Tag:Tom O'Brien
Posted on: September 22, 2011 11:36 pm
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QUICK HITS: Cincinnati 44, N.C. State 14

Posted by Chip Patterson

CINCINNATI WON. A year after getting burned 30-19 in Raleigh, the Bearcats exacted their revenge with a 44-14 route of N.C. State on national television Thursday night. Senior quarterback Zach Collaros threw for 263 yards and two touchdowns while adding 52 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground. The Bearcats dominated this game from the beginning, only allowing themselves to burned by two huge T.J. Graham touchdowns.

HOW CINCINNATI WON: The Bearcats entered Thursday's showdown against the Wolfpack charged up and simply more ready to play. They were more physical on the line of scrimmage, blocking on the perimeter, and swarming to the ball on defense. The result was plenty of room for running back Isaiah Pead to rack up 167 yards on 27 carries, and lots of time for Zach Collaros to dice up the N.C. State secondary.

WHEN CINCINNATI WON: In the first 20 minutes of game time, the Bearcats' defense had forced the Wolfpack to punt twice and quarterback Mike Glennon had thrown two interceptions. In response, the Cincinnati offense had scored three touchdowns. At 21-0 with more than 10 minutes remaining in the second quarter, this game felt like it was already over.

WHAT CINCINNATI WON: If the Bearcats can take care of business against Miami (OH) next week, they will have equalled their win total from 2010 by the time conference play begins. That alone is a huge boost for Butch Jones, who was already starting to hear it from the Bearcat faithful after the eight-win drop-off in his first season as head coach.

WHAT NC STATE LOST: Losing defensive tackle Brian Slay to an ankle injury is a huge blow to an already depleted defensive line. The Wolfpack are so depleted up front, there was one point where they had a walk-on offensive guard playing defensive tackle. If the team is having some confidence issues, Thursday night's beatdown did not help. This team needs a leader, and that leader needs to step up with the long prep week for Georgia Tech.

THAT WAS CRAZY: Despite the embarrassing loss, N.C. State does walk out of Nippert Stadium with a clear-cut idea of their best offense: give the ball to T.J. Graham in space. The wide receiver turned seven catches into 176 yards and the Wolfpack's only touchdowns, giving him five all-purpose scores on the season.

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Posted on: September 20, 2011 11:35 am
Edited on: September 20, 2011 11:37 am
 

N.C. State LB Manning (knee) will miss 3 weeks

Posted by Chip Patterson

N.C. State's injury woes on defense just don't seem to end. It began in preseason with sophomore cornerback Jarvis Byrd suffering yet another season-ending knee injury - his second ACL tear in two seasons. Since then senior defensive linemen J.R. Sweezy and Jeff Rieskamp have suffered setbacks, and now the linebacking corps will be thinner as well.

CBSSports.com's Mike Potter is reporting that outside linebacker Terrell Manning will miss three weeks after undergoing successful surgery on his left knee. Manning is the third leading returning tackler from 2010, and along with junior Audie Cole is counted on as one of the unit's playmakers. Manning will be replaced by senior Dwayne Maddox, who played the second half against South Alabama.

The Wolfpack travel to face Cincinnati on national television Thursday night before hosting No. 25 Georgia Tech on Oct. 1. Manning could make his return Oct. 8 against Central Michigan or wait until after the bye week and return Oct. 22 against Virginia.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview
Posted on: September 11, 2011 1:10 am
Edited on: September 11, 2011 1:23 am
 

What I learned from the ACC (Sept. 10)

Posted by Chip Patterson

1. Time to re-rank the ACC Atlantic. Two weeks into the season, and my projected order of finish for the division in the ACC Preview already looks way off. I'm trying to be careful not to jump to any conclusions, but I think it's safe to say my predictions (below) will not be very similar to the final standings.

1. Florida State
2. Clemson
3. NC State
3. Maryland
3. Boston College
6. Wake Forest

See what I mean? No chance. So based on what we've learned from the last two weeks, here is how I would re-rank them. Consider it a "power ranking" of sorts.

1. Florida State (2-0) - No real surprise or change here. Who we thought they were.

2. Maryland (1-0) - The Terps made our jaw drops twice on Labor Day. Once when they ran out of the tunnel in those uniforms, and again when they completed the 32-24 defeat of Miami.

3. Wake Forest (1-1) - Tanner Price has been one of the most impressive quarterbacks in the ACC so far this season, and if the Deacs can learn how to hold a lead they could end up giving a lot of teams trouble this year.

4. NC State (1-1) - Quarterback Mike Glennon put together a great second half on Saturday, helping the Wolfpack fight back from a 27-6 third quarter deficit and nearly steal a win from Wake Forest. 315 yards passing and three second half touchdowns will help the first-year starter build some confidence moving forward.

5. Clemson (2-0) - The Tigers have more talent on paper than many teams in the ACC, but they also have more talent than both of their opponents this season. Unfortunately things are still a work in progress for this young team, and their showing against Troy and Wofford have been less than impressive. Can be better, should be better, just not putting it together right now.

6. Boston College (0-2) - That defense can only do so much when the offense struggles like they have been this season. From Montel Harris to losing their top receiver for the season, injuries will unfortunately be the story of the 2011 Eagles.

2. North Carolina/Bryn Renner not so flawless anymore. I opened last week's What I Learned with a glowing review of North Carolina quarterback Bryn Renner. Well the sophomore faced a new challenge on Saturday with the Rutgers defense, and his performance did not match his 22-for-23 debut. Renner did complete 20 of 26 passes for 273 yards, but half of those incompletions were once again thrown to the other team. But Renner's mistakes were hardly the only frustrations for interim head coach Everett Withers. The Tar Heels were penalized 9 times for 94 yards, and finished the game with five turnovers in their narrow 24-22 win over Rutgers. After looking so sharp a week ago, the Tar Heels will have some work to do this week before kicking off the conference schedule against Virginia in Chapel Hill next Saturday.

3. Virginia Tech's greatest opponent is Virginia Tech. The Hokies have one of the most favorable schedules in the ACC, and it has been a reason that many people have penciled them in to repeat as Coastal Division champs. Virginia Tech's mental mistakes and inability to get a passing game going nearly cost them a game on Saturday in their 17-10 victory over ECU. The Hokies were penalized 12 times and turned the ball over twice, while quarterback Logan Thomas completed only 8 of 20 passes for 91 yards and no touchdowns. The defense was doing their part, holding the high-powered ECU offense to just 112 total yards. But there were too many mistakes that almost cost the No. 11 Hokies an early loss that would have crushed their potential bowl resume.

4. Duke's "breakthrough" will not occur until they fix red zone woes. Preseason All-ACC kicker Will Snyderwine shocked us when he missed a 28-yard field goal against Richmond that could have won the game. But on Saturday the streak continued with two more field goal misses in Duke's 44-14 loss to Stanford. Those missed field goals complimented a turnover on downs from the Stanford 14 yard line to equal a day of red zone troubles for the Blue Devils. Sean Renfree, Conner Vernon, and the Blue Devils offense entered this season with a lot of hype, but the inability to finish will keep the Duke in the ACC cellar in 2011 unless something changes.

5. No more coach speak, let's talk Oklahoma. All through training camp and the first two weeks of the season, the media has been frowned upon when asking questions about the early-season showdown between Oklahoma and Florida State in Tallahassee. With the Seminoles' 62-10 win over Charleston Southern, "Oklahoma Week" has officially begun for the FSU fan base.

The defense looks as ready as they could be for the Sooners' potent offense, after only allowing one touchdown in eight quarters of play. On Saturday the Seminoles' defense did not even let the Buccaneers get a first down until the third quarter, and this week they will get Greg Reid and Telvin Smith back from one-game suspensions. Head coach Jimbo Fisher admitted the Seminoles "didn't play perfect," but he was able to use the big lead to get extra quality snaps for his offensive line and running backs as they work to advance a rushing game that hasn't hit 2010's production yet.
Posted on: August 8, 2011 12:15 pm
Edited on: August 8, 2011 12:22 pm
 

Seen/Heard at Camp: N.C. State

Posted by Chip Patterson

Training camp is underway in college football, with teams all over the country getting a better idea of what to expect from the upcoming season. Along with the help of CBSSports.com's Rapid Reporters, here is a collection of recent observations from N.C. State.

- One of the most noteworthy changes from 2010 to 2011 for the Wolfpack is the absence of Russell Wilson and development of his successor, junior quarterback Mike Glennon. Glennon was a highly-touted prospect out of Virginia, and now will have a chance to live up to expectations as the new face of the offense. Head coach Tom O'Brien endorsed Glennon from the beginning of spring practice, and recently spoke about his development as they shape the offense around their new starter.

"The offense goes in in increments, and every day for about 10 days there's something new that goes in," O'Brien said. "Certainly for [Glennon], some of it is repetition from the last three years because there's the base of the offense that's going to be there regardless of who's the quarterback, the right guard."[Rapid Reports]

- Glennon's comfort with the system will be impacted greatly by the development of his wide receivers. Team captain and preseason All-ACC selection George Bryan is the most consistent receiver at tight end, but the Wolfpack will be missing three of their top four ball catchers from 2010. Senior wide receivers TJ Graham and Jay Smith each saw action last year, and will be counted on to lead the new group. According to offensive coordinator Dana Bible, the veterans have entered camp ready to go.

"We're a work in progress, but (the returnees) must have had a really good summer as far as training because they bring a lot of speed with them," Bible observed. "And they're anxious and ready to go. You're going to see it as I'm going to see it, as it develops."[Rapid Reports]

- Last season, the defense was quarterbacked by All-ACC linebacker Nate Irving, now with the Denver Broncos. Alongside Audie Cole and Terrell Manning, pressure from the starting linebackers helped the Wolfpack post 42 sacks in 2010 - good for second in the conference. This year Cole has moved into Irving's middle linebacker slot, and defensive coordinator Mike Archer is looking for some depth behind the two returnees.

"The biggest question there is going to be the (strong side). (Sophomore) D.J. (Green) has not played there. He's learning, but we've got to find a backup too," said Archer. "I don't know who the backup is. Based on three days of practice, I don't know if we have one."

Archer also explained that this year's unit will rely heavily on the defensive line to pressure the quarterback. With the linebackers helping out the secondary with some of the coverage responsibility.

"Don't get me wrong, we want to pressure and attack people. But there are going to be times, on third down in particular, where we want to get pressure with four downs, and be able to play max coverage and play five under, two deep. We've got to get better rushing with four, no matter who those guys are." [Rapid Reports]

For daily updates from N.C. State's training camp, be sure to follow CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Mike Potter. Also, bookmark the ACC Blog for news and analysis from across the conference.
Posted on: June 30, 2011 1:28 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2011 1:43 pm
 

Russell Wilson still could return to baseball

Posted by Chip Patterson

Earlier this week, former N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson ended the long-awaited indecision regarding his immediate future by announcing his transfer to Wisconsin. Wilson chose the Badgers over Auburn and continuing his career with the Asheville Tourists, the Class A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies.

While some assumed that this may be the end of Wilson's baseball career, his time with the Rockies. according to Wilson's agent, may not be over after all.

"The Rockies have been incredibly understanding of how torn emotionally Russell is between baseball and football. He's not being disrespectful," agent Mark Rodgers told The Denver Post. "He's a 22-year-old kid who wants to keep his options open. The Rockies haven't closed the door on him coming back. And Russell has not closed the door."

Wilson did not have a fantastic start to his first season with the Tourists, batting .228 and only driving in 15 runs. He was second on the team in stolen bases (15), but it was not the kind of season expected from a fourth-round pick. If he chooses to stick with football, and does not return to the Rockies; he will have to forfeit "slightly less than 50 percent of his $200,000 signing bonus."

As Dennis Dodd pointed out, Wilson's arrival makes the Badgers the new Big Ten favorite. Wilson walks into a situation where he will be able to take advantage of the big stage to boost his professional football chances.

If Wilson can't impress scouts while playing for a Big Ten powerhouse, then heading back to the diamond might be his best move. Wilson has totaled up 93 touchdowns (passing and rushing) in his three-year career on the gridiron, and has stated his dream to play in both the NFL and in the major leagues.

The good news for the new Badgers signal-caller is that both doors are still open.

READ MORE: Eye on College Football Roundtable: Russell Wilson's impact on Wisconsin, the Big Ten
Posted on: June 27, 2011 12:47 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 4:49 pm
 

Russell Wilson transferring to Wisconsin

Posted by Chip Patterson

After a three month "free agency" that was kicked off with the release from his scholarship with N.C. State, Russell Wilson has made a decision about his immediate future with football and baseball. On Monday, Wilson confirmed what many people had speculated: that he would use his final year of football eligibility this fall playing for Wisconsin.

Wilson chose the Badgers over Auburn and the Colorado Rockies organization, where Wilson was drafted in the fourth round last summer. He started at second base for the Class A Asheville Tourists this spring, but began to reconsider his future in football back in April. The next months were a whirlwind of reports and discussion, as Wilson visited with the coaching staffs at Auburn and Wisconsin during days off from the Tourists. With fall camp approaching in a little more than a month, and with a growingly frustrated Rockies' front office -- Wilson decided it was time to make a decision.

"I never want to be told I have the starting job, I never believe in that," Wilson explained in an appearance on ESPN's College Football Live on Monday. "I believe that, being the competitor I am, you have to compete every day. Once I found out I would get the opportunity to compete and be the best I could be every single day, I was truly excited about that.

"I think that with [Wisconsin's] coaching staff and the players they have, the tradition they have there in terms of their fans and the players that have played there before -- I am truly excited about it, I think it's a great situation for me."

Head coach Bret Bielema offered his thoughts on the arrival of Wilson in the school's official release.

“Russell will come in and compete for the starting quarterback position,” Bielema said. “This is an unusual situation, especially for a program that prides itself on developing players throughout their careers, as we do here at Wisconsin. However, this is a special situation and Russell is the type of player and person that fits very well with our team.”

For Wisconsin, Wilson's addition answers one of the biggest question marks heading into the 2011 season. When the Badgers closed spring practice, there still was not an official starting quarterback for the fall. Now Wisconsin gets the addition of a three-year starter with an all-conference resume. With Ohio State now facing a season of uncertain expectations thanks to the offseason scandal, Wilson makes the Badgers the biggest on-field story in the new Leaders Division of the Big Ten.
Posted on: June 24, 2011 3:46 pm
Edited on: January 16, 2012 4:34 pm
 

The ACC's possible 'hot seats' of the future

Posted by Chip Patterson

Dennis Dodd unveiled his 2011 Hot Seat Ratings for college football, and for the most part the ACC coaching picture appears to be somewhat stable heading into the fall. Obviously any new developments in North Carolina's NCAA case would change the hot seat rating of Butch Davis.

The ACC has some fresh faces (Maryland's Randy Edsall, Miami's Al Golden, Florida State's Jimbo Fisher, Virginia's Mike London), and some deeply rooted coaches like Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer, Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson, and Wake Forest's Jim Grobe. But in between the newbies and the veterans are four coaches who could feel the seat heating up in the near future.

BUTCH DAVIS: North Carolina, hired before 2007 season - Well after the resignation of John Blake, Davis announced his regret for hiring his long-time friend and now-revealed runner. Many people believe that Davis' time at North Carolina should come to a close for allowing all of the well-documented wrongdoing to take place under his watch. But the fact is that the school has stood behind Davis, and as of right now the NCAA is not holding him personally responsible. However, should further information indict Davis things could be different. Additionally, if the Committee on Infractions hits the program with serious sanctions it will become more difficult for supporters to stand behind Davis. Coming off of his first bowl win since arriving in Chapel Hill, Davis needs to make sure the on-field successes are overshadowing the off-field chatter in order to keep some sort of job security.

TOM O'BRIEN: N.C. State, hired before 2007 season - After choosing to join the Colorado Rockies' organization instead of spending his spring with the N.C. State football team, Russell Wilson was told by head coach Tom O'Brien that the starting quarterback role was a 365 day/year type job. O'Brien believed that if Wilson was going to be the starting quarterback in the fall, he needed to participate in spring practice - something Wilson had missed every season due to Wolfpack baseball. So when Wilson returned to O'Brien, the former Marine stood by his word, declaring junior Mike Glennon as the starting quarterback for 2011. Wilson thanked his fans, was released from his scholarship, and is currently deciding if (and where) he wants to play football in the fall.

O'Brien's future at N.C. State from a hot seat perspective is not reliant entirely upon whether Glennon turns out to be a premier quarterback, but it is certainly a contributing factor. 2010 marked O'Brien's first winning season at N.C. State, and Wilson was a big part the Wolfpack's success. If Wilson succeeds in the national spotlight somewhere like Wisconsin, the fans in Raleigh will grow frustrated with O'Brien if Glennon is less than satisfactory. At Boston College it took O'Brien a few seasons to get things going in the right direction (six straight bowl victories), but that waiting period will expire soon for many N.C. State fans.

DABO SWINNEY: Clemson, promoted during 2008 season - Of all the coaches grouped into this category, Swinney has had the least amount of time as the head of the program. But, Swinney's midseason promotion to interim head coach in the 2008 season will always serve as a disadvantage in the eyes of the Clemson faithful. Don't get me wrong, the Tigers love them some Dabo. He carries a great reputation as a recruiter, and he has continued that trend delivering nationally ranked classes since being promoted. But especially after Clemson's 6-7 performance in 2010, there is beginning to be some doubt if Swinney is the right man for the job. He acted quickly after the season ended, shaking up the assistant coaches and bringing in Tulsa offensive coordinator Chad Morris to improve a struggling unit. If the change to the other positions on the staff don't lead to an improvement in the "wins" column, fans will turn their attention to Swinney. With Tommy Bowden's resignation, the Tigers never got a chance to really hold a coaching search or pick "their guy." Swinney will be "Bowden's guy," unless he takes these top ranked recruiting classes and turns them into top ranked teams in the near future.

DAVID CUTCLIFFE: Duke, hired before 2008 season - With 12 victories in his first three seasons, Cutcliffe has already doubled the amount of wins that prior head coach Ted Roof collected in more than four years. Bringing in the man known for mentoring some of the game's best quarterbacks was a big-time move with hopes to bring the Blue Devils at least to a point of mediocrity. In 2009, Cutcliffe got Duke within two games of bowl eligibility - which would basically be Duke's version of the Super Bowl.

Cutcliffe has brought some excitement back to football in Durham, but his seat could get much hotter in the coming seasons if Duke continues to fall short of breaking through. I realize that is a difficult expectation for a program that hasn't seen the postseason since 1995, but there is only so much losing a fan base can sit through these days without demanding a change.

Here is the full breakdown of ACC coaches from Dennis Dodd's Hot Seat Ratings:

Boston College

Frank Spaziani

1.5

Clemson

Dabo Swinney

2.5

Duke

David Cutcliffe

2.5

Florida State

Jimbo Fisher

0.5

Georgia Tech

Paul Johnson

1.0

Maryland

Randy Edsall

2.0

Miami (Fla.)

Al Golden

1.5

North Carolina

Butch Davis

3.0

NC State

Tom O'Brien

2.0

Virginia

Mike London

1.5

Virginia Tech

Frank Beamer

0.0

Wake Forest

Jim Grobe

1.5


KEY: Ratings go from 0-5, with 0 being "can't be touched" and 5 being "on the hot seat, time to win now"



Posted on: June 22, 2011 11:20 am
Edited on: July 22, 2011 4:56 pm
 

Report: Russell Wilson making decision soon

Posted by Chip Patterson

More Russell Wilson news, but at least now it looks like there may be an end to the indecision. Wilson is said to be torn between deciding whether he wants to play his final season of college football at Wisconsin, Auburn, or remain as a prospect with the Colorado Rockies. Wilson's trip to Auburn was a "job interview" of sorts, while Badger insiders referred to his trip to Madison as a "grand slam." Throughout the entire process, the Rockies have expected Wilson to finish out the regular season with the Asheville Tourists - which ends Sept. 5.

But Wilson has decided to wind down the decision process and plans to make his intentions known soon, according to a Wisconsin State Journal report. The report cites a source close to the situation that believes Wilson will likely announce his intentions before July 1 - possibly even this week. That is not too far off from the previous report which had him indicating July 4 as a deadline earlier this month. Either way, the "free agency" of Russell Wilson should be coming to a close in the next couple weeks.

Making the decision sooner will benefit all parties involved, particularly if he decides to play college football in the fall. Once he has made his decision, he can begin meeting his new teammates and learning a brand new offense - hopefully in time for fall camp to open in August. Wilson has always been credited for exhibiting high football IQ, but mastering a brand new offense in a few months will be one of his greatest challenges yet. If Wilson announces his intention to stick with the Rockies, both Auburn and Wisconsin can stop looking at hypotheticals and begin focusing on their quarterback situation for the fall.

Wisconsin probably has the most to gain from Wilson's arrival, and that is my guess for where he will end up should he choose one more season on the gridiron. Wilson was intrigued by the prospect of "big-time college football," and it is arguably hard to get much bigger than the newly expanded Big Ten. Particularly after Ohio State's tumultuous offseason, that Leaders Division should look awfully winnable to head coach Bret Bielema. All he needs is an answer for the quarterback position, and Badger fans are hoping Wilson will be that answer.
 
 
 
 
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