Friday Farrago

September 30, 2011


ncsu helmet

Brett Friedlander (
Will State captain Sweezy play against Georgia Tech?

Under normal circumstances, a player being listed as “questionable” for an upcoming game would be cause for concern, not hope.

But these are anything but normal circumstances for th N.C. State football team.

That’s why the change in status for senior defensive tackle J.R. Sweezy is the most encouraging thing to happen to the Wolfpack since the injury bug began to bite during the early days of preseason camp.
Thursday Football Notebook

BRYAN TOP TIGHT END: Tight end George Bryan has now caught more passes than any tight end in NC State history. With 99 career grabs, the 16th-best overall mark ever for a Wolfpack player, he has passed T.J. Williams (2002-05) for the top mark for a tight end.

Bryan has 14 touchdown receptions for his career, which ranks in a tie for seventh place in school history (with Naz Worthen and Haywood Jeffires) in that category.

A preseason second-team All-America pick by Lindy’s and a third-team choice by Rivals, Bryan is on the early ‘watch’ list for the Mackey Award for the third straight year. For the third straight year, he’s also hoping to earn first-team All-ACC honors and is the first tight end in school history to have won two such awards.

Jacey Zembal (
NC State safeties to get tested vs. option

NC State junior safeties Earl Wolff and Brandan Bishop are second and third on the team respectively in tackles, and both have important responsibilities in combating Georgia Tech’s option offense.

Wolff has 40 tackles, one caused fumble and one interception this season, while Bishop has added 30 tackles and two interceptions. The duo, who are both three-year starters, played against Georgia Tech next year, so the option won’t be a total shock, however, Yellow Jackets junior quarterback Tevin Washington has added a more potent passing element to the offense.

“The safeties have to run to what we call the alley,” O’Brien said. “They have to get to the alley and fill the alley. The first thing they have to do this week is to make sure it’s not a pass release. Is it a arc block or will they release for the pass? They have to read that and support the front side of the option. On the backside, they have to run to the alley.”

Matt Carter (
Freshman kickers living up to expectations

Baumann has been the most tested since State’s offense has been plagued by inconsistency in the first four games. He has punted 20 times this season for an average of 39.1 yards. If that number holds up, it would be the highest average for a Wolfpack punter since John Deraney posted that exact same number as a senior in 2006.

“Wil has continued to get better,” Petercuskie stated. “I think the whole thing is handling all the situations, a Thursday night game with the crowd and stuff. I thought he did pretty good. That’s an improvement over what he did in the first game against Liberty.”
O’Brien Talks Georgia Tech

Given your injury situation on the defensive line, especially inside, have you given any thought to going to a 3-4 and is that something that may be something better you might consider?

We really have not talked that way just yet. Only because, you know, the middle of October before we start the second half of the season, we feel we are going to get some guys back so. I don’t know if we have enough linebackers to line up in that type of a scheme.
So we are going to stay where we are and just hope that if we can get some guys back healthy and then playing.
O’Brien: Graham Is Explosive

The Sports Xchange (
TSX: Offense Carries Jackets

QUOTE TO NOTE: “This will probably be a way more hostile environment (than Middle Tennessee State). More people, bigger stadium. To this point, our guys have been able to focus pretty good on the task at hand.” — Coach Paul Johnson on his team’s ACC road opener at N.C. State.
CFN’s Take: NCSU vs. Georgia Tech

What Will Happen: This is simply a terrible matchup for NC State, which has been decimated by injuries along the front seven. As if stopping the Georgia Tech locomotive isn’t daunting enough already, the Pack will attempt to do so with spare parts and out of position linemen. The Yellow Jackets will keep the train on the tracks, using their diversity and speed to run away from State without a lot of resistance. Once the deficit starts to balloon, the Wolfpack won’t have the offensive pop or the fight to make things interesting in the second half.

The Sports Xchange (
TSX: The Revolving Door

SCOUTING THE OFFENSE: The offense seems to take too long to get untracked. If WR T.J. Graham isn’t on the loose for big plays, then there appears to be few other options working. QB Mike Glennon has been able to shake free to find good passing lanes at times, though coach Tom O’Brien has attributed some recent heavy pass rushes to solid coverages that have blanketed the Wolfpack’s receivers. N.C. State has been quick to turn to an offense heavy on passing, with early deficits causing that approach. Avoiding third-and-long situations might give the offense a boost.


Brett Friedlander (
What the other guys are saying

Given the combination of State’s crippled defense and the potency of coach Paul Johnson’s option offense, you’d think the Atlanta-area media would be licking its chops about the big numbers the Yellow Jackets could potentially put on the board Saturday in Raleigh.

That might still happen as game time gets closer, but so far, those covering Tech have played it as conservatively as a draw play on third and long from deep in your own territory.

Among the offerings this week in the Atlanta Journal Constitution are a story on the Yellow Jackets’ new-found offensive balance, tweaks to coordinator Al Groh’s 3-4 defense and a column by Mark Bradley on how Tech is no longer untested after last Saturday’s win against North Carolina.

Elsewhere around Georgia, the Gwinett Daily Post has a feature on Yellow Jackets quarterback Tevin Washington, while the Macon Telegraph takes a look at last week’s defensive star Jeremiah Attaochu.

Michael Lananna (
ACC Football Commitment Lists: Atlantic Division, Sept. 29

Let’s take another look at the ACC’s Atlantic Division football commitments. Since the last time we checked on Sept. 15, Clemson, Maryland and N.C. State have each added one name to their commitment lists.

All names of recruits will appear in bold.

Clemson added three-star recruit Marty Williams of North Augusta (SC) Fox Creek. Williams played quarterback in high school, but he will likely move to strong safety for the Tigers.

Like Clemson, Maryland also picked up an in-state commitment, locking up linebacker Stefan Houston from Clarksburg (MD) High. The Terrapins have been interested in Houston since he was a sophomore, and the 6-foot-3 linebacker returned that interest by picking Maryland instead of East Carolina, Rutgers and West Virginia. We’re removing Georgia wideout AJ Liddell from the Terps’ commitment list. It’s being reported that Liddell has decommitted, but not many other outlets have confirmed this. Still, given the uncertainty, we’ll keep Liddell off the list until we hear something more definitive.

Lastly, N.C. State added offensive lineman Terry Davis to its list. The 275-pound guard hails from Cincinnati, Tom O’Brien’s hometown.

Andrew Skwara (
ACC Weekend Preview, Sept. 30

No. 21 Georgia Tech (4-0, 1-0 ACC) at N.C. State (2-2, 0-1)
Time: 3:30 pm
Broadcast: ABC/ESPN (Sirius 113/XM 191)
Key For The Yellow Jackets
Avoiding turnovers. With the Wolfpack’s battered defensive line and struggling secondary, that’s the only way their prolific offense will slow down.
Key For The Wolfpack
Turn QB Mike Glennon and the passing game loose. Normally when facing a high-scoring team like Georgia Tech, running the ball and generating long, clock-killing drives is the best option in order to keep your opponent’s offense off the field. But, the Wolfpack lack an adequate run game. Letting Glennon throw early and often – and deep – gives Tom O’Brien’s club a better chance of keeping pace on the scoreboard.
Numbers Game
N.C. State beat Tech 45-28 last season in Atlanta … Seven of Georgia Tech’s eight passing touchdowns have covered 52 yards or more … Tech ranks first in the nation in passing efficiency (rating of 238.59) and total offense (630.5 yards a game) … N.C State receiver T.J. Graham leads the nation with 230 all-purpose yards per game after racking up a school-record 336 all-purpose yards in the Wolfpack’s 44-14 loss at Cincinnati last week … N.C. State cornerback David Amerson has four interceptions, which is tied first in the nation.
Georgia Tech favored by 10
Yellow Jackets 47, Wolfpack 21 – UNC’s ultra-talented defense gave up 35 points to the Yellow Jackets’ offense last week. That means the Wolfpack defense has little chance of slowing down Tevin Washington and company.


conference expansion

Brett Friedlander (
Entry into NYC market was Syracuse’s biggest selling point to ACC

Instead, as chancellor Nancy Cantor told the Syracuse Post-Standard earlier this week, it’s Syracuse’s ability to give the league entry into the lucrative New York City market.

Cantor specifically mentioned it on the conference call by pointing to her school’s 40,000 alumni in metropolitan New Yorkand the possibility of playing future ACC tournaments at Madison Square Garden.

She went even farther in this week’s interview by telling the Post-Standard that she floated the idea of playing regular-season basketball games in the city to Swofford during discussions leading up to the ACC’s decision to expand.

The Orangemen have already scheduled four home football games at the new Meadowlands Stadium.

“I wanted to make sure that (the ACC was) interested in playing competitions in the New York City area, because that’s very important to us,” Cantor said told the newspaper. “We see ourselves as New York’s college team.”

About 1.21 Jigawatts

Class of '98, Mechanical Engineer, State fan since arriving on campus and it's been a painful ride ever since. I live by the Law of NC State Fandom, "For every Elation there is an equal and opposite Frustration."

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5 Responses to Friday Farrago

  1. heavy 09/30/2011 at 7:33 AM #

    “We see ourselves as New York’s college team.”
    Sorry, I grew up in the NYC area. This quote is nonsense. I didn’t attend any Big East School but NYC’s school is Saint John’s. I’ve been to plenty of games at the Garden (SJU as the home team). UCONN and Villanova had more passionate fanbases and would show up in large numbers. I wouldn’t consider them NYC’s team either…

  2. sundropdrinker13 09/30/2011 at 8:39 AM #

    Not to be picky, but they played against GT NEXT year? Wow, somebody went to the future.

  3. Packfan28 09/30/2011 at 8:52 AM #

    I know this is being discussed on another thread, but today is a potentially huge day for Wolfpack basketball. Hopefully Rodney Purvis chooses the Pack, and that will be the first in a series of recruiting dominoes to fall our way.

    It will make tomorrow’s beat down a little easier to swallow.

  4. Prowling Woofie 09/30/2011 at 9:22 AM #

    If Rodney commits to NCSU today, will he and Gottfried do a tandem jump into Carter-Finley tomorrow ???

  5. runwiththepack 09/30/2011 at 11:15 AM #

    George Bryan, it sure would be nice if you made up for lost ground in the remaining games. Put that record out of reach. It wouldn’t hurt my feelings if you caught so many passes that no one ever caught up to you.

    Will Baumann, good work and please keep improving. We need all the help we can get this year. Your foot can equal the effort necessary to cancel out the effort of 11 of our defensive guys on 2 average plays. (or is it 1 average play this year?). If you can average about 45 yds/kick by the end of the year, that would be a 9 yard improvement over last year.

    Unless The Pack can pull out a BIG upset, the only way we can find happiness tomorrow would be to know that we got a very good basketball recruit on Friday, and it wasn’t just a dream.

    Gott should reconsider the jump. NCSU is not a very lucky place these days. Triple-check the parachute!!

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