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2020 N.C. State football season preview

2019 record: 4-8, 1-7 in the ACC (7th in the Coastal Division)

Head coach: Dave Doeren (8th season)

After back-to-back 9-4 seasons under head coach Dave Doeren, something clearly fell apart in 2019 for the Wolfpack, resulting in a devastating season. The extent of N.C. State's standout players last year were kicker Chris Dunn and punter Trenton Gill. Injury ridden, N.C. State limped to the finish line, losing seven projected starters throughout the course of the season. Where N.C. State really struggled was with its offense, trying out multiple backup quarterbacks and lacking a go-to wide receiver. In 2019, the Wolfpack ranked 67th in passing offense, which looks even worse compared to its previous No. 8 ranking.

At the end of the season, Doeren recognized his team's weaknesses and emphasized the need for a strong and committed offseason. However, with COVID-19, they have undoubtedly not gotten that time, which could prove to be detrimental to the Wolfpack's success.

Though the offense undoubtedly struggled, the Wolfpack have made no real change in quarterbacks for the 2020 season, staying confident in redshirt sophomore Devin Leary. Doeren and top wide receiver Thayer Thomas are optimistic in Leary’s offseason development, citing their quarterback's newfound confidence and a fresh offensive strategy implemented by offensive coordinator Tim Beck. 

Players to watch out for will be redshirt junior linebacker Vi Jones, who had to sit out last fall after transferring from USC. At 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, he may prove to be an integral pass rusher for the Wolfpack. N.C. State is also looking for freshman wide receiver Porter Rooks, a Charlotte native, to come through on the collegiate level in his first season in Raleigh.

Only time will tell if Doeren can pick up the pieces of last season and repair the Wolfpack's broken offense.


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