NC STATE FOOTBALL
Jack Daly (N&O)
N.C. State’s linebackers growing with each snap
As it tried to put the finishing touches on a 10-7 victory over Connecticut, N.C. State’s defense confronted one final last-gasp effort from the Huskies.
With a little more than 2 minutes remaining and UConn facing a fourth-and-9 from its 40, sophomore linebacker Brandon Pittman charged Huskies quarterback Chan Whitmer and appeared to come up with his first career sack.
Defensive end Art Norman was offsides, negating the play. N.C. State sealed its victory on the next snap when David Amerson broke up Whitmer’s pass.
While the penalty altered the way UConn’s final drive finished, it doesn’t change the fact Pittman executed when the game was on the line.
“That was a heck of a play because he read the protection and he knew where the seam was and he took it inside and got to the quarterback,” N.C. State defensive coordinator Mike Archer said. “Unfortunately, he lost it because we were offsides, but that was good to see that. That’s something that you have to actually see and feel. You can talk about it, but until it happens …”
Brett Friedlander (starnewsonline.com)
Playing status of UNC’s Bernard, State’s Wolff left to guesswork
When asked about Wolff’s availability, O’Brien said “hopefully he’ll make it for Saturday’s game.” But when pressed for more information about whether the senior was back at practice, the coach replied curtly: “I don’t have a comment on that.”
The exact nature of Wolff’s injury is not known, though it’s believe to be an aggravated groin. Whatever it is, it forced him to miss the fourth quarter of last week’s 10-7 win at UConn. Wolff still played well enough in the game to earn ACC Defensive Back of the Week honors.
Given the strength of this week’s opponent – USA is in only its second year as a FBS program – and the fact that Wolff was wearing a non-contact “injured” jersey at practice this week, O’Brien figures to play it safe.
Thursday Football Notebook
Saturday’s game will mark the second meeting between NC State and the Jaguars of South Alabama, with the Wolfpack winning the only meeting in the series.
On Sept. 17, 2011, the Jaguars came into Carter-Finley Stadium never having lost a game in the brief history of its program (they began play in 2009). USA, which will move up to the FBS ranks in 2013, had posted a 19-0 record since beginning play in 2009 prior to the 35-13 loss to the Pack last year.
The USA game was the Pack’s third contest of the 2011 season and was a bit of a coming-out party for quarterback Mike Glennon in his first year as a starter. Glennon completed 17 of his 20 attempts in the contest for 274 yards and four touchdowns. That completion percentage (.850) was the highest for a Pack player since Philip Rivers went 26-30 (.866) against Western Carolina in the 2003 season opener.
Ryan Tice (TheWolfpacker.com)
Q&A: Tom O’Brien ready for home opener
Are the days of a stud offensive lineman, like Jim Ritcher and Willie Roaf, gone because of the way the game has evolved?
No, I think there are plenty of good offensive linemen in this country. It’s a position that’s harder to play because there are so many techniques involved. It’s getting more difficult to play because of the changing defenses, blitzes and things going on – they go from four-down, to three-down, to everybody standing up to radar defenses.
I think the defenses have changed so much in the last couple of years to try to keep up with the changes in offense, and the burden has been put on the offensive line more than any other position.
Would anybody even consider rotating offensive linemen the way you rotate defensive linemen?
No, I think the main thing with offense is consistency. You have to trust the guy next to you. There are so many combination blocks and combination pick-ups that you have to do in pass protection, it’s important that you get a feel for the guy that is right next to you – to understand what his pressure is, how he’s going to react, what he’s going to do and the constant communication that has to go on.
The more you switch [offensive linemen], the more you change that dynamic of them having to pick up what they have to do.
Sean Bielawski (CBSSports.com)
Preview: South Alabama Jaguars at NC State Wolfpack
You going? Ranking the road trip: It is the home-opener for NC State, and its fans will be happy to see some football in Raleigh, even if it is against South Alabama. This is the first of two consecutive yawners for NC State in front of the home crowd. The Wolfpack welcome The Citadel next week to Carter-Finley Stadium.
Magic number for NC State: 332.5. NC State ranks No. 95 nationally in total offense, averaging just 332.5 yards in its first two games. Last week against UConn, the Wolfpack managed just 258 yards of total offense.
Magic number for South Alabama: 6. South Alabama had six sacks last week against Nicholls State. Meanwhile, NC State has allowed seven sacks on the season despite an offensive line that returns 117 career starts up front.
The game comes down to: Whether NC State can get on track offensively. If Glennon can get things going in the passing game, the Wolfpack should roll over South Alabama.
Prediction: NC State 31, South Alabama 13
Tommy Hicks (Press-Register)
South Alabama polishes up gameplan for N.C. State
“We know that N.C. State, to me, is an improved football team defensively,” Jones said. “They’ve always been a consistent team offensively, but defensively I think they are much improved. They held UConn to seven points. We realize the challenge that’s ahead of us but I think we’ve got a great preparation for the game and the kids are in the right frame of mind. We’re just going to go play the game and see where the chips fall.”
Tommy Hicks (Press-Register)
B.J. Scott provides Jags with experience in secondary
The experience that B.J. Scott received as a member of Alabama’s 2009 national championship team has been valuable to his teammates at South Alabama. He is able to use that experience as a mentoring tool with the younger players on the Jaguars’ roster and it is an experience – as a teammate and player, in good times and bad – that he can call on still.
This week, his experience, both as Alabama and South Alabama, will be important, not only as a member of the Jags’ secondary, but for the team as a whole as the Jags prepare to face North Carolina State for the second straight year in Raleigh.
The 5-foot-11, 2-5-pound senior safety from Prichard is a leader, not only for USA’s defensive unit, but for the team overall. That leadership will be called upon as the Jags look to continue their improvement and the growth of the program in Saturday’s game. Kickoff at Carter-Finley Stadium is set for 5 p.m. CDT.
Dan Kane (N&O)
Appeals court focuses on McAdoo’s ‘right’ to play football
The university was prompted to find the no-show classes after The News & Observer obtained a transcript of Marvin Austin, another football player who had been kicked off the team.
The transcript showed Austin had taken an upper-level class in the department during summer 2007, and received a B-plus before he had taken remedial writing his first full semester as a freshman. That class also never met.
None of that was known when McAdoo filed his lawsuit, but since then, Huffstetler has cited the academic fraud as evidence that his client was manipulated by the academic support program for athletes, and did not know that what he was doing was wrong. The support program has come under fire in the scandal as some evidence has emerged to indicate counselors were steering athletes to the no-show classes.
The judges challenged the arguments that lawyers representing all three parties made. They questioned whether playing football was a right, as Huffstetler argued. They also questioned whether the process that led to McAdoo’s removal from the team was fair when the university and the NCAA made no effort to provide him legal counsel.
If McAdoo gets a trial, awarding damages could be difficult. It’s hard to know how marketable McAdoo would have been to NFL teams had he played another season.
“If your client was entitled to nominal damages, shouldn’t we just kill this thing now?” Hunter asked Huffstetler toward the end of the hearing.
Huffstetler said no.
“Our client is interested in not only his rights, but the rights for all future students,” he said.
Tom Sorensen (N&O)
UNC takes a beating on integrity scoreboard
After reading that student-athlete Lance Thomas bought $97,800 worth of jewelry my first thought was: Did Thomas play wide receiver for North Carolina, or was he a defensive back?
Turns out Thomas played for Duke’s 2010 national championship basketball team. Thomas gave a New York jeweler $30,000 and said he’d pay the remaining $67,800. He hasn’t. He also hasn’t explained where he got the $30,000 and the jeweler hasn’t explained why he offered the credit.
I vaguely remember Thomas. So forgive me for getting him mixed up with North Carolina. When something goes bad on a college campus I assume a Tar Heel is involved.
There have been so many transgressions it’s as if the school collects them.
The Dental Foundation of North Carolina declined Thursday to make public the report that details some of the travel spending that Tami Hansbrough did while working there.
The foundation’s executive director, Paul Gardner, provided a synopsis of her time there that included details from the report. But he said the foundation did not have to produce the report because it is a nonprofit and not a governmental entity, and therefore not covered by the state’s public records law.
The foundation raises money for UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Dentistry. Hansbrough worked for two years as a fundraiser for the foundation before being hired to raise money for UNC-CH’s student affairs office.