NC STATE FOOTBALL
Joe Giglio (N&O)
Pack without 3 starting offensive linemen against No. 3 FSU
N.C. State will face Florida State’s top-rated defense without three starting offensive linemen, including guard Zach Allen, who is out for the rest of the season with a foot injury.
Allen, who started the first five games at right guard, got his right foot rolled up from behind during the third quarter of N.C. State’s 44-37 loss to Miami last Saturday.
Left tackle Rob Crisp will miss his fifth consecutive game with a back injury, and tackle Andrew Wallace will miss his second consecutive game with an injured left ankle. Wallace and Allen suffered similar injuries on similar type of plays.
Thursday Football Notebook
NC State and Florida State have met 32 times on the gridiron, with the Seminoles holding a 22-10 advantage. The Wolfpack and Seminoles played from 1952-57, from 1963-69, and then resumed a yearly rivalry when Florida State joined the Atlantic Coast Conference in 1992.
In 2001, NC State became the first ACC team to beat Florida State in Tallahassee since FSU joined the ACC with a 34-28 win, then followed that up with a 20-15 win in 2005 to become the first ACC team to defeat the Seminoles at their house twice.
In the last seven meetings, State posts a 3-4 mark against FSU, including the Pack’s 28-24 victory in 2010 at Carter-Finley.
Ryan Tice (TheWolfpacker.com)
Tom O’Brien Q&A: Pack finalizes prep for FSU
How has the team’s response been to the loss been this week in practice?
Sluggish to start the week, we were real tired and slow on Tuesday. I think as the week progressed, we did a little better yesterday and much better today. I think that the weather helped a little bit. I think the distance of the last game and the proximity of the next game has helped, too.
We were just tired, legs were tired. That was my biggest concern. It wasn’t the mental aspect of it, it was the physical aspect of being four hours in the sun [against Miami], 90 degree weather – it can take so much out of you, it takes a while to get yourself back and get yourself going. Certainly, we’re going to have to play fast on Saturday night. If we’re not at 100 percent, then we’re going to have problems. I think as the week went on, guys took care of themselves. I think without classes today and tomorrow, they can get themselves rested and ready to go on Saturday night. Certainly, the crowd can bring a lot of energy, too – let’s say we’re lacking in the tank, it has to be filled up by the enthusiasm of our fans come Saturday night.
Did you lighten the load?
Absolutely, all week.
How confident are you that some of the problems on defense can be fixed or are being fixed?
I’m confident because the problems we’ve had on defense have been guys that have done it in the past. They just have to get their act together and start playing the way they’re capable of playing.
The linebackers are still growing, we knew that was going to be a problem. Coaching-wise, you can compensate for those things, but when the other pieces around them aren’t performing, then it’s tough for them to be successful, too.
Ryan Tice (TheWolfpacker.com)
Q&A: Mike Archer reviews Miami, previews FSU
After five games, are you pleased with the run defense?
The run defense after five games, if you throw out the two long plays against Tennessee – the reverse and the counter they ran against us unbalanced – we really, knock on wood, have not been hurt in the running game by big plays.
Last week, there were a couple of positives. There weren’t many, but those two backs are really good and we did a pretty good job. We didn’t tackle great, but we did slow the running game down. Then, the other thing that was positive, was we had four opportunities after five after turnovers to stop them and we did. We kept us in the game. Now, we stunk in other areas, but we forced field goals – and we were lucky they missed them. We gave ourselves a chance to win. We didn’t win, but we gave ourselves a chance to win.
In any situation – this is just me personally – as much as we harped on the negative things that happened and we coached them hard and we got on some kids; we always finish on a positive. The positives were what we did after adversity. We did stop them and we did slow the running game down. Now, that’s only two things that we did well, so we have a whole lot of things we have to get better at, but that’s what we’ve got to do this week.
Everyone is talking about David Amerson’s performance. What did you think of his game against Miami?
It’s not all him. It’s a combination of a lot of things. Everybody wants to put the blame on the secondary – when the ball gets thrown over your head, it’s justified, but we haven’t gotten close to the quarterback when we’ve rushed four. When we have come with pressure and brought dogs, we had opportunities.
The last play of the game, one of our linebackers is unblocked, he doesn’t make the play. We’re all in this, the coaches, too; me too, it’s all of us. We have to accept that, but let’s not just put it all on one unit. We win as a team, we lose as a team. As a defensive collective group on Saturday, we didn’t perform, and that’s our responsibility.
Akula Wolf (BackingthePack.com)
Florida State Vs. NC State: Talking Seminoles With Tomahawk Nation
2.) Did you expect Florida State’s offense to be as good as it has been through the first five games? We heard a lot about the team’s defense during the preseason, but Noles have been extremely impressive offensively as well.
In short, no, not this good. Filtering out 1-AA opponents, FSU is still the #2 offense in the country in terms of yards per play. Florida State fell from the 7th best offense in 2010 to 32nd in 2011 by F/+, and most FSU fans did not expect a top tier group to return in 2012. The primary reason for this was the offensive line, which saw ten different players start last season including four true freshman in the bowl game. Phil Steele ranked the Seminole offense as the most injured unit in the country last season, and I know NC State fans know a thing or two about injuries over these last two seasons.
So, what does FSU do to shore up the revolving door of an OL from last year? Well, they convert a defensive tackle and start him at left tackle and bring in a JUCO from Manchester, UK who has been playing football since 2011 and start him at right tackle. Sounds like a plan for success, right? Stunningly, it has been. The tackles have been very good, and the young interior line has played well also. The ‘Noles have gashed teams with their running game in 2012, particularly with the stretch runs on outside zone (OZ) plays. Chris Thompson, who actually broke his back in 2011, has been a resurgent force so far at running back with huge game after huge game. All of this has simplified life for EJ Manuel, a fifth year senior at QB who is still more proficient in the run game than with the pass. The offense did take a small step backwards toward average last week at USF, which doesn’t always play to its talent, but ‘Noles fans are still very happy with this season’s offensive output to date.
5.) These two teams have played entertaining and close games against each other over the last decade or so, and now you guys have gone off and gotten way the hell better than us, and I for one do not appreciate it. Have you people no respect for the long tradition of the NC State-Florida State rivalry?
NC State is still a team that makes FSU fans’ palms sweat. Too many freakin’ Thursday nights have been spent causing bodily or property damage as a result of a game with the Wolfpack. We can’t help but fret over a six interception performance out of nowhere or a botched goal line play action pass to win the game, which still starts a debate about whose fault it was to this day (it wasn’t Ponder’s!). I’m also pretty sure Phillip Rivers played for at least seven seasons in Raleigh and don’t try to tell me otherwise.
As to Saturday’s game, I think last week saw every sort of misfortune imaginable befall the Pack, so I’m expecting some sort of cosmic retribution that will inevitably mystify FSU fans. I don’t know what the Notorious TOB has in store for the Seminoles on Saturday night or for NC State as a program in the coming years, but I do know that I will never be comfortable when I look at the game against the Pack on the schedule. Call it post-Tom-atic stress. Wordplay!
NC STATE ATHLETICS
Luke DeCock (N&O)
Thompson’s legacy resonates in words of those who admire him
As David Thompson joins the inaugural class in N.C. State’s Hall of Fame on Friday, almost 39 years after his sky-walking ways led the Wolfpack to a national championship, the basketball star from Shelby still rises far, far above his peers.
He changed the way the game was played, taking it off the floor and “above the rim,” a phrase coined to describe Thompson’s game. Despite his relatively diminutive stature, he created the modern small forward or “3” position, a player equally comfortable inside or outside, the prototype for the game Michael Jordan, who idolized Thompson, would one day play.
And yet there’s an entire generation of basketball fans and players who never saw Thompson play. His greatest exploits, in college and the 1976 American Basketball Association dunk contest with Julius Erving, predated the saturation TV coverage basketball gets today. And his NBA career fizzled because of injuries and drug abuse just as that league was beginning its climb to transcendent popularity.
David Glenn Chats With Tom O’Brien, Oct. 4
Among the topics they discussed: Whether there are any parallels between two of O’Brien’s former quarterbacks Matt Ryan and Russell Wilson; how Mike Glennon compares to Ryan and Wilson; O’Brien’s comment that he has never been associated with a team that’s made as many mistakes as N.C. State did against Miami; O’Brien’s reaction to David Amerson’s offside penalty that gave Miami a first down inside the five-yard line; how N.C. State’s defense has compared with O’Brien’s expectations; and what role N.C. State’s fans will play in the team’s game against Florida State.
The inaugural class of the NC State Athletic Hall of Fame will be inducted in a star-studded ceremony on Friday, Oct. 5 at Reynolds Coliseum. The induction, which begins at 7:30 p.m., will be broadcast online via ESPN3 and on Time Warner Cable Digital Channel 518 in North and South Carolina. Tickets remain available to purchase through Friday at noon at GoPack.con/hof.
Hosted by State alumnus, WRAL-TV Sports Anchor Jeff Gravley, the event will feature video vignettes of each inductee, as well as appearances by Chancellor Randy Woodson and Director of Athletics Debbie Yow.