Monday Musings

Wolfpack Volleyball Keeps Rolling, Tops Clemson 3-1

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 team’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.


ncsu helmet

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 O’Brien.

“I don’t know, in 38 years I’ve never been involved with a team that made this many mistakes,” O’Brien said.

One of the ACC’s least penalized team a year ago? N.C. State was flagged 14 times for 100 yards during Saturday’s conference opener. One of the country’s best teams in turnover margin a year ago? Saturday’s equation was six giveaways to only one takeaway.

O’Brien, the former Marine who has built his coaching career on discipline, took the blame for his veteran team’s problems.

“When we lose, it’s on me,” O’Brien said. “I’ve got to do a better job and it’s going to start with me.”

Brett Friedlander (
FIFTH QUARTER: One step forward, two steps back


1. Awful Amerson: As bad as All-America CB David Amerson was in N.C. State’s season-opening loss to Tennessee, he was even worse in Saturday’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.

Miami stuns NC State with late score

Matt Carter (
Quick hits from NCSU’s loss at Miami

Lacking discipline

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 (
Postgame Headlines

Ryan Tice (
Keys to the game – revisited: Miami
O’Brien: “It Starts With Me”

On communication problems:

No, there’s not. We have to be much better at secondary. The first thing is we have to contain the quarterback. That’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 – it’s not your usual thing. Was it something about the cadence with Morris?

It’s not with the cadence. You can make one mistake, but you can’t make five and continue to make the same mistake over and over again. And, once again, that’s on me. You’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. It’s hard for me to be positive about anything after the way we finished, but we fought back.

The first half was almost Tennessee déjà 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 we’re up by one.

In 38 years I haven’t seen a football team make this many mistakes and that comes back to me. That’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. It’s just the most poor performance I’ve ever been a part of here.

On similarities between today and their season opener against Tennessee:

In some respects. I mean, we just got… we got ran by today. We got guys that are turning around and, you know, you’re supposed to be covering a guy!

You can’t just let him run by you and do it over and over and over again. It’s frustrating, man. It’s really, really frustrating. Big plays, big plays early, missed opportunities… it’s frustrating.

Joe Ovies (
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 Miami’s first and second touchdowns of the game. During Rashawn Scott’s 76-yard touchdown catch, a broken play where NC State failed to recognize Miami’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 Bishop’s hands and bounced off his helmet while Amerson trailed.

6. Winter is coming for House O’Brien.

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."

'12 Football College Football Non-Revenue Tom O'Brien

22 Responses to Monday Musings

  1. 1.21 Jigawatts 10/01/2012 at 6:43 AM #

    Is it basketball season yet?

  2. UpstateSCWolfpack 10/01/2012 at 6:50 AM #

    Charlie Strong

  3. albunde6 10/01/2012 at 7:00 AM #

    Resumes will be flowing into several universities in the ACC this year. There will be several offices with warm places to sit!

    Can we go ahead and get a list started of the coaches that we want to publicly turn us down?

  4. DC_wolf 10/01/2012 at 7:19 AM #

    So we’re not Kansas State. Not even Close. In O’Brien’s own words: “Just undisciplined… It’s on me.” This was a game so wacky you don’t even look @ the stats because they’re irrelevant. But the 566 passing yards given up hurts because I thought we @ least had a defense to fall back on when things got tough. I guess I remain a passive observer from here on in.

  5. logarithm 10/01/2012 at 7:22 AM #

    Amerson used to play the coverage by the book, pick up on cues from the video room and make the stab at the pick and risk getting burned on the big play, which happened a couple times last year.

    This year, I wonder if he’s a little too confident in his abilities that he’s playing the coverage, thinking he’s waiting to jump an interception and watching the action expecting to successfully react to whatever happens. There’s no question the guy is a tremendous athlete but he’s just been dead wrong on his decision making this year when last year he took a lot of risks and made almost all of them pay off.

  6. albunde6 10/01/2012 at 7:37 AM #

    You have to be in position to make a good decision. Hard to make a play on the ball when you are running to catch up to a receiver who just ran past your coverage.

    I know the lack of pressure on the quarterback plays a role in the number of interceptions. Does it play a role in getting beat deep by receivers?

  7. tuckerdorm1983 10/01/2012 at 7:41 AM #

    basketball. The last time we were of national relevance in basketball was in the 70s. The 1983 team did not have that good a regular season (Whittenburg out with a hurt foot). I am not crying too much about the football program. Sure I want to win the football games and beat those bastards over in Orange County on the hill. However, I am putting my faith in another team sport that kicks it season off this Oct 12th. It is the balm to sooth my aching head after last weekends utter debacle. Sure we are good enough to compete and beat some of the crappy talent in the ACC in football, but it will be a lesson in humility. I predict we beat the Noles next weekend and then go on to lose to Wake , UVA or MD. We find ourselves in the Music City bowl or the Humanitarian Bowl or Belk Bowl again playing the likes of South Florida.

  8. albunde6 10/01/2012 at 8:04 AM #

    Tucker, I told my friend on Saturday the same thing. TOB will have them sky high for FSU.

    I’m thinking let down at Maryland or BC. We will normally have a let down loss to Wake in Winston Salem when on TV.

  9. hellfishtat 10/01/2012 at 8:09 AM #

    Amerson has cost himself (potentially) millions of dollars in two horrific performances this year. I hope he can get it together, or every team we play moving forward will burn us.

  10. coach13 10/01/2012 at 9:12 AM #

    He shouldn’t be allowed to “get it together” at least not this next game. If he starts TOB might as well turn around and shoot the bird to the Pack fans.

  11. JasonP 10/01/2012 at 9:13 AM #

    We lose to UMD. Guaranteed.

    This is not the team that finally gets TOB that elusive Atlantic road win.

  12. ADVENTUROO 10/01/2012 at 10:06 AM #

    Not saying Amerson is not fair game & he needs to REFOCUS…..but it was adefensive TEAM effort on Saturday. Need to lay off the snide $$ comments. Poor taste, IMHO.

  13. Wolfman 9806 10/01/2012 at 10:17 AM #

    Will we be end up being the first team ever to bench a preseason all american for poor play? Simply mind-blowing.

    Two days later and the Miami game still feels like a kick in the nuts!

  14. TeufelWolf 10/01/2012 at 10:52 AM #

    I’m excited about basketball season and the new football staff. Getting a good football coach is easy — I’m a huge fan if that show ‘Shark Tank’ and just like they say on there, “it’s ALL about the money”. Pay someone what they are worth and they’ll come here. Tressel, Kirby Smart, whoever. Pay them and they will come.

  15. wolfbuff 10/01/2012 at 10:56 AM #

    I haven’t commented until now because that performance in a very winnable game was just too jaw-dropping, and I wanted the weekend to mull it over. Not that it counts for anything, but Amerson is making very poor decisions. Maybe it is because he’s thinking too much. Maybe it is because he is not thinking enough. Maybe there is a chemistry issue in the secondary. Or maybe the flaws that he kept hidden last year have just been exposed. Either way, until he and the coaching staff figure it out, his presence in the secondary is hurting the team and in my opinion, he should be benched.

    I’m not sure what it is with this team, but there seems to be some leadership missing. I’m not talking about TOB, but on the team itself. The upperclassmen need to straighten out this team and get them focused and communicating. The season only gets harder. And I fear the character of this team may not be strong.

  16. rtpack24 10/01/2012 at 11:14 AM #

    14 penalities were accepted, we had considerable more. If fact two of the touchdown passes by the U were made when the D jumped offsides so obiviously those were declined. We looked like a freshman and soph. team playing their first game of the season. Sterling Lucas is being played at the wrong position. He is huge and needs to be moved to the D-line. I actually thought that we would be a good to great football team this year. We are 1-2 against D-1 comp. Hopefully the players can get it together down the stretch.

  17. Wulfpack 10/01/2012 at 12:09 PM #

    We are a middle of the road program in the ACC. It will not be so simple to find a quality coach. Not going to get a big name. Gotta look in the lower ranks and hope they can build the program. We have a passionate fan base, good facilities, and an AD I think most would like to work for. However, they aren’t just going to flock here. Make no mistake, I am all for a change. But it is going to take some hard work to get the right guy. I do trust DY to find that guy. She was hired for this very purpose.

  18. albunde6 10/01/2012 at 1:16 PM #

    I did not expect this defense to be as good as last year. We lost Manning and Cole. Manning was great at rushing the passer. (speed kills). We do not appear to have the LB that can move to the line on third down and scare the crap out of the QB.

    Without pass rush, your DB will not be as effective as last year. But 651 total yards, no way to explain this away. Score tied, time left on clock, 2 time outs. One man pass route that leads to interception. Don’t put this all on the defense. I yelled at the TV, but he still threw the ball. Maybe next time I should kick the TV and that will stop Bible from calling stupid plays.

    Mr. Archer, Mr. Bible and Mr. O’brien no excuse for this one.

  19. MISTA WOLF 10/01/2012 at 1:18 PM #

    No way in hell we could get Charlie Strong from Louisville. I love Charlie Strong and his demeanor. I was recruited by Strong while he was at South Carolina and just loved his approach to the game. Kirby Smart? Isn’t that a pipe dream…. I wouldn’t mind looking at these guys to lead us as well as the two mentioned before….

    1) James Franklin (HC at Vandy)
    2) Kliff Kingsbury (OC at Texas A&M)
    3) Chad Morris (OC at Clemson)
    4) Brent Venables (DC at Clemson)
    5) Mark Helfrich (OC at Oregon)

  20. albunde6 10/01/2012 at 1:36 PM #

    Since Mista Wolf started a list of people to turn us down.

    What about Calhoun ( HC Airforce). Was OC at Wake. Current Salary $950M with contract that ends in 2013.

  21. 808WOLF 10/01/2012 at 2:13 PM #

    1) mark helfrich
    2) June jones
    3) kliff kingsbury

  22. mak4dpak 10/01/2012 at 7:22 PM #

    If it is gonna happen, cast my vote for Mark Helfrich. I love their offense. But if OBrien stays, he has to can his OC, and DC. No more Bible or Archer.

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