Monday Musings

NC STATE FOOTBALL

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Brett Friedlander (starnewsonline.com)
Southport’s Ferguson makes the most of his opportunity for Wolfpack

A.J. Ferguson was in such a zone Saturday night after his most extensive action as a college football player that he couldn’t even remember how many sacks he had in N.C. State’s 31-7 win against South Alabama.

“Before the game I said I had to get a sack, because I had to catch up with everybody else,” the defensive tackle from South Brunswick High said. “And I got that.”

When told that he’d actually been credited with two sacks, he had to be shown the postgame stat sheet before he believed it. “I thought I only had one,” he said. “That’s pretty cool.”

Ferguson’s focus – and his excitement – are entirely understandable.

After enduring a knee injury last season and an academic issue that forced him to miss the first week of this year’s preseason camp, simply getting back onto the field in a game was an accomplishment in itself.

The 6-foot-3, 281-pound junior continued to work hard even after he was dropped from the Wolfpack’s depth chart, and impressed coach Tom O’Brien and his staff enough to be put back into the team’s defensive line rotation.

Brett Friedlander (starnewsonline.com)
FIFTH QUARTER: FSU flexes its muscle while rest of the league shrinks

5 POSITIVE

5. Stingy Pack: N.C. State’s defense took a beating in a season-opening loss to Tennessee, but it has been solid in the two games since – combining to allow an average of just 43 rushing yards and seven points in wins against UConn and South Alabama. The Wolfpack also intercepted five passes in those games while allowing the opposition to convert just 6 of 33 third- and fourth-down opportunities.

5 NEGATIVES
3. Moose corralled, again:
About an hour before kickoff Saturday, N.C. State announced that its leading rusher Mustafa Greene had been suspended for its game against South Alabama. It was the third suspension since last summer for the sophomore RB, who has played in just two games since 2010. No explanation was given, but coach Tom O’Brien did say afterwards that Greene is still a member of the team.

Brett Friedlander (starnewsonline.com)
Wolfpack uses rare breather to make necessary improvements

Unless you had N.C. State and the 30½ points, the final score really didn’t matter much Saturday.

Once the Wolfpack got off the a flying start and opened up a workable lead on overmatched South Alabama, the objective of its home opener was more about execution and improvement than the numbers on the scoreboard.

In many ways, it was like an NFL exhibition game – which given the meat grinder coach Tom O’Brien and his team went through during the first two weeks of the season, must have seemed like a welcome relief.

For the record, State got four first half touchdowns from four different players before cruising through the final 30 minutes to a 31-7 victory at Carter-Finley Stadium.

Considering the outcome and the fact that everyone wearing red and white walked off the field under their own power with no major injuries, the Wolfpack (2-1) accomplished everything it needed to on this picture-perfect late-summer evening.

Derek Medlin (PackPride.com)
Locker Room Report: Tom O’Brien

“All in all, satisfied with the victory. I like the way we started the game, I like the way we played for three quarters. I wasn’t really excited about the fourth quarter, but we tried to get some guys in the game that hand’t been in get them some playing time. We gave up a score and a big play and stuff we can’t do. It’s a victory, so we’ll move on and get ready to play Citadel.”

“Mike was able to throw the ball. We did a better job of protecting him, we did a better job of running routes and people were where they were supposed to be. We had better timing, which is something we worked on all week. He got off to a good start. We thought we had a chance to get the ball over their head like we did the one time to Underwood, so that was a big play in the game to get up 14.”

“Bryan Underwood is almost back to full speed now, so that’s good for us. Getting healthy.”

Sammy Batten (FayObserver.com)
Wolfpack finds offensive rhythm in 31-7 win over South Alabama

Under the microscope

In case you missed it, Glennon was intercepted four times in a 35-21 opening setback against the Volunteers. He and his offensive mates were almost as bad last week in pulling out a 10-7 win against the Huskies.

Those performances weren’t exactly what folks were expecting from Glennon after he rose to the occasion last year in the wake of Russell Wilson’s controversial departure to lead N.C. State to an 8-5 finish and bowl victory. Nor was it considered an acceptable start for an offensive unit returning eight starters and abundance of talent.

But let’s face it – Glennon, despite his comments to the contrary, is under pressure this season; maybe even more pressure than he faced in replacing Wilson last year. Nobody knew what Glennon was capable of a year ago, so every success he achieved was celebrated as significant. Now, every mistake he makes and each failure by the offense is magnified and dissected.

So, getting himself and the offense back on track needed to happen sooner rather than later to ease that scrutiny.

“We talked about the mistakes we made in the Tennessee and UConn games, we don’t want to make them twice,” Glennon said. “We wanted to learn from our mistakes and I think today there was a lot of evidence out there that we’re starting to do that.”

The Wolfpack certainly took an important step forward Saturday against South Alabama. Glennon completed 24 of 34 passes for 257 yards and three touchdowns before giving way to true freshman Manny Stocker late in the game. The Wolfpack piled up 384 yards of offense, averaged five yards per play and didn’t commit a single turnover.

But despite the obvious improvement, there is still much to do before N.C. State is ready to jump into Atlantic Coast Conference play Sept. 29 against Miami.

PackPride.com
BOX SCORE: NC State 31, South Alabama 7

Associated Press
NC State Rolls Past South Alabama 31-7

Matt Carter (TheWolfpacker.com)
Postgame Headlines

Akula Wolf (BackingthePack.com)
South Alabama Vs. NC State Media Roundup

MULTIMEDIA/PODCASTS

microphone

WRALSportsfan.com
O’Brien: We still have some things to work on

NC State coach Tom O’Brien talks about his team’s defensive effort against South Alabama, and Mustafa Greene’s suspension

WRALSportsfan.com
Glennon: We cut down our mistakes

Mike Glennon says avoiding mistakes was a key for his team against South Alabama

WRALSportsfan.com
McGill: That’s what we’re supposed to do

NC State defensive lineman T.Y. McGill talks about shutting down South Alabama

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 Monday Musings

  1. JohnGalt78 09/17/2012 at 7:15 AM #

    Great to be a STATE fan on this Monday!

    We won Saturday
    Cheaters lost
    Rivers wins
    Wilson wins
    Panthers win
    Gott lands superstar recruit

    Sweetness!

  2. tuckerdorm1983 09/17/2012 at 8:05 AM #

    Andre Brown runs in a touchdown for the Giants. You left that out

    http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/09/running_back_andre_brown_stepp.html

  3. JSRy2k 09/17/2012 at 9:16 AM #

    Good:
    - continued strong defense
    - good numbers for Glennon
    Bad:
    - surrendered 10 TFL to South Alabama
    - color commentator, who had blocked for Charlie Ward @ FSU, was all over Tyson Chandler for poor technique during the 1st half action I watched

  4. JSRy2k 09/17/2012 at 9:17 AM #

    Does anybody else think Glennon has a tendency to hold onto the football too long?

  5. sequoyah 09/17/2012 at 9:20 AM #

    and other headlines from gopack.com

    Albin Choi smacks down the field & wins the Tar Heel Intercollegiate by 6 strokes

    Volleyball victorious over Ohio, stands at 11-1 on the season

    M & W Cross Country sweeps the adidas invitational, beating UNC, ECU, et al.

  6. DC_wolf 09/17/2012 at 9:49 AM #

    Sir Jigawatts, thank you for another tremendous rundown. Who needs espn.go when all my Wolfpack-related info can be found here?

    After a convincing win against the USA (Jaguars) in football there isn’t much to complain about… maybe. The defense put forth another sterling effort and almost pitched a shutout until the final 5 minutes. The offense, however, produced a couple of stats that may be worth considering: 127 rushing yards on forty three attempts for a 2.9 avg. (up from last week’s 1.3), and another 3 sacks of Glennon (9 altogether the last 2 weeks – stay healthy Manny) so yeah, he may have a tendency to hold onto the football too long. Another nugget is that the Pack controlled the ball for 2/3 of the 2nd half (20 minutes) and came away with only 3 points. I sound like I’m nit-picking but against a team only in its 1st full FBS season, & only in existence for 4 years, it’s worth considering.

  7. rtpack24 09/17/2012 at 10:16 AM #

    We burn Stocker’s redshirt year and then we do not let him throw the ball, I do not understand this.

  8. Prowling Woofie 09/17/2012 at 11:42 AM #

    Stocker got one opportunity to throw, and he was the one thrown…for a sack !

  9. TeufelWolf 09/17/2012 at 11:45 AM #

    Andre Brown! I’ll celebrate his coming out this week but am going to have to pull against him on Thursday. GO PANTHERS!

  10. VaWolf82 09/17/2012 at 3:36 PM #

    Side Swipe Comment:

    I was flying home yesterday and had a two-hour layover in Charlotte. In the Fox Sports Restaurant on the E-concourse, they had a scoring update strip running under the bank of TVs I was watching. Along with baseball, they ran a selective set of college scores from Sat on that strip. Their selection included SC State and South Carolina, but did not include any school from NC OR any school from the ACC.

    Why they thought that anyone cared about SC State losing 56-0 to Arizona remains a mystery.

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