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Beck shines in Pack victory

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It seemed unlikely at the time, after coach Tom O'Brien offered to help Harrison Beck transfer to another school.

But after Beck decided to stay, O'Brien said N.C. State might need him at some point this season. O'Brien had no idea just how quickly the Wolfpack would turn to Beck to rejuvenate its struggling offense.

Beck came off the sideline to cheers Saturday afternoon and used his strong arm to revive N.C. State in a 34-24 win over William & Mary at Carter-Finley Stadium, completing a remarkable turnaround.

He took over for faltering senior Daniel Evans and passed for 246 yards and two touchdowns in a little over two quarters. With N.C. State ahead just 7-0 late in the second quarter, Beck lofted a 22-yard scoring pass to Jarvis Williams, creating a possible difficult quarterback decision for O'Brien.

Russell Wilson, who won the starting job during the preseason, dressed Saturday but suffered a Grade 3 concussion nine days earlier at South Carolina and did not play.

Evans, a senior, had a miserable day in his 18th career start as it took N.C. State 28 minutes, 40 seconds to gain a first down. Evans was 4-for-11 for 12 yards and badly overthrew tight end Matt Kushner on an interception on the third play from scrimmage.

Beck replaced Evans and played with a flair N.C. State had lacked. Some of his passes were dangerous and might have been intercepted if the Wolfpack was playing against better defensive backs.

But the N.C. State receivers who seemingly couldn't get open for Evans made big plays on Beck's throws. Williams made the catch in the end zone on a pass that could have been intercepted.

Freshman T.J. Graham raced free to bobble and then grab a 47-yard pass, setting up a 1-yard scoring throw to tight end George Bryan.

Beck, who started four games last season, isn't as fast as Wilson and lacks Evans' experience. But at 17-for-25 for 246 yards with two touchdown passes, Beck posted statistics that would have made Philip Rivers proud except for a fourth-quarter interception that Derek Cox returned 45 yards for a

Now O'Brien might have a difficult decision to make heading into the Sept. 13 game at Clemson, whether Wilson is ready to return or not.

Along with Justin Burke, Beck was one of the first two players out of N.C. State's five-man preseason race for the starting quarterback position. The other, Justin Burke, accepted O'Brien's offer of help with a transfer and moved on to Louisville.

Beck, a junior who had started four games last season, had fewer options because he already had transferred from Nebraska. That was a good thing for the Wolfpack, because it desperately needed Beck on Saturday evening.


Staff photo by Ethan Hyman


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good pts jpd

I admire beck as well. has to be a stand up and classy guy for keeping his head above water all this time, regardless of who the opponent was.

fella needs help on saying TOB needs to go.

I'm sure this guy will be out of the barns by dusk and he can come back in and defend himself at that time ...

Beck vs. Wilson

I admire Harrison Beck for hanging in there after Coach O'Brien made his QB decision in preseason. To come in the way he did yesterday is a credit to his perseverance. There can be no doubt that he should be ahead of Daniel Evans on the depth chart.

However, the Pack did play an average FCS team yesterday. Historically, Beck has been an up and down performer- really good or really bad with not much in between. Against good BCS competition, the likelihood of really bad increases.

The Pack's future success lies with Russell Wilson and Mike Glennon. I agree with O'Brien's decision to stick with Wilson as long as he is healthy. Keep the redshirt on Glennon. Use Beck as Wilson's backup and give him a couple of series each game to get some live action reps.

Finally, anyone who wishes we still had Amato instead of O'Brien needs professional help.

Wilson starting next game?

OK, so Bill&Mary isn't a top-notch D-1 football team. But what does it do to team and individual player morale to have a QB (Beck) pull the Pack's fat out of the fire, have receivers suddenly put out extra effort to get open and make great catches, then the head coach announces that QB will be demoted for the next game vs. the team (Climpsin) picked to win the ACC?

Didn't Daniel Evans come off the bench three seasons ago and throw a game-winning, last-play TD to beat Boston College 17-15 and earn a spot vs. FSU in the next game and lead NCSU to a victory over the 'Noles in the last two minutes with another late TD pass?

Beck may not be "the future" of Pack QBs, but why doesn't he didn't earn a start Saturday vs. the Tiggers? Is this a double standard for rewarding good play by one player and punishing good play by another? Why?

And why risk Wilson's health? He's coming off a Grade 3 concussion. There'll be plenty of future chances to shine if he doesn't get his brains scrambled again by a Climpsin LBer during a tuck-and-run passing situation.

I'm still trying to figger out O'Brien's decision. And I'm not seeing many questions or understandable justification for this decision.


The statement "Did he even

The statement "Did he even start in high school football (wherever the hell he played) i highly doubt it- he sucks" from another poster shows a real lack of knowledge of the Wolfpack. A half-drunk, ill-informed, reactionary 'Pack fan *still* knows that Danny Evans is a 2d-generation Pack QB who's father does the radio commentary and who was a local hero at Broughton High who brought them back from deficits in game after game for several years.
Has he 'maxed out'? Probably. But did he at least deserve the chance? Sure. He deserved a chance, but it's clear other players have passed him at this point.
As to criticism of the coach... Tom O'Brien is a good coach. It's going to take some time to get his players for his system in place. He's really only got one recruiting class b/c of when he was hired the year before. But there's already 1 major positive - he hasn't had wholesale staff turnover from year-to-year the way Amato did. That's a positive for the kids who play under the coaches.


Leaf and Shuler would have been excellent examples HAD WE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THE NFL!!!

no, we're talking about college football where Shuler and Leaf excelled over prolly 90% (<---low end) of the QB's who ever played college football.

Daniel Evans isnt better than 1% of the QB's who have played college football.

you missed my point...heath

you missed my point...heath shuler and ryan leaf were good QB's at the college level but were obviously not meant for the NFL....Evans was good in high school but doesn't have the talent for Div-1 (or FCS if you prefer) football.   like i said before, some players were not meant to progress to the next level. 

no, we all got your point. 

no, we all got your point.  you just should have used other terrible QB's that should not have been starting in college like Kyle Wright, Xavier Lee or the kid who played after Weinke at FSU.  it's all right though. 

i'm sure evans is a great

i'm sure evans is a great kid, but reality has to sink in sometime. some people were just not meant to progress past a certain level of football (heath shuler and ryan leaf come to mind). just get through this year and probably the next, year 4 should be the breakthrough as o'brien's recruits will be upperclassmen.

as for the earlier posting by ol' ken here about vandy beating south carolina makes state look that much worse....sports logic never makes any sense....that's why the game is played. that earlier article is as asinine as saying that since NC State beat App State the year before last, and App State beat Michigan, then NC State can beat Michigan. Granted, two different seasons, but i think my point is made.


Exactly how many times does Evans have to stink before we see the last of him. Sorry, but the kid has never been any good. His mechanics are bad and he simply has no head for the game. Let this be the end, please.

Russel Wilson did play in

Russel Wilson did play in the game.

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About the blogger

Ken Tysiac has covered the ACC for The Charlotte Observer since 2003, and spent the previous eight years covering Clemson for the Anderson Independent-Mail and then The State in South Carolina. He grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame.