September 13, 2011
NC STATE FOOTBALL
J.P. GIGLIO (N&O)
Pack back to basics, work on defense
Instead of ordering a dose of Bear Bryant’s “Junction Boys” gridiron justice, N.C. State coach Tom O’Brien decided to give his football players a day off the field after its deflating 34-27 loss at Wake Forest on Saturday.
No extra wind sprints or sweat-until-you-bleed drills for the Wolfpack, just film review on Sunday and the regularly scheduled day off on Monday.
“I didn’t understand what was going on at first,” senior receiver T.J. Graham said. “I was ready to get back to practice. It threw me off.”
Since the next two games will come in a six-day span, O’Brien said he used Sunday as a chance for extra rest. He also promised, after what safety Brandon Bishop called an “embarrassing” effort on defense, the team will get back to basics.
“We have a couple of guys, in our analysis, who haven’t been practicing all that well, and they better start practicing well or they’re going to continue to play poorly,” O’Brien said. “That’s my fault and the coaches’ fault. We’ve got to make that happen.”
O’Brien didn’t name any names but said the offending players are on notice.
“They’ve been told,” O’Brien said. “And they’ll be told again.”
Matt Carter (TheWolfpacker.com)
Monday Morning quarterbacking
O’Brien Wants Pack to Learn from Mistakes
Despite nearly piloting NC State back from a 21-point third quarter deficit on Saturday, head coach Tom O’Brien could not hide his disappointment in the result at Monday’s press conference at the Murphy Center.
“The only good thing about the Wake tape is that [the team] was as disappointed, or more disappointed than I was about it,” said O’Brien. “We have to practice better, and go back to the fundamental aspects. A lot of the breakdowns were individual things that allowed big plays to happen.”
Akula Wolf (Backingthepack.com)
Week Two By The Numbers
NC STATE BASKETBALL
Andy Katz (ESPN)
Mark Gottfried will make the leap for Pack
The plan is for Gottfried to latch onto a trusted tandem jumper and land at the 50-yard line before kickoff of Wolfpack’s home football game against South Alabama. The person who will be guiding Gottfried to land is the same man who helped former President George H.W. Bush jump on his 80th birthday.
“I figured if he could survive it, I could survive it,” Gottfried said. “The No. 1 reason is to bring attention to our military, since it’s military appreciation week. I want to say thank you to them. But we’re also trying to get attention for NC State basketball.”
TIM STEVENS (N&O)
N.C. can’t keep top football recruits at home
North Carolina’s top college football prospects are hitting the road again this year.
Five players on the ESPN.com top 10 list in the state have committed to out-of-state schools and ESPN recruiting analyst Dave Hooker wouldn’t be surprised to see the other five choose to leave.
Traditionally, many of the top players have left the state to play college football, but a combination of factors might make this year’s senior exodus even more pronounced.
“The state of North Carolina is in play this year,” Hooker said. “The coaching change at the University of North Carolina opens things even more than usual and other schools are coming into the state looking for their players.”
TIM REYNOLDS – AP SPORTS WRITER
Hurricanes changing sideline access rules
Boosters will no longer be permitted on the Miami sideline during home football games, a change that comes after a former donor who had field access at times sparked an NCAA investigation by claiming he provided 72 players and Hurricane recruits extra benefits over an eight-year span.
The moves go into effect starting with Saturday’s home opener against No. 17 Ohio State. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the updated policy Monday.
Some of the changes are sweeping, including a policy that anyone without a game-day operations purpose – even administrators, trustees and deans – will no longer be able to receive field-access passes. Some university employees will be permitted to escort guests such as donors and potential donors onto the field during pregame warmups, but they must stay in a designated area on the visiting sideline and leave shortly before kickoff.
BC’s Rogers takes leave of absence for health reasons
Boston College offensive coordinator Kevin Rogers is taking a leave of absence because of health reasons.
Head coach Frank Spaziani made the announcement Monday, saying tight ends coach Dave Brock will take over as acting offensive coordinator and will coach the quarterbacks.
Brett Friedlander (starnewsonline.com)
ACC REPORT CARD: Too many teams at C-level
N.C. State, C-: If you’d have told Wolfpack fans Saturday morning that their new QB Mike Glennon would throw for 315 yards and three touchdowns against Wake Forest on Saturday afternoon, including two of 60 yards or longer, they’d probably figure on celebrating Saturday night. But that’s not what happened. Despite an encouraging second-half performance by Glennon, a breakout performance by WR Tobias Palmer and strong efforts from its freshman punter and place kicker, State left Winston-Salem a loser for the fifth straight time. The reason for this loss was a suddenly porous defense that was supposed to be the team’s strength. Yes, some of the defensive struggles can be traced to injuries that sidelined three of the Wolfpack’s top defensive linemen. But that doesn’t account for all the wide open receivers down the middle of the field, the missed assignments on two trick plays that went for touchdowns and Deacons’ 8 for 16 performance on third down. Afterward, coach Tom O’Brien called out his leaders for not doing enough, and he has a point. Just ask senior captain George Bryan, whose drop helped end the Wolfpack’s final drive and seal its fate.
Andrew Skwara (ACC Sports Journal)
ACC Football Power Rankings, Sept. 12
9. N.C. State (1-1, 0-1 ACC)
Remember the theory that the Wolfpack defense would be much improved this year and help make up for the loss of QB Russell Wilson? It’s looking awful shaky after State gave up 337 passing yards in its loss at Wake Forest. Head coach Tom O’Brien is now 26-26 and 14-19 in ACC games since leaving Boston College (where his tenure ended with eight straight winning seasons) to come to Raleigh.
Upcoming Game: Saturday vs South Alabama (2-0)
Previous Ranking: No. 6
JIM YOUNG (ACC SPORTS JOURNAL)
Second Thoughts On The ACC Weekend, Sept. 12
Russell Wilson Does Not Play DT
Look, I’m as guilty as anyone of helping to build the legend of Russell Wilson. Some of it’s been tongue-in-cheek and a poke at Big Ten folks who are treating him as a previously undiscovered gem as opposed to a known commodity. But most of the praise I’ve heaped on him has been legit – I think he’s a fantastic player.
That said, going the Wilson vs. Glennon route after N.C. State’s loss at Wake Forest is missing the point. Yes, Mike Glennon got off to a slow start in that game. But he also came on strong, throwing for 263 yards and three touchdowns in the second half. His fourth-down 63-yard TD pass to T.J. Graham was a thing of beauty; he showed poise and precision in the face of intense pressure from the Demon Deacons.
Speaking of pressure, that was something Tanner Price didn’t face much of against the Wolfpack. He did get sacked three times, but more often he had plenty of time to throw, particularly in the second half when N.C. State desperately needed stops to keep its comeback on track. Price’s protection was in part a testament to the improvement of Wake’s o-line. But it was also an indication of how much injuries to defensive linemen J.R. Sweezy, Jeff Reiskamp and Thomas Teal have hurt State.
Maybe State wouldn’t have fallen so far behind if Wilson has been at quarterback. Who knows? What is certain is that the Wolfpack needs reinforcements on its defensive line soon, preferably before it dives back into conference play.
FREDERIC J. FROMMER – ASSOCIATED PRESS
College players worth 6 figures
The average fair market value of top-tier college football and men’s basketball players is more than $100,000 each, and the athletes are entitled to at least a portion of that, a new report from an advocacy group argues.
Instead of getting what they’re worth, the players receive athletic scholarships that don’t cover the full cost of attending school, leaving many of them living below the poverty line, says the report, “The Price of Poverty in Big Time College Sport.”
A national college athletes’ advocacy group and a sports management professor calculate in the report that if college sports shared their revenues the way pro sports do, the average Football Bowl Subdivision player would be worth $121,000 per year, while the average basketball player at that level would be worth $265,000.
In this week’s episode, Head football coach Tom O’Brien breaks down the Wake Forest game with host Tony Haynes. Mark Thomas visits with offensive lineman Wayne Crawford and previews the Pack’s next game against the South Alabama Jaguars.
“The blueprint it out there with what teams can do to us and what teams are going to want to do to us the rest of the way. Until we stop it. Tackling in space and limiting the yards after catch is a big thing for us.”
“I made the comment after the game that we have to find some leadership, we’re still searching for it. What happened when Sweezy got hurt, the whole dynamics of that unit changed. We have to be able to survive without that. We haven’t been able to find that one person to make it work. You find guys that are really important to units.”
Joe Ovies, afternoon cohost on 99.9 The Fan in Raleigh, and Jim Young have returned with another edition of the ACCSports.com Podcast.
A few of the topics they discussed: the close calls that Clemson, Virginia Tech and UNC endured; the ongoing problems for BC and Duke; N.C. State’s woes at Wake Forest; and the ACC action coming up this weekend.
Also, Bud Elliott – publisher of the FSU blog, Tomahawk Nation – drops by midway through the podcast to preview the Seminoles’ huge matchup with Oklahoma.
NCSU safety Brandan Bishop expected better out of the Pack defense after two weeks.
NCSU wide receiver T.J. Graham says the Pack offense has been sluggish in at the beginning of practices as well as games.
NCSU head coach Tom O’Brien admits losing three of his top pass rushers on the defensive line to injury has hurt the Pack.