Remember back in college when the weekend started on Thursday night? Everyone would try to schedule classes on everyday but Friday so that no matter how late you stayed out you could just lounge around and recover on Friday. I always referred that to sought after Thursday night as ‘Thirsty Thursday’.
Now I know that I am not fooling anyone by talking about wild and crazy Thursday nights because in reality working full time and being a father have diminished my adventurous week nights. However, tonight when N.C. State hosts Syracuse will be a throwback to “Thirsty Thursday” for many a fan in Wolfpack Nation, myself included.
Keeping up with the Power
Thus far N.C. State has beaten East Carolina, Western Carolina and Ball State while losing to West Virginia and Florida State. Yup, that’s right; all of the Pack’s wins have been against non-Power 5 teams while losing by double digits to the two Power 5 teams they have faced. Something has got to change, and quickly, for this team or it is going to be a really long season.
I, like many other Wolfpack faithful, will be thirsty to see this team compete for four quarters against a Power 5 opponent. It shouldn’t be a tall ask to hang in the game with what appears to be a down Syracuse team that has struggled on the road in 2019.
Pick a quarterback, any quarterback
N.C. State is only five games into the season and the quarterback controversy could not be greater. Matt McKay, who started out the year at the top spot on the depth chart, has fallen from grace, both hard and fast and honestly is who knows where on the depth chart right now. Bailey Hockman currently sits in the top spot but was merely more than serviceable last week against Florida State and the fan base grassroots movement to start Devin Leary could not be louder. Quite the pickle for Dave Doeren if ask me.
Do I think that one of these three guys is head and shoulders better than the others? No, I don’t. Do I have a personal preference who should be the starter? No, I don’t. I don’t care who is the starter nor why but one of these three quarterbacks has to step up and take over this offense. Each one brings a unique skill set to the position, McKay’s ability to run, Hockman’s toughness and Leary’s passing ability, but someone, anyone, has to prove to the coaching staff that he is the guy to lead the offense.
N.C. State fans will be glued to their TV screens later today to see how Hockman performs and if/when Leary trots out on to the field. Who knows we may even see McKay again but Wolfpack fans don’t care who the starting quarterback is, they just want their thirst for a competent quarterback quenched, and quickly.
If it ain’t working change it
The Wolfpack have started out well in all five games this season but the issue is once their opponent makes adjustments State hasn’t always followed suit. The game plans appear to be static and do not evolve over the course of a game. The worst thing for a 3-2 team, which is still trying to find its identity, is to be predictable and vanilla when it comes to play calling. State fans are longing for a ‘fresh drink’ of offensive wrinkles and I sure hope the game plan delivers on that this evening.
Finally, the one thing that N.C. State fans won’t be thirsty for tonight is another drink. If you have been part of this fan base for longer than a year or two you know nothing, and I mean nothing, comes easy for this athletic program. I won’t remind of the many heartaches which have occurred over the past few years and cause you any more gray hairs but as any veteran Pack fan knows there will be something to drink about. All too often it has been due to a letdown or even an utter collapse but maybe, just maybe, tonight the drinks will be flowing in celebration of a victory over Syracuse.