NC State held its second live scrimmage of Spring Practice Saturday, and based on Tom O’Brien’s comments following the action, the Wolfpack is making “strides” on both sides of the ball. As expected, Mike Glennon has continued to impress throughout the spring and Saturday afternoon proved no different. Glennon completed 17 of 28 passes for 170 yards and tossed three touchdown passes. The other notable from Saturday’s scrimmage came by way of TJ Graham, who had become a forgotten man in theÂ receivingÂ corps. Graham hauled in six catches for 140 yards and scored three times.
Here’s the release from Sports Information.
The Wolfpack football squad held its second scrimmage of spring drills on Saturday in Carter-Finley Stadium. Â The first teams on offense and defense battled it out for 48 plays, while the second teams also competed against each other for 48 plays.
Quarterback Mike Glennon completed 17 of his 28 passes for the afternoon for a gain of 170 yards and threw three touchdowns – two while the team was working in the red zone. Â Daniel Imhoff completed six of his 14 attempts for 123 yards and two scores, with one coming during red zone work. Â Imhoff threw one interception, which Jordan Monk returned for a TD.
Wide receiver T.J. Graham had three touchdown catches during the workout, gaining 140 yards on six catches. Â â€œT.J. was as good as Iâ€™ve seen him today,â€ said head coach Tom Oâ€™Brien following the scrimmage. Â â€œI saw him go up and fight for balls and bring them down. Â Hopefully that will carry over.â€
Offensive coordinator Dana Bible called the plays during the scrimmage, his first time doing so since before he was diagnosed with leukemia in November. Â â€œWith Dana calling the plays, there was definitely more passing than when Coach Oâ€™Brien calls them,â€ Oâ€™Brien laughed.
That showed in the stats, as Owen Spencer had four catches for 24 yards and a score, while Darrell Davis had two for 23 yards and a TD. Â Jay Smith also had two grabs for a gain of 40 yards.
Defensively, Darryl Cato-Bishop had six stops, including 3.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. Â Natanu Mageo tallied nine tackles, including two behind the line of scrimmage, while Audie Cole had seven stops, 2.5 for loss and 1.5 sacks. Â Three of Brian Slayâ€™s total tackles came behind the line of scrimmage.
â€œI think we made some good strides today, â€œ Oâ€™Brien continued. Â â€œBut itâ€™s not enough yet. Â We have some young guys who are making steps forward and spring ball is all about individual improvement so thatâ€™s a positive. Â Last week we couldnâ€™t score in the red zone and today we had touchdown passes there. Â Itâ€™s the ying and yang of spring football. Â Now the defense has to step up.â€
As Spring Practice winds down and NC State prepares for the Kay Yow Spring Game this coming Saturday (4/17, 1 p.m.), here’s a few things to look for in Carter-Finley Stadium.
Offensive line progression
While many of players who will see action this Saturday and this season have played snaps before, there is certainly a new dynamic. Camden Wentz has taken over at center and will likely be the starter there, but it appears that every other spot is up in the air at this point. Jake Vermiglio will certainly earn a starting job, but where? A lot of that depends on RJ Mattes’ health in the fall along with the development of incoming freshman Rob Crisp, who is good enough to challenge for a spot. Saturday will be important to see how this group has developed and what kind of cohesion is there at this point. Keep an eye out for the offensive line battling against an inexperienced yet fiery defensive line.
Running back development
This is by far the biggest question on the offensive side of the ball regardless of what Russell Wilson decides to do after baseball season. Toney Baker and Jamelle Eugene are gone, and the three top guys coming into the Spring have 97 total carries combined. One of those, Brandan Barnes, is now out indefinitely after dislocating his ankle in the first scrimmage. Someone is going to have to come to the forefront by August or the running back by committee concept will be taken to a whole new level.
Overall play of the defense
There are questions all over, but the most important things to look for are the play of the defensive line and defensive secondary. The linebacking group, if it stays healthy, will be better without a doubt. Nate Irving moving to the middle helps, but Terrell Manning and Audi Cole have certainly continued to grow with more practice. The defensive line should be fine despite being inexperienced. The defensive secondary has to be better, you would think. All of the main contributors will be a year older and have another year of practice under their belt, so improvement is almost expected. Saturday should provide a telling look at what Wolfpack fans can expect from the 2010 defense.
Because the Spring Game usually falls during a time of year when the weather is absolutely beautiful, tailgating is always part of the festivities at Carter-Finley Stadium in mid-April. This year will be no different. There has been discussion of this on the forums, but we’re trying to guage the interest in having an SFN community tailgate prior to and following Saturday’s game. If you are interested, comment and give some suggestions at to where we could park in the same general area.