From two dominant wins at home to an embarrassing showing on the road in Starkville, Mississippi it's been a wild up and down ride for the Wolfpack to start off the 2021 football season. Let's take a look at what the numbers say about the first three games of the season for the Pack.
The Wolfpack has scored exactly 100 points throughout its first three outings of the season. The Pack is averaging 33.3 points per game, which ranks 52nd in the nation.
The Wolfpack has rushed for 545 yards over the first three games, which is an average of 182 rush yards per game and is good for 47th in the nation. This is mostly thanks to the Pack’s one-two punch of sophomore Zonovan Knight and junior Ricky Person Jr. Knight and Person have combined for 463 of NC State’s 545 yards. Knight has rushed for 298 yards over the first three weeks on a very impressive 8.5 yards per carry. Knight’s 298 rushing yards rank 20th in the country for total rushing yards among running backs.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Devin Leary has been inconsistent to start the 2021 campaign. Leary’s 794 passing yards rank 31st in the country and he is averaging just 7.6 yards per completion. Further, the sophomore signal caller has 6 TDs to 2 INTs so far this season. However, Leary boasts an impressive 67.3% completion percentage, which ranks 33rd among all QBs in college football.
As for the team’s receiving corps, senior wideout Emeka Emezie leads the team in receiving yards with 186 yards through the first three weeks of the season. And while he hasn’t seen a significant share of targets, freshman receiver Porter Rooks leads the team in yards per reception with 22 on five catches.
NC State’s defense has been the bright spot of this year's team so far. The team is allowing an impressive 10.3 points per game, which is tied for No. 5 in the country through the first three games of the season. NC State has only allowed 31 points this season. The defense is holding teams to 72.7 rush yards per game and 261 pass yards per game, both of which rank in the top 15 among all teams.
Sophomore linebacker Drake Thomas leads the team in tackles with 25, tied for 47th in tackles per game among all defensive players. Thomas is also tied for the team lead in interceptions with one this season.
The defense has struggled to get to the quarterback this season, averaging less than a sack a game this year after averaging 2.7 sacks per game last season. Freshman defensive tackle Davin Vann and redshirt sophomore linebacker Payton Wilson are the only players to register a sack for NC State so far this season.
Junior kicker Christopher Dunn is 3 for 4 on field goal attempts this year which brings him to 75%. He is 100% on extra point attempts so far this season. Dunn provides consistency at a position the Pack has struggled to find consistency at in the past.
Junior punter Trenton Gill has punted 13 times this season, averaging just over 42 yards per punt. Gill’s longest punt this season is 57 yards, which ranks 57th among all college punters. Redshirt junior receiver Thayer Thomas is averaging 10 yards per return on punts this season, which ranks 40th in the country.