The North Carolina State Wolfpack struggled mightily in head coach Dave Doeren‘s first season at the helm, going winless in ACC play for the first time since 1959. Part of NC State’s difficulty was the utter futility their passing game. Doeren was never able to find a quarterback who could run the offense successfully, and so, in 2014, he will turn to Florida Gators transfer Jacoby Brissett.
Unlike last season, there is no doubt about who will be the starting quarterback for the Wolfpack. Brissett has the job locked up, thanks to his ability to excel both as a passer and a runner.
He looked sharp in the spring game and seemed to have developed chemistry with early-enrollee Bo Hines, who made 10 catches for 132 yards. Brissett will also have assistance from veteran receiver Bryan Underwood and sophomore Jumichael Ramos, who emerged as a target towards the end of his freshman season. In Ramos’ last three games, he made 11 catches for 168 yards and three touchdowns.
The Wolfpack were not far away from respectability last season, either. While their passing game was a disaster, they managed to hang close in most games. This season, a bowl game seems like a very reasonable expectation. The offense should be significantly better with Brissett running the show, and an easy out-of-conference schedule ensures at least three wins for the Wolfpack. They probably won’t give the Atlantic Division’s elite too much difficulty, but they should be able to find a few wins against the rest of the league.
Brissett will not be able to do it all himself, but he at least solves their biggest problem from a season ago. With their quarterback troubles behind them, Doeren’s squad is a safe bet to get back to the middle of the ACC pack in 2014.