Monday Musings


ncsu helmet

Joe Giglio (N&O)
Depleted Wolfpack breeze past The Citadel 52-14

After running back Shadrach Thornton scored his first touchdown on the first drive of the game, N.C. State coach Tom O’Brien tried to keep the freshman from getting too over-hyped about the fast start.

“It’s going to be a long night,” O’Brien said to Thornton.

It was, for The Citadel, and a memorable one for Thornton, who ran for 145 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Wolfpack to a surprisingly elementary 52-14 home win over the Bulldogs.

Bret Strelow (
N.C. State freshman Shadrach Thornton has strong debut in win over The Citadel

N.C. State entered the season with three capable running backs, and their absences enabled O’Brien to discover a fourth. Creecy and James Washington were out with injuries Saturday, and Mustafa Greene remains suspended.

Even when they were playing, none of the three had done enough to become the clear-cut starter. That’s the danger of letting a back like Thornton, a three-star recruit out of Hinesville, Ga., hit a gaping hole with an opportunity in his hands.

Facing the 104th-ranked rushing defense at the I-AA level, Thornton gained 6 yards on his first carry. He went for 34 yards on his third attempt and capped the Wolfpack’s first offensive series with a 19-yard score.

Another series, another Thornton touchdown. The first time N.C. State removed him from the lineup, it went three-and-out.

In the snap of a finger, Shadrach was indispensable.

O’Brien wondered how Thornton would handle pass protection, but The Citadel rarely blitzed, allowing him to sneak out into routes as a receiver. And when Mike Glennon threw downfield, Thornton was often making a punishing block to spring a teammate loose for more yardage.

Thornton carried the ball with the same aggressive mindset.

“I feel like the defense is the prey and I’m the predator,” he said.

Bret Strelow (
Kyle Washington commits to N.C. State

Kyle Washington, a 6-foot-9, left-handed power forward, committed to N.C. State on Sunday morning.

Washington is ranked the No. 66 player in the Class of 2013 by and the No. 96 player by He picked the Wolfpack over Ohio State, Washington, Louisville, Marquette and Iowa State.

Washington was originally a Class of 2012 prospect. He attended Benilde-St. Margaret’s in his home state of Minnesota before reclassifying to the Class of 2013 last season as a newcomer at The Hotchkiss School in Connecticut. He is attending Brewster Academy in New Hampshire this year.

Brett Friedlander (
FIFTH QUARTER: ACC’s Game of the Year lives up to its hype


4. Hello my name is: Shadrach Thornton. A true freshman who came so far out of nowhere that many Wolfpack fans were unaware who he was, Thornton was pressed into service because N.C. State’s top three RBs were either hurt or suspended. He responded by running for 145 yards and two TDs on 21 carries – 15 more yards than leading rusher Tony Creecy had in three games – in a win against The Citadel. In doing so, he became the first State freshman with more than 100 yards in a game since Joe McIntosh in 1981.


“Let’s not give him the Heisman Trophy yet. I think when we decided to play Shadrach he is going to be part of the rotation going forward. I think he showed today he can go in there and play.” N.C. State coach Tom O’Brien on true freshman RB Shadrach Thornton.

Associated Press
North Carolina State Dominates The Citadel 52-14

James Henderson (
Locker Room Report: Wolfpack Players

Shadrach Thornton

“Probably in the beginning of the week coach notified me to go ahead and get ready. They didn’t ask me to do anything but go out there and play football. I’m thankful I have a good team, strong offensive linemen, they made the way for me tonight.”

“They had me on scout team so I just wanted to give them the best look possible so they can go out there and dominate.”

“It was pretty nice to get a chance to catch the ball. Mike Glennon is an awesome quarterback and he knows how to throw it, so he put me in the right positions.”

“You practice how you play, so regardless if I was going to get in or not, I was going to practice 110%. The game is won in practice and it shows on Saturday.”

“I have good backs ahead of me, a little more experienced than I am, so I’m just learning from those guys.”

Derek Medlin (
Locker Room Report: Tom O’Brien

“[Shadrach Thornton] is a good running back. He really progressed. By the fourth scrimmage you could see that he can really run the football. Now the question is, can he do everything else? That’s what holds all those kids back. But, let’s not give him the Heisman Trophy yet.”

“The grim reaper will show up Sunday and let me know who I’ve got [at tailback].”

“Nothing has changed [on Mustafa Greene] since the last time we got together.”

“I think when we decided to play Shadrach he’s going to be a part of the rotation going forward. He showed today that he can get in there and play. We’ll see. Who knows what the health is going to be of anybody. We may be in the same situation next week.”
Thornton Seizes Opportunity

O’Brien said the only question mark was whether he could do all of the other things besides running the football that Pack backs are called on to do: catching the ball and blocking. He passed with flying colors and O’Brien said he will be part of the regular rotation of backs moving forward.

Thornton quite naturally had a case of nerves prior to the game, but said after his initial contact, his demeanor settled down into game mode.

“I buckled down and my offensive line and my teammates told me to relax,” he noted. “I got my butterflies out and got my feet wet.”

Discussing his pass-catching ability, Thornton was pleased with his performance and gave quarterback Michael Glennon the credit for his success.

“Michael is a great quarterback and he put me in the right position.”

Matt Carter (
NCSU rolls to easy 52-14 win over The Citadel

Thornton played because Washington and redshirt sophomore Tony Creecy missed the game with injuries, and redshirt sophomore Mustafa Greene remained suspended.

That left the Pack with just Thornton and fifth-year senior Brandon Barnes as its available tailbacks.

“[Thornton’s] the only healthy back that practiced all week,” O’Brien noted.

Thornton took his preparations to heart this week knowing his opportunity might come.

“You practice how you play,” Thornton said. “Regardless if I was going to get in or not, I’m going to go 110 percent. The game is won in practice. That’s where you put in all the hard work.”

Thornton’s first score was a 19-yard scamper to give the Pack a 7-0 lead. The Citadel’s Darien Robinson, a junior running back, busted through State’s defense for a 65-yard touchdown just four plays after Thornton’s first score, but the Pack rookie answered and punched in a seven yard score.

Mike Maniscalco (
The good, bad and ugly from NC State’s win over The Citadel

The defense continued to be stellar. Throw out one huge run and the State defense controlled the line of scrimmage, holding the Bulldog triple option in check. After the game Tom O’Brien had high mark for his D, pointing out that they held The Citadel to under 200 yards rushing and that included giving up 65- and 15-yard touchdown runs.

David Amerson tied the NC State career mark for interceptions with his 16th of his career, tying him with Eric Williams and Art Rooney. Amerson vowed to be better after the Tennessee game, which he called the worst of his football career and has responded with three picks in three games since the opener.

Jeff Hartsell (The Post and Courier)
Citadel “very disappointed” with showing in 52-14 loss to N.C. State

In the big picture, The Citadel’s 52-14 loss at North Carolina State on Saturday night will have little impact on the Bulldogs’ suddenly elevated goals for this football season.

The Citadel will bring home a guarantee check for $375,000 and get on with the business of trying to win a Southern Conference championship. The 3-1 Bulldogs already have knocked off two SoCon preseason favorites in Georgia Southern and Appalachian State, and can go to 3-0 in the league with a win over Chattanooga on Saturday at Johnson Hagood Stadium.

But that was little consolation to the dejected Bulldogs, who hoped to put on a much better show for a sell-out crowd of 55,145 at Carter-Finley Stadium.

“It hurts,” said fullback Darien Robinson, who ran for 102 yards and a touchdown. “We didn’t come out here to just give this a shot and then say, ‘We’re here for the SoCon.’ We came to win this game, and to win the SoCon.”

Jeff Hartsell (The Post and Courier)
N.C. State’s speed overwhelms The Citadel

The 3-1 Bulldogs, ranked No. 10 in the Football Championship Subdivision, will take home a check for $375,000 and return to the business of trying to win their first Southern Conference title since 1992.

Aside from that check, The Citadel got another bit of good news when all-SoCon defensive tackle Derek Douglas returned to action against N.C. State. Douglas suffered a knee injury (torn ACL) in spring practice, and missed the first three games this season.

The Citadel already has defeated two SoCon preseason favorites in Georgia Southern and Appalachian State, and hosts Chattanooga next Saturday at Johnson Hagood Stadium.

The Bulldogs entered Saturday’s game with an 0-27 mark against ACC teams, and learned again that speed (along with size, scholarships and resources) is one of the advantages FBS teams hold over their FCS brethren.

Tampa-Pack (
Tampa-Pack’s ACC Power Rankings – Week Four

1 (1) Florida State – Took a huge step into the driver’s seat. What a great game!

2 (2) Clemson – Actually played FSU much better than I expected.

3 (4) Virginia Tech – Handled a seemingly not very good Bowling Green squad.

4 (5) NC State – #RodneyPurviswasfreed and so was the offense. Maybe we shouldn’t be ranked this high, but ranking the league gets pretty difficult from here.

5 (8) Miami – Hard to argue against 2-0 in the conference.


acc football logo

Joe Giglio (N&O)
In ACC thus far, it’s Seminoles and everybody else

Adam Gold (
Here’s to the winners

Not the usual suspects of the week

Maybe it’s my fault for not knowing, but I’m still not sure who Shadrach Thornton is. It sounds like a low-country fishing vessel. The interwebs tell me that he’s a true freshman from Hinesville, Ga., which is roughly 30 miles southwest of Savannah (thank you google maps). My eyes tell me that he ran up one side and down the other over The Citadel and we might never hear the name Mustafa Greene again. 21 carries for 145 yards and two touchdowns to go along with four receptions for 26 yards says “factor back”, in the words of the great Merrill Hoge.

ACC from 1-12…of the week

1. Florida State (4-0)
2. Clemson (3-1)
3. Virginia Tech (3-1)
4. Maybe Miami (3-1) has something after all.
5. Georgia Tech (2-2), still.
6. Duke (3-1)
7. Wake Forest (3-1)
8. North Carolina (2-2)
9. North Carolina State (3-1)
10. Maryland (1-3)
11. Virginia (2-2), please they should have lost to Penn State.
12. Boston College (1-2)

Can’t wait for…of the week

3. Duke at Wake Forest, 12:30 p.m., WRAL-TV…The Blue Devils are good enough, especially defensively, to be a bowl team. but, the schedule-maker was a Tar Heels fan, thus there are limited opportunities for Duke to get to six wins. Wake Forest is good, but not so good that the Devils can’t win this game.

2. N.C. State at Miami, Noon, ESPNU…Great gauge for both teams to see what we might expect the rest of the season.

1. Tie, Clemson at Boston College, 3:30 p.m., ESPN2 — Florida State at South Florida, 6 p.m., ESPN…How do you bounce back from the emotional loss/win? Clemson is good enough to win them all before the South Carolina game, while the Seminoles are plenty good enough to win out, but can they handle success?

ncsu bball logo

Matt Carter (
Kyle Washington pulls the trigger

Sources informed The Wolfpacker Sunday morning of Washington’s commitment, and Brewster Academy head coach Jason Smith confirmed the news on Twitter. ranks Washington as the No. 21 power forward and No. 96 recruit in the 2013 class, but his stock is on the rise. Washington, who has a 6-11 ? wingspan, was offered by NCSU in July.

Gottfried and assistant coach Orlando Early were on hand when Washington had nine points, 13 rebounds and five assists while helping the East squad at the Nike Global Challenge in Washington, D.C., July 12-15 to a 109-70 victory over China.

Joe Giglio (N&O)
Wolfpack adds forward to growing class

tannofsteel84 (
Purvis may not be the only one cleared

So it looks like Torian Graham could still possibly join NC State in the spring if mutual interest still exist. From the way I understand it, the NCAA can still clear Torian to be fully qualified and Torian does not want to go to prep school. He wants to go to a high major school as soon as possible. He is currently in the same situation that Rodney Purvis was in just a few weeks ago. But the NCAA has told him he would have to be enrolled into a school to get the process moving faster. That isn’t possible at NC State since the last date to enroll for the fall semester was August 29th. But a spring addition is still possible if he is cleared before January 1st ( possible later). This would completely change the depth outlook of our guards from looking at only having Brown, Lewis, and Wood to maybe having Brown, Lewis, Purvis, Wood, and Graham. Which would offset the loss of Tyler Harris since we could keep Wood at the 3 position and not have to rotate him at all in the ‘guard’ role if its not needed.

Akula Wolf (
Four-Star Forward Kyle Washington Commits To NC State

Washington is an extra long and athletic lefty power forward that is oozing with potential. He runs the floor effortlessly. Can finish drop off passes created by dribble penetration on the break and in the half court with length not strength.


Thornton breaks out in NC State win

NC State got a big win over the Citadel Saturday, 52-14, and got a break-out performance from freshman Shadrach Thornton as well.
Thornton: My teammates helped me calm and relax

Freshman running back Shadrach Thornton said that his teammates helped him calm down before his first ever game where he ran for 145 yards and 2 touchdowns.
O’Brien: We thought 3 RB’s was enough, we’ve used 7

With injuries and other off-field issues, Tom O’Brien has been forced deep into his running back depth. Saturday was a break-out game for freshman Shadrach Thornton.
Glennon: We wanted to get up early

NC State quarterback Mike Glennon said that against an option team like The Citadel, they wanted to get an early lead Saturday.
Amerson: I have to keep making plays

After recording his third interception in as many games, NC State corner back David Amerson said he needs to keep making big plays on defense.
Smith: Coach asked for a big special teams play

Rashard Smith, who returned a punt for a touchdown Saturday in NC State’s 52-14 win, said coach Tom O’Brien asked him earlier in the week to make a big play on special teams.

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."

'12 Football Basketball Recruiting

15 Responses to Monday Musings

  1. 66pack 09/24/2012 at 7:23 AM #

    So the coaching staff had no idea that Thorton could run the ball.He only played because 3 other backs were out and none had not been producing this year.

  2. triadwolf 09/24/2012 at 7:42 AM #

    ^That’s not what they said at all. TOB said they figured out he was a good runner, it was the other things they were worried about – blocking assignments, picking up blitzes, etc. You know, the kind of things that can get your QB killed if not executed.

    There’s still questions on these things as the Citadel did not blitz much and is not exactly top level competition.

  3. 1.21 Jigawatts 09/24/2012 at 7:56 AM #

    Not to mention that Georgia Southern’s and App State’s Running Backs each ran for around 150 yards against The Citadel. So he didn’t do anything that 2 guys from Div 1AA schools didn’t do against them.

  4. albunde6 09/24/2012 at 8:07 AM #

    You have 5 running backs, 2 hurt, 1 suspended, 2 available. The 2 available have not beat out the first 3. This would lead to the conclusion that the first 3 are better than the last 2. In our system we cannot remove the suspension (failing to go to class etc), because our system will collapse without rules. What happened to ” improvise, adapt, overcome”.

    This is how we manage our assets at State? Don’t worry about next year, we will find another freshman to burn a year of eligibility for one game. “fail to plan, then plan to fail”

    Sorry to “rain on the parade” with the negativity, just an observation,

  5. DC_wolf 09/24/2012 at 8:07 AM #

    Jigs, I’m on the road this week & wasn’t able to catch the game @ all, so I really appreciate the rundown. I did catch the most important stat of the game: 52-14. I don’t know what I like better, 52 or 14, but I’m leaning towards 14.

    Bring on the conference.

  6. Old MacDonald 09/24/2012 at 10:04 AM #

    “The 2 available have not beat out the first 3. This would lead to the conclusion that the first 3 are better than the last 2.”

    That’s only your conclusion if you assume nobody ever improves.

  7. wufpup76 09/24/2012 at 12:17 PM #

    The kid’s definitely saying all the right things … That’s encouraging.

    Hope he can keep it up.

    Let’s see what happens in the Miami game …

  8. tann84 09/24/2012 at 12:17 PM #

    Honestly, I am humbled and honored that my little post on backingthepack would be mentioned here. Thanks for the love.

  9. Tampa-Pack 09/24/2012 at 2:02 PM #

    ^Likewise, thanks for checking out my “Power Rankings” over at BTP, or lack of Power as it relates to most of the ACC. Thanks!

  10. TeufelWolf 09/24/2012 at 6:33 PM #

    I was at the game and I liked what I saw with Thornton. He ran patient yet strong and delivered some huge down field blocks. Let’s hope he can pass protect as well as he can block down the field. I hope he makes it in the game next week for sure.

    Also, for those of you that weren’t there, it was awesome to see the Basketball team get such an ovation. Everyone seems to be super excited about the upcoming season. I hope that the players and recruits feed off that.

    Big shout out to Russell Wilson. Let’s hope he and the Seahawks crush the Packers tonight!

  11. RabidWolf 09/24/2012 at 7:54 PM #

    “I find it interesting and a little disheartening that they didn’t say anything about Steve Sabol at the game. Not only was he a good player at State, he was a Marine. Anyone at the game, correct me if I am wrong but I don’t remember anything being said.”

    No offense, didn’t Sabol go to Colorado College?

  12. Cabin Creek Wolf 09/24/2012 at 8:05 PM #

    Rabid, I’m wondering the same thing. And Sabol was never a Marine.

  13. JSRy2k 09/24/2012 at 11:50 PM #

    Good game Shadrach. Now let’s see you prove it can against an FBS defense. The line was opening gaping holes for Thornton’s 6.9 ypc. Barnes’s average was 5.9 ypc and two walk-ons averaged 8.0 & 9.5 ypc respectively. You have my attention, yet I am neither excited nor convinced about the strength of our RBs or OL thus far.

  14. phillypacker 09/25/2012 at 12:24 AM #

    Just how far up his arse does Adam Gold have his head? Duke, UNC and Wake all ranked above us? State is 9th best in the conference. Must be smoking that crack.

  15. Prowling Woofie 09/25/2012 at 10:03 AM #

    My thoughts exactly, phillypacker. Not that Adam Gold’s ranking mean anything in the Circle of Life, but that’s just crazy stuff… Maybe it’s because our wins were ‘only’ against UConn, SoAL and The Citadel, but I think the TN loss and the UConn win will both look better by the end of the season.

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