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July 19, 2013

Schedule Analysis: N.C. State


Date: Aug. 31

Last meeting: N/A

All-Time record: 0-0

Starters returning for N.C. State: 16 total; 5 offense, 7 defense, 2 specialists

Key Starters (2012 stats): RB Tony Creecy, RS Jr., 127 rushes, 512 yards, 5TD; WR Quintin Payton, RS Sr., 51 catches, 798 yards, 2 TD; DE Darryl Cato-Bishop, RS Sr., 36 tackles, 10.5 TFL, 6.5 sacks;

Key Losses (2012 stats): QB Mike Glennon, 330-564, 4031 yards, 31 TD, 17 Int; WR Tobais Palmer, 54 catches, 781 yards, 6 TD; CB David Amerson, 61 tackles, 1 TFL, 5 INT, 1 TD; S Brandan Bishop, 103 tackles, 3 TFL, 3 INT; S Earl Wolff, 119 tackles, 4 TFL, 2 INT.

Key Matchup: Louisiana Tech's linebackers vs. Tony Creecy: Creecy is a redshirt junior who averaged 3.7 YPA last season while splitting carries with Shadrach Thornton. Louisiana Tech's linebacking corps gave up 4.8 YPA in 2012 under former defensive coordinator Tommy Spangler. This season, under first -year defensive coordinator Kim Dameron, the defense looks primed to improve on last season's statistics.

N.C. State will have a big year if: They acclimate to their new head coach, new quarterback and new offense. Head coach Dave Doeren has not named a starting quarterback to run his no-huddle offense yet this offseason but he does have options. Pete Thomas, a junior transfer from Colorado State who has started 21 games during his career, Manny Stocker, a sophomore who was Mike Glennon's backup last season, and Brandon Mitchell, a senior transfer from Arkansas, who appears to be the favorite to get the starting nod, are all capable of being the starting quartback for the Wolfpack in 2013.

N.C. State will struggle if: The offense isn't able to do the above or if Brandon Mitchell struggles out of the gate. The Wolfpack doesn't have a lot of depth at the quarterback position and, if Mitchell struggles, Doeren could find himself handing the reigns to his offense over to a quarterback who doesn't fit his system.

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