(1) Coach O’Brien talks about the Wolfpack’s first scrimmage in the video below. The N&O highlights that kicking may have been the major item to come from the scrimmage in this article.
Entering preseason camp, coach Tom O’Brien listed punter as one of the team’s biggest concerns. The staff hoped freshman Chris Ward of Fayetteville, Ga., would be able to challenge junior Jeff Ruiz for the job vacated by 2008 senior Bradley Pierson.
In his first scrimmage, Ward punted twice for a total of 97 yards, an outstanding effort by any account. Ruiz’s yardage on two punts totaled 62 yards. Although Ward’s showing was a welcome development, O’Brien wasn’t ready to anoint him the answer for the Wolfpack at his position.
Place-kicker, meanwhile, was supposed to be one of N.C. State’s strengths with 2008 starter Josh Czajkowski returning. Last season, Czajkowski made 16 of his 19 field-goal attempts in an excellent showing as a sophomore.
Czajkowski missed three of his five field-goal attempts Sunday, which O’Brien said is a cause for concern. He said Czajkowski changed his approach to the ball during the offseason.
(2) We chronicled NC State’s status as an emerging ‘sleeper’ in this entry that we hope you didn’t miss. As you gear up for college football season, we thought that you would be interested to see the four teams Mel Kiper chose as his college football sleepers.