State 43, Liberty 21 (Sunday Morning)

Photo by Ethan Hyman, News & Observer

It wasn’t pretty…and NC State’s offensive line could have been out played by a high school team tonight…but in the end, the Wolfpack forced seven turnovers (three fumbles recovered and four intercepted passes) to get the Pack past Liberty in the first game of the 2011 season.

The seven forced turnovers tied a school record last set in 1983.

All eyes were obviously on Mike Glennon in his first start. Glennon finished the night with an unspectacular 18 of 31 for 156 yards and one touchdown to Mario Carter (and no interceptions). He could have had close to 200 yards and another touchdown on a beautifully thrown ball that was dropped by George Bryan. Glennon took at least four sacks and saw consistent pressure as the Wolfpack offensive line did a poor job of both pass protecting and providing run support. State ultimately finished with 161 rushing yards led by 114 yards by Curtis Underwood and 67 yards (and 2 TDs) by James Washington; but much of that came in the fourth quarter.

ESPN had the following thoughts on the Wolfpack game. (Link)

This was sloppy. Ugly. And Liberty turned this game over as much as NC State won it.

Liberty had seven turnovers — nice job by NC State’s defense — four interceptions and three lost fumbles. NC State lost two fumbles as well. At one point, Liberty had five turnovers and only trailed by nine points. Liberty brought pressure, and quarterback Mike Glennon had to feel it in his debut as starter. He was sacked three times, and never really got into a groove. Running backs Curtis Underwood (114 yards, 1 touchdown), and James Washington (67 yards, 2 touchdowns), both had good games, but the Pack is missing Mustafa Greene. The defense was making plays left and right. The good news is that NC State got the win, bottom line, but if the Wolfpack is going to build upon last season’s success, it needs to get better quickly. That being said, the rest of the Atlantic Division hasn’t exactly lit it up this weekend, so NC State is in some pretty good company.

State travels to Winston-Salem next Saturday for a 3:30pm kickoff against Wake Forest on FS South.

Sunday Morning Update:

News & Observer
J.P. Giglio, “Pack Sloppy in Win Over Liberty

Photo Gallery

Caulton Tudor: “Glennon Struggled but Kept His Cool

Game Observations
Game Summary


Postgame Comments

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77 Responses to State 43, Liberty 21 (Sunday Morning)

  1. sundropdrinker13 09/03/2011 at 9:50 PM #

    ESPN must not have watched their own broadcast. The runningbacks were overall mediocre. They had a few big runs, but other than that were almost nonexistent. Underwood had 2 huge runs, which is what helped their stats. The receivers also dropped several passes, which was not mentioned in the article. The defense wasn’t there at times. No need to mention the O-Line. Where was our All-American TE at tonight? I saw the one dropped probable TD pass, and then that was it.

  2. Wulfpack 09/03/2011 at 9:58 PM #

    Thank you, D, for saving us. I fear that will have to be the case all year long. The offense has a lot of ground to make up.

  3. Ashman87 09/03/2011 at 10:00 PM #

    I liked the end zone designs and the creativeness and heads up play by the defense. On the other hand, though, I wasn’t that pleased with Glennon’s slow start. I know that it’s his first game where he is the man and so I expected some struggles, but I wasn’t excited that State wound up getting into more of a game than they should have. (I know that Liberty’s a pretty good FCS school, but considering VT beat up App. State, we could have done a lot better).

  4. Tampa-Pack 09/03/2011 at 10:04 PM #

    Duke lost to Richmond, so it could have been worse. Score is deceiving, but for once in our favor. O-Line needs to grow up in a hurry and Glennon will be fine. D looked nice at times as well. Hope we can write it off to opening Jitters and a better than expected Liberty team. Wake will be a huge test, need to get ready fast!

  5. coach13 09/03/2011 at 10:39 PM #

    My expectations were tempered…alot tonight.

    I wasn’t impressed with the Pack at all aganst this FCS opponent. Alot or maybe the bulk of my concerns is with the offense. The O line was not that good, but a couple of the 4 sacks were Glennon’s fault. He has to develop a alarm clock in his head. He stood there too long and got clobbered. Also, the running game struggled because Liberty had 8 in the box frequently. They daredd Glennon to throw…and he struggled. He struggled and our receiving group sucks. Hell, Gentry lined up as a slot receiver. OUR FULLBACK lined up as a receiver. Why don’t we have any receivers? We have 2 unranked recevers commited for next year. What the hell? Glennon lacks confidence to let it go too. I don’t recall a deep throw, just short and mid-range. The hooks or “timing” routes were way off. You should be releasing those as he is turning, not after he has turned and isstanding there for a second. Just looked like timing was off.

    We were out coached some too. Took the D way to long to adapt and understand they were rushing the snap. We will do good to get bowl eligible. I’m not a doom and gloomer. Ive just been coaching a long time, and have seen enough to tell what is a fluke performance and what just looks like limited capability.

  6. wolfbuff 09/03/2011 at 10:46 PM #

    Despite the terrible O-Line performance, thought Glennon made some bad reads. And his receivers didn’t help him on some of those blitzes. Speaking of blitzes, they brought it and we didn’t pick them up. Good news is I expect a lot of our offensive execution problems (aside from the OL) will be corrected by watching film. I just don’t know what to say about the OL. On defense, our DL got no penetration most of the night, allowing their spectacular QB to look liken AA. where the heck was Tenuta’s blitz package? Is he saving it for mext week? Overall, it reminded me of 2 years ago. The secondary was under pressure all night as Liberty had all might to throw the ball. But they made some good plays at key times. And Bishop had a monster hit near the end. The LBs were almost non-existent. A very inauspicious start to the season. They better get good fast.

  7. BamaPack 09/03/2011 at 10:47 PM #

    Things went pretty much as I expected. If you treat your offensive line for years as if they are lamp posts eventually they become just that. Don’t blame the kids as they’ve changed over time…blame the constant. RW masked a lot of the glaring issues on offense.

  8. WV Wolf 09/03/2011 at 10:58 PM #

    The game went about as expected for me as well. Struggle early, not happy at halftime, wear them down in the 2nd half. And that’s pretty much the way it went.

    Glennon looked better as the game went on, was expecting more out of the O-line. Kicking game had the struggles you would expect from freshmen, the kickoff coverage has to get a lot better.

    Didn’t look terrible, certainly didn’t look great, we have plenty to improve and work on before heading to Winston.

  9. SuperStuff 09/03/2011 at 10:59 PM #

    If you guys expected Glennon to put up big numbers on his first start your smoking too much weed. He’s going to have to learn to play at a faster pace just like any other new QB. He will get better.

  10. codebrown 09/03/2011 at 10:59 PM #

    We blow a big fat one. Going to be a long season fellas.

  11. MrPack12 09/03/2011 at 11:00 PM #

    It seems to me that when Glennon drops back to pass, he locks on a receiver and, regardless if he is open or not, he passes it to him. I saw several double coverage passes that could very well be picked off (especially against FBS opponents). I do not recall one time where Glennon checked away from the primary receiver. He better get his head on a swivel soon if we are to have any sort of success this year.

  12. timberwolf 09/03/2011 at 11:05 PM #


  13. coach13 09/03/2011 at 11:09 PM #

    Smoking weed? This was an FCS team. UNC had 270+ with a younger less experienced qb vs their FCS opponent. I don’t see big improvements coming. I hope I am proven wrong.

  14. coach13 09/03/2011 at 11:11 PM #

    I now really dread next week.

  15. JSRy2k 09/03/2011 at 11:19 PM #

    O-LINE, O-LINE, O-LINE…How is it in year 5 under TOB & Co. that we suck as much up front as when he came?

  16. JSRy2k 09/03/2011 at 11:21 PM #

    …And when will the media get smart enough to ask TOB about it? (Ha, ha, as if smart and media ever go together!)

  17. JSRy2k 09/03/2011 at 11:44 PM #

    Not a good thing when your defensive backfield, S, CB, CB & S, take the top four slots on the tackles stat sheet.

  18. ancsu87 09/03/2011 at 11:46 PM #

    It never ceases to amaze me….you guys went from predicting us to being 12-0 to crying in your beer and saying the season is over after the first game. I still think 8-9 wins and decent season as TOB continues to build the program.

  19. Prowling Woofie 09/04/2011 at 12:38 AM #

    Tobias Palmer was a bright spot at receiver – kid’s got some wheels !

    O-Line was atrocious and Liberty made them look S – L – O – W as molasses.

    Glennon took two sacks that were inexcusable – he should’ve airmailed the ball into the stands, as he had the time to do so. He doesn’t go through his progressions; there were a few times that he locked in on one receiver and completely missed a wide open receiver down field.

    It needs to get much better before Saturday. MUCH better !

  20. Solesky 09/04/2011 at 12:40 AM #

    I agree about the offensive line…Wilson just had the maneuverability to make it work to our advantage. But, to focus on the positive – Amerson looked good, Washington looked good. Glennon has an arm on him, so here’s to hoping he uses it instead of these short passes. We, State, embody the concepts of esse quam videri and the valley of humility between two mountains of conceit, so we’re always going to be hard on ourselves, but we shouldn’t give up the ship after the first game. But I wax philosophical. I’m taking my wife to the WF game next week for her birthday and they want $100 to put her name on the jumbotron. Screw that. I’d rather have it up there free with a bunch of 7 year olds. Go Pack!!

  21. tuckerdorm1983 09/04/2011 at 6:38 AM #

    We could lose to Wake next week and I mean big and still have a 8-4 season. I think it mostly depends on Glennon and if he develops quickly. He has only done mop up duty for the last three years. A lot is on the man. I am waiting and seeing. I would have liked to seen him last night come out and dominate the game. That was not the case.

  22. freshmanin83 09/04/2011 at 8:19 AM #

    College teams usually make their biggest improvements between week one and week two.

  23. leewolf 09/04/2011 at 8:35 AM #

    I thought Glennon did ok for his first start. The OL is my big concern, they had trouble all game. Underwood ran the ball well, but both RBs need to work on holding on to the ball. Overall the D did a a nice job, we contained their running game pretty well (the QB was their leading rusher), forced a lot of TOs, the secondary was the most aggressive I have seen from a State team in years.

    Obviously a lot of rust, a lot of things to work out, but I’m not writing the season off at all or changing my prediction that this team can have a good year.

  24. SuperStuff 09/04/2011 at 8:52 AM #

    18/31 is a 58% completion rate and Glennon was one dropped pass from another TD. 58% is in line with what Wilson had the last three years. As Glennon gets more playing time his completion percentage will go up.

  25. albunde6 09/04/2011 at 8:55 AM #

    First, defense played a solid game against good offense. Defense was not getting pressure on quarterback, because Liberty quarterback was releasing ball in less than 3 seconds. NFL pro-bowl line will not get to this quarterback in 3 seconds. 7 turnovers saved our butts.

    Second,really tired of offense that does not use formation to balance field and make defense adjust. Glennon was put in a situation were defense was going to blitz, then he has to read it and make quick throw. This could have been avoided by keeping full back or running back to week side.

    Third, we don’t set any thing up with our formations and sequence of plays. Looks like a just throw formations on the field. Weak fakes to running back and quarterback roll outs that put no pressure on defense.

    Year 5 and I am still screaming at this offensive coordinator.

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