N.C. State's struggling defense suffered a significant blow Tuesday with the announcement that freshman cornerback Rashard Smith is out for the season with a knee injury.
Smith had just bounced back from an ankle injury to return to the starting lineup on Saturday at Boston College. Coach Tom O'Brien had considered Smith to be part of the solution to N.C. State's defensive problems.
But Smith injured his knee in the second quarter against the Eagles. He returned to the game and even spoke to reporters after the game, but tests done later revealed that his knee needs rest and rehabilitation.
The school also announced that defensive end Jeff Rieskamp will miss the remainder of the season. He underwent surgery for a sports hernia on Friday and has not played in a game this season because of the injury.
Rieskamp started two games last season as a redshirt freshman.
The injuries present an additional challenge to N.C. State as it attempts to correct problems on a defense that has given up a total of 131 points in the last three games – which all were losses to ACC opponents.