NC State’s passing offense finished in the middle of the road in a lot of metrics a season ago — isolated points per play (No. 101 nationally) and success rate (No. 72), to name a few. With Jacoby Brissett gone to the NFL, and his replacement at quarterback a question mark heading into fall camp, expectations for the Wolfpack’s passing game were low. Those assumptions were tempered even further when it was announced that Jumichael Ramos, who was second on the team last year in receptions (34), would miss all of 2016 with a knee injury.
NC State returned very little production at wide receiver; they were incredibly green at the position. It was clear that the Wolfpack would need to lean heavily on Jaylen Samuels, and their Matt Dayes-powered run game. However, behind the right arm of new quarterback Ryan Finley — one of the most efficient passers in the nation through the first five weeks of action — the Pack have emerged as one of the better passing teams in America.
For the second straight season, Samuels is the most important receiver on State’s roster. According to Football Study, Samuels has been the most heavily targeted player; more than 20 percent of their passing attempts have gone in his direction. Bra’lon Cherry has been steady (11 receptions, one touchdown), too, but the two biggest revelations at the wide receiver have been redshirt sophomore Stephen Louis and true freshman Kelvin Harmon.
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