NC STATE FOOTBALL
Joe Giglio (N&O)
N.C State escapes Maryland with 20-18 win
The “Maryland Hex,” the road blahs and another letdown after a big win, all seemed to be wiped away with one kick by N.C. State on Saturday at Byrd Stadium.
A two-point lead, with 32 seconds and 75 yards to go, seemed safe. But there’s such thing as safe or easy with N.C. State, especially against Maryland, as Saturday’s crazy 20-18 road win proved once again.
Led by its third-string quarterback, Maryland moved the ball all the way down to N.C. State’s 15-yard line with 6 seconds left and appeared poised to improbably move to 3-0 in the ACC.
But kicker Brad Craddock, who made a 48-yarder earlier in the fourth quarter, bounced his 33-yard attempt off the left upright to give N.C. State (5-2, 2-1 ACC) its first Atlantic Division road win since 2005.
“Everything bad happens when our school plays them,” N.C. State coach Tom O’Brien said. “Sometimes something crazy has to happen, like it did in the end, to change everything.”
Brett Friedlander (starnewsonline.com)
Mustafa Greene’s career at State officially over
Mustafa Greene’s star-crossed career at N.C. State is officially over.
Wolfpack coach Tom O’Brien announced that the sophomore running back, along with redshirt freshman wide receiver Tyrrell Burriss, has been dismissed from the team during his postgame comments following Saturday’s 20-18 win at Maryland.
“They are no longer on the football team,” O’Brien said without explaining any specifics of his decision. “They weren’t champions in the classroom or in the community. They’re not going to get the opportunity to play on this football team, so they will no longer be with us.”
Mike Glennon directed a frantic drive to set up a 43-yard field goal by Niklas Sade with 32 seconds left, and North Carolina State overcame a valiant performance by Maryland backup quarterback Devin Burns in a 20-18 victory Saturday.
After Sade’s kick, the Terrapins moved 60 yards in five plays behind third-string quarterback Caleb Rowe before a 33-yard field goal try by Brad Craddock hit the left upright with two seconds remaining.
The Wolfpack (5-2, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) trailed 18-17 and had no timeouts left upon getting the ball at their own 20 with 2:17 to go. Glennon completed a 14-yard pass to Quintin Payton on a third-and-10 and pushed N.C. State into field-goal range with a 14-yard completion to Rashard Smith.
Glennon went 23 for 47 for 307 yards and two touchdowns, and Bryan Underwood had six catches for 134 yards and a score. Underwood has caught a TD pass in seven straight games, the longest such streak in school history.
Matt Carter (TheWolfpacker.com)
Quick hits from NC State’s win at Maryland
State’s foreign field goal kicker is better than Maryland’s
NC State sophomore Niklas Sade, a native of Germany, made both of field goal attempts to extend his streak of consecutive successful field goal tries to five in a row. The 43-yarder with 32 seconds left proved to be the first game-winner for NCSU since current Seattle Seahawks kicker Steven Hauschka made one in overtime at Miami in 2007.
Sade is 7-of-10 kicking field goals in the season and has come through in clutch times. He made a 50-yarder in the final minutes at Miami to briefly tie that game at 37-37.
On the other end, Maryland’s Brad Craddock, a freshman from Australia, missed a crucial extra point after Maryland’s first touchdown that would have tied the game, and then he banged a potential game-winning 33-yard field goal off the left upright as time expired.
What the win means
NC State improves to 5-2 overall and 2-1 in the ACC. This snapped State’s 16-game road losing streak against ACC divisional opponents. The Pack is 3-19 against fellow Atlantic Division foes on the road. Two of those wins has come at Maryland.
NCSU retakes the edge in the overall series with Maryland 33-32-4. The Pack has now won three of the last four against the Terps after losing 8 of 10.
Jacey Zembal (TheWolfpacker.com)
Video: NC State coach Tom O’Brien and players
Ryan Tice (TheWolfpacker.com)
NC State locker room notebook
Coach Tom O’Brien’s offense is notorious for not giving the fullback position carries. However, that doesn’t mean the fullback never touches the ball – former fullback Taylor Gentry carved out a nice role as a receiver out of the backfield, and redshirt sophomore Logan Winkles did the same tonight.
Winkles, who left the last game early with an injury, looked like he was at full-strength and scored the first touchdown of the game with a 25-yard catch-and-run in the second quarter. That marked Winkles’ fourth catch of his career – all of which have come this year – and his first collegiate touchdown.
“When I got off the ball, I looked up and the next thing I know, defensive backs are starting to part like the red sea,” he remembered. “I’m like, ‘well I better turn my head around.’ The next thing I know, the ball is coming. I catch the ball and turn around. There’s a little, bitty DB right there; I didn’t want to hurt him, but I just decided, ‘you ain’t stopping me from getting in the end zone.’”
“I’m just so happy that Mike decided to throw me the ball, as many times as I run dummy routes and everything like that. For the one time for me to be open and him to actually give it to me like that, I daggone sure congratulated him, too. When he came to celebrate with me, I think I hit him a little hard in the head, but first touchdown catch. I’ve had a couple receptions before then, but there’s nothing like a touchdown reception.”
The 6-foot-1, 240-pounder has been coached to look for the ball whenever he’s in the game, so he wasn’t surprised by getting the chance.
“Coach tells us to always expect the ball, so every time – no matter if I know I’m the dummy route or not – I’m turning my head because there’s always that one in a million chance that he’s going to throw it to you,” he said. “Tonight was that millionth chance.
“Whenever I catch that ball and I see that I’m anywhere near the end zone, there ain’t nobody that can stop me. They can try their best, but they ain’t going to do it, not when I need to get my first one. My adrenaline was just pumping, and I didn’t see anyone stopping me – I just focused straight on that goal-line and just ran right through it.”
NOTES: Underwood Stays Hot
• NC State snapped a streak of 16 consecutive road losses to ACC Atlantic Division opponents. Division play started in 2004, and NC State is now 3-19 in road games against its own division rivals. Other wins were 2004 at Maryland and 2005 at Florida State.
• Sophomore PK Niklas Sade booted a pair of field goals on the day, including the gamewinner from 43-yards out with 32 seconds left. Sade’s gamewinner is the Pack’s first since Steven Hauschka booted one at Miami in 2007 in OT for the win. After starting the season 2-of-5 on field goals, Sade has been a perfect 5-of-5 over the last four games.
• Junior CB David Amerson recorded his 17th career INT in the second quarter, fourth of the season. Amerson moves into sole possesion of first place in the NC State record books for most career INTs, and is also has the most career INTs in the NCAA among active players.
• NC State improved to 11-2 with Amerson records an INT.
• WR Bryan Underwood extended his own school record with his seventh straight game with a TD catch, as he hauled in a 68-yard pass from QB Mike Glennon in the third quarter to answer Maryland’s first touchdown of the game.
• Underwood also finished with a career-best 134 yards receiving on the day.
Aaron Schoonmaker (WRALSportsfan.com)
Wolfpack speed up to top the Turtles
Contrary to the mold for North Carolina State, the Wolfpack were at their best Saturday when they were going fast at the line in a 20-18 win over Maryland.
A mundane first quarter saw Mike Glennon go 2-for-7 for 1 yard and Tony Creecy run five times for 17 yards. The result was three punts, a 3-0 deficit and an energy level that made Eeyore look over-caffeinated.
Then it happened. NC State inserted Shadrach Thornton at running back and went to a no-huddle look. The new result was a 5-play, 75-yard drive in less than two minutes that ended in a 25-yard touchdown pass to fullback Logan Winkles.
Yes, a fullback and yes a sub-two minute drive.
In fact, only one of NC State’s four scoring drives on Saturday lasted more than two minutes.
Now, does Tom O’Brien want to live with this game plan week-in and week-out? Of course not. The team is not built that way. But when the game warrants, being able to speed things up is always a good option – naturally, it is a tougher transition that having to slow down.
Next week against North Carolina, expect the Wolfpack to go back to a ball-control game, but Saturday night, they were at their best when they sped things up.
Patrick Stevens (Washington Times)
Terps lose starting QB Hills, then game to N.C. State
“Probably the worst thing that happened to us was that we knocked the quarterback out of the game,” N.C. State coach Tom O’Brien said.
Maryland’s third quarterback nearly did some damage, too.
After the Wolfpack (5-2, 2-1) coaxed a 10-play field goal drive out of its struggling offense, Edsall subbed Rowe in. It was Maryland’s plan; if Hills got hurt and the Terps faced a two-minute drill, Rowe would be the Terps’ quarterback.
It took three plays to go from the Maryland 25 to inside the N.C. State 15, an efficient march to stun the Wolfpack. The Terps centered the ball, called timeout and called on Craddock to cap a drive teammate A.J. Francis couldn’t watch.
“I was listening for cheers and hoping that everything went well,” Francis said. “I heard cheer after cheer after cheer and then that last play I just kept my head down and sent a prayer up.”
And when the goalpost got in the way?
“I didn’t even know it hit the upright until I got in the locker room because I just heard my teammates screaming profanities,” Francis said.
Alex Prewitt (Washington Post)
Terrapins miss field goal in final seconds and fall to N.C. State, 20-18
Brad Craddock took five paces back and a deep breath before marching forward to strike a 33-yard field goal attempt, Saturday’s game against North Carolina State and Maryland’s undefeated ACC record at stake. On the Terrapins’ sideline, Stefon Diggs turned his back, unable to watch before curiosity and camaraderie took over. Joe Vellano inched as close to the field as he could, prepared to storm Byrd Stadium in celebration after a heart-pounding win. A.J. Francis sat on the bench, head staring at the artificial turf, listening to 40,217 eager souls roar.
And then everything went silent. Nothing except the clanging echo of Craddock’s potential winner whacking the left post was heard in College Park, as the football struck yellow iron with two seconds left and the Wolfpack survived a 20-18 nail-biter.
Teammates told the Australian place kicker to keep his head high, that the loss, which dropped Maryland to 4-3 overall and 2-1 in the conference, was not on his shoulders. Running back Wes Brown felt sick, insistent that his fourth-quarter fumble cost the Terrapins, despite 121 hard-nosed rushing yards and a third-quarter touchdown. Craddock thought he struck the ball well, that the kick was good, until he heard the only cheers coming from the Wolfpack fan section.
Joe Giglio (N&O)
Late hits: Hot Blue Devils, lucky N.C. State Wolfpack
Duke: You can’t change history, but you can make it. That’s what the Blue Devils did Saturday with their 33-30 win against North Carolina. The Blue Devils have their second win against the Tar Heels since 1989 and will be going bowling for the first time since 1994.
N.C. State: Take that, Nick Novak. It took nine years, but N.C. State finally got Novak and Maryland back for ruining Saint Philip’s senior day. Novak’s clutch kick sunk the Wolfpack in 2003 but it was N.C. State kicker Niklas Sade who turned the tables on the Terps, while Maryland’s Brad Craddock’s 33-yard field goal clanged off the upright. Remember, it’s always better to be lucky than good.
Speaking of SEC coaching changes, the writing is on the wall for Tennessee’s Derek Dooley after Saturday’s 44-13 home loss to Alabama. The Vols looked great in the opener, pummeling N.C. State, but they have started 0-4 in the SEC. Louisville’s Charlie Strong, Vanderbilt’s James Franklin and Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen will all get a long, long at Tennessee, and likely at Auburn, too.
Dooley, who is only 44, will land on his feet. I’d put even money the former Virginia player eventually rehabilitates his career in the ACC.
Brett Friedlander (starnewsonline.com)
FIFTH QUARTER: It’s Devils’ Night, two weeks early
1. Ringing in a new era: Duke drove 87 yards in the final 3:12 to rally for an emotional 33-30 win against arch-rival North Carolina on a 5-yard, fourth-down pass from Sean Renfree to Jamison Crowder. In doing so, the Blue Devils beat the Tar Heels to earn possession of the Victory Bell for the first time since 2003 and earned bowl eligibility for the first time since 1994.
2. Just win, baby: N.C. State suffered its trademark post-Florida State letdown on the road at Maryland on Saturday. What made this one different, however, is that the Wolfpack still managed to find a way to win as Mike Glennon drove his team into position for a 43-yard FG by Nicklas Sade with 32 seconds left for an ugly – but important – 20-18 victory.
3. The Replacements: Despite the loss, Maryland got heroic performances from backup quarterbacks Devin Burns and Caleb Rowe after starter Perry Hills was injured in the first half against N.C. State. Wake Forest also got a lift from a first-time contributor, as redshirt freshman Chad Hedlund replaced slumping Jimmy Newman to kick the first three FGs of his career in a 16-10 Deacons win at Virginia.
4. Terps left kicking themselves: Speaking of special teams woes, Maryland’s valiant homecoming effort was wasted when Australian kicker Brad Craddock – who had never seen an American football game before playing in one earlier this season – missed an extra point and a 33-yard FG on the game’s final play in a 20-18 loss to N.C. State
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“I don’t have a word for what all is going on there. I know I got spray paint all over me, besides Gatorade. And I don’t mind that. It wasn’t bad. The blend of spray paint and Gatorade wasn’t as bad smelling as I thought it would be. They had a lot of fun. They deserve to have fun.” Duke coach David Cutcliffe on the scene in his team’s locker room after beating UNC.
Blue Devils Pointed Toward Charlotte?
Duke put itself in position to contend for the title by beating North Carolina on Oct.20 to become bowl eligible and to move into sole possession of first place in the Coastal Division. The division is set up so that the Devils probably won’t have to upset Florida State or Clemson – two extremely unlikely occurrences. But if the Devils can handle Georgia Tech on Nov. 17 (after a week off to prepare for the Jackets’ option offense), then finish with a home victory over Miami, it’s entirely possible that Duke would earn a trip to Charlotte with a 5-3 conference record.
That’s certainly no lock, but the fact that it’s even plausible this late in the season is amazing.
Andrew Jones (Fox Sports)
ACC Report Card – Week 8
Duke – The Blue Devils became bowl eligible for the first time in 18 years by dominating UNC for most of the game Saturday night and then overcoming the Tar Heels’ late charge in the 33-30 victory. The Devils totaled 510 yards, including 234 on the ground. That Jamison Crowder, who was involved in the summer jet-ski accident that severely injured fellow Duke wide receiver Blair Holliday, caught the game-winning TD, and it being against the Tar Heels made this a magical night at Wallace Wade. David Cutcliffe has done a better job in five years there than anyone outside of that program could have expected. Grade: A+.
Maryland – Three quarterbacks and two turnovers, yet the Terrapins managed to dart into field goal position in the final seconds with a chance to win trailing by two points. But the kick missed and the Terps fell to N.C. State, 20-18, at home and out of first place in the ACC’s Atlantic Division. Maryland outgained NCSU 462-347, but it missed on some other scoring opportunities and is no longer the league’s only unbeaten team in conference play. Grade: C.
North Carolina – Maybe new UNC coach Larry Fedora will take rivalry games more seriously than just calling them another game. In addition, UNC must figure out a way to get touchdowns when in the red zone. The Tar Heels used a fourth-quarter charge to take a 30-26 lead, scoring three straight touchdowns. But its defense, which was manhandled at the line of scrimmage all night, failed in trying to stop Duke’s game-winning drive. Duke totaled 510 yards, including 234 on the ground. Grade: D.
N.C. State – It’s amazing how a team’s fortunes can hinge on a late field goal attempt that clanks off the upright and fails to fall through for three points, as what happened to Maryland in the Wolfpack’s 20-18 victory in College Park. Suggesting State was fortunate is an understatement: Maryland gained 115 more yards despite using three quarterbacks, but the Terps committed the only two turnovers of the game and had that missed kick. Survive and advance, though, is what matters when in contention for a conference title, as the Pack still is. Grade: C+.
Heather Dinich (ESPN)
What we learned in the ACC: Week 8
2. Losses in the Coastal Division? No problem. Virginia Tech could be 7-5 and win this thing. Miami still controls its own destiny, despite a three-game losing streak. Oh, and Duke is leading the division standings and UNC is ineligible. Any other questions? This race is going to come down to November, whether it’s the Virginia Tech-at-Miami game on Thursday night or, heck, even the regular-season finale between Miami and Duke in Durham. Virginia Tech and Miami both lost ACC games this past weekend, and as far as the Coastal Division race is concerned, it didn’t matter too much.
3. Maryland was relentless, and NC State was lucky. The Wolfpack barely hung on in a 20-18 win in College Park and allowed the game to come down to a missed field goal as time expired. The Terps lost quarterback Perry Hills to a knee injury late in the second quarter and had to use two other quarterbacks to get through the game. NC State is notorious for its letdowns after big wins but narrowly escaped falling into that trap again. Tom O’Brien snapped his 13-game road losing streak against Atlantic Division opponents — just barely.
Heather Dinich (ESPN)
ACC bowl projections: Week 9
• Discover Orange Bowl, Jan. 1: Florida State
• Chick-fil-A Bowl, Dec. 31: Clemson
• Russell Athletic Bowl, Dec. 28: Miami
• Hyundai Sun Bowl, Dec. 31: NC State
• Belk Bowl, Dec. 27: Virginia Tech
• Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, Dec. 31: Georgia Tech
• Advocare V100 Independence Bowl, Dec. 28: Duke
• Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman, Dec. 28: Wake Forest
Tampa Pack (Backingthepack)
Tampa-Pack’s ACC Football Power Rankings – Week Eight
1 (1) Florida State – The Seminoles took care of Miami to remain at the top of the heap.
2 (2) Clemson – A pretty sound beating (on the scoreboard anyway) of the Hokies.
3 (4) NC State – A ROAD win over Maryland is enough for third place in this here conference. Meeting the Tarheels next week for their bowl game. Should be fun, and it starts early, so plenty of time to gloat afterwards, right?!?.
4 (7) Duke – 6-2 and 3-1 in conference has Duke bowl eligible. Must be a really weird feeling in Durham this morning. What better way to do it than over the Heels?
5 (3) North Carolina – This week the their bowl week. Coming off a tough loss to one rival, better get ready for another.
NC STATE BASKETBALL
GoPack.com: Have the practices for your Spanish exhibition tour helped with your practices now?
Mark Gottfried: “We’re farther along than we were a year ago at this time because we had last year under our belts and the summer opportunity. Our guys had five great days (of practice) and then we hit the wall. I think we’re coming back a little bit now. Today was really good and they competed hard. For us, we’ve got to get the young guys and those who haven’t played a lot like Jordan (Vandenberg) and Thomas (de Thaey) to blend in with those other four (returning starters Lorenzo Brown, Richard Howell, C.J. Leslie and Scott Wood).”
GoPack.com: Has it been a challenge to get intensity going for practice?
Gottfried: “They are competing hard everyday and that’s going to make us better. We talk about the process of trying to become a great team and it’s a process and going take time. It takes attention to every drill of every day. We’re not interested in taking any drill off. It has to be the absolute best effort on every drill and that’s where our focus has been.”
NC STATE ATHLETICS
NC State’s volleyball team overcame second- and third-set deficits to post its second 3-0 sweep of an ACC opponent this weekend, defeating Maryland on Saturday at Reynolds Coliseum.
With the win, the Wolfpack (19-3, 9-2) established a school record for ACC wins, topping the mark it set last year when it finished the season 20-13 overall and 8-12 in the ACC.
The well-balanced Pack got contributions from throughout its lineup, as the Terps (10-12, 2-9) concentrated on stopping sophomore middle blocker Alesha Wilson. Sophomore outside hitters Dariyan Hopper and Nikki Glass both had eight kills on the night, followed by sophomore Rachel Buckley with six. Wilson finished with five.
The Wolfpack will play four of its next six matches on the road, beginning with Friday’s contest at Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, N.C. The match will be broadcast on ESPN3, beginning at 7 p.m.
On Saturday, the Wolfpack will face Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium, in a match that is slated to begin at 7:30 p.m.
“We have to keep our focus,” said Bunn, whose team is 14-1 at home this year, including a 7-0 mark against ACC foes. “We won [most of] those matches at home. We have to be ready to go on the road against Duke and Wake. But we have confidence and that’s what you need to be successful on the road.
Bunn’s team will return home on Nov. 2 and 4 to face Florida State and Miami, respectively. Both those matches will be shown on ESPN3 as well. Admission is free for all spectators.