No Greene, No Problem?

The Wolfpack will go the entire season without sophomore running back Mustafa Greene, whose foot injury was deemed too serious to make a return.

Original hopes for him to be back by October never panned out.

Greene led the Wolfpack with 597 rushing yards last year.

"He was a really good back last year," coach Tom O'Brien said. "He was better in the spring until he went down."

The decision on Greene removes a conversation piece regarding the Wolfpack's lineup. But it doesn't alter things dramatically going into the Oct. 22 game at Virginia.

"We've played from Day 1 without him," O'Brien said.

Even the week off in the schedule brought only so much good news for the Wolfpack. Some players need more time to recover.

"Time is a great healer," O'Brien said. "This is who and what we are and we have to find a way to make it work."

-- QB Mike Glennon is from Virginia, so this week's game is a return to his home state to face the University of Virginia. Growing up, his allegiance eventually belonged to Virginia Tech, where his brother, Sean Glennon, is a former quarterback. "I never pulled for Virginia," Glennon said.

-- Coach Tom O'Brien is a former Virginia assistant coach, but he said he hasn't been to Charlottesville, Va., since June 1997. This is the second time as N.C. State's coach that his team has taken on the Cavaliers, with the Wolfpack winning 29-24 in 2007 in Raleigh for O'Brien's first ACC victory with N.C. State.

-- Wolfpack players have been on the road a little bit more than normal leading to the Virginia game. Not out of town, just sitting in traffic as they make their way to their off-campus football facility. The traffic jams have come as expected because of the nearby North Carolina State Fair. Players have been told to allow an extra half-hour of travel time to accommodate for the traffic, though they avoid some problems with early morning practice sessions.

SERIES HISTORY: N.C. State leads Virginia 33-21-1.

SCOUTING THE OFFENSE: QB Mike Glennon has been a consistent player and his general improvement through the first half of the season has been lauded. The running back situation hasn't been as stable because of injuries. The Wolfpack is looking for WR T.J. Graham to re-emerge after he has been receiving extra attention from defenses the past couple of games.

SCOUTING THE DEFENSE: This unit could basically use a restart to the season and the week off might have helped. The front four is experienced because of injuries to veterans. The defensive backfield has started to show signs of coming around after a rough start to the season. CB David Amerson has been among the country's leaders in interceptions.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's hard to think Virginia is even in (the conference). We haven't played them." -- LB Audi Cole, a senior who was a redshirted player his first year on campus when the teams last met in 2007.

N.C. State at Virginia, Oct. 22 -- N.C. State is coming off an open date, while Virginia made good use of the past weekend by upsetting previously undefeated Georgia Tech. The Wolfpack is traveling out of state for only the second time this season.

KEYS TO THE GAME: The Wolfpack will have to tighten up the run defense to contend with Virginia. It comes two weeks after N.C. State dealt with Georgia Tech's rushing attack, but that was a different style. N.C. State might have to use a makeshift backfield behind QB Mike Glennon, so that adjustment will be worth monitoring.

QB Mike Glennon --
His consistency has enabled the offense to show signs of flourishing. He has a good command of the game plans and that has eased potential difficulties. He has turned to a variety of receiving targets.

LB Terrell Manning -- His season was interrupted by a knee injury, but he has returned to action. The Wolfpack looks for him to be a play-maker on defense and his presence in the lineup could solve some problems.

RB James Washington -- He's the featured tailback in the offense as the other two projected top tailbacks from the offseason are out with injuries. Washington has shown some durability, and he has been a starter since late last season.

-- DT Ty McGill will receive playing time along the defensive front, a decision putting a true freshman in the trenches but deemed to make more sense that using a player who's not close to 100 percent healthy in that role.

-- DT J.R. Sweezy, the team captain who returned from a foot injury to play the past two games, is being re-evaluated from an injury standpoint. He's considered one of the team's best pass rushers.

-- RB Curtis Underwood continues to miss time with an injury and it's costing him considerable playing time given the injury-plagued running back situation on the team.

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