NC STATE ATHLETICS
Third-year NC State volleyball coach Bryan Bunn recorded the 400th victory as a head coach and the Wolfpack concluded its 13-match homestand by winning its 10th consecutive contest on Saturday, beating Clemson 3-1 at Reynolds Coliseum.
Junior middle blocker Brie Merriwether had a career-high 26 kills on 49 attacks for a .367 hitting average. Senior setter Megan Cyr matched her career high with 55 assists, the same number she had as a sophomore against Illinois State.
The Wolfpack (15-1 overall, 5-0 ACC), playing less than 24 hours after beating Georgia Tech on Friday night, dropped the first set for only the fourth time this season. But it swept the next three sets to win for the third time after dropping the opening set. The Pack also dropped its first game in the teamâ€™s only loss this season, a 3-2 decision against Virginia Commonwealth.
Now the Wolfpack prepares to hit the road for the next two weekends, traveling to face Miami on Friday at 7 p.m. in Coral Gables and Florida State on Sunday at 1 p.m. in Tallahassee.
The next weekend, the Pack travels to Virginia to face Virginia Tech in Blacksburg at 7 p.m. on Oct. 12 and Virginia on Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. in Charlottesville.
Bunn and his squad return to Reynolds Coliseum on Oct. 19 to host Boston College, followed by Maryland the next day. Admission is free for all spectators.
NC STATE FOOTBALL
Joe Giglio (N&O)
N.C. State searching for answers after 44-37 loss to Miami
But in the end, a series of defensive miscues, offensive errors and mental vacations cost the Wolfpack (3-2) its ACC opener for the fifth time in six seasons under Oâ€™Brien.
â€œI donâ€™t know, in 38 years Iâ€™ve never been involved with a team that made this many mistakes,â€ Oâ€™Brien said.
One of the ACCâ€™s least penalized team a year ago? N.C. State was flagged 14 times for 100 yards during Saturdayâ€™s conference opener. One of the countryâ€™s best teams in turnover margin a year ago? Saturdayâ€™s equation was six giveaways to only one takeaway.
Oâ€™Brien, the former Marine who has built his coaching career on discipline, took the blame for his veteran teamâ€™s problems.
â€œWhen we lose, itâ€™s on me,â€ Oâ€™Brien said. â€œIâ€™ve got to do a better job and itâ€™s going to start with me.â€
Brett Friedlander (starnewsonline.com)
FIFTH QUARTER: One step forward, two steps back
1. Awful Amerson: As bad as All-America CB David Amerson was in N.C. Stateâ€™s season-opening loss to Tennessee, he was even worse in Saturdayâ€™s losing effort at Miami. He gave up one long TD by not playing after his team jumped offside, got called for encroachment himself on a FG attempt that allowed the Hurricanes to score another TD, then topped it off by allowing Phillip Dorsett to get free for a game-winning 62-yard score with 19 seconds left.
Matt Carter (TheWolfpacker.com)
Quick hits from NCSUâ€™s loss at Miami
So how did NC State lose this game? It’s simple: no discipline. A litany of mistakes that carried on so long it went from disappointing to comical to maddening would haunt NCSU in this contest.
NC State had 14 penalties for 98 yards, the most flags against them since they had 14 in a home loss to Ohio State in 2004. The Pack had too many offside penalties to count, one of which resulted in a free play that went for a score when junior corner David Amerson quit the play, presumably thinking it was dead. Amerson was also guilty for jumping on a field goal attempt, which gave Miami a first down and eventually a touchdown.
The Pack had six turnovers, including five fumbles which were the most lost in a game since they had six against FSU in 1995.
Sophomore Niklas Sade had a costly missed extra point, snapping a string of 60 consecutive made extra points, which was the third longest in school history.
Those the mistakes that were tangible. There were also dropped passes, a missed interception at the goal line, mishandled kickoffs, and oh yeah, letting Dorsett with 19 seconds go get behind three defensive backs for a 62-yard touchdown.
Matt Carter (TheWolfpacker.com)
Ryan Tice (TheWolfpacker.com)
Keys to the game â€“ revisited: Miami
O’Brien: “It Starts With Me”
On communication problems:
No, thereâ€™s not. We have to be much better at secondary. The first thing is we have to contain the quarterback. Thatâ€™s where it all starts, because when he gets out of the pocket and runs around, coverage breaks down, which we have to do a better job at coverage.
It starts with the pass rush, getting the quarterback, keeping him locked in from there and not out running around. They probably had five big balls today.
The penalties â€“ itâ€™s not your usual thing. Was it something about the cadence with Morris?
Itâ€™s not with the cadence. You can make one mistake, but you canâ€™t make five and continue to make the same mistake over and over again. And, once again, thatâ€™s on me. Youâ€™ve got to get it right.
You made a million errors but still found a way to tie the game and had a chance to win.
Yes, and on the road against a good football team. Itâ€™s hard for me to be positive about anything after the way we finished, but we fought back.
The first half was almost Tennessee dÃ©jÃ vu all over again. It was the same score, a comedy of errors. We fought, came back, started playing really good and got back in the game. And then we almost got over it. Snap the ball fast on an extra point and miss the extra point, and weâ€™re up by one.
In 38 years I havenâ€™t seen a football team make this many mistakes and that comes back to me. Thatâ€™s me.
QUOTABLES: Pack Players
Safety Brandan Bishop
On miscommunications in the secondary:
It was embarrassing, the way that they threw over our head today. Big plays killed us, missed opportunities killed us. Itâ€™s just the most poor performance Iâ€™ve ever been a part of here.
On similarities between today and their season opener against Tennessee:
In some respects. I mean, we just gotâ€¦ we got ran by today. We got guys that are turning around and, you know, youâ€™re supposed to be covering a guy!
You canâ€™t just let him run by you and do it over and over and over again. Itâ€™s frustrating, man. Itâ€™s really, really frustrating. Big plays, big plays early, missed opportunitiesâ€¦ itâ€™s frustrating.
Joe Ovies (WRALSportsfan.com)
Talking points: NC State in a wild loss at Miami
3. Does orange act like Kryptonite for David Amerson? Much like the his performance against Tennessee, the All-American cornerback set fire to his NFL Draft stock throughout the game.
Amerson was caught looking on Miamiâ€™s first and second touchdowns of the game. During Rashawn Scottâ€™s 76-yard touchdown catch, a broken play where NC State failed to recognize Miamiâ€™s free play because of offsides, he miscommunicated with Brandon Bishop.
Amerson attempted to block a Miami field goal at the end of the 3rd quarter, but his offsides resulted in a fresh set of downs for the Hurricanes. Duke Johnson rushed for a 4-yard touchdown on the next play.
With Miami nursing a 30-27 lead with under 10 minutes in the game, Amerson and Bishop were targeted twice on a pivotal drive. The Hurricanes converted a 3rd down when Morris found Phillip Dorsett between the combo for a 46-yard gain. Morris then threw a 13-yard touchdown to Scott that initially went through Bishopâ€™s hands and bounced off his helmet while Amerson trailed.
6. Winter is coming for House Oâ€™Brien.