Afternoon Preview: NC State Wolfpack

October 17, 2009 - 10:28 am
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CHESTNUT HILL -- The mission is simple. Defend the Citadel. A pack of wolves (and an old friend) invade The Heights today looking to spoil the Eagles hope at winning the ACC Atlantic division and another trip to the ACC championship game in Tampa Bay in December. So, what can we expect from NC State and coach Tom O'Brien? Well, as Meter and Chach pointed out earlier this week, the Wolfpack secondary is ripe for the plucking. In the first six games of the season NC State has started five different starting lineups and the inconsistency has showed. Last week it was carved up by Duke's Thaddeus Lewis in amazing fashion -- 40-50 for 459 yards as the usually woeful Blue Devils put up 49 points en route to a victory in Raleigh. The week before Wake Forest's Riley Skinner (no stranger to the Eagles) torched the Wolfpack for 361 yards on 31-45 passing. The question for Boston College is if it has the type of quarterback who can take advantage. Dave Shinskie has been up and down this year but he has played much better at home in wins over Wake Forest and Florida State. "They are trying to find their secondary the way we are trying to find our offense," Shinskie said. "They are division one athletes, they are not slouches. Just because they gave up that many passing yards the last two weeks doesn't mean they cannot come out and play well . . . I am looking forward to coming out and taking some shots and throw a little bit this weekend." If wideouts Rich Gunnell and Colin Larmond, Jr. can gain some separation from the secondary on deep corner routes, look for Shinskie to try to light it up a couple times throughout the game. The Boston College running game may be another story. NC State leads the conference in rushing defense by a wide margin (377 yards allowed with the next closest being North Carolina at 675) but part of that is a product of the fact that teams have gone pass heavy against Tom O'Brien's squad. Though, through 196 rushing attempts against the Wolfpack are only allowing a 1.9 yards per carry average so it will be a challenge to get the Double H duo galloping. On the other side of the field the Eagles have to deal with yet another quality quarterback from an ACC rival in the form of Russell Wilson. The sophomore signal caller has the ability to pick apart defenses from the pocket or bounce out and use his feet for big gains as is evidenced with his team-high 91 yard rushing effort in the Wolfpack's win over Pittsburgh. "He is basically a Riley Skinner and Tyrod Taylor hybrid," defensive lineman Alex Albright said. "The two quarterbacks who have torn us apart the most with their own individual skills are meshed together with him and that provides a whole mess of problems. He can sit in the pocket and go through all his progressions but also understand where the pocket pressure is coming from and be able to run." The ability of Albright and to get on the field and put some pressure on Wilson will be key for a team that is last in the ACC in sacks. Albright injured his ankle against Florida State two weeks ago and only played nine snaps last week at Virginia Tech. But the junior is resilient and hard working, a trait that embodies the Eagles defense in general. "You could cut his head off and he would pop up and say he is ready to go," head coach Frank Spaziani said of Albright. The Eagles will also hope to contain Wolfpack halfback Toney Baker, who ranks sixth in the conference in rushing yards with 365 with a 5.4 yards per carry average. Kickoff is in about and hour. Stay tuned to The BC Blog for updates throughout the game.

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