Tuesday Tidbits


ncsu helmet

Program Spotlight: Brandon Barnes

Not only does senior Brandon Barnes serve as a running back for the NC State football team, but he also serves as the barber for some of the guys on the team as well.

A native of Bunn, N.C., Barnes started cutting his own hair while he was a senior in high school after his older brother left for college and could no longer cut his hair.

“Most of the guys in our family, we cut our own hair,” Barnes said. “My dad cut my hair when I was growing up, then one of my older brothers started cutting his own hair and got good at it so he started cutting mine too.”

He excelled at many different positions in high school including cornerback, running back, safety, and wide receiver. During his senior year, his focus was narrowed as he played only running back and safety.

Barnes began playing football in the seventh grade, after giving up on his basketball career when he realized that he had stopped growing. His original dreams of being a star in basketball were left hanging in the balance as he decided to charter on a new path.

Ironically, he was put in the game at the running back position, handed the ball and told to run. He scored a touchdown in his first ever game, due to his lightning quick speed and has been playing running back ever since.

Pair of Game Times Announced

NC State wrapped up its non-conference schedule, and will not play eight straight ACC games. The Pack starts its conference slate this Saturday at Miami, the game will be at noon on ESPNU. The following weekend, NC State hosts Florida State. That game will be at 8 p.m. on either ABC or ESPN2.

Matt Carter (TheWolfpacker.com)
Monday morning quarterbacking

Three things that worked:

1. Debuting Thornton

No doubt that the talk after the game was about Thornton, who made a splashy debut. Thornton finished with 21 carries for 145 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught four passes for 26 yards. Part of his success certainly came from the mismatch along the lines, but Thornton’s vision and running abilities were impressive.

2. Overall offense

Thornton though was not the only impressive aspect of the offense. The unit shined with 515 total yards. Glennon completed 19 of 24 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown, and most importantly did not turn the ball over. The offensive line protected Glennon and opened holes for the running backs. State was an impressive 11 of 14 converting third downs.

3. Holding The Citadel in check

Wolfpack head coach Tom O’Brien seemed most impressed with the defense after the game, and for good reason. The Pack held the Bulldogs option attack to just 226 total yards, and only 199 on the ground. If you take out the 65-yard touchdown run, The Citadel rushed 40 times for just 134 yards.

Ryan Tice (TheWolfpacker.com)
Shadrach Thornton starts career on fire

Before kickoff of The Citadel and NC State contest on Saturday night, most fans inside of Carter-Finley Stadium probably did not know who Shadrach Thornton was. By the end of the first quarter, though, everybody in the stands knew the true freshman running back’s name. After getting the start, Thornton rushed nine times for 61 yards and two scores in the opening frame.

The rookie from Hinesville, Ga., finished the contest with 21 rushes for 145 yards and two touchdowns, and he was equally impressive with the media following the contest. He held court on the staircase of the Murphy Center lobby, standing high above the swarm of reporters and television cameras, and talked for nine-and-a-half minutes – more than a full minute longer than the length of coach Tom O’Brien’s question and answer session. Never once did Thornton look or sound like a 19-year-old doing this for the first time, and his off-the-field poise matched his effort on the field.

Depth Chart: NC State vs. Miami


• Sophomore Tony Creecy is now listed as the starter at tailback. He is backed up by true freshman Shadrach Thornton.

Joe Giglio (N&O)
Pack running back Creecy expected to return

CB WILSON ELIGIBLE TO RETURN: Senior cornerback C.J. Wilson will make his season debut on Saturday against the Hurricanes after serving a four-game academic suspension from the NCAA.

Wilson, who graduated last December, did not complete enough credit hours during the spring semester. He will be used in nickel situations, with corner Dontae Johnson moving inside, O’Brien said Monday.

Wilson, a three-year starter, has remained upbeat throughout the suspension, O’Brien said, helping with the scout team for the past four weeks.

“He has done everything we have asked of him, and now it’s his time to hopefully help us win football games,” O’Brien said.

Safety Brandan Bishop said Wilson is happy to have the suspension behind him.

“I know he’s pumped up and he’ll be ready to go,” Bishop said. “He has been staying focused and working hard and he’ll be fine. He’ll be good for us this week.”

PC: Bishop, Carter Meet The Media

Mario Carter

“I expect the best of my teammates. I hold them accountable, like coach O’Brien says, hold the person to the left, your right, in front of you and behind you accountable. I expected him to have the great game that he had the other night.”

O’Brien: “We’ve Made Strides”

After having a chance to reflect, how would you describe Military Appreciation Day at Carter-Finley Stadium?

“We get better every year doing the military appreciation day, it seems like there are more and more thing, and the administration did a great job.

“I asked Earl (Wolff) if he knew his mother was going to be coming, and I guess his mother told him. He said it was a good thing because he said ‘I started to tear up anyway, I would have been a basket case if I didn’t know it.’ I thought that was particularly touching, and anything we can do to support the men and women of the armed services, we should do it, especially in this state, where you have such a presence.”

When you look back at the film, how did Shadrach Thornton do at the other things besides running the football? The blocking, receptions, etc.

“He really didn’t miss anything, he was headed in the right direction, ran the right routes and did what he was supposed to do, which is good. With most kids, you hope that after his first experience that he’ll be better this week and more prepared to do things. This defense will pressure us a lot more than we saw on Saturday.

“He’s a tough kid from the first day of camp, we’ve always done pass protections with running backs against linebackers. He wasn’t afraid. He’s not afraid to go block somebody, we just have to make sure he goes to the right guy, because he’s going to have to pick up somebody in pass protection this week.”

ncsu bball logo

Primetime With The Pack To Be Part Of ESPNU’s Midnight Madness Coverage

NC State’s inaugural “Primetime With The Pack” basketball tip-off celebration event, set for Friday, Oct. 12, will be one of 14 program’s featured on ESPNU’s four hours of Midnight Madness coverage. It will be one of seven to have its festivities broadcast live in its entirety on ESPN3.

Sam Gore and former college coach Bruce Pearl will provide on-site analysis of the evening’s events and highlights will be featured on ESPNU’s whip-around coverage of midnight madness, which is in its seventh year.

Brett Friedlander (starnewsonline.com)
N.C. State, UNC to be featured on ESPNU Midnight Madness coverage

Four ACC schools will be among the 13 featured by ESPN on its coverage of the opening of college basketball practice on Friday, Oct. 12.

N.C. State, North Carolina, Florida State and Maryland will all be a part of the four-hour Midnight Madness telecast on ESPNU, which is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. Studio coverage and analysis will be provided by host Dari Nowkhah, along with expert analysts Jay Bilas, Jalen Rose, Andy Katz and Dick Vitale.

Matt Norlander (CBSSports.com)
As Duke, UNC slip, Gottfried has N.C. State in position to win ACC

North Carolina State should be picked to win the ACC title this season.

For the first time since 1975.

Not so coincidentally, Mark Gottfried, you just got paid.

Things are about to get really irrational in Raleigh (and I love it). First, the good news, and that’s Gottfried turning N.C. State around in his first year — making his extension somewhat expected. He was the guy who was chosen after Rick Barnes and Shaka Smart ended up being Wolfpack pipe dreams. And initially Gottfried seemed a no-risk move, so it was a low-money/short-contract offer. This was an experiment for both parties. Now he’s the third-highest paid coach in the conference.

The bad news is he’s going to have to keep reaching for the next rung on the ladder because, after all, this is State Fan he’s coaching for. But State Fan is only going to get more and more excited about the season ahead — and it’s really going to turn out to be an unpredictable one. Win or lose, things are going to be as lively as ever for the Wolfpack. ACC basketball and the national scene will be better for it. Fan interest spins this sport’s wheel as much as actual game results, and few programs have a fan base with more character and ability to interpret events through their personal pessimistic prisms than N.C. State.


That said, it’s about time, N.C. State. We know North Carolina and Duke have been and will continue to be the cream of this conference, but this kind of drought for the Wolfpack seems fairly shocking. It’s just been so long since this program was considered bona fide, let alone dominant. If you find the aforementioned 1975 stat surprising, how about the fact the Wolfpack haven’t won a conference tournament championship since ’87? Or a regular-season title since ’89?

The fan base is starving for legitimacy and respect, both within the league and around the country. Now, at the very least, N.C. State is interesting again, undeniably talented and playing in a down ACC, which should only help its chances.

Still, State Fan isn’t completely optimistic just yet, according to Joe Ovies. Few people know the team, the culture, the maniacal and manic nature of ACC basketball better than this WRAL radio host.

“Because of the Sidney Lowe era, the fan base, while thirsty for basketball, shifted over more toward football,” Ovies said, “but immediately shifted back with a glimmer of hope last year.”


acc football logo

Andrew Skwara (accsports.com)
ACC Football Power Rankings, Sept. 24

4. Miami (3-1, 2-0)
The Hurricanes now have two ACC road wins (the other came at Boston College) and sit in first place in the Coastal Division standings. Their lopsided loss to Kansas State doesn’t look quite as bad either, after K-State upset then-No. 6 Oklahoma in Norman on Saturday.
Last Week’s Ranking: No. 9
Next Game: Saturday vs N.C. State, noon

5. Georgia Tech (2-2, 1-2)
One week after playing a near perfect game in a 36-point blowout of Virginia, the Yellow Jackets played with remarkable inconsistency in a surprising loss to Miami at home. Paul Johnson’s team fell behind 19-0, then scored 36 unanswered points to take a 17-point lead, yet gave up the next 23 points. Both of Georgia Tech’s losses have come in overtime, but both are within the division, destroying its chances of winning the Coastal.
Last Week’s Ranking: No. 3
Next Game: Saturday vs Middle Tennessee State, noon

6. North Carolina (2-2, 0-1)
The UNC defense, which has been a weakness in previous games, rebounded nicely, not giving up a touchdown and allowing just 233 yards in the Tar Heels’ 27-6 win over East Carolina. Running back Gio Bernard (102 total yards, two touchdowns) also looked healthy in his return from injury.
Last Week’s Ranking: No. 5
Next Game: Saturday vs Idaho, 3:30 pm

7. N.C. State (3-1, 0-0)
Despite missing its top three running backs, the Wolfpack run game looked great in a 52-14 win over The Citadel (an FCS program). True freshman Shadrach Thornton looked like the best player on the field, rushing for 145 yards and two touchdowns. Still, after back-to-back easy wins against inferior opponents, it’s tough to gauge Tom O’Brien’s team. A road trip to Miami this week should help clarify things.
Last Week’s Ranking: No. 6
Next Game: Saturday at Miami, noon

Tim Stevens (N&O)
Notre Dame may draw in-state recruits

Notre Dame’s football arrangement with the ACC might make it a little easier for North Carolina high school football standouts to accept Irish scholarship offers. Not that North Carolina’s best need another reason to go to an out-of-state school.

College football powers all over the country pick up North Carolina players like ripening tomatoes at the farmer’s market.

It is hard to imagine a higher percentage of North Carolina’s best players leaving the state because so many already do.

Tarboro’s Todd Gurley and Millbrook’s Keith Marshall have gotten off to fine starts as freshmen at Georgia. The temptation is to picture them contributing somewhere in the state.

Gurley and Marshall, like a majority of North Carolina’s top high school football talent, left the state for college. The Class of 2013 is fairly typical in that three of the top four players in the state already are committed elsewhere.



Weekly Tom O’Brien TV Show

In this week’s episode head football coach Tom O’Brien breaks down the Citadel game with host Tony Haynes. Mark Thomas visits with quarterback Mike Glennon and previews the Wolfpack’s next game against the Miami Hurricanes.

O’Brien: Wedid our assignments

NC State head coach Tom O’Brien said that with the exception of one play, the Wolfpack defense played good assignment football against The Citadel Saturday.

Bishop: I’m motivated to play Miami and start ACC play

NC State’s Brandon Bishop is a Miami native getting his first chance to play against the Hurricanes and he said that that provides some extra motivation but the biggest thing is starting ACC play.

Carter: We’re happy but there’s things still to work on

NC State’s Mario Carter said that the team had a solid performance against The Citadel but they have been in the video room already this week pointing out things to work on.

Medlin: UNC looks for 1st half consistency; State opens ACC on road

Following weekend wins, UNC and NC State are each looking to continue their successes. For NC State, they will have to do it on the road in their ACC opener while UNC says they need to match their second-half play in the opening two quarters.


acc basketball logo

Bret Strelow (FayObserver.com)
Duke players to be equipped with iPads for the 2012-13 season

Duke is trading in the traditional notebook and hard-copy scouting reports for the latest in technology.

In 2012-13, the Blue Devils will use the Apple iPad 3 64 GB with retina display for everything from scouting reports to practice and game videos, becoming the first college basketball program in the country to announce that move.

“The Duke basketball program is always trying to equip our players and staff with the very best resources, and the introduction of the iPads is another step in that direction,” associate head coach Steve Wojciechowski said in a statement. “This new technology will help all of us work more efficiently and productively while communicating at a higher level. We are very excited to involve the iPads in our day-to-day operations, evaluating our scouting, video analysis, schedule and game preparation.”

Each iPad will include practice schedules, weekly itineraries, scouting reports, game and practice statistics as well as an extensive library of videos (practices, games, opponents and player specific video edits). The Duke players and coaches will also have the ability to take notes on the devices during film breakdown and on scouting reports.



Luke Decock (N&O)
Football graduation gap remains a chasm

Another study comparing college football players’ graduation rates to those of their student peers, another giant gap between the two.

Three years after the University of North Carolina’s College Sport Research Institute started tracking graduation rates based not on raw numbers but on how athletes performed when compared to other students, nothing has changed. Football players are still graduating about 20 percent less than regular students.

The latest edition of the study, planned for release Tuesday, found that FBS football players were 17 percent less likely to graduate than their male peers, down from 20 percent last year, with a three-year rolling average of 19 percent. At the FCS level, this year’s average was 8 percent, the three-year average 9 percent.

“We think this is really going to force schools to look at, philosophically, what they want to be the real purpose of college sports, and football specifically,” North Carolina professor Richard Southall, one of the study’s authors, said in a telephone interview Monday.

“We know that football is the revenue engine for everything. There may be players who come back and graduate, or leave in good academic standing, all of that stuff. But they are not receiving diplomas at the same rate as the full-time male population.


unc fallout

David Whitley (Sporting News)
NCAA shows double standard in treatment of North Carolina basketball

Please pardon Kevin Ollie if he seems a bit confused. The sight of Carolina blue has that effect on people.

It apparently baffled the NCAA. The Tar Heels had major scholastic issues and escaped without a sanctioning scratch.

A couple of weeks later, Ollie became UConn’s coach. No matter how well he does replacing Jim Calhoun, the Huskies will not make the NCAA Tournament this season.

Like North Carolina, UConn had a major academic breakdown. The offenses weren’t the same, but how they were handled cries out for explanation. That will happen about the time Roy Williams wins Dancing with the Stars. All we can do is scratch our heads and wonder why every student at UNC doesn’t major in African and Afro-American Studies.

There were 54 classes in which the only apparent passing requirement was that the student be able to tackle or dribble.

It was a classic Keep-Jocks-Eligible Sham, apparently dating back to the 1990s. There was little or no instruction, accountability or attendance requirement. The classes were made up mostly of football players, though basketball players were enrolled, too.

A basketball player was the only student in two classes. One was a Swahili course, which would have come in handy had the Tar Heels made that trip to the Mozambique Holiday Classic.

Nobody disputed these shenanigans took place, yet the NCAA concluded in August that no rules were violated. Apparently the organization’s manual has no statutes that read: “Swahili students are required to speak a few words of Swahili.”


Wilson Watch

Seahawks stun Packers on final play 14-12

In a bizarre ending that capped a tough weekend for replacement officials, the Seattle Seahawks beat the Green Bay Packers 14-12 on Monday night.

Russell Wilson threw a disputed 24-yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate on the final play of the game, a game that finally ended 10 minutes later when both teams were brought back on the field for the extra point.

Wilson scrambled from the pocket and threw to the corner of the end zone as the clock expired. Tate shoved Green Bay’s Sam Shields out of the way, then wrestled with M.D. Jennings for possession. It was ruled on the field as a touchdown and after a lengthy review, referee Wayne Elliott came out from under the hood and announced “the ruling on the field stands” and CenturyLink Field erupted in celebration.

It was nearly 10 minutes before the teams were brought back for the extra point.

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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15 Responses to Tuesday Tidbits

  1. ADVENTUROO 09/25/2012 at 7:39 AM #

    Russell did his best PR performance to date. Every media outlet, even CNBC, is talking about it. Wilson got MVP and multiple interviews

    Very calm and low key. Excellent communication skills. He is now on national radar.

    Total officiating debacle!

  2. Wufpacker 09/25/2012 at 8:01 AM #

    “Like North Carolina, UConn had a major academic breakdown. The offenses weren’t the same, but how they were handled cries out for explanation. That will happen about the time Roy Williams wins Dancing with the Stars. All we can do is scratch our heads and wonder why every student at UNC doesn’t major in African and Afro-American Studies.”

    BaZing! And Carolina blue never confused me, but it does usually enrage me to varying degrees.

    Hopefully Duke will be disabling twitter on those snazzy new iPads.

    Also 1.21, the “wilson pic” admittedly made me laugh. Good choice.

  3. Alpha Wolf 09/25/2012 at 8:21 AM #

    Wilson played well, but that is going to be completely overshadowed by the poor performance of the replacement referees and The Interceptdown that ended the game. That’s a shame, but the missed call has been setting the social-networking and media worlds on fire since 11:30 last night.

  4. Hungwolf 09/25/2012 at 9:13 AM #

    Very happy for Wilson, I guess TOB was right he should have stuck with football and come to spring practice.

    As far as last night. Pete Carroll said it was a good call. Just wondering how the NFL rule that you have to come down with possession of the ball came into play cause when the players went to the ground with the ball, clearly they both had their hands on it and tie goes to receiver.

  5. packalum44 09/25/2012 at 9:20 AM #

    Get over Green Bay. Life isn’t fair. Whannnnnn. If we had a nickle for how many blown calls Wolfpack fans have endured over out lifetime?!!!!

    Screw off. Packer fans are Wal Mart fans.

  6. Alpha Wolf 09/25/2012 at 9:34 AM #

    There was never any “joint possession” because Golden Tate never had anything more than his hands on the ball, while M. D. Jennings had the ball cradled and against his body. Jennings caught the pass, controlled and possessed it, and Tate also grabbed onto the ball on the way down, but never took it away even after Jennings had secured the pass and had his back on the ground in the end zone.

    Wal-Mart fans and college referees are both strawman arguments at best.

  7. fullmoon1 09/25/2012 at 9:50 AM #

    As far as the Seattle game goes, those are the breaks, sometimes… Officials make mistakes. Isn’t it part of the game? Regular officials have blown games before, and I can’t see this even being much of an issue if union refs were calling the game.

  8. colapack 09/25/2012 at 10:14 AM #

    If Geen Bay bats it down, its a non-issue.

  9. Prowling Woofie 09/25/2012 at 10:37 AM #


    To me, it’s a cumulative process. Given the number of questionable calls during the game, as well as the volume of calls, I just knew they were going to blow the call. I expected it.

    That being said, I’m glad Russell, JR, and Hauschka got the ‘W’.

  10. Alpha Wolf 09/25/2012 at 11:17 AM #

    I read online this morning that these refs were fired from the Lingerie League at the end of last year.

    No one will prove it with pictures, though. Dang.

  11. TeufelWolf 09/25/2012 at 12:00 PM #

    Congratulations to Wilson, Sweezy, and Hauschka on their win. Even though it was obviously controversial, when asked if he thought it was a touchdown, Wilson responded, “of course!” with an evil grin. Concise and brilliant; the best response possible.

    The basketball team certainly has me excited. I got 12 Oct on my calendar.

    Hopefully Thornton will get a lot of reps at that no. 2 spot. After the last two weeks and some perceived progress, I can’t wait to see how we do against Miami. GO PACK!

  12. Wufpacker 09/25/2012 at 12:28 PM #

    LOL Alpha. That’s a pity as I think most of us would kick in to pay for images of that endzone pile up.

    Referee on the field: Hellooooo…is there evidence to overturn possession of the ball?

    Booth official: Oh, right….the ball. Hang on a sec (zziiippp).

  13. rtpack24 09/25/2012 at 12:32 PM #

    Thorton should start at tailback, he has earned it. I thought Gurley went to Millbrook.

  14. tjfoose1 09/25/2012 at 12:55 PM #

    Marshall went to Millbrook. Gurley is from Tarboro.

  15. packof81 09/25/2012 at 2:08 PM #

    Wilson did a great job but the bad officiating took center stage.

    The treatment UConn received compared to the slap on the wrist for UNC demonstrates the NCAA’s corruption.

    Picking us to win the ACC is counting unhatched chickens. Karl Hess may have other arrangements in mind.

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