Wednesday Woolgathering

October 26, 2011


ncsu helmet
Cole Named Semifinalist for Butkus Award

NC State linebacker Audie Cole was named a semifinalist for the 2011 Butkus Award today. The Butkus Award, in its 27th year, is annually given to the nation’s top linebacker.

Jacey Zembal (
Steven Howard pushing hard, already has degree

Howard knows the Wolfpack have to win three out of the next five games to reach a bowl game for the third time in his career. NCSU plays at Florida State at 12 p.m. Saturday.

“Every day in practice, I’m just giving it all I got,” Howard said. “I’m leaving it out all out for my boys on the game field since it is my last year.”

Howard, and senior starters Jay Smith and T.J. Graham, have been working together for four years, and in the case of Howard and Smith, five years.

“We are all close, even with the freshmen,” Howard said. “We are a unit and like brothers and hang out. I just tell the younger guys to keep working hard. When they struggle or line up wrong, we try to help them. We don’t haze or anything. When we leave, we feel they can take over our spots and take over.”

Ryan Tice (
Mike Archer: Saturday was our best performance

A lot of teams say they want to create turnovers, but with your scheme, is that something that you really have to do?

When you play as much zone as we do, yeah, you should create more turnovers than a team that plays a lot of man. When you’re playing man, you have your back turned to the ball a lot, you’re not going to see things. When you’re playing zone, you’re going to see tipped balls, you’re going to get balls batted up in the air. You hope that you have a higher ratio of turnovers. Having played in the NFL, where you play a lot of man, sometimes it doesn’t work that way – sometimes you’ll get a ball tipped, but there’s nobody there because everybody has their back turned. It’s something we’ve talked about. We did a good job of it last year but if you don’t talk about it and you don’t drill it and rep it, it doesn’t mean anything to them. We do it every Sunday, we have a turnover period where we take five minutes and rotate different things that we do – we intercept balls, we strip balls, we try to scoop and score. As long as they know what we’re trying to get accomplished and it gets back to the same thing – when you have success doing it, like Saturday, after David intercepted that pass, our guys on the sideline said, ‘well, that’s what you’re supposed to do.’

How much does playing zone help you against a running quarterback?

When you got a guy that can move around and you turn your back, it’s not good. Scrambling quarterbacks will kill you in that respect and this guy, in particular, [FSU quarterback] E.J. [Manuel], if he sees you in man coverage or man-under and you turn your back, he’s taking off and running. He’s a 240-pound guy that looks like Cam Newton running the ball.

N.C. State graduation rates lag

N.C. State ranks last in the ACC in graduation rates as configured by the NCAA and the federal government.

The NCAA released the data, which measures the six-year graduation rate of all its member schools, on Tuesday. The national NCAA rate eclipsed 80 percent for the first time and showed that athletes who enrolled in 2004 graduated at a better rate than the general student population.

Duke and Boston College shared the lead among the 12 ACC schools with a graduation success rate of 97 percent, followed by Wake Forest (94) and Virginia Tech (91). North Carolina had a GSR of 88 percent.

At 74 percent, N.C. State ranked last in the NCAA-calculated metric, which does not penalize schools for athletes who transfer or leave school in good academic standing.

N.C. State’s federal graduation rate was also last in the ACC at 54 percent – the only school in the league under 60 percent. The federal rate was also released by the NCAA on Tuesday.


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Brett Friedlander (
ACC REPORT CARD: A’s are hard to come by

Florida State, A: The Seminoles seem to have gotten their mojo back after a disastrous three-game losing streak. QB E.J. Manuel is back and healthy again after a shoulder injury and freshman RB Devonta Freeman has helped soften the blow of Chris Thompson’s injury by gaining 100-plus yards in each of his last two games. On the other side of the ball LB Nigel Bradham and the defense made life miserable for Maryland’s C.J. Brown, holding him to zero net yards on 10 carries before knocking him out of the game in the third quarter. Brown had rushed for286 yards in his two previous games combined. About the only real downer for FSU is that PK Dustin Hopkins had his string of consecutive FGs broken at 17. But he did make two to help his team to the easy victory. Before getting too excited about the Seminoles’ resurgence, though, it must be noted that their most recent victories against Duke and Maryland – both by identical 41-16 scores – have come against two of the ACC’s worst teams and that Jimbo Fisher’s team still has yet to beat an opponent with a winning record this season.

N.C. State, B: Things didn’t start out well with WR T.J. Graham being held out of the first half for disciplinary reasons and WR Tobias Palmer suffering a concussion in pregame warmups. There were also a lot of dropped passes, a blocked FG, two interceptions and some missed opportunities early. But to the Wolfpack’s credit, it kept on plugging. And thanks to a seemingly rejuvenated defense that stuffed the Cavaliers’ power running game and forced four turnovers – including a pair of interceptions by CB David Amerson – State was able to walk away with a 28-14 victory it absolutely, positively had to have to keep its bowl hopes alive. QB Mike Glennon had another big game with231 yards and three TDs while freshman WR Bryan Underwood took advantage of the misfortune of Graham and Palmer to catch two long TD passes. The win, by the way, was State’s first in Charlottesville since 1994.


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Associated Press
Gottfried Begins Work Reshaping Wolfpack

New North Carolina State coach Mark Gottfried isn’t letting anything slide in his first season, whether it’s players arriving late to study hall or not showing the competitive fight he wants to see in practice.

After five underachieving years, Gottfried wants to change more than just the style of play for the Wolfpack.

“I think it’s kind of become a fashionable thing to say when coaches say, ‘We need to change the culture,’” Gottfried said. “I do think that’s kind of where we are, and what I mean is when you start to define culture, it means how hard we’re going to work every day, how well do we pay attention to detail. how much we want to compete and when the going gets tough, how do we respond to that?

“I’ve seen it early in our practices already where either an individual or groups, it may not be going their way and the first reaction is to point a finger. Those are things that have to change.”


That meant making sure players knew it was unacceptable when they arrived 20 minutes late for study hall or for weightlifting sessions shortly after Gottfried’s arrival in the spring. It meant forcing his players to increase their competitiveness by matching them up 1-on-1 in drills that end when a player scores or the other gets the defensive rebound.

As Leslie pointed out, Gottfried “don’t like softies.”

Akula Wolf (
Mark Gottfried Demands NC State’s Culture Do Crunches

Mark Gottfried is a first-year coach, which means all kinds of talk about fixing things so they’re less broken, maybe taking this lamp here and putting it over there on that end table, just to see how it hits the eyes. There’s one thing that cannot be tolerated, though, and that’s the c-word and … oh no, you’ve gone and done it, haven’t you?


unc fallout

Barry Jacobs (
Painful Reminders Of McGuire

The tall tale that hits closer to home figures to surface around Oct. 28, when North Carolina officials are called on the NCAA carpet to answer for improprieties related to the Tar Heel football program under head coach Butch Davis.

That’s when the notion is sure to resurface that the school’s only previous probation was a result of the point-shaving scandal that touched two Tar Heels and engulfed college basketball in 1960.
Which is simply not true.

Alternately, we’ll hear Frank McGuire was persecuted, a favorite personal theme from a coach who led three different schools onto probation. As Whitey Kelly wrote in the August 4, 1961 Charlotte Observer after McGuire stepped aside in favor of assistant coach Dean Smith, “He always blamed his troubles on someone else.”


The Podcast, Oct. 25

Joe Ovies, afternoon cohost on 99.9 The Fan in Raleigh, and Jim Young have returned with another edition of the Podcast.

Among the topics they discussed:
• Is it too early to talk about where Clemson fits in the BCS title game picture?
• Why is UNC regressing as the season goes along and would having Butch Davis now really help?
• What’s happened to Georgia Tech’s offense?
• How good could Mike Glennon be if his receivers were catching his passes?
• Why are FSU fans still made about the Greg Reid fair catch call?

About 1.21 Jigawatts

Class of '98, Mechanical Engineer, State fan since arriving on campus and it's been a painful ride ever since. I live by the Law of NC State Fandom, "For every Elation there is an equal and opposite Frustration."

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10 Responses to Wednesday Woolgathering

  1. tuckerdorm1983 10/26/2011 at 6:51 AM #

    is it friday yet???

  2. Ed89 10/26/2011 at 8:24 AM #

    Graduation rates is always a weird metric to me. What does that say that 97% of Duke and BC’s athletes graduate? While I don’t mean to say it should be 40%, having a high number just tells me these athletes are not pushed. I wonder if schools try to use it against us…I’m thinking the answer would be, “yes.” They could easily say, “See, here at BC, we’ll ensure you graduate. At NC State, they don’t care, and will let you leave without your degree.”

    Anyway, I’m ready for Saturday. We’re 19.5 point underdogs to FSU. That seems high to me…

  3. DRW 10/26/2011 at 10:02 AM #

    So, we’re mediocre at best on the court and the field AND we don’t graduate our players. What a great combination!!!

  4. packalum44 10/26/2011 at 10:13 AM #

    So Tom sucks at coaching and graduating his players? What is he good at?

  5. blpack 10/26/2011 at 10:24 AM #

    I tend to put a little more stock in private school vs. public school numbers, but these seem artificially high. Are the kids really learning? How many hours does it take to get a degree? Are they being prepared for life after college?

  6. wolfbuff 10/26/2011 at 10:31 AM #

    That’s just embarrassing – and highly disappointing. Like the previous poster says, we’re not winning OR graduating players! Not that I want to do one or the other. I think there is a way to do both, and do it cleanly and honestly. The numbers will always be subject to scrutiny, what with grade inflation (especially by the private schools), differences in curricula, self-study Swahili courses, etc. But as long as it’s measured the same way, our relative numbers are an embarrassment. Also, is this number or the APR what drives TOB’s bonuses? Either way, the Frau needs to make this a focus.

    On the UNCheat front, that is a good article that dispells so much of the smoke and mirrors Chapel Hill has used over the years. The Carolina Way is nothing but a facade, a veneer one at that. One doesn’t have to look too deeply to see the truth. It’s just that not many in the media ever cared to look.

  7. Pack85EE 10/26/2011 at 11:07 AM #

    What’s in common with the schools with the best rates and worst rates. Liberal arts verses Engineering
    A couple of guys I worked with went to Carolina first before going to State in engineering. One went to Carolina two years, the other graduated from UNC. They both stated their classes at UNC was no where near as hard as State.
    I do think NCSU, for athletes and non atheletes, should do a better job of helping struggling students but they should not dumb down the curriculum.

  8. ncsu1987 10/26/2011 at 12:34 PM #

    ^this. The real issue is the eventual impact of poor education. If I major in history and get a poor education, then when I teach the subject, someone could be horribly misinformed. If I’m an engineer and I make a mistake, someone could die. All a matter of perspective. In both cases, there should be checks and balances, but it really does matter. In general, engineering schools and service academies do not inflate grades, at least not anywhere near what you’ll see at liberal arts schools.

  9. NCSU84 10/26/2011 at 2:44 PM #

    Pack85EE, maybe you are correct in that measuring liberal arts schools vs. technical schools is like comparing apples to oranges. However, how do you explain GA Tech, VA Tech, and Clemson (all technical) doing so much better than us – on and off the field? Just asking.

  10. Pack85EE 10/26/2011 at 4:50 PM #

    Uhhh, we suck?

    What can I say, we were last for all students but not so far behind the other engineering schools. But for athletes, yea it looks bad.

    I think the two coaches we have in BB and FB will help raise the numbers given time. I know many here want to make a change already at FB. I’m not sure we could do better.

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