NC State's season opener against Liberty won't define the team, but it might help answers some…
State forced seven turnovers against Liberty - tying the school record. The Pack last forced that many in 1983 against South Carolina.
13 Players See First Action
Thirteen Wolfpack players saw their first career action in tonight's game, including seven redshirt freshmen, one transfer and five true freshmen. The redshirt freshmen included Bryan Underwood (WR), Art Norman (DE), Tyson Chandler (OT), Tony Creecy (HB), Thomas Teal (DT) and Tyler Brosius (QB) and the true freshmen were T.Y. McGill (DT), Wil Baumann (P), Scott Thompson (LS), Niklas Sade (PK) and Michael Peek (LB). Transfer McKay Frandsen (DE) also saw action and redshirt junior Tobais Palmer did as well.
Besides Baumann starting at punter and Sade at placekicker, three other Wolfpack players made their first career starts tonight: Mike Glennon at quarterback, Darryl Cato-Bishop at defensive end and D.J. Green at linebacker.
Wam, Bam, Thank You Graham
T.J. Graham made one of the biggest plays of the game in the second quarter when he returned a punt 82 yards for a score. It was Graham's second career punt return for a touchdown and he has also had two KOR returns for scores. The 82-yarder was the 11th-longest punt return in school history.
For the game, Graham ended up with 88 yards on punt returns, 99 on kickoff returns and had one catch for seven yards for a total of 194 all-purpose yards.
Glennon Makes First Career Start
Redshirt junior/graduate Mike Glennon made his first career start today at quarterback. He finished with 156 yards on a 18-31 passing performance and was sacked four times. Glennon is the first Wolfpack quarterback to lead State to a victory in his first career start since Daniel Evans helped topped Boston College in 2006.
Slay All the Way
Brian Slay's 52-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the third quarter ranked as the fourth-longest fumble return in school history and the longest in 16 years. Hassan Shamsid-Deen had a 68-yard fumble return against Duke in 1995, also for a touchdown, and the longest since then was a 48-yarder by Freddie Aughtry Lindsay against Connecticut in 2003. That was the Pack's first fumble return for a score since 2007 (Thomas Barnes vs. Wofford).
Slay also recovered a fumble in the fourth quarter, marking the first time a Wolfpack player recovered two fumbles in the same game since Audie Cole scooped two last year against East Carolina in Greenville.
Two Players Switch Sides
Two Wolfpack players were not in for their first career games tonight, but were playing on a different side of the ball. Tonight marked the first time that former cornerback Rashard Smith saw action at wide receivers and the first time Dean Haynes got in at safety. Smith started at corner as a true freshman in 2009 before suffering a torn ACL and missing all of last season, while Haynes saw action at tailback last season.
Bryan Goes Wthout
Senior tight end and two-time All-ACC performer George Bryan did not end up catching a pass tonight, marking the first time since the last game of 2009 (UNC) that he did not have a grab.
Finger Pickin' Good
Earl Wolff, D.J. Green and David Amerson combined for four interceptions on the night. State last picked off four passes in the same ball game in 2008 - doing it to both South Carolina and Miami. Amerson had two picks on the night - the first to do it since Brandan Bishop grabbed two last year at UCF.
Underwood Reaches Century Mark
Redshirt senior Curtis Underwood finished the game with 14 rushes for 114 yards and a score, marking the first time a Wolfpack player has rushed for over 100 yards since Toney Baker had 116 yards versus Florida State on 10/31/09. Underwood gained just 62 yards on the ground during the entire 2010 season.