the heavy favorite in that contest.
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