Saturday, October 1, 2011
3:30 pm (EST), ABC
Georgia Tech (4-0) at NC State (2-2) Oct. 1, 3:30, ABC
Here's The Deal … College football, by its very nature, is designed to make preseason forecasts look ridiculous. Georgia Tech, for instance. Coming off a disappointing 6-7 campaign, the Yellow Jackets appeared to be entering 2011 with more holes than Augusta National. Yet, just a month into the campaign, they're the toast of the ACC, winning four straight to rise to No. 21 in this week's AP poll. Last Saturday, they passed their toughest exam to date, withstanding an early and late challenge from North Carolina to hold on for a 35-28 prove-it victory at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
NC State resides on the other side of the tracks these days. The Pack has performed miserably in its two games against FBS teams, getting embarrassed by Cincinnati, 44-14, on national TV last Thursday night. Making the life of head coach Tom O'Brien even more hectic is the fact that the quarterback he failed to invite back this year, Russell Wilson, has led Wisconsin to a perfect start and a No. 7 ranking in the AP.
Why Georgia Tech Might Win: Head coach Paul Johnson's offense has been sensational through four games, leading the country in scoring and total yards. Yeah, Tech's output slipped a bit last week, but that was against a Carolina defense loaded with next-level talent. Injury-riddled NC State is nowhere in the same league as the Heels, as was obvious in Thursday's collapse at the feet of Cincinnati. For the Yellow Jackets, there's no singular star, but a ton of options, so to speak.
QB Tevin Washington has done a great job of running the show, even throwing eight touchdown passes to a single interception. He'll work with Orwin Smith, David Sims, Roddy Jones and Embry Peeples on well-times pitches. And when the Pack starts cheating up to stop the run, he'll go up top to find Stephen Hill, his resident acrobatic and homerun hitter of the receiving corps.
Why NC State Might Win: If the Wolfpack has any chance of stopping the Ramblin' Wreck, it'll have to be fueled by the offense. Tech has been just okay on defense, allowing at least 21 points in all four games. The Yellow Jackets have been a little leaky against the run, which should create some space for NC State running backs Curtis Underwood and James Washington. The rest will be up to QB Mike Glennon, who has been a disappointment so far. Wilson's successor has all of the necessary tools for success, including WR T.J. Graham, yet hasn't quite turned the corner. He'll need to use all of his weapons, including underutilized TE George Bryan.
What To Watch Out For: The Yellow Jackets D was spotty in September, but, boy, did it ratchet up the pressure against Carolina last Saturday. Tech got to Bryn Renner seven times, whipping a credible collection of offensive linemen. The catalyst was LB Jeremiah Attaaochu, who used his speed off the edge to get to the quarterback three times. Even surly defensive coordinator Al Groh had to be pretty pleased with his unit's effort against the Tar Heels. If the Jackets can maintain that level of defensive intensity, their chances for an ACC crown will rise markedly.
What Will Happen: This is simply a terrible matchup for NC State, which has been decimated by injuries along the front seven. As if stopping the Georgia Tech locomotive isn't daunting enough already, the Pack will attempt to do so with spare parts and out of position linemen. The Yellow Jackets will keep the train on the tracks, using their diversity and speed to run away from State without a lot of resistance. Once the deficit starts to balloon, the Wolfpack won't have the offensive pop or the fight to make things interesting in the second half.
CFN Prediction: Georgia Tech 41 … NC State 20
NC State's offensive line performance against Cincinnati can be summed up in one word- terrible. The Pack came out intent on throwing the football with the hopes of working the run in as the game progressed. In the blink of an eye State was down 14, forced to play catchup with no hope of establishing a run game. With no threat of a rushing attack, the Bearcats were able to tee off on Mike Glennon to the tune of six sacks.
To further accentuate the Wolfpack's offensive line woes, there are currently just six teams in the nation worse than NC State when it comes to protecting the quarterback.
If State replicates last week's effort in any contest for the rest of the season, it is very unlikely they will win any of the remaining games. The Pack has to get more physical up front. They don't have a game breaker at running back currently which means they have to open up holes and it has to be done consistently. This unit has experience and hasn't been decimated by injury like several other positions. Many thought it would be a strength in 2011 and they have to step it up this weekend.
There have been lapses in pass protection where defenders have been let loose to hone in on Glennon. The linemen have to stay focused and be aware that Georgia Tech is going to be bringing extra defenders to get after the quarterback. If State can generate some semblance of a run game and keep Glennon off his back then they have a shot.
STAY ON SCHEDULE... CONVERT THIRD DOWNS
If Georgia Tech has one weakness on defense it's their third down defense. The Jackets are currently rated No. 96 nationally in third down defense with opponents converting on better than 46% of their third down opportunities.
For State's part they have to stay ahead of the chains and ensure they have manageable third down chances. If they constantly find themselves in third and long then they put the advantage back in GT's court.
To stay on track the Pack has to get some production out of it's run game if it's nothing more than a three, four or five yard run. State can use short swing passes and outs to extend the running game. Tobais Palmer, T.J. Graham and Bryan Underwood have proven that they can take short passes and turn them into nice gains. State just has to do more of it.
Georgia Tech is a team that loves to dominate time of possession so extending drives by converting on third down is a must. The Pack must help it's defense out by keeping them on the sidelines.
CONTINUE TO TAKE YOUR SHOTS
Although they've struggled on offense as a whole in 2011, one area where the Pack has had some success is on the deep ball. For the most part teams have tried to keep State in front of them but on the occasion where they've gambled, the Pack has been very effective at making them pay with the deep ball.
Of course the key to setting up the deep ball is by establishing the run and getting GT to commit extra defenders to stopping it. To this point the Pack hasn't had a lot of success with play action but if they can find away to spring the running game, it should be there. State clearly has the athletes to beat the Jackets deep.
NC State Defense vs. Georgia Tech Offense
When people talk about defending the flexbone offense, "assignment football" seems to be the most popular catch phrase. The prevailing thought being, you assign a defender to cover each of the three options and if you don't get caught up covering someone else's responsibility, you can effectively defend the Georgia Tech offense.
This is only partly true. Being assigned to cover a particular option and actually getting there to make the tackle are two different things entirely. The precision of GT's blocking schemes is what makes the triple option so effective. Their linemen and receivers are extremely well-coached at blocking and completing their assignments.
For NC State it boils down to winning one-on-one battles. If the linebackers and defensive backs are blocked and allow themselves to stay blocked, Georgia Tech will run the football at will. The Wolfpack defenders have to beat their man at the point of attack and get to the player they're responsible to cover. Beyond that, they have to take smart angles to the football and try to force ball-carriers back inside where they have tackling help.
The Yellow Jackets will put a lot of pressure on the NC State corners because they will have to get involved in run support. This may not be as big a deal as with some other programs because the Pack tends to involve it's defensive backs in the run game already.
However, it gets back to beating blocks and making a play on the ball carrier. The Wolfpack defenders have to stay on their feet to give themselves a chance to make a play.
Just when you think the defense has the option figured out, Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson adjusts his blocking schemes and now they're off to the races again. A defensive scheme that works to perfection on one drive may prove completely ineffective on the next.
This means that State has to give Georgia Tech multiple looks and keep them guessing on their blocking assignments. If the Jackets can hone in on what State is doing and where each player is going to be, they have the advantage of executing their blocking schemes. The Pack has to give different looks and be prepared to adjust every time Paul Johnson changes his blocking schemes.
When all is said and done, the Wolfpack may use a variety of defensive formations to try to keep Georgia Tech off balance.
Against Georgia Tech, anything short of seven points is a stop as far as the defense is concerned. The Pack will give up yards against Tech, virtually no one has stopped them over the course of the last few years so there is no reason to think State will appear with the magic bullet.
What the Pack has to do is convert on third down and get off the field when the opportunity arises. They have to generate turnovers. That will be key. If NC State can win the turnover battle, they will have a legitimate chance at pulling off the upset.
Accomplishing all this is a tall order for a defense that has yet to face the triple option but the Pack will need all of it to be successful on Saturday.
NC State-Georgia Tech: 5 Questions
To say that NC State's defensive line is thin right now would be a gross understatement. They, simply put, devastated by injuries – of the 10 players listed on Thursday's injury report five were defensive linemen. The Pack will play Georgia Tech without the help of Brian Slay, Jeff Rieskamp, AJ Ferguson and Thomas Teal. Things are so bleak that rumor has it fullback Taylor Gentry was taking snaps on the defensive line this week in practice.
The small ray of hope on the injury report – JR Sweezy being upgraded to questionable. Sweezy, an All-ACC honorable mention last year and the Pack's best defensive lineman, has missed all four games to start the season after injuring his foot in the preseason. Sweezy was a major part of the Pack's success against the Yellow Jackets in 2010, and if he can suit up he could provide a major boost to the defense as a whole.
2. Can Georgia Tech's offense be stopped?
Through four games, there has been no better offense in the nation than Georgia Tech. Paul Johnson's triple option attack has always been dangerous but with Tevon Washington at quarterback it's become a machine of efficiency. The Yellow Jackets lead all FBS teams in yards per play with 9.4, yards per pass attempt with 19.7 and rank third in yards per rush with 7.2. As you might assume, they also lead the nation in scoring with 53 points per game.
But there is a weakness that the Pack could potentially exploit – turnovers. The Jackets have a habit of putting the ball on the ground on some of its more complex pitch plays, and the Pack absolutely has to take advantage of every loose ball. If the Pack can figure out a way to slow down the ground game slightly and jump on some fumbles, it has a chance to slow down this offense.
3. Will the Pack's offensive line improve?
While the defensive line can point to a procession of injuries, the struggles of the offensive line can't use the same excuse. Whether you want to point to the six sacks allowed or the -26 net rushing yards for the Pack offense (the lowest total for the Pack since the 1940s), last Thursday was an ugly display for a veteran unit that was expected to be a strength coming into the season.
O'Brien called the play of his line so far this season perplexing, not something you want to hear from a coach renowned for building offensive lines at his previous school. But it's clear that the coaching staff has made this unit a priority this week and we'll see if that translates to better protection for Mike Glennon and better running lanes.
4. Can anyone run the football effectively for the Pack?
The lack of a running game wasn't entirely on the offense line however. Even with no holes to run through, the Pack running backs should have been able to do better than 12 carries for a net of four yards against the Bearcats. Obviously the Pack desperately misses Mustafa Greene, but he's out for at least another week and in the meantime someone on the roster has to be able to get three yards a carry.
With Curtis Underwood out on Saturday, James Washington will start and Tony Creecy will see an increased workload. If neither of them can show marked improvement in the running attack, O'Brien needs to try something out of his comfort zone – perhaps something as crazy as handing the ball to his tough, bruising fullback.
5. Can the Pack find a way to boost its confidence early?
NC State needs something positive to happen early on Saturday. They need to score on their first drive, or create a big turnover or generate a big play on special teams. Really anything will work – they just need something to erase the taste of being embarrassed on national television and give the team some confidence that they can beat Georgia Tech.
If the Pack jumps out to an early lead and gets some momentum behind it at home, then it has a chance. But if Tech gets a lead and the Pack is forced to play catch-up once again, it could be a long day in Carter-Finley.
NC State Game Notes
Saturday's game between the Wolfpack and the Yellow Jackets will mark the first meeting between NC State and Georgia Tech in Carter-Finley Stadium since 2006. The two teams have only met 27 times, with the Yellow Jackets posting a 17-10 lead in the series, including a slight 7-6 edge in Raleigh.
Last season marked just the Wolfpack's third win over Georgia Tech since 1994. O'Brien has faced Georgia Tech three times: in the first two years of his tenure at Boston College and last season. The Eagles lost to the Yellow Jackets in Chestnut Hill in 1997, but went to Atlanta the next season and won.
O'Brien coached against Paul Johnson twice when they both were head coaches. His BC team met Johnson's Navy squad in 2002 and 2006, with BC winning both of those contests.
DEFENSIVE LINE IS DECIMATED
The 2009 season will go down in history as one that was marred by injuries, particularly on the defense. During the course of that campaign, games were missed by linebackers, safeties, cornerbacks and defensive ends due to physical ailments ranging from torn ACLs (cornerback Rashard Smith) to automobile accidents (linebacker Nate Irving) to hernias (defensive end Jeff Rieskamp).
This season looks to top 2009 in the injury department, mainly due to the injuries suffered by one particular unit: the defensive line.
In preseason camp, tackle J.R. Sweezy, a team captain and returning starter, broke his foot and has missed the first four games. That loss was a big one for the defense, but Brian Slay moved over and redshirt freshman Thomas Teal moved up to a backup role. In the season opener, Teal went down with a broken foot, which moved A.J. Ferguson up on the depth chart.
Prior to the second game at Wake Forest, returning starter at end, redshirt senior Jeff Rieskamp, went down with a shoulder injury, which left his spot open for redshirt Art Norman to move into a starter's role.
Last week against Cincinnati, Slay suffered an ankle injury Ferguson went down with a knee injury, meaning that three of four projected or actual starters at the four defensive linemen positions could miss this week's contest versus Georgia Tech.
Just four games into the season, each position on the defensive line has changed due to injury - three positions have changed starters and one has changed the backup.
There was one bright spot in the Wolfpack's loss to Cincinnati - and it was a very bright one. Senior wide receiver/return man set a new school record with 336 all-purpose yards, breaking a mark that had stood for 36 years (Ted Brown had 297 in 1975).
Graham, whose average of 230 all-purpose yards per game is leading the FBS ranks, had seven receptions for 176 yards at Cincinnati, the 10th-best receiving yards game in school history. He also had 160 yards in kickoff returns in that contest, a mark that is tied for sixth in school history. A late addition to the Biletnikoff Watch List, Graham now boasts 4,212 all-purpose yards for his career, the fourth-best mark in school history. He ranks fourth in the ACC in receiving yards this week.
Graham boasted his first career 100-yard receiving game at Wake Forest, when he had six grabs for 117 yards and a 63-yard touchdown - the longest catch of his career at the time. He followed that with a 5-128 performance against South Alabama, and set a new career long with a 67-yard TD grab-and-run. Against Cincinnati, in addition to hitting the century mark for the third straight game, he pulled down an 87-yard reception for a touchdown - the fifth-longest in school history - to break his career-long reception mark again.
This marks the first time a Pack wideout had tallied three consecutive 100-yard receiving games since Jerricho Cotchery did so in five games to close out the 2003 campaign.
Entering the season, Graham had already made a name for himself as a kick returner. He entered the season as the school record holder in kickoff return yards for a single game (202), single season (1,028) and career (he now has 2,562). That career mark ranks fourth in ACC history.
Graham has also picked up his pace as a punt returner and has posted two of the top six single-game punt return totals in school history. He had two returns for 88 yards and a touchdown in the 2010 win at UNC and had three for 88 yards and another score in the opener versus Liberty. His big return in the opener was an 82-yarder, the 11th-longest in school history. Graham now boasts 530 career punt return yards, the sixth-best mark in school history.
GLENNON THROWS TDs
In his first four games as a starting signal caller, redshirt junior Mike Glennon has made one thing perfectly clear: he can throw the football. Glennon has thrown 10 touchdown passes so far this season, the second-best mark in the ACC and a tally that ties for eighth in the FBS standings. His 1,079 passing yards is also the secondbest mark in the league.
Glennon is only the second quarterback in Wolfpack history to throw for 10 touchdowns in his first four games as a starter - the other is ACC record-holder Philip Rivers.
Against Cincinnati, Glennon threw the fifth-longest pass in school history: an 87- yard touchdown strike to T.J. Graham. He has also completed passes of 63, 65 and 65 yards this season.
Glennon, who is tied as the second-tallest QB in the nation at 6'6 was one of 22 FBS quarterbacks making his first career start in the opening week of the 2011 campaign. Prior to the opener, Glennon had played in 10 games during his two years behind All-ACC signal caller Russell Wilson, but had been in for just 100 career snaps over two years. He saw action in 65 plays from scrimmage against Liberty.
Despite his lack of experience, he was named to the preseason ‘watch' list for the Maxwell Award. He was ranked the No. 3 quarterback in the nation by ESPN coming out of high school and was the Gatorade and AP Player of the Year in Virginia. His older brother, Sean, played quarterback at Virginia Tech from 2004-08.
WHERE'S THE RUSH?
First the bad news: During the first four weeks of the 2011 campaign, the leading rusher from last season, Mustafa Greene, has been sidelined with a foot injury. The second-leading rusher, Russell Wilson, is playing for another team. The third-leading rusher, Dean Haynes, has actually seen action, but is playing safety for the Pack.
The men filling that hole, James Washington and Curtis Underwood actually have done well at times this season. Washington has started all four games for the Pack, and is averaging 3.3 yards per run. Underwood is the team's leading rusher and is averaging 5.3 yards per carry. He became the first State back to rush for over 100 yards since 2009 when he gained 114 yards on 14 carries in the opener.
However against Cincinnati, neither was able to move the ball. The Wolfpack rushed for minus-26 yards in the loss - the lowest single-game tally for a Wolfpack squad since 1970 (-29 versus Tulane).
The Pack's rushing game looked pretty solid over the second half of the season opening win over Liberty and the entire Wake Forest game, as the team averaged 4.8 yards per carry (52 rushes for 248 yards - doesn't include a 15-yard sack on Glennon in second half versus Liberty). In addition, the Pack lost only three rushing yards at Wake Forest and three against Liberty (not counting sack yardage).
Those numbers weren't so impressive over the last two games, as the team gained just 95 total rushing yards (that includes 24 yards lost in sacks) and averaged just 2.6 yards per carry against South Alabama and then stayed in the red for the Cincinnati contest.
The Wolfpack currently ranks 11th in the ACC in rushing with an 85 yard per game average.
AMERSON LEADS LEAGUE
Sophomore cornerback David Amerson is currently the ACC leader in interceptions with four in as many games. That mark is tied for second nationally.
The field corner pulled down a pair in the season opener versus Liberty and then has had one in each of the past two games. Just a third of the way into the season, he has already tied last year's team leader (Brandan Bishop had four in 2010). His tally already ties as the highest since 2005.
BRYAN TOP TIGHT END
Tight end George Bryan has now caught more passes than any tight end in NC State history. With 99 career grabs, the 16th-best overall mark ever for a Wolfpack player, he has passed T.J. Williams (2002-05) for the top mark for a tight end.
Bryan has 14 touchdown receptions for his career, which ranks in a tie for seventh place in school history (with Naz Worthen and Haywood Jeffires) in that category.
A preseason second-team All-America pick by Lindy's and a third-team choice by Rivals, Bryan is on the early ‘watch' list for the Mackey Award for the third straight year. For the third straight year, he's also hoping to earn first-team All-ACC honors and is the first tight end in school history to have won two such awards.
PACK GETS PICKS
NC State is currently leading the ACC with eight interceptions in its four games this season - that's tied as the third-best mark in the FBS ranks this week.
THE FACTS ABOUT SACKS
The State defense has done a good job getting to the opponent's quarterback this season - tallying a dozen sacks this season for a loss of 69 yards. That mark leads the ACC and is currently tied for 10th nationally. On the flip side, however, the Pack has allowed its quarterback to be sacked 14 times this season - the worst mark in the league.
PACK NOT SEEING RED
One glaring statistic regarding the Wolfpack defense has been its performance when the opposition gets into the red zone in 2011. In four games, NC State's opponents have moved into the red zone 14 times (including eight times in the loss to Cincinnati) and have scored on 13 of those trips. That percentage is the worst in the ACC.
The Pack has allowed seven touchdowns and six field goals from the redzone.
There's a new addition to the Wolfpack depth chart this week: defensive tackle Jacob Kahut. Kahut, a walk-on, saw action for 13 defensive snaps at tackle at Cincinnati as the Pack lost two more players on the defensive due to injury in that contest. He also played seven snaps on the offensive line in the contest.
For Georgia Tech, Kahut is listed as a backup at defensive tackle. The Wake Forest, North Carolina native transferred to State from Campbell prior to the 2010 campaign and played with the scout team last year. He played in all 11 games as a freshman at Campbell in 2009, recording 27 tackles.
Kahut was his team's MVP at Wake Forest/Rolesville High School.
WOLF PUPS SEE ACTION
Twenty Wolfpack players have seen their first career action in 2011, including eight redshirt freshmen, seven true freshmen, two transfers, two walk-ons and one other player.
Six players have earned their first career starts this season: Mike Glennon (QB), D.J. Green (LB), Darryl Cato-Bishop (DT), Niklas Sade (PK), Wil Baumann (P) and Art Norman (DE).
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
There isn't too much that can come up during that course of a football game that the Wolfpack coaching staff hasn't seen before. The 2011 State staff ranks second in the FBS ranks in terms of combined experience at four-year colleges and in the professional ranks, trailing only Penn State.
Georgia Tech Game Notes
YELLOW JACKETS TO FACE WOLFPACK IN RALEIGH FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 2006
Georgia Tech, 4-0 for the first time since 1990 and 1-0 in the ACC after a 35-28 win over North Carolina last week, travels to Raleigh, N.C., Saturday to face an NC State team that beat the Yellow Jackets by 17 points last season (3:30 p.m./ABC-ESPN).
The Yellow Jackets, ranked 21st in the Associated Press Poll and 21st in the Coaches Poll, rushed for 312 yards and had 496 yards of total offense, but had to hold off a late North Carolina rally to beat the Tar Heels in Atlanta on Saturday. Junior quarterback Tevin Washington rushed for two touchdowns and threw for another, and junior Stephen Hill had 151 yards receiving.
Tech put up staggering numbers the first three weeks of the season and leads the nation in total offense (630.5 ypg), scoring (53.2 ppg) and pass efficiency (283.5). The Yellow Jackets rank second nationally in rushing offense (398.8 ypg).
NC State, 2-2 overall and 0-1 in the ACC, has not played since last Thursday's 44-14 loss at Cincinnati. The Wolfpack are unbeaten (2-0) at home.
State has been led by versatile receiver/kick returner T.J. Graham, who averages 107.0 yards receiving per game, 24.7 yards per kick return and a remarkable 24.2 yards per punt return. The Wolfpack, which has recorded eight interceptions, have been led on defense by Audie Cole, who has 7.5 tackles for loss, and David Amerson, whose four interceptions rank among the nation's leaders.
Georgia Tech leads the all-time series 17-10, including a 45-28 loss to NC State in Atlanta last season. The two teams will meet in Raleigh for the first time since 2006 when the Yellow Jackets came away with a 31-23 victory.
KEY STATISTICAL MATCHUPS FOR SATURDAY
• While the Yellow Jackets lead the nation in pass efficiency, NC State leads the ACC in interceptions (8).
• Tech and State are tied for second in the ACC in turnover margin (+3).
• Both teams are scoring at a 90 percent clip in the red zone.
• Tech ranks second and State ranks third in the ACC in fewest penalties per game.
• Saturday's game features two of the top 10 national leaders in all-purpose yards. NC State's T.J. Graham ranks first (230 ypg) and Georgia Tech's Orwin Smith ranks 10th (180.3).
• Tech's Stephen Hill (115.5 receiving yards per game) and State's T.J. Graham (107.0) are two of only five players in the ACC averaging 100 yards receiving per game.
NOTING THE YELLOW JACKETS
• Georgia Tech leads the nation in total offense (630.5 ypg), scoring (53.2 ppg) and pass efficiency (283.59). The Yellow Jackets rank second in rushing offense (398.8 ypg).
• Three Yellow Jackets rank in the top 87 nationally in rushing – Orwin Smith (54th, 87.3), Synjyn Days (80th, 71.3) and David Sims (87th, 69.0).
•The Yellow Jackets have won 30 games in four years under Paul Johnson. In 11 of those 30 wins, Tech has trailed by seven points or more.
• Tech has converted at least 62 percent of its third-down attempts in every game this season.
• Sophomore linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu's three sacks last week were the most by a Yellow Jacket since Derrick Morgan had three vs. Wake Forest on Nov. 7, 2009, and were the most by a Tech player against North Carolina in more than 30 years. Attaochu ranks tied for sixth nationally in sacks.
• Only two undefeated teams remain in the ACC – Georgia Tech and Clemson – and both of those teams face difficult ACC road tests on Saturday.
• Georgia Tech is 4-0 for the first time since the Yellow Jackets' national championship season of 1990. That 1990 team began the year 5-0 before tying North Carolina in Game Six.
• The Yellow Jackets moved up from 25th to 21st in the Associated Press poll this week – their second consecutive week in the poll. Tech has been ranked in the AP poll at least one week every year for the last seven years – its longest such streak since a 16-year run in the polls from 1951-66.
• Tech has thrown at least two touchdown passes in a game three times this season. Last season they had one game with two TD passes (at Wake Forest).
• Tech has had a 100-yard receiver in every game.
• Junior Tevin Washington would lead the nation in pass efficiency, but he does not have the minimum number of attempts to qualify.
• Junior receiver Stephen Hill averages 33.0 yards per reception, which ranks first nationally. Four of his 14 receptions this season have been for touchdowns.
• Junior Orwin Smith averages 18.4 yards per carry. He has scored touchdowns on four of his 19 rushing attempts.
• Georgia Tech has scored on its first possession of every game. The Yellow Jackets, in fact, scored on their first offensive play in each of the first three games.
NC State Depth Chart
NOTE: *- Indicates a player has redshirted a season.
|2011 NC State Depth Chart|
Georgia Tech Depth Chart
Thanks to NC State and Georgia Tech Athletics for much of the information in this preview.