The NC State Wolfpack enter the 2016 season at somewhat of a crossroads. They have gone to bowl games in each of the last two seasons, which sounds good, but 2015 was largely a disappointment. On the offensive side of the ball, the passing game never took off, the backfield suffered multiple forms of attrition: Shadrach Thornton was kicked off the team four games into the season, and Matt Dayes suffered a foot injury against Clemson that would cause him to miss the final five games.
NC State has a lot of skill back on offense; Dayes, Jaylen Samuels and Nyheim Hines are a trio of talented play-makers. But with Jacoby Brissett now in the NFL as a member of the New Englad Patriots, there’s a serious void at quarterback.
Entering last season, it seemed as if everything was setup for Jalan McClendon to get reps behind Brissett as a redshirt freshman, then be turned loose to become a three-year starter, beginning in 2016. For whatever reason, that plan never really got off the ground; McClendon rarely saw the field, and threw just 14 passes during the season (completing eight).
The experience advantage McClendon could’ve had was flattened when NC State decided to part ways with former offensive coordinator Matt Canada, who took his services north to Pittsburgh. Doeren brought in Eliah Drinkwitz from Boise State to fill Canada’s shoes. Drinkwitz coordinated the Broncos’ offense for just one season, but it certainly wasn’t lacking in production. Boise State scored 62 touchdowns in 13 games; they ranked 15th in the nation in scoring offense. They also ranked 15th in the nation in total offense, too — 501.3 yards per game.
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