Tag:N.C. State
Posted on: December 13, 2010 1:18 pm
Edited on: December 13, 2010 1:20 pm
 

O'Brien not expecting Russell Wilson back

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Sometimes college athletes surprise us, choosing to play football for tuition and a cafeteria meal card over baseball for gobs and gobs of money. Who at this time last year foresaw Kyle Parker turning down a multi-million dollar offer from the Colorado Rockies to quarterback Clemson for another year?

Of course, that Parker has struggled mightily through a massively disappointing season on both the individual and team levels shows the risk of the honorable approach, and why so few choose it. So it makes sense that N.C. State head coach Tom O'Brien sounds already resigned to the Champs Sports Bowl being the last performance of QB Russell Wilson in a Wolfpack uniform:
Wilson, a junior, returned to the Wolfpack after playing pro baseball last summer in the Colorado Rockies organization. But O’Brien said next season will be a different situation.

“When he left the last time he spent the whole spring here and was, the whole time, around us,” O’Brien said. “And he wasn’t being paid [last spring]. He’s being paid now. And they have money. And what do I have to offer? So who knows what’s going to happen."
That's pretty much the situation in a nutshell, isn't it? "They have money. What do I have to offer?" A chance at getting the Wolfpack over the hump and into the ACC championship game and the joy of collegiate football camaraderie, but that's about it. Compared to the riches awaiting a prospect already taken in the MLB draft's fourth round (one also engaged and reportedly about to receive his degree) it might not amount to much.

To be fair, Wilson has stated he wants to play both football and baseball professionally, and another year at N.C State will likely do much to improve his NFL draft stock. But an injury might ruin his chances at both, for good. O'Brien probably knows what he's talking about.

HT: DocSat .


Posted on: December 11, 2010 1:50 pm
 

Your newest candidate at Miami: Marc Trestman

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

There's a new hat in the Miami coaching search's ring according to the Miami Herald , and it's not one most observers probably saw coming: Marc Trestman , current head coach of two-time defending Grey Cup champions Montreal Alouettes .

Not many major college programs have plucked their coaches out of the CFL , but there's a reason (besides his immediate success in America's hat ) the Hurricanes would take a long look at Trestman; he began his coaching career in Coral Gables, serving as a highly successful quarterbacks coach to Miami legend Bernie Kosar , a current university trustee.

Of course, that the latest Kosar was weaing the Hurricane orange was 1984 should tell you something about how many times Trestman has been around the block. He left Miami (with a UM law degree) that same season, embarked on an NFL coaching career, and hasn't spent more than two seasons (both producing iffy results as the N.C. State offensive coordinator in 2005-2006) in the college game since. The other finalists for the 'Canes job according to the Herald -- Randy Edsall, Al Golden, and perhaps Tommy Tuberville, on whom reports seem to differ -- are all substantially more involved with NCAA football.

But no matter how frayed they might be, Trestman's Miami ties (he also spent time with the Dolphins ), support from Kosar, and CFL success appear to have him in contention. Things can and probably will change by the end of the day, but for now, this is a candidacy that has to be taken seriously.
Posted on: November 21, 2010 1:35 am
 

What I learned from the ACC (Nov. 20)

Posted by Chip Patterson

1. Virginia Tech clinched the Coastal Division title because of playmakers - If there is one thing that has seemed to separate Virginia Tech from the rest of the conference in 2010, it has been the weekly appearance of Hokie playmakers. Frank Beamer's roster is loaded with talent that can simply make plays when needed. Virginia Tech clinched their fourth Coastal Division title since joining the ACC in 2004 with their 31-17 dismantling of Miami in Coral Gables on Saturday. When the Hurricanes stuck VT in a corner, the Hokies always had someone to answer. Whether it was Tyrod Taylor, Ryan Williams, or Danny Coale, someone was always stepping up when needed. The Hokies may have the division clinched, but they'll be playing for history against Virginia next week. No team has run the table in the ACC since Florida State did it in 1999 and 2000. A win over the Cavaliers and Virginia Tech can add that to their already impressive ACC resume.

2. N.C. State on the edge of a historic season - By squeezing out a 29-25 come from behind victory against North Carolina, N.C. State has found themselves a game away from competing in their first ACC Atlantic Division title. The Wolfpack have not won an ACC Championship since 1979, and with a win over Maryland next week in the season finale, will have a chance to do so against the Hokies in Charlotte. They got it done with special teams against the Tar Heels, benefitting from T.J. Graham's 87 yard punt return touchdown to give the Wolfpack the go-ahead score in Chapel Hill. The win gave Tom O'Brien a perfect 4-0 record against North Carolina as the N.C. State head coach, an accomplishment that can keep him in good graces around Raleigh for quite some time.

3. There might not be much of a quarterback controversy in Miami - Miami chose not to play quarterback Jacory Harris against Virginia Tech despite being cleared by the doctors before the game. Stephen Morris had performed well in Harris' absence, even leading some pundits to murmur ideas of a quarterback controversy. After Morris' performance against Virginia Tech, which included three interceptions and a lost fumble, it would not be surprising to see Harris back under center for the Hurricanes' season finale against South Florida. Miami's loss ended their chances of a division tittle, and with the conference season being completed are playing for bowl stock against the Bulls next week. The Hurricanes offense finished the game with six turnovers, and Morris looked very much like a freshman against Bud Foster's defense. Harris has a knack for turning the ball over as well, but judging by how active he was on the sidelines on Saturday it would surprising not to see him take some snaps against the Bulls to warm up for the bowl game.
Posted on: November 19, 2010 10:43 am
Edited on: November 19, 2010 11:05 am
 

Seminoles limping into conference finale

Posted by Chip Patterson

Locked in a heated three-way race with Maryland and N.C. State, Florida State knows that a loss against the Terps on Saturday likely crushes their chances of an Atlantic Division title and a berth to the ACC Championship Game.  Florida State had a firm grasp on the division before losing back-to-back games to N.C. State and North Carolina.  Now, the Seminoles must defeat Maryland and hope for the Wolfpack to lose one of their two remaining conference games in order to avoid losing the division.  

They are going to have to get the job done in College Park far from full health.  Christian Ponder will be back on the field after sitting out against Clemson a week ago with soreness from a ruptured bursa sac in his elbow.  Ponder is not quite 100 percent, and it would not be surprising if E.J. Manuel saw some action, particularly after his performance on the ground against the Tigers.  But Ponder will missing two crucial pieces of the offense on Saturday.  Wide receiver Willie Haulstead and running back Jermaine Thomas are both will both sit out the conference finale with injuries.  Haulstead, who leads the team in receiving yards, has not been able to practice this week due to a head injury. Thomas, the team's leader in carries, was expected to miss action due to a sprained knee.  Maryland's defense has buckled against Top 25-caliber offenses this season, but with all the health issues it is not certain that the unit on Saturday is of that caliber.
Posted on: November 16, 2010 1:38 pm
Edited on: November 16, 2010 2:08 pm
 

FSU RB gets some good news, but still doubtful

Posted by Chip Patterson

When Florida State running back Jermaine Thomas laid on the ground, leg limp at his side, many (your author included) believed that the knee injury could be the end of the season for the talented junior.  However, it appears as though Thomas has somehow avoided serious injury, according to the St. Petersburg Times.  An MRI on Monday showed no major tears or damages, though head coach Jimbo Fisher said that Thomas may not play this weekend against Maryland.

Thomas is the team's second-leading rusher, and has been a pivotal part of the multi-back rushing attack that has helped fuel the Seminoles' offense this season.  Thomas, along with Chris Thompson and Ty Jones, have combined to average 147.8 yards per game thus far in 2010.  Florida State will need to find a way to keep up that production in a must-win game against the Terrapins in College Park.  With Florida State, N.C. State, and Maryland all knotted at the top of the ACC Atlantic standings, the Seminoles must win their conference finale in order to do their part to win the division title and get to the ACC Championship Game.  With the loss to N.C. State, Florida State will also need a Wolfpack loss in order to claim the division.  N.C. State also has to travel to Maryland for their conference finale on November 27, but takes on the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill on Saturday.
Posted on: November 14, 2010 12:52 am
Edited on: November 14, 2010 12:57 am
 

What I learned from the ACC (Nov. 13)

Posted by Chip Patterson

1.  Seminole redemption is sweet - Wow. What a finish for Florida State. After getting bullied around the field for three quarters, a Florida State interception completely turned all of the momentum in Tallahassee. Clemson was completely dictating the game thanks to the play of Jamie Harper, who finished the game with 143 yards rushing and 54 yards receiving. But as Florida State's defense continued to keep the Tigers out of the end zone in the second half, the offense could not get anything going. Finally, quarterback E.J. Manuel started taking over in the fourth quarter thanks to a potent option attack that delivered the first touchdown drive of the game. But nothing was sweeter than the redemption for kicker Dustin Hopkins. Hopkins missed a game-winning field goal at home a week ago against North Carolina, but absolutely crushed his 55-yard attempt against Clemson as time expired.

2. Clarity will not come this week in the Atlantic - A week ago, the ACC Atlantic Division got flipped upside down with Maryland, Florida State, and N.C. State all dropping games when they had an opportunity to seize the lead in the standings. On Saturday, all three squads shared the same fate again, though this one had a happier ending for the contenders. But with none of the three teams losing, the division is still up for grabs between the Seminoles, Wolfpack, and Terrapins. The team with the most control over the situation is Maryland, who plays the Seminoles and Wolfpack at home for their final two games of the season. N.C. State owns the head-to-head tiebreaker with Florida State, so the Seminoles will need help from the Terrapins and/or North Carolina in order avoid losing the division to the Wolfpack.

3. A strong running game will ease the pressure on a young QB - With Jacory Harris out due to the concussion suffered against Virginia, Miami turned to freshman quarterback Stephen Morris once again to lead the Hurricanes. The greatest thing a young quarterback can have is a good running game, and Morris benefited from one of the best on Saturday. Damien Berry and Lamar Miller both missed practice at the beginning of the week, but showed no signs of being slowed against the Yellow Jackets. Berry, Miller and Mike James combined for 218 yards on 36 rushes to lead Miami in the 35-10 win.

4. All VT does is win - Most of the nation tried to throw away the Hokies after a widely-publicized 0-2 start. But all Frank Beamer has done since joining the ACC is dominate in conference play, and that doesn't appear to be stopping anytime soon. Since joining the conference in 2004, Virginia Tech has a 45-11 conference record with three conference championships on the mantle. The Hokies have matured and gotten stronger as the season has progressed, and despite dealing with injury issues on both sides of the ball, played one of their most complete games of the season against North Carolina. At 6-0, Virginia Tech has nearly clinched their fourth division title. They still need to defeat Miami in Coral Gables to clinch it, but the win in Chapel Hill may have been enough to lock it up eventually.

5. Yates exposed by Hokies secondary - After being the subject of much criticism for the last two seasons, senior quarterback T.J. Yates entered Saturday's game in the midst of one of strongest statistical seasons in recent history at North Carolina. Yates has also been etching himself into Tar Heels history, setting a school record with 439 passing yards against Florida State last week, the first North Carolina win in Tallahassee. Yates also became the school's career leader for pass completions against Virginia Tech. But it was a few of those incompletions that spoiled Yates' strong statistical start. Entering the game with 15 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions, Yates failed to throw a touchdown and tossed four interceptions against the Hokies. One game does not spoil Yates strong 2010 campaign, but it was a credit to the Hokies defense that refused to let North Carolina receivers get open downfield. Only three of Yates' 18 completions were to wide receivers, with the senior being forced to check down virtually all day against the stiff Virginia Tech defense.

Posted on: November 13, 2010 9:20 pm
 

Christian Ponder not starting for FSU

Posted by Chip Patterson

Despite being cleared to play by team doctors, Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder will not be starting for the Seminoles against Clemson Saturday night.  A game-time decision, head coach Jimbo Fisher has decided to start sophomore E.J. Manuel instead.  Ponder has been suffering from swelling in his elbow, which has limited his practice time all through the week.  Ponder is dressed out for Florida State, but will only be used "if we need him," says Fisher.  Speaking to ESPN just before kickoff, Fisher said that "there was no use in risking it" with Ponder.  

Interesting confidence considering the importance of this game in the ACC Atlantic Division race.  With Maryland and N.C. State both winning earlier, Florida State cannot afford to pick up a third conference loss.  The Seminoles are coming off two heart breaking losses that included late game drives by Christian Ponder to win the game.  Against N.C. State it ended in a fumble, and against North Carolina it was a missed field goal.  It will be interesting to see if/when Fisher decides to put the Senior signal-caller out on the field.
Posted on: November 8, 2010 9:53 am
Edited on: November 8, 2010 4:25 pm
 

The ACC Atlantic is 128 kinds of crazy

Posted by Chip Patterson

Sitting down this morning, I figured I might start the week off by trying to sort through the ever-muddled ACC Atlantic Division.  With Florida State having dropped two in a row, the division has turned into a complete toss-up between the Seminoles, N.C. State , Maryland , and to a lesser extent, Clemson .  Quickly running out of room in the legal pad, it became quickly obvious that the free-for-all in the ACC was going to be a difficult puzzle to solve.  Thankfully, we have people like Patrick Stevens at D1scourse.com .  Stevens has gone through and charted all 128 possible scenarios in the ACC Atlantic Division race.  Of the 128 scenarios, Florida State wins in the 38 of them, N.C. State in 33, Maryland takes the division in 31, and Clemson gets the nod for the ACC Championship Game in 25 of the scenarios.  Which leaves one scenario, one which Stevens has dubbed the "trainwreck" scenario :  

Suppose Florida State loses to Clemson but beats Maryland. And the Terrapins upend Virginia and N.C. State. Oh, and the Wolfpack has to beat Wake Forest and North Carolina. Finally --- and perhaps least likely --- Clemson has to lose at Wake Forest. Then again, it's Clemson, so nothing should be counted out. That creates a three-way tie at 5-3 between Florida State, Maryland and N.C. State. The group would be 1-1 against each other, and all three teams would have the same division record, losses to Clemson, wins against Boston College and Wake Forest and no common games against non-division teams.

That takes things down to step No. 7 on the eight-step tiebreaker list, which is the team with the highest ranking in the BCS standings at the end of the conference regular season --- unless the teams are within five spots of each other. Seeing as how none of the three are in the top 25 of this week's BCS standings, hilarity could ensue.

Step No. 8, by the way, is "the representative shall be chosen by a draw." Fun times.


Click here for a full chart of each scenario and the division winner.  Clemson's 25 division-winning scenarios can be wiped off the board quickly with a loss at Florida State on Saturday night, but the rest of the contenders still have at least a long-shot chance regardless of the outcome of their next contest.  How Maryland fares against Florida State and in the season-finale against N.C. State will likely determine the division winner.  Of course having those games left on the schedule is what makes a headache like the aforementioned "trainwreck" scenario possible, but it also is adding some much-needed excitement to a conference that has not had most impressive season.  ACC fans may have been disappointed with the lack of elite competition in 2010, but at least they will get a photo finish.



 
 
 
 
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