WILLIAM & MARY at NC STATE
Teams representing the Colonial Athletic Association have fared well against ACC competition in recent years. The CAA isn’t quite as prolific against ACC opponents of late as they were circa 2008-2010 — a run that culminated in James Madison’s upset of Virginia Tech — but the league still poses a threat.
NC State draws William & Mary at an inopportune time. The Wolf Pack have pieces to be competitive in head coach Dave Doeren’s fourth season, but the first outing without quarterback Jacoby Brissett pits State against one of the better defenses in FCS, particularly against the pass.
ONLY 3 Thursday's until CB #3 @YoNoons and #TribeFootball are back in action! #RisingTribe #BirdGang pic.twitter.com/ErpoP1g8kL
— Tribe Football (@WMTribeFootball) August 11, 2016
The Tribe limited opponents to just 6.7 yards per attempt in 2015, one of the stingier yields in the subdivision, and intercepted the ninth-most total passes in the nation with 18.
William & Mary will have to get standout running back Kendell Anderson going against a solid and experienced NC State run defense. The Pack ranked 39th in FBS last year, giving up a respectable 147.5 yards per game, and return eight starters including Bradley Chubb.
Anderson ranked among the most productive rushers in FCS a season ago, though, and operates with a senior quarterback alongside him, Steve Cluley. Cluley is enough of a rushing threat to keep defenses off-balance.