Breaking down N.C. State

Greetings-

J.P. Giglio of the Raleigh News & Observer was kind enough to answer a few questions about N.C. State. Some good stuff in here; you should definitely give it a read. You can read his work on the News & Observer blog and you can follow him on Twitter. I am going to try to get something up in the afternoon with a few points about the game. Thanks for reading.

1) Is the N.C. State running game really that bad?
Yes.
They miss Mustafa Greene, who hurt his foot in spring practice, and hasn’t played yet. James Washington is undersized and Curtis Underwood fumbles too much. Just by the eye test, I’d say redshirt freshman Tony Creecy is the best athlete of the group but the coaches haven’t given him much of a chance yet, either because of a lingering foot injury or his inability to grasp the playbook. I think Creecy will get a look with Underwood out with a knee injury.

2) Coaches at Tech have been talking about the challenge of defending Mike Glennon and his rocket arm. Do they have reason to be so concerned?
Yes.
Glennon is good and he has been able to make big plays with receivers T.J. Graham and Tobais Palmer. Glennon obviously not Russell Wilson, though, so the protection in front of him has been an issue (see: putrid running game) as has been his ability to use the whole field, and not just hit home runs (five of his 10 touchdown passes have been 60 yards or longer).

3) Who’s a player with an interesting background or story?
Graham’s dad, Trevor, was at the center of the BALCO scandal with Marion Jones and other defrocked track stars.
Glennon’s brother Sean was a punching bag for the Virginia Tech fan base, despite being a productive player.
Defensive tackle Markus Kuhn and kicker Niklas Sade were both born in Germany.

4) There were high hopes for this team in August. What’s happened since then, and can the season be saved?
The injuries, particularly to Greene and defensive tackle J.R. Sweezy, have crippled them. The healthy defenders have been terrible, out of position or both. A pair of I-A teams they beat last year, 30-19 (Cincinnati) and 38-3 (Wake Forest), have beaten them 44-14 and 34-27 this year.
There are eight games left and Tom O’Brien has turned them around from worse before, but if you look at the schedule, there aren’t many obvious wins (Central Michigan is about it) out there. It would take a team-wide epiphany to get to seven wins and another bowl game.

5) How would you assess Tom O’Brien’s job security?
Pretty good, not great, but not DefCon2, either. O’Brien went 9-4 last season, which is actually tied for the second-most wins in school history, and the team ended up in the AP rankings for the first time since Philip Rivers‘ junior year, so he does have some margin of error. He also has another four years on his contract. The school just bought out the basketball coach (who’s on the books for another two years) and is still paying the former AD, so financially, it doesn’t make a ton of sense to make a change after one bad season.

6) Where should Tech fans in town for the game go to eat?
There’s no equivalent of the Varsity in Raleigh but near campus, Mitch’s and Porter’s are both good (and vastly different) spots and downtown you can’t go wrong with the Raleigh Times (good beer) or Tobacco Road Sports Cafe (will have all the games on TV).

Links

You should definitely read Michael Cunningham’s story on Tyler Melton.

N.C. State defensive tackle J.R. Sweezy, who has yet to play this season, is listed as questionable in a hopeful development for the dinged-up Wolfpack in a News & Observer report from J.P. Giglio himself.

It would have been better had I posted this Thursday afternoon, but, still, an update from Michael Carvell on Tech prospect Josh Manley of Milton High, who gives an admirable reason for why he hasn’t been able to make a visit to a game at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

Thanks for reading. Please follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

134 comments Add your comment

Athens, we have a problem...

September 30th, 2011
6:04 am

Athens, we have a problem...

September 30th, 2011
6:05 am

OMG! TGIF and THWG!!!

Flounder

September 30th, 2011
6:14 am

“Focus, Daniel Son … Focus”.

asia_jacket

September 30th, 2011
6:24 am

GT Dominates

September 30th, 2011
6:40 am

This one gets out of hand early and I predict a final score of 63-10. Go make yourself some money on this one as the spread is only -9.5.

Paddy

September 30th, 2011
6:53 am

Be careful, a couple fumbles and a blown D assignment and Glennon makes this a game to the wire. The Jackets have seen this before.

ToeMeetsLeather

September 30th, 2011
7:00 am

Haven’t seen NC State play this year so don’t know exactly what to expect, but it sounds like if we don’t turn the ball over and we blanket Graham we should prevail. We shall see.

Still hoping for a huge game with Clemson (we need them to beat VaTech) of two unbeaten teams ranked inside the top fifteen!

Wolfman

September 30th, 2011
7:34 am

Geez, with our D sooo banged up and with what Tech is doing of late, I fear this may be a KU type blow out. I am tempted to call an old bookie and bet the house on that line. What does Vegas know on this one?

ATLER (Ramblin Wreck)

September 30th, 2011
7:44 am

If our Defense can come out playing aggressively early, I see another blowout coming Saturday. Stay focus Tech and the wins will come. Go Jackets!!!!

ATLER (Ramblin Wreck)

September 30th, 2011
7:46 am

I really can’t see N.C. State keeping up with Tech as long as Tech handles business and limits the turnovers. Go Jackets!!!!

reebok

September 30th, 2011
7:57 am

NC State can’t stop anybody and Tech can’t stop the passing game…this one could end up 48-45. As long as the Jackets come out on top, I can live with it!

The New ACC

September 30th, 2011
8:04 am

Tech’s pass defense has improved enough to slow down their passing game. Our pass rush especially has improved.

I don’t think this will be a scare. We will cover the spread with ease.

Burma Shave

September 30th, 2011
8:08 am

Cupcakes Are Good

They’re Easy To Eat

Unless You Get Choked

And Go Down In Defeat

Burma Shave©

5150 UOAD

September 30th, 2011
8:09 am

I hope Drummond doesn’t get Lost and Confused on the TE dragging across the middle. UNC made good use of that play a few times and Drummond was nowhere to be found.

ToeMeetsLeather

September 30th, 2011
8:10 am

“ree”, if our defense gives up (45) to the Pack we may not win another game with the remainder of our schedule. I’m guessing 31-21.

gtmech03

September 30th, 2011
8:24 am

The story about Melton is a good one by Michael Cunningham. Melton has been doing an awesome job and I would say they GT fans definitely see. I that one block the moment it happened.

MJC

September 30th, 2011
8:25 am

NC State’s defense is decimated by injuries. There is no way we score less than we did against UNC. However, NCSU does have a playmaker at receiver and Glennon isn’t too bad. They will get a couple of scores.

I predict 49-27

Gr8 2B aFuzzyB

September 30th, 2011
8:26 am

I’m with TML, if we give up 45 the fan whining will be unbearable. But it ain’t gonna happen Ree! Maybe not a total beat down but 38-24 is my guess.

GT Dude

September 30th, 2011
8:27 am

The Pack must really be down this year.
The PackPride message board is filled with dire predictions by the fans and even the beat writer that covers them is pestimistic.
Hope our jackets don’t do anything to bring them out of their doldrums

GIVE ME A BREAK

September 30th, 2011
8:38 am

As hard as Melton is working on his blocking, I hope CPJ will get the ball to him some against NCST. You have to admire a player like that. ” ROLL YELLOW JACKETS ” 49-24

Chris

September 30th, 2011
8:50 am

Wow they lost to wake? And got blown out by cincy.
Gt 51
Nc state 24

Chris

September 30th, 2011
8:53 am

Game is on abc @ 3:30.

Chris

September 30th, 2011
8:54 am

And texas tech plays at kansas at noon on sportsouth. i’ll watch a little of that just to see how they do since everyone wants to say they are the worst bcs conf team cause we blew them out. I don’t think they are at all.

Buzzsaw

September 30th, 2011
9:03 am

Tech’s defense only gave up 332 total yards to UNC. Of that total, 155 yards rushing for their tailback. 28 points was an awful lot for that amount of total offense. We did have 7 sacks against a decent offensive line. I don’t think NCST will be as competitive as UNC. The key will, as always, be turnovers and scoring in the red zone. Three times we stalled at the 23, 21 and 19 after decent drives and came away with 2 field goals. If I recall, we were inside the 20 on all three and lost yardage. I don’t believe that NCST will have as many weapons on offense and our defense will be able to key on a couple of their players. Glennon should not be much of a threat to run and overall they do not run the ball very well. They have some talent at tailback but injuries have been a problem. I think we double cover Graham all day and make the other receivers beat us.

Their defense is giving up over 400 yards per game and they have not faced an offense with the weapons GT has. My prediction is 49 – 24.

GIVE ME A BREAK

September 30th, 2011
9:04 am

Pittsburgh made the ACC proud to have them. Welcome.

GTJeff

September 30th, 2011
9:08 am

I have had this eerie feeling this is not going to be a good game for us.

GIVE ME A BREAK

September 30th, 2011
9:10 am

GTJeff, wake up, you’re having a bad dream. LOL

NorthGaJacket

September 30th, 2011
9:15 am

Great article! Even – no, especially – the tips for GT fans going to Raleigh. This could be the trap game. Hope everyone on the team is focused. Go Jackets!

NorthGaJacket

September 30th, 2011
9:16 am

Did the filter eat my post?

Scrap

September 30th, 2011
9:22 am

If the defense takes another step forward this week, improves on some soft coverage, and flies to the ball. And if the offense doesn’t catch the hiccups, GT is in control all day. Stay focused, and we shouldn’t have to worry about if’s and but’s, or candy and nuts.

T3

September 30th, 2011
9:24 am

Ken:

A better and more accurate title would be: “NC State – Breaking Down”

Scrap

September 30th, 2011
9:25 am

This could be the game that David Sims cuts loose……..if you’ve been watching him the last couple of weeks, you know what a hard runner he is. I hope to see him breaking into the secondary all day. It’s gonna be a good game to watch……….I trust.

Eastof A1A

September 30th, 2011
9:30 am

To reiterate above comments:
Get Melton the ball, Hill proved he can still drop ‘em, and Tyler deserves some attention.
Linebackers need to wake up to the drag routes, UNC did it with their big WR (#83) who just looked like a TE, and when you drop into your zone FIND YOUR MAN!
Pressure on Glennon is key.

Ken Sugiura

September 30th, 2011
9:30 am

T3 – pretty funny. we’ll see saturday.

Ken Sugiura

September 30th, 2011
9:33 am

well done, Athens.

Anon

September 30th, 2011
9:38 am

If Tech comes out and plays their game and doesn’t forget how that got here, they should be fine. Defense has been getting better every game and linebackers have been speeding up their reads as Groh adds plays. Looking for another great game for several of the offensive players and even a defensive score.

Reality

September 30th, 2011
9:40 am

If GT rushes 3, Glennon will have time to pick apart the D. Pressure him by blitzing and he will turn it over.

Born2Buzz

September 30th, 2011
9:47 am

Contain TJ Graham on returns and get after Glennon and we should be fine. If NC St’s D is so bad we should pile up some big numbers.

Thanks for the heads up on the Melton story. I will watch him a little closer tomorrow. I hope he has another one of those blocks so I can rewind it and watch it over and over.
I’ve go to remember to record the home games so I can watch them again when I get home and see things like that that you miss in person.

T3

September 30th, 2011
9:47 am

Ahem……attention…attention GT fans…

NCST had (-26) TOTAL Yards Rushing against Cincy.

NCST lost to Cincy……….BY 30 POINTS.

Those arent typos.

Only a direct hit by an asteroid on Carter-Finley Stadium
will keep this from being a GT blowout.

juvenal

September 30th, 2011
9:50 am

only thing that could defeat us is overconfidence & 4-7 lost fumbles…….

DawginLex

September 30th, 2011
10:15 am

I think Tech ends up winning but I think it will be close for quite awhile.

42-30

Worm

September 30th, 2011
10:17 am

N.C. State is terrible..They had some talent but they’ve lost about 4-5 DL to injury…Tech wins by 4 tds…And O`Brien has absolutely NO chance of survival..The Russell Wilson issue has state fans steaming along with the poor play.

Reality

September 30th, 2011
10:19 am

DawginLex, I don’t think NC State can score 30 on us. I’m thinking 49-21.

Idiot Savant

September 30th, 2011
10:32 am

Curtis Underwood has been the leading rusher for the Pack. He is out with an ankle injury (not a knee). Freshman Tony Creecy has had 6 carries for 21 yards. Tech will be playing NC State’s scout team Saturday.

Idiot Savant

September 30th, 2011
10:33 am

ormewood

September 30th, 2011
10:57 am

Jackets should cruise, barring a rash of turnovers. 49-24.

The Good Word

September 30th, 2011
11:15 am

After watching Cincy shred NC State’s D with the few toss sweeps and options they ran, I felt much more confident about this game.

M

September 30th, 2011
11:21 am

Really Tech fans, we do not need to be so over confident about this game.,
Any team passing can beat us. Think about what we’ve seen the past 2 years.
I sure hope our defense shows up tomorrow!

Delbert D.

September 30th, 2011
11:30 am

I watched NC State against Cincinatti. Glennon has a strong arm, but there were several instances of miscommunication with receivers, and several drops, as well. Zach Collaros of the Bearcats is a pretty good QB. They scored 44 on NC State, and they scored 72 on Austin Peay and 59 on Akron. Make a few mistakes and penalties and NC State can pull an upset.

Delbert D.

September 30th, 2011
11:34 am

Remember 2008 and the 10-7 win over Gardner Webb.