NC STATE FOOTBALL
N.C. State’s Glennon Next Up For Seminoles Pass Rush
The Seminoles (5-0, 2-0) have the league’s best defense and feature its two top pass rushers in defensive ends Cornellius Carradine and Bjoern Werner, who already have 13½ sacks between them. Florida State’s defense ranks first across the board in the ACC in all of the key defensive categories.
Most of the Seminole defenders are the same players who smothered the Wolfpack 34-0 a year ago, Glennon was sacked four times, intercepted twice and was held to a career-low 130 yards passing.
And this time he’ll be playing behind a beat-up, patchwork offensive line that will feature a different starting lineup for the fourth time this season.
“It’s going to be a challenge for those guys up front,” NC State coach Tom O’Brien conceded Monday. “We’ve got to be able to protect the quarterback and we have to be able to throw the ball.”
Matt Carter (TheWolfpacker.com)
Monday morning quarterbacking
Three things that did not work:
1. Defensive discipline
The defense was flagged for being offside six times Saturday, a simply inexcusable number of times. Three were declined because the play resulted in a touchdown (twice) and a long 41-yard gain. Junior corner David Amerson in particular was guilty of stopping on one offside penalty, allowing sophomore receiver Rashawn Scott to run free for a 76-yard touchdown.
Speaking of big plays, State’s defense allowed Morris to complete seven passes of 40 yards or more, helping him average a gaudy 28.3 yards per completion. That number is even more upsetting when you consider Morris had 26 completions (resulting in 566 yards). Then there were missed tackles and a dropped interception by senior safety Brandan Bishop at the goal line that bounced into the hands of Scott for a touchdown.
2. Offensive discipline
The Pack turned it over six times, although to be fair the last came on a desperate Hail Mary heave by Glennon. The Pack fumbled it four times, none of them more crucial than when Palmer was fighting for yards near the goal line and had the ball ripped out of his hands with 5:32 left in the second quarter. If Palmer holds onto the ball, State probably gets a touchdown to close the gap to 23-21 at halftime. He fumbled the previous game against The Citadel in similar fashion.
Glennon’s late interception on a miscommunication with Palmer also set up the winning score. Then there was redshirt junior guard Duran Christophe’s costly holding penalty with the Pack down 23-21 in the third quarter. His flag wiped out a seven-yard first down run at midfield by redshirt sophomore Tony Creecy and essentially killed the drive.
Glennon also let a semi-high snap go through his hands in the first quarter for a safety.
3. Special teams discipline
Amerson jumped offside on a field goal attempt in the third quarter, giving Miami a first down at the NCSU 4-yard line and setting up a touchdown to give the Canes a 30-21 lead. In the first quarter, freshman running back Shadrach Thornton had a block in the back that negated a 20-yard punt return by junior receiver Rashard Smith. Sophomore kicker Niklas Sade missed an extra point, and Palmer twice mishandled kickoffs to put State’s field position at inside its five-yard line.
Depth Chart: NC State vs. Florida State
• Senior R.J. Mattes is now starting at left tackle.
• Sophomore Tyson Chandler has moved from left tackle to right tackle.
• Sophomore Cameron Fordham is now starting at right guard.
• Junior Duran Christophe is starting at left guard.
• Sophomore Andy Jomantas is now backing up left and right guard.
Derek Medlin (PackPride.com)
PC: Wolff, Mattes Meet The Media
Derek Medlin (PackPride.com)
O’Brien: “Film Doesn’t Lie”
“(David Amerson’s psyche) is a work in progress. He’s going to be challenged Saturday. This is a team whose receivers top to bottom are as deep as anyone we play. Tennessee had two guys, FSU has 6-8 guys that can run and catch the football. It’s going to be a great challenge for him, he’s gotten away a lot from fundamentals, it’s been stressed the last couple of weeks, but if it doesn’t hit home after last Saturday it’s not going to hit home.”
“Film doesn’t lie. Mike Reed spent some time with (David Amerson) and I intend to sometime this week. It’s a question of fundamentals, he’s not reading the fundamentals he’s trying to make plays, trying to make every play instead of doing his job. If he does his job and 10 other guys do his job then we win the football game.”
“Florida State’s defense has great speed, and we saw that last year. We hadn’t played speed like that until we got to them last year, thank goodness we saw some speed and guys that could come off the edge with speed. We’re better suited to play them, but the problem is we’re starting our fifth different offensive line in six games. We only have one starter in the spot we want him in. We have to be able to protect the quarterback and we have to be able to throw the ball.”
“There is no definitive answer on (Zach Allen’s injury) other than that he is not going to be ready this week. I don’t know what the injury is. I don’t know if it’s out for the year or four weeks or two weeks. It’s obvious he won’t be playing this week. He and Andrew Wallace both got rolled up from behind, those are tough injuries to take. We’ll see where it is, I think they aren’t going to do anything because of the swelling until Friday.”
“We have nobody to blame but ourselves in losing to Tennessee and Miami. We feel that we lost them. I don’t think anybody in this building thinks we’ve beaten by anybody other than ourselves. That’s what is frustrating at this point, to make those 8 pre-snap penalties that we did on Saturday. We’ve been so good the last couple of years of being the least penalized team in the conference. To come away with as many penalties as we did Saturday, and then once again to be out of position and have the ball thrown over your head for a second week. The positives, we rushed the ball pretty good against a defense that had given up rushing yards when they played a true 11-man offense. The quarterback ran against them in the two other games.”
“Nothing on (Mustafa Greene) at this point. I will tell you when I have something, I promise you that. And I am a man of my word.”
“(Rob Crisp) went out and tried to do some things on Tuesday and couldn’t move on Wednesday, so he’s back to where we were. It’s always the case, you try it and see where you wake up the next morning.”
Adam Gold (WRALSportsfan.com)
Blue Devils on Bowl Watch; TOB looks the other way
Let’s get this out of the way very quickly: While he has a tremendous record of sustained success as a head coach, you have to believe that Tom O’Brien is coaching for his job over the next couple of weeks. In the Wolfpack’s second test against a high-caliber (athletically speaking) opponent, State came out on the short end of the deal. Against Tennessee, they really looked as though they just weren’t big, strong or fast enough to hang with a middle-of-the-pack team from the SEC. That was not the case against the Hurricanes. They looked like they belonged in Miami’s class. In fact, there was a lot to like from the Wolfpack, offensively anyway. They’ve got a nice stable of running backs and good enough receivers to move the ball. But, on the other side – my word!
David Amerson looks completely lost. There just isn’t enough talent in the linebacking corps, and this was as unfocused a team as I’ve ever seen in Raleigh. I’m sure film study and practice were a lot of fun on Sunday. It was the sloppiest game I’ve ever seen from an O’Brien-coached team, and that is as alarming as anything else that could have happened in Miami.
That’s a game the Pack should have won! Heck, they nearly did in spite of 14 penalties, six turnovers and a snap that Mike Glennon mishandled into a safety. This has to turn around, or I know someone who will almost certainly be making a list in December, and I’m not talking about Christmas shopping.
Nose dive of the week
Remember when Todd McShay said that NC State cornerback David Amerson was the third best NFL prospect in college football? Boy, that seems like decades ago. Let’s just hope that he hasn’t watched the Wolfpack’s first five games because we’ve seen far too much of Amerson’s back – chasing a receiver from behind. He’s looked unfocused, to put it mildly, and if NC State doesn’t get him turned around, his draft stock will evaporate along with their season. Sometimes there’s a reason players ring up a lot of interceptions. Sometimes it signifies that teams aren’t afraid to throw in their direction.
Sammy Batten (FayObserver.com)
N.C. State hopes to eliminate mistakes against No. 3 Florida State
“We have nobody to blame but ourselves in losing those two games,” N.C. State coach Tom O’Brien said Monday. “We feel that we lost them. I don’t think anybody in this building feels like we’ve been beaten by anybody, other than ourselves. That’s what is frustrating at this point to make those eight pre-snap penalties that we did on Saturday.
“We’ve got to figure out a way not to beat ourselves before we get a chance to win against a good football team.”
Senior safety and Hoke County High graduate Earl Wolff admitted the Wolfpack was down after the setback against Miami. But Wolff felt better about the team’s attitude after a players-only meeting Sunday.
“We made a lot of mistakes Saturday that shouldn’t have happened,” Wolff said. “So we had a meeting to find out where everybody’s mind are. We wanted to make sure everybody was on the same page. We know we messed up, so let’s go out there and fix it, and get this win Saturday to get us back where we need to be.”
Joe Giglio (N&O)
Pack’s Jim Ritcher had to adjust to offensive line
Caulton Tudor (N&O)
Undersized Ted Brown changed Holtz’ mind fast
Andrew Carter (N&O)
At Florida State, there’s hope the Seminoles are finally back
Ben Swain (accsports.com)
ACCross The Web, October 2
N.C. State defensive back David Amerson has been quite popular in the media lately, and this time it’s not for leading the NCAA in interceptions. First, a story broke last week outlining potential contact between Amerson and former Wolfpack wide receiver Eric Leak, who may or may not have been shopping around Amerson to NFL agents. First, it’s important to understand that there is absolutely nothing wrong with this story from an NCAA standpoint. The interesting aspect of this story is that Eric Leak had previously been served a letter of disassociation from N.C. State for providing star basketball player CJ Leslie Tracy Smith with improper benefits. Again, this is not an NCAA issue in any way, and there is really no clear understanding on what N.C. State can really even do to Leak to keep him away from its programs. Then later in the week, a second story broke from an agent who had been contacted by a man “shopping” Amerson, or asking for some form of compensation for delivering Amerson to the agent as a client. Evidently this practice is fairly common, and typically is done behind the back of the athlete being shopped without any knowledge whatsoever. “It seems like a lot is happening behind Amerson’s back without his knowledge these days”, said Miami quarterback Stephen Morris, probably. Amerson got burned so many times by Hurricanes receivers on Saturday that Eric Leak may serve Amerson with a letter of disassociation.
Jim Young (accsports.com)
ACC Football Power Rankings, Oct. 1
1. Florida State (5-0, 2-0 ACC)
Was it a thing beauty? No, it was not. But FSU’s 30-17 win at South Florida was a win on the road against a motivated, almost desperate opponent who had a roster full of players with chips on their shoulders, just dying to stick it to the big brother in-state school. So I’m going to give FSU a pass for not producing style points on Saturday. In the pursuit of a national title – and for right now, at least, the Seminoles are in that conversation – you’re going to have dud games that you have to figure out how to win. FSU did that against the Bulls.
Last Week’s Ranking: 1
Next Game: At N.C. State, 8 p.m.
5. UNC (3-2, 0-1)
This much we know: When the Tar Heels face an overmatched opponent, they look really good. That’s nice, but there are no more walkovers on the schedule. Now UNC gets ready to host a Virginia Tech that will show up in Chapel Hill with a lot to prove. The Tar Heels have to be encouraged by the progress of their defense, which has yielded just six points in the past two weeks after surrendering 67 in the previous two. Again though, consider the competition. Because UNC isn’t bowl eligible this season, quarterback Bryn Renner’s excellent first season (160.51 rating, 14 TDs, 4 Ints) in Larry Fedora’s offense hasn’t gotten much love yet. That’ll change if Renner lights up the Hokies.
Last Week’s Ranking: No. 5
Next Game: Virginia Tech, 12:30 p.m.
6. N.C. State (3-2, 0-1)
I wish had answers for you, Wolfpack fans, but I’m as perplexed as you. How does a team with State’s experience turn the ball over six times? How does a secondary that was allegedly one of the best in the ACC give up 566 yards passing against Miami? Who is the person impersonating David Amerson at defensive back? How do you rush for 224 yards and pass for 440 and still lose? Actually I can answer that one – turnovers. You’d think a team coached by someone with Tom O’Brien’s even-keel demeanor would be the epitome of consistency … but you’d be wrong. Which is my way of saying, don’t be surprised if the Pack gives FSU a scare this Saturday in Raleigh.
Last Week’s Ranking: No. 6
NC STATE BASKETBALL
Bret Strelow (FayObserver.com)
Sindarius Thornwell picks South Carolina over N.C. State
“I feel comfortable with Coach Frank (Martin) and I believe in him,” Thornwell told TheBigSpur.com, South Carolina’s 247sports.com site. “I feel closer to them than I do to North Carolina State.”
Laura Keeley (N&O)
Ex-Duke player Thomas says he’ll talk with NCAA
Even before the settlement, the NCAA faced a few significant hurdles in a potential investigation, including a four-year statute of limitations and lack of subpoena power. The jeweler declined to speak with the NCAA. Thomas does not have to – but it appears he will.
“I’m still working on that, but I’ll eventually speak to them,” Thomas told the Associated Press Monday.
When asked if he thought he violated any NCAA rules with his purchase, Thomas said he “didn’t think so.” He also told Steve Wiseman of the Durham Herald-Sun that he has not spoken with any Duke officials about the lawsuit and expressed regret about the trouble this has caused the university.
“I do feel bad that was something that was just lingering around the university,” Thomas said to the Associated Press. “But everything’s going to get taken care of the right way and I hope the coaching staff and the whole university knows that those were the best four years of my life.”
Lance Thomas says he doesn’t think he committed any NCAA violations
Thomas has settled the lawsuit which claimed he owed nearly $68,000 to Rafaello & Co. for a purchase made during Duke’s 2009-10 national championship season. However, he said some legal details still must be worked out, after which he expects to be more willing to meet with the NCAA and comment publicly in more detail about the matter.
“I do feel bad that was something that was just lingering around the university,” Thomas said. “But everything’s going to get taken care of the right way, and I hope the coaching staff and the whole university knows that those were the best four years of my life.”
“Everything will come out,” he added. “But it will come out on the better end, hopefully.”
Gary Parrish (CBSSports.com)
Emmert: NCAA doesn’t necessarily need Thomas or jewelry store to cooperate to punish Duke
NCAA president Mark Emmert said his governing body “certainly could” charge a member institution with rules violations even if the involved parties refuse to cooperate, in response to CBSSports.com asking Monday about reports that former Duke starter Lance Thomas purchased nearly $100,000 worth of jewelry during his senior season.
“We certainly could deal with a case where we don’t necessarily have cooperation from the actors, but we still have to rely on facts and rely on well-established information,” Emmert said while making it clear he was speaking in general terms and not specifically about Duke’s situation. “It occasionally drives fans out there crazy because they’ll read in a blog or some other source that this or that happened. But the standards of evidence that we use are pretty darn high because we’re dealing with people’s lives here. … We have to go out and make sure we can verify all that facts, and that’s always a big challenge [without cooperation].”
Emmert’s comments suggest the NCAA could still punish Duke if the facts of the case can be verified in another way provided they also place Thomas on the wrong side of the NCAA rulebook while he was a student-athlete. Whether they can and will remains unclear, of course. But the idea that Thomas and the jewelry store’s owners might not be essential to an investigation provides hope to those who think Duke should be punished because one of its players seems to have accepted extra benefits while still in school just like UMass was once punished because one of its players (Marcus Camby) accepted extra benefits while still in school.
Either way, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski has declined comment on the matter. Asked if he thought Krzyzewski would or even should address the issue publicly given his stature within the sport, Emmert said simply, “that’s going to be up to [Krzyzewski].”
Weekly Tom O’Brien TV Show
In this week’s episode head football coach Tom O’Brien breaks down the Miami game with host Tony Haynes. Mark Thomas visits with safety Earl Wolff and previews the Wolfpack’s next game against the Florida State Seminoles.
O’Brien: improve or don’t play
Tom O’Brien is sending a message to his players. He wants them to get better or they will not play.
Wolff: We had a lot of mental breakdowns
NC State safety Earl Wolff describes why the team played like it did at Miami and what they are doing to get better before FSU.
Gary Parrish (CBSSports.com)
NCAA president Mark Emmert confirms North Carolina could face sanctions for academic fraud
NCAA president Mark Emmert told CBSSports.com on Monday that the NCAA hasn’t yet determined whether North Carolina will face additional sanctions because of allegations of academic fraud pertaining to former student-athletes.
“We’ll continue to monitor the situation and see what the facts are as they unfold from the investigations that [UNC] is involved with,” Emmert said. “… And [then we'll see] if there’s anything further that we need to do at that time.”
“[North Carolina is] working very diligently to get to the bottom of it,” Emmert said. “We’ll just have to see what the facts are as they become clearer.”