2012 report cards: NC State


OFFENSE: Turnovers. For all of quarterback Mike Glennon's attributes, there were far too many costly interceptions, as he threw three in the loss to Virginia, three in the loss to Vanderbilt, and two in the loss to rival North Carolina. Overall, Glennon threw 31 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. NC State was tied for No. 99 in the country in turnover margin, and was tied at 113 in the country with 33 turnovers lost. It was also another season in which the running game was nonexistent, ranking No. 108 in the country. The offensive line was supposed to be a strength, as it was a veteran group, but injuries forced a patchwork lineup for most of the season. NC State tied for No. 106 in the country in sacks allowed with 106. You don’t think that had a bit of an effect on some of those interceptions? There was plenty of blame to go around. Grade: D

DEFENSE: NC State should get two grades here: One for its home game defense (A), and one for its road game defense (F). During the regular season, the Pack held its opponents to just 14.3 points in six home games. On the road? NC State allowed an average of 34.8 points. The truth always lies somewhere in between. One of NC State’s biggest strengths was its third-down defense, which entered the bowl game leading the nation (27.2 percent) and finished second in the country (26.77). The defense played lights out against Florida State, but much like the team, the Wolfpack’s defense was impossible to predict. In its seven wins, NC State allowed the opposition to gain just 298.7 yards per game. In its five regular season losses, that total was almost 300 yards higher -- 589.0. It was too inconsistent to score high. Grade: C+

OVERALL: NC State’s upset of then-No. 3 ranked Florida State changed the complexion of the entire season, as it impacted the ACC’s best shot at a national title contender and skewed the perception of the Seminoles. That win resonated throughout the rankings and the standings all season, but in the end, it did far more to haunt FSU than it did boost NC State. Once again, the program was unable to parlay a signature victory into anything meaningful in the ACC race. Instead, NC State continued its puzzling personality and lost two weeks later in embarrassing fashion to Virginia, 33-6, at home. Despite a 7-5 finish, coach Tom O’Brien was fired and Dave Doeren was hired from Northern Illinois to replace him. Offensive coordinator Dana Bible coached the team on an interim basis against Vanderbilt in the Music City Bowl, a poor performance by the Pack. It was an average season by an average program with one unforgettable win in an otherwise forgettable season. Grade: C-

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