Georgia Southern changed coaches in the offseason but N.C. State coach Dave Doeren doesn't expect the Eagles to change their philosophy.
"They're a running football team," Doeren said. "They're doing a lot of the same option principles, just doing it out of spread formations."
Under Jeff Monken, a former assistant to Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson, the Eagles ran a staggering 626 times in 11 games last season, compared to only 102 pass attempts. Even Johnson's Yellow Jackets got off 203 passes in 13 games last season.
The Eagles averaged 360.4 rushing yards per game, the best at either Division I level.
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Monken left for Army after leading Georgia Southern to a 7-4 record, including a win at Florida. Willie Fritz, who was the coach at Sam Houston State, was hired to replace Monken.
The Bearkats were pretty run-heavy under Fritz, with 655 rushing attempts compared to 333 passes in 14 games.
Fritz inherits a veteran team at Georgia Southern with four returning starters on the offensive line and sophomore quarterback Kevin Ellison, who ran for 886 yards last season.
On the flip side, N.C. State could not stop the run with a net last season. The Wolfpack allowed 5.02 yards per carry (last in the ACC) and 180.2 yards per game (second-to-last in the ACC).
It's fair to say, freshmen linebackers Jerod Fernandez and Airius Moore will be tested often and early on Saturday.
In a perfect world, N.C. State probably opens with Presbyterian, which lost to Northern Illinois 55-3 on Thursday, instead of a very dangerous Georgia Southern team.
The Wolfpack will have to wait until Sept. 20 for the Blue Hose.