I wouldn’t go anywhere close to saying that most State fans only care about beating Carolina, but there is no doubt that today’s game against the Tarheels provides Wolfpacknation a golden opportunity to end this miserable season with a much better taste in our mouth than we have experienced since September.
The ‘Observers’ had a fascinating statistic in today’s newspaper to consider — UNC-CH’s defense leads the ACC by allowing only 17 touchdowns all season. NC State’s defense is last in the ACC allowing 46 touchdowns this season (approximately 2.5 times the number as the Tarheels).
PackInsider has a look at all of the Wolfpack seniors who will be player there last game in red & white today.
Andy Barbee, OG – Has played offensive guard and center during his career and has started five games. After playing 169 snaps in his first two seasons, Barbee has participated in 440 snaps this season. Barbee has already earned his degree from NC State.
Robert Bell, DB – Former walkon who earned a scholarship prior to this season. Bell earned his first playing time this season, seeing action in five games.
Leroy Burgess, DT – After starting 3 games last year, Burgess has started at defensive tackle in all 11 games this season. He transferred in from Georgia Military College for his final two years of eligibility. Burgess is tied for the ACC lead in fumbles recovered with 3. He is also 3rd on the team in quarterback pressures with 16.
Alan-Michael Cash, DT – Three-year starter on the defensive line who has 23 career tackles
for loss. Cash was named to Phil Steele’s mid-season All-ACC first team. He is third on the team this year in tackles with 52 and 2nd in quarterback pressures with 19.
Evan Dooley, WR – Walkon wide receiver who has seen action in three games this season and played in 38 snaps.
Jamelle Eugene, HB – Has rushed for 1,445 career yards and has another 679 yards on
receptions. Eugene was elected as one of three team captains this year, along with Willie Young and Jeraill McCuller.
Bobby Floyd, S/LB – Former walkon who earned a scholarship prior to the season. Floyd has been a force on special teams for the past two seasons and is one of the team’s top tacklers this season (tied for 5th with 42). Defensive coordinator Mike Archer calls him the leader of the defensive secondary. He says “Bobby could coach the secondary now if Coach Reed and I left.”
Koyal George, WR/CB- Another former walkon who has moved from wide receiver to cor-
nerback and back to wide receiver in the past two seasons. George caught his second career touchdown pass this season against Clemson.
Clem Johnson, S – Starting safety who ranks second on the team in tackles (55). Transferred from Valley Forge Military JC for his final two years of eligibility.
Matt Kushner, TE – Sat out most of the 2008 campaign with a knee injury but has played in every game of 2009, starting two.
Ted Larsen, C – Moved from defensive line to center prior to the 2008 season and has been
one of the Pack’s top performers on the offensive line. Larsen was named to Phil Steele’s mid-season All-ACC second team. He has also been in for 720 snaps this season, which is the second highest total on the squad.
Jeraill McCuller, OT – Leads the team in snaps this season (736) and in consecutive games
started with 28. McCuller was selected as one of the team captains this season, along with Jamelle Eugene and Willie Young.
Shea McKeen, DE – Two-year starter who transferred from Nassau Community College prior to 2008.
Ray Michel, LB – Has started 22 career games, one of the top marks on the team. Michel was the team leader in tackles last season. While out on the field, Ray is the one who makes the defensive calls. He was leading the team in tackles before injuring his ankle against Boston College.
Josh Milinichik, DE – Walkon who has played in two contests this season.
Julian Williams, OT/OG – Three-year starter for the Wolfpack, he has played at guard and tackle.
Willie Young, DE – Has started 35 career contests, the highest mark on the team, and finishes his career ranked third in school history in tackles for loss (43.5), sixth in sacks (20.5). Young was selected as one of the team captains, along with Jamelle Eugene and Jeraill McCuller. He was also named to the Phil Steele’s mid-season All-ACC first team. This season Young ranks third in the ACC in sacks (8) and 4th in tackles for loss (12).
This group of seniors never experienced a winning record in their college careers. (Link to N&O)
Fourteen of the team’s seniors (not counting running back Toney Baker, who’s eligible for a sixth year because of injury) have started at least one game during their careers.
Ten are current starters. The leaders include:
- Defensive end Willie Young, who ranks third in school history in tackles for loss.
- Offensive guard Julian Williams, a three-year starter.
- Defensive tackle Alan-Michael Cash, who has 23 career tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
- Center Ted Larsen, who along with Young has a good shot at continuing his football career in the NFL.
- Running back Jamelle Eugene, who has 1,445 yards rushing and 679 receiving yards in his career.
- Linebacker Ray Michel, who led the team in tackles in 2008 and was the 2009 leader before he suffered an ankle injury that slowed him for the second half of the season.
- Safety Clem Johnson, the team’s second-leading tackler.
N.C. State has seen a lot of production from this group. Three offensive linemen who have been starters for the last two seasons will be gone after today. So will the entire starting defensive line.
Lots of talent and depth across both the offensive and defensive lines…which does not bode well for next year.
Consider the following from ESPN which further underscores the Wolfpack’s putrid linebacker play and unimaginative defensive schemes this season:
Last week at Virginia Tech, the Wolfpack’s defensive front pressured Tyrod Taylor 20 times, according to the coaches’ film grades. Two weeks ago against Maryland, 24 of NC State’s 25 credited pressures came from the defensive line. In seven games against ACC teams this season, the entire defense has been credited with 91 quarterback pressures or hurries. Eighty-three of those have been from defensive linemen. Alan Michael-Cash and Willie Young lead the way with 14 each.That large number of pressures hasn’t always turned into sacks, though. The defensive line tallied six sacks in the conference opener against Wake Forest, but has made only five in the six games since
Feel free to discuss the game on this entry…and, I will cross-reference the message board thread that has already originated and be be seen by clicking here.