NC STATE FOOTBALL
The Citadel (3-0) is off to its best start since 1992 with wins over the Mountaineers, Georgia Southern and Charleston Southern. A switch to the triple option has paid off for the Bulldogs and coach Kevin Higgins, whose team hasn’t finished better than 4-8 since 2007.
The Citadel had three 100-yard rushers against Appalachian State, gaining 463 rushing yards as a team and 618 total yards of offense, which impressed N.C. State’s defense.
“If you put up 600 yards, you are running by somebody,” N.C. State safety Brandon Bishop said.
The Citadel is 0-27 against ACC teams since the conference’s formation and has lost 23 consecutive to Division I-A opponents dating back to 1992. Neither stat means much to N.C. State coach Tom O’Brien, not after the way the Bulldogs have started.
“They are playing great right now,” O’Brien said. “They will certainly come here thinking they can whoop us.”
Saturday’s game against The Citadel will be NC State’s annual Military Appreciation Day at Carter-Finley Stadium. This special game has become a favorite for Wolfpack fans over the past several years, as the Pack goes all out to honor and thank those who serve our country in the armed forces.
Several Pack players feel a special bond to this game, including senior safety Earl Wolff.
Wolff was born near Fort Bragg, which is located in Fayetteville, N.C., and has a strong military presence with its army base.
His mother is currently on deployment in Kuwait, but Wolff makes a point of it to talk to her everyday.
“Of course, when she left me it hurt, but it made me grow up faster,” said Wolff. “God does everything for a reason, so it just made me stronger.”
Wolff will be playing in his fourth Military Appreciation Day game with the Wolfpack, and this being his last, might mean the most to him.
“It means a lot to me,” said Wolff. “My mom is overseas right now, fighting for our country. She doesn’t come back until November. She is on my mind everyday.
“Saturday is a big day for me. I have family coming down from Maryland and Philadelphia. I want to play hard for them, and for my mom since she will be watching.”
As you are putting the finishing touches on your tailgate plans, make sure you plan to visit a military-themed Fan Zone this Saturday and spend time with military service branches while enjoying interactive games and live entertainment. Located on the front lawn of the PNC Arena behind the North End Zone of Carter-Finley Stadium, Fan Zone will open at 3:00 PM and will be packed full of activities for Wolfpack fans of all ages.
Taking the stage to perform will be the Navy Band. Having performed all over the country, the Navy Band will be sure to put on a show you will not soon forget.
With four branches of the United States Military on hand, there will be an undeniable patriotic feeling that will be a great experience for all Wolfpack fans. The Air Force will be represented by area recruiters, a RAP vehicle display, a football toss, and an F-22 replica. On display from the Army, USO and Association of the US Army will be go-karts and local recruiters.
Ryan Tice (TheWolfpacker.com)
Mike Archer: Linebackers are key vs. the Citadel
Talk about the challenge of preparing for the Citadel and their option attack?
It is [a challenge], it’s different. We always spend time in spring ball preparing for it, we’ve always taken some time in training camp to prepare for it because it’s difficult and we basically have two full days to get ready for it. To me, the hardest thing is the speed of it.
Their quarterback, [Ben] Dupree, is exceptionally quick and he’s made a lot of big plays for them. That’s our biggest concern and it is very much assignment football, if you’ve got the fullback, you’ve got to tackle the fullback; if you have the quarterback, you’ve got to take him because if you don’t, as has happened with the people that have played them this year, they will kill you with big plays. That’s the scary part of it. It’s hard to emulate it, our guys try, but it’s the speed of it.
What is the key to stopping a team like the Citadel?
The down guys are very important because your linebackers are the ones that should make a lot of tackles against the wishbone. Two years ago, at Georgia Tech, Nate had 20 tackles; our tackles, J.R. Sweezy, Natanu Mageo and Markus Kuhn, did a great job of protecting Nate and Nate flew around. Last year, against Georgia Tech, our safeties and corners were our leading tackles, which is an indication that we didn’t do a great job.
Saturday night, the key is going to be, if our linebackers are making tackles then we have a chance for success, if not, we could be in for a long night.
Matt Carter (TheWolfpacker.com)
Manny Stocker gets first taste of college action
The call came during the fourth quarter of last Saturday’s South Alabama game for true freshman quarterback Manny Stocker. He was being told to get ready to relieve fifth-year senior and starter Mike Glennon.
There was just one problem. Stocker, for a brief moment, could not find his helmet.
“I do signals all the time, so I do it without my helmet,” Stocker began to explain. “When they called my number, I was shocked. All the adrenaline was rushing through me, and I was looking for my helmet.”
Stocker said that he was not running around frantically, but he was still searching for his helmet until finding it on the bench where numerous other helmets were located. Tom O’Brien though remembered it a tad differently.
“He was running around like a chicken with his head cut off,” O’Brien said.
Apparently Stocker showed enough nervousness to O’Brien that the coach felt the need to give Stocker some crucial advice.
“The only I said is, ‘Just make sure you get the ball from the center,” O’Brien joked. “‘Don’t worry about anything else. You just get the ball from the center and go from there.’”
Stocker did receive some serious words of wisdom though from Glennon.
“Mike told me to calm down, it’ll be fine, it’s not what you think it is, just be comfortable out there,” Stocker recalled. “I took his advice and everything went well.”
TELECONFERENCE: Tom O’Brien
Is their option similar to Georgia Tech’s in any way?
Yeah, it’s very similar to what Georgia Tech does from what we’ve seen on tape. Everyone has got their own peculiar little wrinkle here or there, but the base of the offense is run the way that Georgia Tech’s base offense is run.
Having played them in the past, will that be of much help?
Well, I think it certainly will be, having at least the last couple years. Actually we played Wofford I think my first year or second year here that runs that same offense. We spent a lot of time working on Georgia Tech here the last two years. Obviously we were successful the first year we played them, not so successful our second. But hopefully there’s been a little bit of carryover getting ready to play this football team, Citadel.
What are you looking at to improve offensively on the team in the weeks ahead? What areas do you think your offense can improve upon?
Well, we certainly can get better in our pass protection, keeping our quarterback clean and making sure we’re at the right spot so that we can get the football off. We gave up too many sacks two weeks ago at Connecticut, got a little bit better last week, but certainly that’s a work in progress.
NC STATE BASKETBALL
Brett Friedlander (starnewsonline.com)
Report: N.C. State, Wake Forest to play in 2013 Carrier Classic
One of the first things Mark Gottfried promised when he took over as N.C. State’s basketball coach was a concerted effort to upgrade the Wolfpack’s traditionally soft nonconference schedule.
According to a story by noted blogger Adam Zagoria, Gottfried may be on the verge of delivering on that pledge. Zagoria is reporting that N.C. State will be one of eight schools selected to play in an expanded version of the season-opening Carrier Classic.
ACC’s Unbeatens Clash, Rest Of League Struggling
While the college football spotlight shines squarely on the Atlantic Coast Conference this week with Clemson visiting Florida State, most ACC teams are still seeking respectability.
When the No. 10 Tigers meet the fourth-ranked Seminoles in Tallahassee it will be the first matchup of top 10 ACC schools in five years. Clemson (3-0, 0-0) and Florida State (3-0, 1-0) are the league’s only remaining unbeaten teams just three weeks into the season.
Duke coach David Cutcliffe said it’s an important game for the ACC, a league craving for more respect from its football peers.
“It’s good to have a marquee game in the conference,” Cutcliffe said. “It’s good for the conference.”
After the ACC’s big two, though, there’s not much left to cheer about.
Clemson and Florida State are the only two ACC teams nationally ranked. Virginia Tech (2-1) dropped out of the polls after losing last week at Pitt, which had been upset the previous week by lower-division Youngstown State. Maryland and Virginia could help with the credibility issue with strong showings this weekend in difficult road tests at No. 8 West Virginia and 17th-ranked TCU, respectively.
Some ACC teams have narrowly escaped lower-division opponents and others have fared poorly in intersectional, nonconference games – the Terrapins edged William & Mary 7-6 and the Demon Deacons slipped past Liberty 20-17.
NC STATE ATHLETICS
NC State made quick work in Wednesday night’s 3-0 win over Wake Forest at Reynolds Coliseum, breaking free in a tight first set to win its seventh consecutive match (25-20, 25-16, 25-16).
The Wolfpack (12-1 overall, 2-0 ACC) improved its league-best total wins and winning percentage, outhitting the Deacons .231 to .038 with a balanced effort from its outside hitters.
It’s the first time since 2008 and only the second time in the last 28 years that the Pack has opened ACC play with back-to-back wins.
Dating back to last year’s solo match between the two rivals, the victory was State’s second in a row over the Deacons. Last year’s win broke the Pack’s 25-match losing in the series.
This is the first time State has won two consecutive matches over Wake since 1997, when State won its home match and in the ACC Championship, which was also played at Reynolds Coliseum.
Footprint Podcast: Thorp out, Purvis in
Wolfpack preparing for the option
Riddick & Reynolds
R&R Podcast, Episode 65 — USA Recap/Citadel Preview
Coach joins us for another fantastic show where we discuss the woes of NC State’s offensive line, the Citadel’s unique offense and the value of the scout team. In segment two, we talk Rodney Purvis, Holden Thorp and a buncha other stuff!