Quarterback Brennan Armstrong will get his first chance to take advantage of a reunion with his old offensive coordinator when NC State faces UConn on Thursday in East Hartford, Conn., in the season opener for both teams.
Armstrong spent the last five seasons at Virginia, where offensive coordinator Robert Anae helped him to the best season of his career in 2021.
But Anae then left for Syracuse, and, after throwing for 4,449 yards with 31 touchdowns against 10 interceptions a season prior, Armstrong experienced a slide in 2022 (2,210 yards, seven TDs, 12 interceptions).
Now Armstrong and Anae are back together, and the duo is looking to do big things with the Wolfpack.
"He causes problems for a defense to look at and scout and whatever personnel we have, puts guys in positions to be successful," Armstrong said of Anae. "Those two things, most of the time you're going to have success if you do those two things, right?"
Despite having firepower under center, NC State still will likely lean on its defense, which never let an opponent score more than 30 points last season. The Huskies were one of the many victims to succumb to that unit, posting just 10 points in a 31-point loss on Sept. 24, 2022.
UConn is now looking to avenge that setback, and coach Jim Mora is hoping that fans will show up to the stadium in droves for his team's meeting with the Wolfpack.
"I want it freaking packed, because that means we're having success and that means people are excited about the program," Mora said. "But I just appreciate the people that are there."
Joseph Fagnano will start at quarterback for the Huskies. He spent the last four seasons at Maine, throwing for 5,655 yards with 46 TDs and 12 interceptions. Fagnano played three seasons under current Huskies' offensive coordinator Nick Charlton.
Thursday marks the fourth all-time meeting between the teams. NC State is a perfect 3-0 against UConn, which recorded its most wins since 2015 by going 6-7 last season.
The Wolfpack finished the 2022 campaign at 8-5 to record their third consecutive winning season.
—Field Level Media