Eric Russell

Creecy Says N.C. State's Chemistry Problems Fixed

Created on Jul. 21, 2014 5:58 AM EST

There was the game against Syracuse in which North Carolina State had the ball with more than nine minutes left and the game tied at 10. It ended with the Orange scoring 14 unanswered points.

Then, there were the struggles against Wake Forest and North Carolina in which the Wolfpack were shut out in the fourth quarter of games within reach. Lest we forget the 21-point onslaught Duke went on in the teams' Nov. 9 game.

If N.C. State wants to compete in the tough Atlantic Division those outcomes won't be acceptable. After going 3-9 in 2013, senior running back Tony Creecy knows that. He hopes to lead the way in the turnaround.

"I want to be a better leader. This past year I had no choice but to be that," Creecy said of the poor finish, which he credits with sharpening his leadership skills. "We were 3-9. Anyone can be a leader when it’s sunny and 78 degrees outside. It takes a real person to be that leader when it's 45 degrees outside and it's snowing. That's the type of season we had."

Creecy and the Wolfpack will have an uphill climb in a division that features Florida State, Clemson and Louisville — which makes his assertion that more players are buying into Dave Doeren's system in the coach’s second year even more critical.

"To be completely honest, we haven't looked back on it," he said. We went 3-9. The only place we can go is up. What we have looked at is the seven games we were in, in the fourth quarter, that we just could not finish. We believe we couldn't finish because we didn't have the camaraderie, we didn't have the chemistry, we didn’t have the stuff that we needed to finish those games."

It took more than just the coaching staff and players to figure out the problem. The solution came in the form of outside help. The team recently participated in a program which they used military tactics to help the Wolfpack get closer as a team. Creecy said it even helped them get mentally and physically stronger.

2014 N.C. State Wolfpack Prediction:

A bowl berth, but a middle of the pack ACC finish.

Tony Creecy and the running game will be a strong point. The chemistry issues may be fixed, but that doesn't make N.C. State's schedule any easier. A 4-0 start is well within reach. But, the down side for N.C. State is the fact that three of its first four ACC games are against Florida State, Clemson and Louisville. That is one heck of a way to test the ability to finish out games.

A mark of 7-5 is a realistic goal for the Wolfpack and would not be a terrible finish for the team coming off of a 3-9 year, obviously.

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