RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The North Carolina State defense will face its stiffest challenge of the year so far when the Wolfpack hosts Texas Tech University on Saturday. The Red Raiders’ offense is averaging close to 50 points and 500 yards per game so far.
“They’re going to be a challenge for us, they’ll test everything we have,” NC State defensive coordinator Tony Gibson said.
Texas Tech is known for its high-powered, up-tempo offense. In its last game, a 33-30 upset win over No. 25 University of Houston, the Red Raiders’ offense ran an unheard of 109 plays.
The Wolfpack has depth on defense, but it will be challenged this weekend.
“It helps a lot this weekend,” Gibson said of the Wolfpack’s depth. “We’re going to have to play a lot of guys, anywhere from 22 to 25 guys are going to have to play.”
NC State is well fortified in the secondary where 10 players routinely rotate into the lineup. It’ll need each and every one of them against Texas Tech especially if the Red Raiders get rolling on first and second downs.
“That’s why you have to limit them on first down so you can slow down that tempo offense,” Wolfpack cornerback Aydan White said. “Make plays early in the drive to slow them down so (they won’t run) 100 plays, and instead cut it down to what we regularly do, like 60-70 plays.”
Just like in week one, the Wolfpack will once again face a quarterback capable of extending plays with his feet.
Red Raiders signal-caller Donovan Smith is not afraid to tuck the ball and take off. Smith had 20 rushing attempts against Houston, two more than the Red Raiders’ starting running back.
“You want to limit your pass rush moves and cage the quarterback,” Wolfpack defensive end Truvali Price said.
Gibson said the Wolfpack defense had its best Tuesday practice since he’s been at NC State. The reason why?
“Obviously watching their film, it got our attention,” Gibson said.