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Boston College vs NC State Football - Defense Preview

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 25 Clemson at NC State Photo by William Howard/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Yesterday Curtis previewed NC State’s offense. Peter is off doing some other stuff for the site, so I’m going to jump in and preview NC State’s defense, and what to watch for.

Defensive Line

Two things are true about NC State: The ‘Pack have one of the stingiest defensive corps in the country, but they don’t do it through outwardly strong pressure on the quarterback. NC State’s defensive line has been lagging in stats involving pressure on the quarterback, with only seven sacks on the year.

However, that’s seemingly the one downfall of the defensive line. NC State has been solid all year stopping the run, allowing the 13th lowest amount of yards on the ground per game in the country. The numbers are a little better for opponents when you change it to yards per attempt (teams have been loathe to run against the ‘Pack), but the line plays a big part on not letting running backs break free.

That’s bad news for BC. If BC is going to be able to compete, the run game will need to be established, and the offensive line is going to have a war in the trenches to get things going.


BC fans are going to almost certainly be familiar with the name Drake Thomas before the game is over. Thomas is a formidable presence amongst the linebacking corps, and he makes his presence known. Thomas leads the team in tackles and interceptions, and Dennis Grosel is going to need to know where he is on the field at all times.

Isaiah Moore will be another player to watch out for. He is a presence in the defensive backfield, and supplements the line on the run game.

Defensive Backs

Statistically NC State is an above-average team for preventing the pass, although the yards per game number is skewed by the number of attempts as teams like to pass against NC State. Grosel will need to be careful against the pass defense-it has been known to intercept a pass here or there, but NC State’s game is all about limiting big plays, and will almost certainly frustrate Grosel who is still trying to get himself settled.