October 11, 2011
NC STATE FOOTBALL
Bona Jones (GoPack.com)
Program Spotlight: Curtis Underwood
Persistent. That’s the one word that defines Curtis Underwood’s football career at NC State. Now a fifth-year senior in 2011, that one word is paying off in a big way in his final season in Raleigh.
â€œThereâ€™s still a lot of work to be done, but (helping) the team is great,â€ said Underwood. â€œA lot of hard work is finally paying off.â€
To say Underwood had to put in a lot of hard work to get where he is now would not be an overstatement. Underwood began playing the game of football at age 10, when his grandfather, Mark Thomas, would sneak him out to practice. Underwoodâ€™s mother did not want him playing football because she thought he wasnâ€™t tough enough.
Thomas, however, thought otherwise. â€œHe signed me up and just told me I couldnâ€™t cry,â€ said Underwood. So began his football career.
As a high school athlete, Underwood, a native of Buffalo, N.Y., was one of the top running backs in the area. After he rushed for a school record 2,124 yards and 20 touchdowns at Lackawanna High School, his talent drew interest from many colleges across the county.
â€œWhen I started playing football, I was just playing for the love of the game,â€ said Underwood. â€œI got a look my freshman year, but didnâ€™t really think about college until my junior year. After I got a couple letters, I realized playing in college was a possibility. Thatâ€™s when I really started looking into it.â€
Boston College was the most persistent at recruiting Underwood, so he agreed to take an official visit. Underwoodâ€™s bags were packed and he was ready to head down to Chestnut Hill when he received word that the visit had been cancelled.
While he was initially discouraged, Underwood didnâ€™t have to wait long to find out that the reason his visit was cancelled was because head coach Tom Oâ€™Brien had left for NC State. Shortly after the transition, Underwood was brought down to Raleigh.
â€œI jumped off the plane and it was 60 degrees, and it was like 13 in Buffalo,â€ Underwood said. â€œI was like all right, check!â€ NC State won Underwood over, and he made his decision to sign with the Pack.
Amerson Named ACC Defensive Back of the Week
Matt Carter (TheWolfpacker.com)
Monday Morning Quarterbacking
Three things that worked:
1. Second half defense
The difference in this game was the Pack defense’s ability to slow down Central Michigan in the second half. The Chippewas went into the break with 254 yards of total offense and 11 first downs. They had just 173 yards in the second half, 77 of them on one play, and six first downs. The Pack also forced four second half interceptions and held Radcliff to just 4-of-15 passing.
2. Overall offense
This was a solid game for NC State’s offense. The Pack had 406 yards of offense with a nice balance in its attack. State rushed for 162 yards and threw for 244. NC State’s offensive line gave up just one sack and allowed one carry for a loss by the running backs. Glennon managed the game well, and the offense did not turn it over once. With the ACC lacking stellar defenses this year, the development of the Pack’s offense will go a long way into dictating the course of the rest of the season.
3. Running backs
A special shout out goes to the NC State running backs. For the second straight week they performed well. Junior James Washington went over 100 yards again with 109 yards on 25 carries and had a touchdown. He added five catches for 55 yards. His backup, redshirt freshman Tony Creecy, ran 16 times for 61 yards and caught two passes for 18 yards. Their success should start to create opportunities in the passing game.
Brett Friedlander (starnewsonline.com)
ACC REPORT CARD: Winning ugly leaves room for improvement
N.C. State, B-: Like the Tar Heels, the Wolfpack had some blemishes in its performance Saturday. But despite giving up 427 yards and 24 points to Mid-American Conference opponent Central Michigan, there were far more encouraging aspects to Stateâ€™s 38-24 win than the alternative. The biggest positive was the return of injured LB Terrell Manning and DT Bryan Slay. Manning was particularly effective with a sack and an interception in his first game back from arthroscopic knee surgery. CB David Amerson also had a pair of interceptions to give him a league-leading six for the season and earn ACC Defensive Back of the Week honors. The Wolfpack forced five turnovers in all. Offensively, QB Mike Glennon continued to show growth while throwing for 244 yards and four TDs without an interception while RB James Washington posted his second straight 100-yard rushing game and TE George Bryan caught a TD pass. Even the black uniforms and red helmets looked sharp (although I could have done without the pink numbers, good cause aside). With a week off to get even healthier and correct some lingering defensive mistakes, coach Tom Oâ€™Brienâ€™s team is still in a position to turn its season around. Now all it has to do is go out and do it.
Andrew Skwara (accsports.com)
ACC Football Power Rankings, Oct. 10
10. N.C. State (3-3, 0-2)
The good news is the Wolfpack finally beat an FBS team. The bad news is that it came against Central Michigan, which only has one win over an FBS foe itself. Cornerback David Amerson picked off two passes and now leads the nation with six interceptions.
Previous Ranking: No. 10
Upcoming Game: Oct. 22 at Virginia (3-2)
Jim Young (accsports.com)
Second Thoughts On The ACC Weekend, Oct. 10
Watch The Tom O’Brien TV Show
In this week’s episode, Head football coach Tom O’Brien breaks down the Central Michigan game with host Tony Haynes. Mark Thomas visits with defensive lineman J.R. Sweezy and previews the Pack’s bye week.
The ACCSports.com Podcast, Oct. 11
Joe Ovies, afternoon cohost on 99.9 The Fan in Raleigh, and Jim Young have returned with another edition of the ACCSports.com Podcast.
Among the topics they discussed:
â€¢ How should we interpret Gene DeFilippoâ€™s comments regarding TV and ACC expansion?
â€¢ Is the idea of ESPN/ACC collusion against the Big East really believable?
â€¢ Whatâ€™s wrong with FSU and was the media wrong to expect big things from the Seminoles?
â€¢ Did Jimbo Fisher make the right moves with his quarterbacks against Wake Forest?
â€¢ Can we draw any firm conclusions about UNC even the Tar Heels are off to a 5-1 start?
â€¢ Could N.C. State go on a second half run â€¦ and would that save Tom Oâ€™Brienâ€™s job?
â€¢ Is the benching of Danny Oâ€™Brien a sign that things are headed south at Maryland?
TCU accepts invitation to Big 12
Texas Christian accepted an invitation to join the Big 12 on Monday night, ignoring the conference’s recent instability and seizing an opportunity to be part of a league with natural geographic rivals.
Chancellor Victor Boschini Jr. made the expected announcement in front a packed room of more than 200 people, and athletics director Chris Del Conte fought back tears as he recalled receiving the phone call from the Horned Frogs’ new conference last week.
The move could provide much-needed stability for the Big 12, which lost Nebraska (Big Ten) and Colorado (Pac-12) during the summer and will lose Texas A&M to the SEC next year. Missouri also is exploring a move to the SEC.