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Pack defense solid in scrimmage

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Quarterback Russell Wilson remains a bit off target, linebacker Nate Irving didn't scrimmage and the defense held firm in N.C. State's first preseason scrimmage Monday at Carter-Finley Stadium.

Coach Tom O'Brien shared only limited statistics from the scrimmage. He revealed that the offense completed eight of 20 passes for 116 yards and rushed 55 times for 92 yards.

O'Brien said Wilson, who spent the spring and summer playing baseball, is still "a little bit off," but the coach didn't sound concerned.

"It's just going to take him a little bit of time," O'Brien said. "He's still turning two [as in a baseball double play], so we've got to get him out of that mode and back into throwing the ball. But luckily we still have three or four weeks before we've got to play a game."

Irving, a senior captain who missed all of last season with injuries resulting from a car crash, didn't scrimmage Monday and won't scrimmage Friday, either. O'Brien said Irving didn't need the work and wasn't needed to get the defense lined up against the simplistic plays the offense was running.

O'Brien's priority with Irving is keeping him free of injury.

"We've got to get him to the first game and make sure he's healthy," O'Brien said "The emphasis today of what we were doing, it didn't seem to be a good idea to play him at all."

N.C. State did have bad news on the injury front on one player. Jesse Riley, a former walk-on who had a shot at getting playing time at cornerback, suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in practice and is out for the season.

Judging from the statistics, the defense performed well in the scrimmage. In just over 80 plays, there were eight tackles for loss, including six sacks.

On special teams, Josh Czajkowski made field goals of 36 and 35 yards but missed from 45 and 43 yards. The team punted five times for an average of 40 yards.


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It's early

And intra-squad scrimmages are misleading. I like the updates and daily coverage, but the results have to be taken in context.

I have no worries about Russell Wilson. When they kickoff for real, he will be ready to go.

As to the defense, I just hope we can avoid having anyone else go down. For the team's sake and for the affected players' sakes.

Realistically, we won't know anything about this year's D until the second game of the season. I think they will be better than expected, but that's just eternally optimistic me.


Call me out for Carolina bias, but 8 of 20 passing and 55 rushes for 92 yards?  That sounds a bit more like a struggling offense than a solid defense.  Hate to hear about another guy tearing his ACL.  Knee injuries have become much more prevalent over the past few years, especially in the ACC.  Wish Riley to a speedy and successful recovery.

Who knows...could be a

Who knows...could be a little bit of both.  Sounds to me like it wasn't a serious enough practice to care about stats though.  No Nate Irving, plus I don't  see State running the ball 75% of the time in an actual game.  TOB said they were just running very simplistic plays.  I wouldn't put too much into the stats.


The post clearly states the offensive plays were simple. Running the ball over 75% of the time is certainly something NC State won't do this season.

Me thinks TOB and Co. are merely trying to get the fundamental plays down so they'll know which RB works best with what they're trying to do.


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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.