Guest Blogger: Riddick & Reynolds
James from Riddick & Reynolds is back to discuss a matchup only TOB could love. My questions and his answers are below.
1. Obviously Russell Wilson was the big story of the offseason. I know Glennon has been decent, but putting the stats aside, how has the approach and offense changed since Glennon took over?
R&R: There has been more of a commitment to running the ball, for sure, but a lot of the same spread principles are still in place. We often put Glennon in the shotgun with an empty backfield and rarely run the ball from the I formation with the fullback as a lead blocker. I think Glennon has tremendous passing ability at times, but the element of his game that he lacks is the ability to scramble, extend plays and keep defenders' eyes in the backfield. It's a less effective offense this year, for sure, and last week's performance against UNC was one of the worst of the year.
2. It seems like instead of being just bad, State's defense has upgraded to inconsistent. How does a team go from allowing 34 one week to shutting a team out the next?
R&R: It seems like a question of motivation. UNC head coach Everett Withers made some pretty inflammatory comments leading up to the game, which sparked some epic smack talk from Tom O'Brien...all of which contributed to an NC State team that came out on fire. They were hellbent on proving a point against the Tar Heels and played like it. Does that mean they WEREN'T motivated against FSU? I don't know. It's not the first time a Tom O'Brien team has looked night-and-day from one game to the next.
3. There were rumblings among BC fans that TOB would retire after this season? Are NC State fans expecting the same? Do you want him back next year?
R&R: I doubt he would, unless the team ends the year on a three-game losing skid. And if that happens, I doubt it'll be a question of "retiring;" Debbie will do her part to "help" him retire, forcefully. I think Tom fully expects to return next year because all of the offseason drama surrounding Russell Wilson and Glennon. It makes little sense to me that he'd endure all the second guessing about his decision to move forward with Glennon only to hang it up before his final year. If State makes a bowl, he'll be back and eager to coach Glennon's senior campaign, and I'll be perfectly fine with that as I think this team--assuming we finally kick this injury bug for good--could challenge for an Atlantic Division title with a senior QB and lots of upperclassmen talent. It's quite reasonable to think, however, that Tom could hang them up after 2012 and retire to the shores of Charleston with his family.
4. What is your prediction of the game?
R&R: As beaten down by injuries and other issues as the Eagles are, I just don't think I can find a way to pick against State in this game. But, if there's one thing about Tom O'Brien's coaching style that BC and State fans are familiar with, it's the danger of the inexplicable loss. And as much as BC has State's number since they joined the ACC, I think it's quite possible the Eagles could come out fired up to perform against the ex-BC coach. I'd say the final score is in the neighborhood of 17-10, State.