NC STATE FOOTBALL
Try as they might, non-option teams have a very difficult time simulating the speed and efficiency of the offense in practice, thus, giving The Bulldogs yet another edge they might not possess otherwise.
If NC State does a good job of defending The Citadel’s option attack on Saturday night, one of the Wolfpack stars will be Josh Stanley. And who in the heck is Josh Stanley, you ask? Stanley is a sophomore defensive back from Raleigh’s Leesville Road High School who has been playing the part of slippery Bulldogs quarterback Ben Dupree for the scout team in practice this week.
“He [ran the option] a little bit at Leesville Road and did it in practice last year before we played Georgia Tech,” State defensive coordinator Mike Archer said. “He’s bigger than Dupree. Dupree is about 5-9 and he’s hard to see. Some of the options that they run, it appears that defenses have it played well and he’ll come out of the pack and break a long run. It’s hard to emulate.”
Dupree was indeed dazzling against the Mountaineers last week, rushing for 144 of his career-high 180 yards in the first half alone. Even in those rare passing situations for The Citadel, he becomes more of a threat as an open field scrambler than as a passer. Through three games, Dupree has run the ball 25 more times than any other back and leads the team with an average of 116 yards per game.
Joe Giglio (N&O)
N.C. State, Duke face ‘must-win’ games
• N.C. State’s game won’t be televised in Raleigh for a third consecutive week. The way Tom O’Brien has talked up The Citadel’s option offense, that might be a good thing. N.C. State hasn’t lost to FCS opponent since 1987, but there’s definitely a different feel around Wolfpack practice this week, than say for Wofford or Murray State from year’s past.
Sammy Batten (FayObserver.com)
Big 5 college football capsules
The Citadel at N.C. State
Kickoff: 6 p.m.
2011 records: The Citadel 3-0, N.C. State 2-1
The storyline: The Wolfpack meets a Citadel team that’s beaten two nationally ranked Football Championship Subdivision foes the last two weeks.
Notable: N.C. State’s sophomore receiver Bryan Underwood had three touchdown catches this season and six for his career. … Five of those TD catches have been of 33 yards or longer. … The Wolfpack is tied for the ACC lead in interceptions with five. … N.C. State will play without No. 2 rusher Mustafa Greene, who has been suspended for a second straight game. … The Citadel amassed 463 yards rushing in last week’s upset of No. 7-ranked Appalachian State.
Brett Friedlander (starnewsonline.com)
Five questions to ponder before kickoff
3. Should N.C. State be worried about The Citadel?
After what Louisiana-Monroe did to Arkansas and almost did to Auburn, all FBS teams should be wary of a good FCS opponent. And The Citadel has shown it fits that description after a win against Georgia Southern and last week’s blowout of Appalachian State. Add to that the dangerous option offense the Bulldogs run and the talented player they have running it in quarterback Ben Dupree and the Wolfpack better show up ready to play at Carter-Finley Stadium tonight. If Mike Glennon and his offense take care of their business and a defense that ranks second in the ACC against the run maintains its discipline, State shouldn’t have anything to worry about. But if either of those things doesn’t happen, things could get interesting before the evening is through.
Andrew Skwara (accsports.com)
ACC Weekend Preview, Sept. 21
The Citadel (3-0) at N.C. State (2-1)
When: 6 pm (EST)
TV: None (Internet on ESPN3.com)
Radio: Sirius 125
What’s at Stake?
For N.C. State, this is a second straight tune-up before beginning ACC play at Miami next Saturday. But the Wolfpack, which is coming off a 31-7 win over South Alabama, may get more of a test from The Citadel. The military school crushed traditional FCS power Appalachian State, 52-28, on the road last week.
Key for the Bulldogs
Get to Glennon. Pressuring N.C. State quarterback Mike Glennon is the best way to slow down a Wolfpack offense that hasn’t showed much of a run game. Two weeks ago, Connecticut sacked Glennon six times and held the Wolfpack to 10 points.
Key for the Wolfpack
Run defense and assignment football. The Citadel uses an option attack that ran for 463 yards against Appalachian State and had the ball for more than 38 minutes.
N.C. State ranks 100th nationally in scoring offense (averaging 20.6 points a game) … N.C. State has won all four meetings … The Citadel broke Appalachian State’s 18-game regular-season home winning streak last week … Three Citadel players ran for over 100 yards against Appalachian State.
Wolfpack 38, Bulldogs 17 – The Bulldogs can’t pass the ball much, and that’s going to be an issue against a solid Wolfpack defense.
N.C. State Hosts Citadel In Nonconference Finale
Slowly but surely, North Carolina State’s defense seems to be steadying itself heading into the Atlantic Coast Conference schedule. The offense could use a little more work.
The Wolfpack play their final nonconference game Saturday night when they host The Citadel of the Championship Subdivision.
It marks the last chance for N.C. State (2-1) to figure some things out before league play begins next week. The Wolfpack’s defense was lit up for several big plays in a one-sided loss to Tennessee in the opener, but followed that by beating Connecticut and South Alabama and allowing seven points in each game.
The offense still has room for improvement. N.C. State ranks 97th or worse in three of the four major stat categories, and that’s one reason why coach Tom O’Brien calls his team “a work in progress.”
“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,” O’Brien said. “We gave up too many sacks (six) two weeks ago at Connecticut, got a little bit better last week, but certainly that’s a work in progress.”
Omega Wolf (BackingthePack.com)
The Citadel Bulldog Bullet Train
Previewing The Citadel
The Citadel rides the emotional wave of consecutive victories over FCS Top 10 teams Georgia Southern and Appalachian State into its lone game of the year against an FBS opponent. The Bulldogs are looking to go 4-0 and defeat an FBS school for the first time since 1992.
The Citadel and NC State have not met in almost three decades, with the Wolfpack winning the most recent meeting 45-0 in 1983 to go up 4-0 in the all-time series. The Bulldogs are facing an ACC opponent for the first time since losing at North Carolina in 2009.
The Bulldogs have not defeated an ACC school since the formation of the conference in 1953. The last win over a current ACC member was a 6-0 victory over Clemson in 1931.
THE CITADEL VS. THE ACC
The ACC has not been kind to The Citadel. The Bulldogs have never defeated a school while it was member of the ACC (0-27) and have an all-time record of 6-64-2 against current conference programs.
The Citadel is its third season of running the triple option offense, and its running game is again one of the most potent in the nation.
The Bulldogs are averaging 370.0 yards per game on the ground, good for third in the nation behind only fellow Southern Conference members Wofford and Georgia Southern.
The Citadel has gone over the 400-yard mark twice already this season, rushing for 479 yards and seven touchdowns against Charleston Southern and 463 and six scores against Appalachian State. In its 52-28 win over the Mountaineers last Saturday, The Citadel had three ball carriers go over the 100-yard mark, led by Ben Dupree with a career-high 180. Darien Robinson added 113 yards and Rickey Anderson had a career-best 102. The last time the Bulldogs had three players rush for more than 100 yards in a game came in 1998 against VMI.
Ryan Tice (TheWolfpacker.com)
Darryl Cato-Bishop knows line’s importance this week
There aren’t many college football teams that still utilize an option attack on offense. Luckily for NC State, one of the best option teams in the country, Georgia Tech, resides in the ACC and the Wolfpack has squared off with the Yellow Jackets in each of the past two seasons, so some of the older players have experience defending a variation of the ground-based offense.
“Of course, [playing] Georgia Tech helps this week,” redshirt junior defensive end Darryl Cato-Bishop said. “It gives us a lot of experience and exposure to the double wing, some of its wrinkles and some of the things that we have to pay attention to.
“We’ve been focusing on our keys and sticking to the basics. We just need to try to stay focused.”
Cato-Bishop has logged time against Georgia Tech in each of the past two seasons, so he and several other defensive linemen will help lead their unit this weekend because fifth-year senior middle linebacker Sterling Lucas is the only athlete in the middle with experience defending the option. Defensive coordinator Mike Archer called the linebackers the key to Saturday’s game against The Citadel, but their success starts with the play up front.
SFN: The real stories of the David Amerson situation
When you read Heitner’s article, you will probably be as confused as the rest of us — in short, the article is positioned to not really be claiming that a series of pretty benign events cannot be verified. No kidding!!
In short, the article claims that an anonymous ‘business manager’ to NFL prospects (whatever sad existence that must mean) allegedly says that ‘disassociated’ Eric Leak knows/has relationships with some current NC State student-athletes and, along with some guy named Damon McNair, is running the agent selection process for David Amerson.
Everything else in the story is actually weirdly funny — for example, in case you were not previously aware – some people traveled to Atlanta to watch NC State play Tennessee. Can you believe it? To this point, there are about 55,000 folks that I saw with my own eyes who traveled to the game that have not yet had an article written about them. And…get this…three or four of these people who traveled to Atlanta to watch a football game actually talked about football and football players while they were in Atlanta, including David Amerson!!! Holy cow…this story has more twists and turns than a Chris Hawkins driven U-Haul through Georgia.
NC STATE BASKETBALL
Joe Giglio (N&O)
N.C. State rewards Gottfried with raise, new incentive bonuses
Mark Gottfried received an automatic two-year extension when N.C. State made the NCAA tournament last March.
The second-year basketball coach was approved for an annual raise of $750,000 on Friday, and some new valuable bonuses, to go with the extension for the Wolfpack’s 24-win season in 2011-12, which ended in the Sweet 16.
Gottfried will make $1.95 million in guaranteed money annually, which trails only Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski and North Carolina’s Roy Williams in the ACC.
Brett Friedlander (starnewsonline.com)
N.C. State rewards Gottfried, Avent with raises
Gottfried’s annual salary of $750,000 remains unchanged following a rookie season in which he led the Wolfpack to 24 wins and a trip to the NCAA Sweet 16. But with an increase from $450,000 to $1.2 million in supplemental compensation, the former ESPN analyst moves from the ninth-highest paid coach in the ACC to the third on the list.
“Coach Gottfried and his family have been a welcome addition to the Wolfpack Family,” State athletic director Deborah Yow. “His competitive and recruiting success has accelerated our vision of excellence in an impressive way.”
In addition to the raises for Gottfried and Avent, the Board of Trustees also approved several contract amendments that bring in-house the compensation received by coaches previously paid by third parties.
Gottfriend & Avent get raises
Wow! Big raise for Gottfried on one year’s performance. I sure hope we never hear of him entertaining offers from anyone else – including UCLA & Kentucky – in the future. Debbie Yow and NC State have provided him an opportunity when nobody else in basketball would do the same and continue to support him with significant staff and facilities resources.
NC STATE ATHLETICS
For the first time in school history, NC State’s volleyball team completed a sweep of the Big Four in ACC play, beating Duke 3-1 at Reynolds Coliseum on Friday night in front of 1,486 spectators.
The victory allowed the Wolfpack (13-1 overall, 3-0 ACC) to match the second best overall start in school history and to post the best start to the conference season since the 1988 team went a perfect 6-0 in league play.
The Pack came out of the gates strong, winning the first two sets then finishing off its first victory over Duke since 2000, never trailing the Devils in the fourth set (25-23, 25-20, 18-25, 25-14).
Sowers joins the Wolfpack after spending the past season at his alma mater Akron, where he served as the director of strength and conditioning for football.
Before returning to Akron, Sowers was the assistant head coach for athletic performance at UCLA (2008-11), where he assisted with training and designed and implemented a speed program for the Bruins’ football team. He also had complete oversight of training for the men’s volleyball and women’s soccer squads.
“I am excited to be apart of the NC State athletics, I am very impressed with where the program has come over the last two years and where we are getting ready to take it,” said Sowers. “I am eager to work with Bob Alejo and Deborah Yow to grow this into the top Athletic Performance Program in the country.”
Prior to relocating to the West Coast, Sowers served as the director of human performance for Akron General Sports Performance in Stow, Ohio, in 2007.
During the four previous years, he was the director of performance at Velocity Sports Performance at locations in Mayfield Village, Ohio, and Irvine, Calif. In that role, he oversaw all aspects of speed, power and strength development for athletes at the high school, collegiate and professional level. He served on the Sports Performance Directors Advisory Council during that time and was its chairman in 2006-07.
From 2000-03, Sowers was the head strength and conditioning coach at UTEP. He oversaw all aspects of speed, strength and conditioning for the University’s 17 NCAA varsity sports and approximately 350 athletes. The football team was Western Athletic Conference champions in 2000.
Inside Wolfpack Sports
In today’s episode, Don Shea visits with NC State Director of Athletics Deborah Yow.
AARON BEARD (AP)
Attorney releases phone records for ex-UNC coach Butch Davis
An attorney has released cellphone records for fired North Carolina football coach Butch Davis to media outlets, saying it should prove “once and for all” that Davis did nothing wrong regarding misconduct by players.
Friday’s release follows a judge’s ruling last month that job-related calls Davis made on the phone should be public under state law but his personal calls would remain private. Media outlets, including The Associated Press, had sued for access to the records as they sought information about the NCAA’s investigation of the football program.
The phone records, totaling 136 pages, span from March 2009 to November 2010. The school has said outside counsel reviewed them and found “nothing of concern.” Davis had said he wanted to protect the privacy of personal contacts, though at least partial records were included for nearly all calls in what attorney Jonathan D. Sasser described as an effort to be as open as possible.
“As the NCAA found, and UNC has consistently maintained, Coach Davis did nothing wrong,” Sasser said.
J. Andrew Curliss (N&O)
Lawyer: Tutor called Davis for advice as NCAA focus shifted to academics
UNC-Chapel Hill football coach Butch Davis spoke by phone with a key person – the tutor who was under increasing scrutiny – as an NCAA investigation focused on possible academic fraud in the summer of 2010, new phone records show.
Jennifer Wiley, who had tutored several football players and also worked for the Davis family as a tutor to their son, made the call to Davis on Aug. 23, 2010 at 10:12 a.m.
They spoke for nine minutes, according to the records, which were released by a Davis family lawyer Friday after a two-year public records dispute over whether the records are public.
Dan Kane (N&O)
UNC-CH sends Tami Hansbrough records to NCAA
The NCAA has received several travel and hiring records related to Tami Hansbrough in the wake of the questionable travel at UNC-Chapel Hill that caused her and the vice chancellor for university advancement to resign from their fundraising jobs.
UNC officials on Friday afternoon made public a copy of a fax sent to Mike Zonder, the NCAA’s assistant director of enforcement, on Sept. 13. That is a day after Hansbrough resigned her position as a fundraiser for the office of student affairs and five days after the vice chancellor, Matt Kupec, resigned.
UNC-CH spokesman Michael McFarland said in a statement: “After recent media reports about Ms. Hansbrough’s trips, Leslie Strohm and an NCAA representative had a telephone discussion on September 13, 2012. After that discussion, we provided to the NCAA the information we released earlier today.”
The NCAA could be interested in Hansbrough’s hiring and work history because she joined the university while Tyler Hansbrough was just beginning his final season on the team, one that brought UNC-CH a national championship. If the hires were not proper, they could be considered evidence of a special benefit being given to her son, which would be a violation of NCAA rules.
Jane Stancill (N&O)
UNC caps rough week with stirring rally for Holden Thorp
In the noontime sunshine Friday, hundreds gathered outside the historic administration building, where they scribbled thanks on a long scroll of paper — messages such as “We trust you Holden Thorp” and “Keep it together for the kids! You da best!” They wore buttons that said “Heels for Holden” and stickers that said “Thank you, Chancellor Thorp.”
The event was part pep rally, part love fest, part music happening. Student a cappella groups performed, and a popular student band called Mipso Trio sang Tom Petty’s hit, “I Won’t Back Down.”
Like the song lyrics, there was defiance in the air. For his handling of the athletic mess, Thorp had been pilloried in newspaper editorials, in online comments and on blogs. But on his turf Friday, he was a hero. A line of speakers, from mayors to housekeepers to doctors to students, spoke about why they admired Thorp.
“I won’t deny that the issues that surround the resignation are important, and they need to be addressed,” said Dr. Bruce Cairns, director of the N.C. Jaycee Burn Center in the university’s hospital. “But they don’t define this university, and they don’t define the job that Chancellor Holden Thorp has done over the years.”
Student Body President Will Leimenstoll said Thorp worked to build a place where affordability complemented, rather than competed with, academic excellence. The university isn’t perfect, Leimenstoll said, but the scandals have unfairly overshadowed the good. He encouraged a letter-writing campaign to newspapers across the state.
“As I understand it, Chancellor Thorp wants to step down because he’s tired and worn out,” Leimenstoll said. “He’s borne the brunt of the scandals of the past two years, constantly taking criticism from all directions on every move he makes. I don’t think he’s tired because he’s sick of serving the students, faculty or staff here. … I want the chancellor to rethink his decision to resign, but more importantly, I want us to do a better job of not leaving him, nor any future chancellor, to fight this on his own.”