Cool Under Pressure

If being cool under pressure was a teachable skill, Russell Wilson would probably be teaching graduate courses at NC State rather than taking them.

If being cool under pressure was a teachable skill, Russell Wilson would probably be teaching graduate courses at NC State rather than taking them.

During his two plus years as NC State's starting quarterback, he has made being calm in the face of adversity somewhat of a calling card.

Despite throwing three interceptions -- two of which came in crucial situations -- against Virginia Tech last week, Wilson has remained true to form this week during practice.

Wilson said the lessons his father taught him growing up allow him to keep pushing forward regardless of struggles on or off the football field. Since his father's death earlier this year, Wilson said it's those lessons that he keeps with him.

"More than anything, just persevere like my Dad always used to preach and tell me," Wilson said. "No matter what the situation is. That came to fruition over the past several months, but it's true. If you persevere and believe in what you believe in and stick by it you usually will go down the right path."

That path, especially on the football field, has ended up leading to increased media attention and even a web site -- -- promoting Wilson as a Heisman candidate.

For Wilson, the increased attention is just another opportunity to keep things in perspective and a reminder to stay focused on the task at hand.

"I give everything to the Lord. He has blessed me with a lot of different things, a lot of different talents and opportunities and I don't really look at that as something extra for me," he said. "It's definitely cool to have all that but I wouldn't be in that situation if I wasn't blessed the way I am."

Heading into Saturday's Atlantic Division season opener against the Eagles, Wilson and the Wolfpack are also looking to reverse the memory of the 2009 meeting with Boston College, a game the Pack lost 52-20.

"I remember we went up there and didn't do to well," Wilson said. "We have to capitalize on opportunities, that's the main thing for us. We didn't do that well last year."

Boston College did take advantage of opportunities that day, most notably on the ground against NC State's defense. Running back Montel Harris, who is back for the Eagles in 2010, ran for 264 yards and five touchdowns -- both school records -- in the Eagles victory.

Wilson also struggled that afternoon, completing just more than 50 percent of his passes against BC and throwing an interception late in the second quarter with the Wolfpack down just 11.

The following week Wilson rebounded with a five-touchdown performance against Florida State in NC State's three-point loss to the Seminoles. Coming off of a tough afternoon against the Hokies last Saturday, Wilson and the offense will look to rebound and get a victory against the 2-2 (0-1) Eagles.

Although he admitted he would rather be 5-0 rather than 4-1 heading into Saturday's game, Wilson said losing games always provides an opportunity to learn.

"They made some big-time plays. We made some big-time plays but it was just one of those games that comes down to the wire," he said. "You have to learn from it. Take some positives, take the negatives out and continue to grow and get better each week."

This week's game against the Eagles will be the first opportunity for the 2010 Wolfpack to show its growth coming off a loss. Wilson said State is ready for whatever the Eagles bring in Carter-Finley Stadium.

"We're all excited about it, we know that they are going to be tough, talented and they are going to push the whole game," he said. "We'll be ready for everything."

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