NC STATE BASKETBALL
Andrew Jones (FoxSportsSouth.com)
Is it finally NC State’s turn?
North Carolina State wants to wake up the echoes of its basketball program much like a certain Midwestern football power croons about on the gridiron.
The Wolfpack’s basketball history doesn’t rival Notre Dame’s football tradition, but it’s pretty darn good. But it’s also been forgotten about outside of Tobacco Road for the most part.
But could this be the season the ghosts of Bobby Speight, Vic Molodet, David Thompson and Thurl Bailey awaken? Such a prospect hasn’t been very realistic around here in some time, which is why second-year head coach Mark Gottfried is trying to temper expectations.
Good luck. The reality is the media that covers ACC basketball, some of whom were on the scene when NC State won national championships in 1974 and 1983, likely are going to tab the Wolfpack as the ACC favorite next week in Charlotte when the conference holds its annual media day.
Not North Carolina. Not Duke. NC State.
Erin Summers (WRALSportsfan.com)
Gottfried: Hard work needed to reach potential
“Last year is last year, that’s over, done, great finished, fun, a play or two away from the Elite Eight. That was great. This is a completely different animal now,” said Gottfried.
We’ve got four who I think are really good players and they need to step up and be those guys. They have to get these young guys to buy in and come along with them.”
Last year’s team progressed over the season playing their best basketball in February and March, when it really matters. This year will be much of the same as the freshmen, Tyler Lewis, Rodney Purvis and TJ Warren, learn just how much work is required to play at the collegiate level.
“These young guys, they’re like all young guys, they don’t really understand. They probably don’t really understand what it’s like to win on the road they don’t know how truly hard our practices are going to be. They don’t understand how to defend and to pay attention to a scouting report and take things away. And all those things are things they’re going to have to learn,” said Gottfried. “Our young guys have to come on and they have to learn quickly. It’s all about how you finish.”
As the excitement over NC State men’s basketball continues to build, Wolfpack head coach Mark Gottfried and his squad are ready to host “Primetime With The Pack, Presented by PNC,” a nationally televised tipoff for its upcoming season.
The event begins Friday evening, the first official day teams can start of practice, at PNC Arena and will feature a three-point shooting contest and a 20-minute scrimmage among the many fan- and student-friendly activities.
ESPN3 will broadcast live from PNC Arena, showcasing the Wolfpack as one of seven such tipoffs to be shown in its entirety. Sam Gore and former college basketball coach Bruce Pearl will provide on-site analysis. Highlights will also be broadcast on ESPNU as part of its Whip-Around Midnight Madness coverage.
“It says a lot about the excitement level surrounding our program right now,” said Gottfried, whose team has been picked in most preseason top 10 polls. “I think that excitement is not just here in Raleigh, it’s nationally. There is a lot of anticipation for this season.
“The fact that ESPN has included us is a statement about where our program is right now.”
DANIEL MARKS (Dimemag.com)
PATIENCE PAYS OFF FOR N.C. STATE’S RICHARD HOWELL
Despite a disappointing 2009-10 season, coming into 2010-11, N.C. State was loaded with talent. Looking back on it, that team had four potential NBA players – Howell, Ryan Harrow, C.J. Leslie and Lorenzo Brown – yet they finished with a losing record. Plagued by chemistry problems and the uncertain status of head coach Sidney Lowe, the Wolfpack significantly underachieved, and ultimately Lowe resigned after the season. For Howell, the most frustrating part was looking around at the talent and not seeing that translate into wins.
“I think that was one of the most frustrating parts of my sophomore season,” Howell says. “I feel like we had enough talent to go out there and do a lot better than we actually did. It is definitely frustrating to be with a group of guys, who you know what they are capable of doing but it just doesn’t click on the court. That was really hard. And losing in general was just hard, I don’t want to say I ever adapted to losing but it was just frustrating to lose that much especially when you are so used to winning.”
With their solid non-conference start, the ‘Pack headed into ACC play looking to pick up some quality wins. They didn’t beat any of the league’s top three teams (Duke, UNC or Florida State) during the regular season, and it seemed they just wouldn’t make it over the hump for the NCAA Tournament. But they won two games in the ACC Tournament before suffering a close loss to UNC in the semifinals. After that loss, they were firmly on the bubble, an uneasy feeling for Howell heading into Selection Sunday.
“Honestly man, the whole team was together waiting for it for about 20 to 25 minutes and I started to doze off, and I started to feel like this is not going to happen because I didn’t know exactly how many spots were still open,” Howell says about watching the selection show.
“But then to see N.C. State flash across the screen like that it was crazy. That’s a memory I’ll never forget, and we were all so happy and even though we were on the bubble and just barely made it in, we knew we were ready to play, but there was a lot of suspense leading up to that. It was stressful to watch.”
“I have another whole year to go so I don’t feel like all the work has paid off because I think we have the pieces to win a national championship this year,” he says. “It was great to make the Sweet Sixteen, but I’m just very excited for this season.”
“Me and Lorenzo Brown room together and we were talking about this,” he says of being on a team with great expectations. “We never thought we’d be in this position. It’s crazy how things work from going from the position I was in when I got here and now where we are, it is definitely a blessing to be talked about as a national contender.”
So while many people would have left for greener pastures, Richard Howell stuck it out. He stayed. Despite the losing, despite the coach leaving and despite the disappointment, he never wavered in his belief that he made the right decision to enroll at N.C. State. In a day and age where transfers are almost expected when circumstances get tough, Howell was patient and now he is reaping the benefits of his decision, hoping to finish his college career the same way he ended his high school one: by cutting down the nets.
Robbi Pickeral (ESPN)
Nonconference schedule analysis: ACC
Toughest: vs. Kentucky (Nov. 13 in Atlanta), Battle 4 Atlantis (Nov. 22-24), Ohio State (Nov. 28)
Next-toughest: Delaware (Dec. 1), Temple (Dec. 8 in East Rutherford, N.J.), vs. Davidson (Jan. 2 in Charlotte)
The rest: Georgia State (Nov. 9), Florida Gulf Coast (Nov. 18), Cornell (Dec. 19), Elon (Dec. 20), Santa Clara (Dec. 29)
Toughness scale (1-10): 9 – Coach Mike Krzyzewski does not want another early exit from the NCAA tournament, and he’s preparing his team early with a grueling mix of Final Four contenders and mid-major talent. Kentucky (Champions Classic) and Ohio State (ACC/Big Ten Challenge) will be two early measuring sticks, and they sandwich in a challenging trip to the Bahamas, where the Blue Devils open against Minnesota, and then face either Memphis or VCU in a stacked tourney that could very well end up placing all eight participants in the Big Dance.
Toughest: Coaches vs. Cancer (Nov. 16-17 in Brooklyn), Minnesota (Nov. 27), Florida (Dec. 5)
Next-toughest: Mercer (Dec. 2), at Auburn (Jan. 2)
The rest: South Alabama (Nov. 9), Buffalo (Nov. 12), North Florida (Nov. 21), Maine (Dec. 9), Louisiana-Monroe (Dec. 17), at Charlotte (Dec. 22), vs. Tulsa in Sunrise, Fla. (Dec. 29)
Toughness scale (1-10): 7 – The Seminoles struggled during their nonconference slate last season before turning things around to win their first ACC tournament title. And it will be interesting to see how this team, which features ACC Player of the Year candidate Michael Snaer, will fare. Minnesota and Florida should provide some Top 25-caliber tests, and Mercer will be the heavy favorite to win the Atlantic Sun title. The Noles also have a game against BYU in the Coaches vs. Cancer event, and will face either Notre Dame or Saint Joseph’s after that.
Toughest: Michigan State (Nov. 28), at Massachusetts (Dec. 1), Diamond Head Classic (Dec. 22-25)
Next-toughest: Detroit (Nov. 24), at UCF (Dec. 18), La Salle (Jan. 2)
The rest: Stetson (Nov. 9), at Florida Gulf Coast (Nov. 13), Jacksonville (Nov. 24), Charlotte (Dec. 14)
Toughness scale (1-10): 7 — The Hurricanes are loaded with talent, but it’s still a good thing they’ll have guard Durand Scott (suspended for the first three games of the season) back in time to face some of the toughies — including Michigan State and Detroit, which is led by former McDonald’s All-American Ray McCallum Jr. Miami opens with home team Hawaii at the Diamond Head Classic, and could face Arizona the next day. Ole Miss and San Diego State are the other top teams in that tournament. UMass and La Salle are sleeper NCAA tourney candidates out of the A-10.
Toughest: Maui Invitational (Nov. 19-21), at Indiana (Nov. 27), at Texas (Dec. 19), UNLV (Dec. 29)
Next-toughest: at Long Beach State (Nov. 16)
The rest: Gardner-Webb (Nov. 9), Florida Atlantic (Nov. 11), UAB (Dec. 1), ETSU (Dec. 8), East Carolina (Dec. 15), McNeese State (Dec. 22)
Toughness scale (1-10): 8 – Unlike past seasons, there is no Kentucky on this schedule. But games at NCAA title favorite Indiana and against UNLV (which beat the top-ranked Tar Heels last season) could pose some early angst for a team that lost four starters to the NBA draft. Roy Williams’ squad could also face young-but-talented Texas twice in the span of a month, if they meet in the title game of the Maui Invitational. UNC opens there against rebuilding Mississippi State, then faces a stern test from either Butler or Marquette.
Toughest: at Michigan (Nov. 27), vs. Connecticut (Dec. 4 in New York), Stanford (Dec. 18)
Next-toughest: Puerto Rico Tip-Off (Nov. 15-18), UNC Greensboro (Dec. 31)
The rest: Miami-Ohio (Nov. 11), UNC Asheville (Nov. 23), Cleveland State (Dec. 8), Norfolk State (Dec. 15), St. Bonaventure (Dec. 22), Western Michigan (Dec. 29).
Toughness scale (1-10): 8 – The Wolfpack are going to be a favorite to win the ACC, and coach Mark Gottfried has put together a good schedule to prepare his talent-loaded team for the rigors of league play. The Michigan game in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge will be NC State’s marquee nonconference matchup, but UConn will pose a challenge, Stanford is hoping to build off its run to the postseason NIT title and UNC Asheville and UNC Greensboro are solid in-state mid-majors. NC State opens with Penn State in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, and will get Providence or UMass in the second game. Tennessee or Oklahoma State possibly loom in the title game.
Eye on College Basketball staff (CBSSports.com)
The season starts today! So here’s our 68 things to watch in 2012-13
The start of official practice has arrived with Madness celebrations happening tonight all over the country, which means it’s almost time to stop talking about what might happen and start writing about what’s actually happening. But, that said, we’re still four weeks from the start of the regular season. So room remains to discuss and debate the future, to predict and project and wonder. That’s what CBSSports.com’s Gary Parrish, Jeff Goodman, Matt Norlander and Jeff Borzello spent this week doing. Here are 68 things they’re looking forward to this season — one for every team that’ll make March’s NCAA tournament …
6. Tobacco Road trio: Duke isn’t exactly overwhelming, North Carolina lost four first-rounders and N.C. State brings back nearly everyone — and adds a talented trio of freshmen — from a team that went to the Sweet 16. This could be as heated as its been down in that area in years. In fact, the Wolfpack may be the preseason ACC favorites over Duke and UNC. The question for Mark Gottfried is whether N.C. State can pick up where it left off — and whether he can keep everyone content. Duke and North Carolina both have point guard issues that could hold them back. — J.G.
8. Memorable season at Indiana: Tom Crean has successfully rebuilt Indiana, and that statement will remain true regardless of what happens this season. But can he hang another Final Four banner it what’s expected to be Cody Zeller’s final year of school? Hoosier fans can’t wait to find out. — G.P.
9. Atlantic 10 race: Although it’s technically a non-BCS league, the Atlantic 10 has the potential to put as many as six teams in the NCAA tournament this year. Six teams got first-place votes in the preseason poll, and a case can be made for all six to win the league. That doesn’t even count teams like La Salle and Dayton, who could sneak up and make a run. — J.B.
14. Blue Devil issues: Mike Krzyzewski’s roster is hardly overwhelming. The Blue Devils lost Austin Rivers and Miles Plumlee. Now it’s Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly’s team. Coach K doesn’t have a big-time point guard, either. Will this Duke team be a factor come March or just another team? — J.G.
30. Duke possibly winning the ACC … again: Goodman’s right when he says Duke isn’t overwhelming, but that’s got nothing to do with the fact the Blue Devils will somehow worm their way to winning the league again. We’ll be confused when it happens, but we shouldn’t be. — M.N.
55. Herb Sendek’s hot seat: The Arizona State head man needs to turn the Sun Devils around if he wants to last much longer in Tempe. Assistants leaving, players transferring, losing records. It’s a recipe that Sendek needs to change. — J.B.
58. The continued acceptance of tempo-free statistics: Stats are a tool, not a lover. And it’s not just KenPom.com. It’s any and all measures of data that help us better understand the patterns and trends that are physically impossible to depict while watching the game with our eyes. We’re getting smarter about learning which stats mean more than others and which skill sets and successful strategies lead to more successful teams. Why people fight the new-age stat era, I don’t know. There was a time when a certain sect of folk actually bragged about not having a cellphone, too. The numbers aren’t everything — far from it — but they do give us context, which is paramount in the insta-reaction generation of sports viewing and spewing. — M.N.
59. Who breaks out in Tucson?: Arizona is bringing in three of the eight best big men from the class of 2012 — but all of them can’t play at the same time. Kaleb Tarczewski was the highest-rated of the group, but he’s somewhat raw. Grant Jerrett is skilled, and Brandon Ashley has the potential to be a matchup nightmare. Will one of the three set himself apart? — J.B.
63. Reaction to refereeing: Nothing enhances the game-watching experience like you chiming in on Twitter about the zebras. It’s always rational, long-sighted and filled with expert opinion. Block/charge calls, the charge circle in general, all the new rules coming to the game. I’m sure we’re in for the most level-headed season yet. Please log in to Twitter and share your opinions as often as possible. — M.N.
67. February coaching rumors: By Valentine’s Day we’ll have a decent idea about which power-conference coaches should be putting their houses up for sale, and some writer somewhere will inevitably link Brad Stevens and Shaka Smart to the job, which is fine. But know this: Unless the job is one of the best 10 in the country, you’d be wise to omit these two young stars from your search and start with whomever is third on the so-called list of candidates. — G.P.
68. The second Monday night in April: Yes, this season’s national title game will be played on the SECOND Monday night in April as opposed to its usual first. Blame the calendar. Tom Crean might get his first national title that night. Rick Pitino or John Calipari could get their second. Or something totally unexpected might culminate in Atlanta. Nobody can say for sure. But the five months spent getting there should be a blast. — G.P.
NC STATE FOOTBALL
Program Spotlight: Brandan Bishop
The safety is often times the quarterback of the defense, ensuring that the rest of the defense is properly aligned prior to the snap, while doing everything in his power to jump an opposing receiver’s route, break up a pass or cut down a ball carrier. Senior Brandan Bishop takes on many of those roles on a game-to-game basis.
Bishop led the Wolfpack with four interceptions as a sophomore in 2010, and picked-off five more passes as a junior in 2011, which ranked second on the team. Bishop also had three fumble recoveries last season, which was tied for the team lead.
“I like to stay aggressive,” Bishop stated. “I’m always looking for a big play. I try to be solid as far as our defense goes and stay within our scheme. When we get a chance to make a big play, I like to capitalize on a good opportunity.”
The senior has been a staple of the NC State secondary for much of the past four seasons. What many don’t know is that he was converted to linebacker just before his freshman year began.
“They told me I was going to be a linebacker, so as a freshman, you do what you’re told and what’s best for the team,” Bishop said. “Coach [O’Brien] called me into his office a couple days before our fall camp started, and he said, ‘Brandan, we need you to play SAM ‘backer.’ I said, ‘Okay, sure Coach.’ I think the coaches thought I was going to grow into a bigger guy than I was, but I haven’t gotten any bigger since I’ve been here. In high school I was training a lot, so I was already filled-out.”
Bishop was not a linebacker for long however, as he was reverted back to safety almost as quickly as he was told he would change positions in the first place.
“After the first game we played at South Carolina, they decided to take my redshirt off, and I was in the mix, and by the third game, I was starting at safety,” Bishop said. “It was a big relief for me to go back to safety, as opposed to sticking at linebacker where I was going to do it for the team, but I wasn’t too excited about it.”
Matt Carter (TheWolfpacker.com)
Tom O’Brien confirms Forrest West lost for the season
Your defense had some really porous games and then very good when you shut down the best offense in the ACC coming off a game when you gave up 600 yards. What works sometimes and is there one specific thing that isn’t working?
“I think you have to go look at the other side of the football. One thing is consistent offensively in the two games that we’ve lost. We’re averaging five turnovers a game in the two games we lost which puts the defense a lot of times in very bad situations. It’s not just part of the defense, it’s part of the offense turning the ball over.
“And in those games I think we’re penalized 10 penalties a game. On both sides of the ball we hadn’t been very good.
“I think it was certainly on Saturday night the ball was not thrown over our heads, which happened in the two games that we lost. We did a much better in our zone coverage inside. Florida State made plays, but they are going to make plays against everybody. There was nothing, a catch-and-run, that got us in those other two games.
“A lot of us I think has to go back to the offense turning the football over and putting them in bad situations.”
The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award announced the 2012 candidates for its award Thursday and NC State’s Mike Glennon was among its group of 15 signal callers honored from around the nation.
In all, the ACC had five Qbs honored: Tajh Boyd, Clemson; EJ Manuel, Florida State; Bryn Renner, North Carolina; and Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech.
Candidates for the Golden Arm Award must be completing their college eligibility or be a fourth-year junior, on schedule to graduate with his class. Candidates are judged upon character, citizenship, scholastic achievement, leadership qualities, and athletic accomplishments.The 2012 winner will be presented with his award on Friday, December 7 at The Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Hotel, Baltimore, Maryland.
Jacey Zembal (TheWolfpacker.com)
Defensive tackles anchoring NC State defense
NC State’s defense held Florida State to just 19 yards rushing in the second half to help spur the 17-16 upset win over the No. 3 Seminoles last Saturday.
NC State redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Thomas Teal was rewarded by winning the ACC defensive lineman of the week. The 6-foot-2, 315-pounder had six tackles and two tackles for loss for minus-eight yards.
The one-two defensive tackles punch of Teal and sophomore T.Y. McGill, who is 6-1 and 298 pounds, helps anchor the Wolfpack defense. NC State coach Tom O’Brien knows the difference in his defense when the defensive tackles anchor the interior.
“They are getting better, but they got a long ways to go,” said O’Brien following Thursday’s practice. “The good news is they are only sophomores. They have two years after this. With each game, it’s a little something different asked of them. They both have the chance to be really good football players.”
Teal has 15 tackles and four tackles for loss, and McGill has 13 tackles, five tackles for loss and one sack. McGill is third on the team in tackles for loss behind outside linebackers Rickey Dowdy (eight) and Rodman Noel (six).
“For big guys, they are both light on their feet, can run and are powerful guys,” O’Brien said. “It’s just a question of working hard each and every week, and paying attention to what gap they are supposed to be in.”
Matt Carter (TheWolfpacker.com)
Wolfpack schedule review
As NC State makes their way through the 2012 season, The Wolfpacker will take a look back each week to see how NC State’s opponents have fared with their respective schedules. Here’s a recap through Oct. 5 for the Pack’s 2012 opponents.
Heather Dinich (ESPN)
Glennon makes measurable turnaround
In the week leading up to what amounted to be arguably the biggest game of the season for NC State, quarterback Mike Glennon sat down with offensive coordinator Dana Bible and watched film of last year’s humbling 34-0 loss to Florida State in Tallahassee.
It was a lesson learned in what not to do.
Last October, Glennon completed 19 of 34 pass attempts for 130 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions against the Noles.
What a difference a year can make.
Glennon couldn’t have done much more to help the offense in last Saturday’s upset of the Seminoles. With 16 seconds remaining, Glennon found Bryan Underwood for a 2-yard touchdown pass on fourth down to beat the Noles 17-16 and take control of the Atlantic Division race. While much of the focus in the aftermath of the upset has centered on what Florida State didn’t do, not enough credit has been given to what the Wolfpack were able to accomplish, and it all started with their quarterback and his quick release in the face of heavy pressure from one of the ACC’s best defensive lines.
Andrea Adelson (ESPN.com)
Looking at the teams on a bye
NC State. Stay humble. You can bet coach Tom O’Brien is telling his players not to get too excited about their win over Florida State. There is still plenty of work to be done for this team, particularly on offense, where injuries have taken a toll up front and there has been inconsistency in the passing game. On defense, has David Amerson turned a corner after last week or will we continue to see him struggle?
Jim Young (accsports.com)
ACC Weekend Preview, Oct. 12
Duke (5-1 overall, 2-0 ACC) at Virginia Tech (3-3, 1-1)
TV: ACC Network
Radio: XM 190/Sirius 135
Line: Virginia Tech by 10
Wow, Vegas doesn’t exactly have much faith in the Blue Devils, does it? Or rather, people that do business with the folks, don’t. And I understand the feeling. Really, I do. As well as Duke has played this season, as dominating as it looked in the second half against Virginia, and as hapless as Virginia Tech’s defense looked against UNC, it’s still hard for me to wrap my mind around the Blue Devils winning in Blacksburg.
But I could still see it being closer than that spread. (Side note: I don’t gamble and I never will because I’d lose buckets of money if I did. Take any comments I make about the spread under advisement).
Duke’s seen what teams (i.e. Cincy and UNC) that can use their offense to spread out the Hokies defense can do. You can bet David Cutcliffe was taking notes. But Bud Foster’s been taking notes as well, and probably taking a chunk out of the backside of a few of his players in practice. I just have a hunch that the Hokies’ D will show some pride and Logan Thomas will make enough plays with his arms and his legs to pull Virginia Tech through.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 20, Duke 14.
UNC (4-2, 1-1) at Miami (4-2, 3-0)
Radio:: XM 191/Sirius 123
Line: UNC by 7.5
I caught some flack after I released my ACC power rankings earlier this week for ranking UNC too high (No. 3). Maybe so. After all, the Tar Heels own two wins over patsies, and another over a team (ECU) from a non-BCS league. Plus there’s that the ugly loss at Wake.
But then there’s that steamrolling of Virginia Tech. And the fact that UNC hasn’t lost when running back Gio Bernard is in the lineup. And the fact that the Tar Heels are arguably one jarring goal line tackle at Wake and false start penalty at Louisville away from being unbeaten. So no, I don’t think I’m overrating UNC.
But I’m also not going to sleep on Miami. And I’m not going to read too much into the Canes’ dreadful performance against Notre Dame. I made that mistake once before after Miami got blown out at Kansas State. The Canes then responded with wins over Georgia Tech and N.C. State.
Still, I feel like Miami’s overachieved thus far. And even though I expect Stephen Morris to get his yards in the passing game, I don’t think it’ll be enough to outgun Bryn Renner and Co.
Prediction: North Carolina 34, Miami 28
Heather Dinich (ESPN)
ACC predictions: Week 7
North Carolina 35, Miami 31: The Tar Heels are getting it done on offense and defense, now the key is to do it on the road. UNC is 0-2 in road games this year, but it has scored 45 or more points in back-to-back games for the first time since 1993. UNC has the No. 9 scoring offense in the country, and it will be a handful for Miami’s struggling defense, which is last in the ACC in scoring defense at 35 points per game. The Canes won’t be able to stop running back Giovani Bernard and quarterback Bryn Renner.
Virginia Tech 28, Duke 21: Make no mistake: Duke can win this game. It would be surprising, though, if Virginia Tech didn’t play better at home. The Hokies are always tough to beat in Lane Stadium, no matter what the circumstances, and at this point, their pride is on the line, not to mention bowl eligibility. This one is going to come down to the fourth quarter, but in the end, quarterback Logan Thomas will come through in the clutch.
Heather Dinich (ESPN)
What to watch in the ACC: Week 7
3. Florida State’s attitude. How do the Noles respond from last week’s loss to NC State? Do they come out angry in the first quarter, looking to take it out on Boston College? Or do they start flat, and allow BC to hang around like South Florida did? There should be no sign of an upset, but it will be interesting to see how long it will take FSU to bounce back. Last year’s loss to Oklahoma turned into a three-game losing streak.
5. Miami’s rushing defense vs. Giovani Bernard: The UNC sophomore is averaging 9.1 yards per carry, and rushed for 262 yards last week against the Hokies. Miami’s rushing defense is No. 116 in the country, allowing 250 yards per game.
6. UNC’s defensive line vs. Miami’s offensive line. The Canes have allowed just one sack — Sept. 29 against NC State — in the past four games. During that span, the Canes have averaged 492.8 yards of total offense. UNC senior defensive tackle Sylvester Williams is third in the ACC with five sacks, and UNC is fourth in the ACC with 2.5 per game.
8. Play-calling in Tallahassee: Think you can do better? Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher came under scrutiny this week following the Noles’ loss to NC State. It’s easy to play Monday morning quarterback, but were the Noles too conservative in the fourth quarter with the game on the line? FSU fans likely will be keeping an eye on what adjustments the staff, including defensive coordinator Mark Stoops, makes this weekend.
NC STATE ATHLETICS
NC State (15-3, 5-2) at Virginia Tech (15-11, 4-3)
Friday | 7 p.m.
Series record: Virginia Tech leads, 17-8
Last meeting: Hokies won 3-2, in Blacksburg, Va.
NC State (15-3, 5-2) at Virginia (2-12, 0-7)
Saturday | 7 p.m.
Series record: Virginia leads, 36-21
Last meeting: Lost 3-1 in Charlottesville, Va., in 2011
NC State’s volleyball team hits the road for the second consecutive weekend, traveling to face Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., on Friday and Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday. Both matches are set to begin at 7 p.m.
Last weekend, the Wolfpack (15-3 overall, 5-2 ACC) lost its first two ACC road matches, falling to Miami 3-1 and to Florida State 3-0.
“We were right there in four of the six sets we lost,” said third-year head coach Bryan Bunn. “We had 23 points in two sets against Florida State. One or two digs here or there and we could’ve won.
“We just need to eliminate the small mistakes. Overall, though, we felt good about the way we played.”
The losses ended the Pack’s 10-match winning streak and brought to a close the second best start in school history. Bunn’s squad opened the season by winning 15 of its first 16 matches, which is second only to the 1979 team’s 18-1 start.
Still, State has more overall wins of any team in the ACC and is tied for third in the league standings with four matches still to play in the first half of conference play.
Gottfried talks expectations with Adam and Joe
O’Brien reflects on win over Florida State
Footprint Podcast: Basketball season is here
Former Wolfpack tight end Mark Thomas visits with redshirt senior R.J. Mattes in the offensive line meeting room to break down how the Pack protects quarterback Mike Glennon.
ACC Sports Journal
David Glenn Chats With Debbie Yow, Oct. 12
Among the topics they discussed: What it meant to Yow to honor her sister Kay at the inaugural N.C. State Athletic Hall of Fame induction; the impact of N.C. State’s win against No. 3 Florida State; what Yow thinks of the hype surrounding the Wolfpack basketball team; what challenges face that basketball team; and what Yow thinks of N.C. State’s policy of not allowing fans to rush the football field.
Gottfried: You can’t dial up a trip to the Final 4
Mark Gottfried is happy about the expectations for his team but he said you can’t dial up a trip to the Final 4