UNC @ NC State, Sept. 24
2004 RECORD: 5-6 overall, 3-5 ACC (T-8th).
HEAD COACH: Chuck Amato, 39-23 overall in five seasons at N.C. State.
KEY ADDITIONS: RB Toney Baker, DE Quentin Brown, OL Curtis Crouch, WR J.C. Neal, WR Levin Neal.
KEY LOSSES: RB T.A. McLendon, WR Richard Washington, OT Chris Colmer, LB Pat Thomas, SS Andre Maddox, CB Lamont Reid.
OFFENSE: The offense is under the new guidance of coordinator Marc Trestman, who has installed the West Coast offense. While it appears Jay Davis, who threw 15 interceptions and 12 touchdowns last year, will be the starting quarterback in the new offense, the success of it will revolve around the second-best group of rushers in the ACC. Reggie Davis and Bobby Washington could be stars. There’s also incoming high school All-American Toney Baker and N.C. High School Player of the year Andre Brown. If Davis can adapt to the offense and cut down on his picks, the Pack could make a charge to the top.
DEFENSE: Defensive ends Mario Williams and Manny Lawson, as well as linebacker Oliver Hoyte and cornerback Marcus Hudson are all studs. The line is the best in the ACC with all four starters returning from last season, and is without question one of the best in the entire country. The biggest question for the Pack is the secondary, which returns only one starter. If it can hold it’s own, the defense will once again be as stingy as there is.
BY THE NUMBERS: 221.4 – Number of yards the Wolfpack allowed per game last year to lead the nation in total defense. Of course, playing in the weak offensive ACC didn’t hurt.
WHAT TO WATCH: If Davis can handle the duties in the new offense and whether he finds a “go-to” receiver, which appears to be lacking.
DE Manny Lawson
Head coach Chuck Amato
QB Jay Davis