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On The Eve Of The 2010 Wolfpack Football Season, A Few Things To Ponder

September 3, 2010
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It’s almost here. Just about a day and change before State kicks off the 2010 season. Here are a few things to consider as Saturday afternoon approaches:

  1. Try not to read too much into the first game. Everyone will tell you at the end of the season that “I saw ______ in that Western Carolina game, and I knew right then we’d suck/kick ass/be average.” Hindsight is always 20/20. We could crush WCU 65-0 and still come to find out down the road we have issues on the offensive line, at tailback or possibly every position on defense. About the only thing we’d stand to know for sure after tomorrow would come from a loss to WCU, and it wouldn’t be good. There’s no way I see that happening, however.
  2. Pay attention to the kicking game. While it may be tough to judge the effectiveness of our offense and defense against lower-tier competition, the efficacy of place kicking and punting are (relatively) independent of the other team’s skill level. How they perform Saturday will be close to how we could expect them to against better competition.We’ve heard news that Jeff Ruiz has improved the distance on his punts, and Josh Czajkowski has hopefully added some distance to compliment his field goal accuracy. But the big question will be if Czajkowski has improved the distance on his kickoffs. Field position has been a real killer for State recently, especially last season when opposing teams were starting beyond their 37. If he struggles to get the ball to the goal line, we could see him yield the job to freshman Chris Hawthorne, a strong-legged freshman from nearby Leesville Rd. High.
  3. Keep your eyes peeled on the true freshmen that will likely play significant minutes. Most notably OL Robert Crisp and RB Mustafa Greene. Those two could play key roles in State’s offensive output Saturday. Also listen out for David Amerson’s name when the Pack’s on defense. He could be a key factor in whether State’s secondary improves from last season.
  4. Pray for health. Seriously.
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