Glennon, Offense Moving Forward

Mike Glennon readily admits that NC State's 2-3 start wasn't what he or his teammates expected coming into the 2011 season. Five games into a year that was supposed to be even better than 2010, injuries, inconsistent play and slow starts have all but derailed State's plans.

Mike Glennon readily admits that NC State's 2-3 start wasn't what he or his teammates expected coming into the 2011 season. Five games into a year that was supposed to be even better than 2010, injuries, inconsistent play and slow starts have all but derailed State's plans.

Despite the struggles, however, Glennon said he and the rest of the Wolfpack aren't focusing on what's behind. With seven games left, the first-year starter at quarterback said NC State is worried only about the future.

"We're just trying to take what we've got so far and keep going with it," Glennon said. "We can still do a lot with seven games left. We would like the past to have been better but you can't do anything about it now, you have to worry about what's ahead of us."

As NC State prepares to welcome Central Michigan Saturday, one area where Glennon said the Wolfpack is looking to improve is in the first quarter, an area of struggle in every game this season.

NC State has been outscored 41-10 in the first quarter, with the 10 points coming against FCS opponents Liberty and South Alabama. In the three losses, that tally has been 38-0. Despite pulling to within a touchdown of the Yellow Jackets Saturday on the first play of the second half, NC State could never overcome the 21-0 hole it dug itself in the first 15 minutes.

Tom O'Brien said Wednesday that the slow starts have been a mixture of playing good teams and dealing with injuries. Getting some healthy bodies back -- especially along the decimated defense line, which is missing four key contributors -- will be a key heading into the second half of the season.

"Part had to do with the opponent. Part had to do with our physical condition that we weren't able to stand up to them," O'Brien said of NC State's slow starts against Wake Forest, Cincinnati and Georgia Tech. "We didn't catch up to Georgia Tech until after the first quarter last week, but that happens to a lot of people when you play that offense."

Tight end George Bryan struggled to explain what's caused the sluggish first quarters, but said it's something that has to change if NC State wants to earn its third win against the Chippewas.

"I couldn't really tell you," Bryan said. "We just try to go out there and try to figure things out and maybe we're thinking a little too much instead of just playing. We're going to change that."

Although Saturday's result against Georgia Tech was no different than the Wake Forest and Cincinnati games, there was one key difference for the Wolfpack offense. NC State dominated the line of scrimmage and ran for nearly 200 yards.

The ability to control the line of scrimmage put NC State in much more manageable second downs, something Glennon said makes everything easier for an offense still looking to put it all together headed into week six.

"Playing on 2nd and 3 is a lot better than 2nd and 10," he said. "Any time we can be in second and manageable it makes the game a whole lot easier. When you are in 2nd and short there isn't a play in our playbook that can't be called."

Glennon said Saturday's 19-play drive against Georgia Tech in the second quarter is one he and the Wolfpack will use as an example moving forward. Despite not finishing the drive with points, he said it was proof of what NC State can do.

"The coaches were saying they didn't know if they had ever seen something like that," he said. "It shows that we can step on someone and run it down their throats. When we're executing at our highest level there isn't much that other teams can do to stop us."

This week's matchup against Central Michigan will provide another chance to be a run-first team. The Chippewas rank 71st in rush defense, giving up more than 158 yards a game and nearly 4 yards per attempt.

Bryan said running the ball early makes the beginning of games easier as the offense adjusts to how different defenses try to defend NC State's offense.

"You aren't really thinking if you're coming off the ball flying," he said. You are just hitting people and letting it work itself out. That's what we need to do."

Glennon agreed, saying that a quick start against Central Michigan will be huge for the Wolfpack.

"Obviously we'd like to come out of the gate and score a touchdown," he said. "That gets the ball rolling for the whole team."


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