Second Scrimmage in the Books
NC State completed its second scrimmage this afternoon and it went as it should go according to Head Coach Chuck Amato.
"The scrimmage went the way it was suppose to," Amato said. "The one's dominated on offense, and the one's dominated on defense. The offense on goalline out of eight shots put it in seven times, and the defense out of eight shots they stopped them seven times."
"And [we] knew that because we go one's versus two's right now in scrimmage format and in fact at the start of the week we may go one's versus one's for more competition," Amato added.
One area of the scrimmage that bothered Amato was the amount of penalties called on both sides of the ball.
"The biggest thing is the first half of the scrimmage we had twenty penalties," Amato said. "We can't win a game having twenty penalties in one half. That's correctable... it's coachable and that's something we as coaches got to continue to stress. It's the first time we had a full ACC officiating crew here and it was good... I wish we could get one for every practice."
NC State will not practice tomorrow as the Wolfpack will meet with the media and fans. Media Day begins at 11:00 am and the Day of Champions autograph session starts at 2:00 pm at the RBC Center.
Starting Running Back Spot up for Grabs?
Entering the season junior T.A. McLendon had a firm spot on the starting running back position, and that very well may still be the case. But after a hamstring injury that has sidelined McLendon this week and stellar play from freshman running backs Darrell Blackman and Bobby Washington, that position may still be up for grabs.
"I'll tell you what I thought the running back position was open, but I don't feel it is anymore," Amato said. "Those two freshmen running backs might be the starters. They are awfully good... they are awfully good."
"You can't make the team in the tub," Amato added. "There's good competition, [and] there are some kids banged up offensively. We've had some youngsters that have practiced with little knicks and injuries which shows a little bit of toughness."
Blackman and Washington both performed very well today during the scrimmage and impressed Amato with their effort.
"The two young running backs had about ninety yards each rushing," he said. "They both had a touchdown or two rushing, not including goalline."
The battle for playing time at running back could be one of the best to watch the rest of fall practice, as both young running backs, McLendon, and Reggie Davis all are capable of entering the season as the starter.
Defensive Players Impress
The first-team defense again looked great today working against the second-team offense, and defensive end Mario Williams, defensive tackle John McCargo, and linebacker Stephen Tulloch each received praise from Amato.
[John] McCargo and Mario [Williams]... I saw them stick out," Amato said. "Stephen Tulloch is a player that sticks out everytime you do anything."
The secondary also appears to be in terrific shape, and it sounds like NC State may use various packages this season to showcase its depth in the defensive backfield.
"We're going to have to play three corners all year long," Amato said. "I think we've got three outstanding safeties. Whoever starts it doesn't make any difference because when we go to the nickel defense they all will be in the game."
Cornerbacks Lamont Reid, Dovonte Edwards, and A.J. Davis should all receive plenty of playing time this season, and once you factor in Andre Maddox, Troy Graham, and Marcus Hudson at safety, it's easy to see why Amato's upbeat about his experienced secondary.
Offensive linemen Chris Colmer and Leroy Harris were held out of today's scrimmage. Colmer had a good week of practice and Amato chose to hold him out. "He had a good week of practice, and I just kept him out. He's 62 years old and gets social security," Amato joked. Harris had cramps and suffered a slight ankle sprain on Friday so he was held out as well... T.J. Williams participated in the scrimmage, but was still wearing a pink jersey, limiting his contact... Kickers went 14-17 today on field goals... Ricky Fowler, coming off ACL surgery, played today and received about 24 snaps according to Amato... There were some dropped passes at wide receiver, but Amato mentioned that Brian Clark "did some outstanding things today."
Quote of the Day: "When I get there I'll tell ya. The more you guys ask me... when I get there I'm not going to tell ya. Everytime you ask me I'm going to push it back one day. I'll tell you the day after the game if I have to." -- Coach Amato on the Quarterback Position