When North Carolina State plays its first game under Dave Doeren it will do so without its leading rusher from 2012.
Doeren announced on Wednesday that Shadrach Thornton would be suspended for the Wolfpack's season opener against Louisiana Tech. Thornton was charged with misdemeanor assault in June for allegedly pushing his girlfriend during an argument.
"I think he's learned a lot and he'll grow a lot from it,” Doeren told reporters. "That's part of our job as coaches is to discipline guys and to help them through mistakes.
"The bottom line is he knows he made a mistake putting himself in that situation. We removed him from all team activities except for academics and he had to live his life the way that he should live it, in my opinion and our team's opinion before he could come back and exercise with the guys."
Thornton rushed for 694 yards and three touchdowns for the Wolfpack last season, sharing the load with Tony Creecy. N.C. State finished the 2012 season ranked No. 111 in the nation with 111.1 rushing yards per game last season, and averaged only 3.07 yards per carry as a team. Something that Doeren and his new staff are certainly hoping to improve upon in 2013, so this isn't a good start toward achieving that goal.