Saturday, October 22, 2011
3:30 pm (EST), ESPNU
NC State (3-3) at Virginia (4-2) Oct. 22, 3:30, ESPNU
Here's The Deal … Head coach Mike London's rebuilding plan in Charlottesville reached warp speed last weekend. Virginia, which remains young and inconsistent, played its best game of the season, handing Georgia Tech its first loss. It was a rather impressive showing from the same team that needed overtime to get past Idaho in its last outing.
Not only does the upset bring the Cavaliers one enormous step closer to the postseason, but it'll also add more fuel to the fire that London has already started on the recruiting trail.
NC State enjoyed a much-needed bye last week, using the time to improve its overall health and focus. The Wolfpack has been rather predictable so far this year, losing against decent opponents, and winning when it was heavily favored. In order to rise above mediocrity in 2011, the Pack will need to boost a resume that lists Liberty, South Alabama and Central Michigan as its only victims.
Why NC State Might Win: While Virginia has sputtered on offense this fall, the Wolfpack is coming off its best two games of the year. It produced 73 combined points against Georgia Tech and Central Michigan, getting solid contributions from RB James Washington and QB Mike Glennon. Glennon, under the gun since succeeding Russell Wilson, went 20-of-36 for 244 yards, four touchdown passes and no picks.
In dynamic WR T.J. Graham, he has access to a big-play guy who'll attract the attention of top Cavaliers CB Chase Minnifield. The Cavs have been most vulnerable to north-south running games, which means both Washington and Tony Creecy should expect a steady diet of carries this weekend.
Why Virginia Might Win: Sure, the Wolfpack offense has played better of late, but UVa will present a bigger defensive challenge than either the Yellow Jackets or the Chippewas did. Behind the sticky play of Minnifield, the Cavaliers lead the ACC in pass efficiency D, and just got done quieting Georgia Tech's high-powered option.
The linebacker tandem of LaRoy Reynolds and Steve Greer continues to perform well against the run, preventing yards after contact. On offense, Virginia will continue to lean heavily on a running game that's excelling behind massive RT Morgan Moses and the rest of a veteran line. The Cavs grinded out 272 yards in last week's upset, including 149 from Perry Jones and 86 from Kevin Parks.
What To Watch Out For: Now more than ever, Virginia will need to protect the ball, which has not been a team strength in 2011. Fumbles have been too common, and raw quarterbacks Michael Rocco and David Watford have combined for nine interceptions.
NC State, on the other hand, leads the ACC with 18 takeaways, including a nation's-high six interceptions from CB David Amerson. The Cavaliers can ill-afford a sloppy effort if it hopes to build on last Saturday's signature win.
What Will Happen: Keep it simple. That'll be the mantra in the Virginia locker room prior to kickoff. The Cavaliers will turn to an old-school approach, employing a no-nonsense running and a fundamentally-sound defense. It'll work against a recharged Wolfpack squad that won't go away without a four-quarter fight. Rather than tempt fate, the Cavs will go to the air only when it's absolutely necessary, opting instead to make Perry and Parks the offensive heroes for a second straight game. The pair will collaborate on 40 carries for 180 yards and a pivotal touchdown.
CFN Prediction: Virginia 28 … NC State 20
Because of its importance each week, establishing the run almost sounds cliche. But doing so takes on even more significance against Virginia. Make no mistake, the Cavs have been solid defensively although some may question the strength of their schedule. They have the nation's 8th best pass defense and 21st best defense overall. UVA held Georgia Tech to better than 80 yards below their season rushing average so they're obviously doing something right.
Where Virginia has struggled is when teams have been able to sustain drives, put together first downs and keep the Cav's defense on the field. UNC was able to rush for better than 200 yards in their win over UVA and Indiana rushed for 150 yards in their game. While the Hoosiers lost, they were able to put 31 on the board and pushed Cavs to the end.
While State has established a passing identity, those who follow the Pack closely know they've been more successful when able to rush the football. In the last two games State has averaged 37 points and about 180 yards on the ground. If the Wolfpack can continue that kind of success, sustain drives and keep the defense on the field then they should be in good shape.
CASH IN ON MISTAKES
If Virginia has had one Achilles heel in 2011 it's been their tendency to turn the ball over. The Cavaliers have suffered through 14 turnovers through six games including five fumbles and nine interceptions. This has UVA ranked 93rd nationally in turnover margin and is clearly an area the Wolfpack has to try to take. advantage.
For State's part, they've done an excellent job of creating turnovers (18) and a decent job at protecting the ball. With half of the season behind them the Wolfpack sits 8th in turnover margin. If State's defense is able to create a short field on Saturday the Pack's offense has to turn it into points. The Wolfpack coaches would love nothing more than to force Virginia to put up a lot of points to keep up considering the Cav's offense has struggled putting touchdowns on the board against tougher competition.
STAY ON TRACK
The Pack would love to hit on some big plays Saturday and wide receivers T.J. Graham and Tobais Palmer certainly bring that potential every time they touch the football. However, in the big scheme of things State simply needs to stay on track offensively and avoid third and longs.
Whenever the Wolfpack has struggled offensively this year it's usually because they were not productive on first down. Once they get to third and long they're in a predictable passing situation and that's when State has been more likely to give up a sack.
It goes hand in hand with establishing the run and getting three, four and five yards on first down is a good play for NC State. Do that consistently and you help keep some of the pressure off of the Wolfpack defense.
NC State Defense vs. Virginia Offense
Every week we talk about NC State's need to be successful defensively on third down, and rightfully so, but this week they must win first downs against Virginia if they are going to have any chance to pull off the upset in Charlottesville.
The Cavaliers are a team that loves to run the football, as they are third in the ACC in rushing offense, averaging 193 yards per game. They have three solid backs and a very good offensive line. However, they struggle in obvious passing situations with young, inexperienced quarterbacks Mike Rocco and David Watford.
Because of this, NC State has to win on first down and get the Cavs off-schedule. It will limit their offensive play-calling and make them one-dimensional, which should help the Wolfpack develop an effective pass rush.
If State can put Virginia in third-and-long situations early and often, they will be successful and possibly leave town with a victory.
FIELD GOALS, NOT TOUCHDOWNS
Virginia ranks No. 52 nationally in redzone offense, converting 20-of-24 chances with 13 being touchdowns. Their approach has been ground-oriented, as 11 of the 13 touchdowns were via the run. On the other hand, NC State's offense has scored 11 of 15 redzone touchdowns through the air.
When the Pack defense finds itself in the redzone, they must step up and force Virginia to settle for field goals. The way to do that is put them in passing situations, as we've mentioned before. UVA likes to pound away at your defensive front, but it's hard to do that on third-and-long or third-and-goal.
NC State's defense has been kind to rushing attacks in the redzone this season. Teams have scored 12 redzone touchdowns versus NC State this year, and nine of them were rushing scores.
That's not a good sign for the Wolfpack against Virginia. If they are going to knock off the Cavs, NC State must be efficient in the redzone and force UVA to settle for field goals, if anything, once they enter the scoring zone.
Often times the game is that simple... you've got to make plays.
Virginia isn't going to be flashy. The Cavaliers are going to come right at you with a ground game that is rolling right now. NC State has made some defensive adjustments along the line, specifically moving defensive tackle Brian Slay to defensive end, which could help against the run, and that could work out versus Virginia.
However, at the end of the day, NC State has to make plays. When it's third-and-long, make a play and get off the field. When a defender beats his man off the line of scrimmage, make a tackle or sack. When the ball is in the air, break up the pass or grab the interception.
As with most teams, State has struggled defensively when they've been unable to do those things. Virginia's going to keep it simple on offense and State should to the same defensively.
Line up and make plays.
Scout By Numbers
NC State, meanwhile, is off to a disappointing 3-3 start to the year. The Wolfpack had a bye week to prepare for Virginia and get a little healthier, though it seems the healthier part of that plan hasn't worked out. Let's take a look at how these two teams match up going into Saturday's contest.
Pack Offense against Virginia Defense
|Category||NC State Offense||Virginia Defense|
|Points per Game||32.0 (39)||22.2 (38)|
|Yards per Play||5.5 (68)||4.6 (14)|
|Yards per Pass Attempt||7.5 (51)||5.6 (10)|
|Yards per Rush||3.4 (99)||3.9 (51)|
|3rd Down Conversion %||41.5% (56)||34.7% (38)|
|Turnovers per game||1.7||1.8|
|Red Zone Efficiency||86% (42)||80% (44)|
While the Pack has managed to keep up with its 2010 production on the offense side of the ball, it never faced a defense this good in the first half of the season. The Cavs are especially effective against passing game, which should not be surprising considering the presence of shutdown corner Chase Minnifield – considered one of the top cornerback prospects in the entire nation. It's safe to assume Minnifield will be shadowing T.J. Graham all afternoon, so the Pack's other receivers are going to have to step to the forefront if the team expects to establish any sort of passing attack.
Despite all the praise the Cavaliers received for holding down Georgia Tech's rushing attack last week, defending the run is still this team's biggest defensive weakness. So while the Pack has had trouble running the ball in several games this season, it needs to both establish and maintain a ground attack against the Cavaliers. This serves a dual purpose - exploiting a soft spot in the Virginia defense as well as controlling the clock to keep the Pack's defense rested.
Pack Defense against Virginia Offense
|Category||NC State Defense||Virginia Offense|
|Points per Game||30.2 (89)||26.7 (72)|
|Yards per Play||6.0 (96)||5.5 (68)|
|Yards per Pass Attempt||7.7 (95)||6.6 (81)|
|Yards per Rush||4.6 (88)||4.7 (37)|
|3rd Down Conversion %||43.4% (83)||41.9% (53)|
|Turnovers per game||3.0||2.3|
|Red Zone Efficiency||87% (91)||84% (51)|
As Virginia demonstrated against Georgia Tech, when the Cavs run the ball effectively they are a very hard team to beat. The Cavaliers aren't going to do anything flashy on Saturday; they are going to line up and try to ram the ball straight at a depleted Pack defensive line. And while the Pack has been fairly awful against the run this season, they have to find a way to stop Virginia on the ground or its going to be a very long afternoon for Pack fans.
The problem for the Cavs comes when they have to throw the ball. London has been using a two-quarterback rotation, with Michael Rocco getting a majority of the snaps but David Watford coming in on occasion. Between the two of them, they've combined for five touchdowns and nine picks. And while the Pack defense hasn't been good at stopping the pass, they have been good at capitalizing on poor throws and making interceptions. If the Pack can force Virginia to pass a lot, it's going to see a fair share of poor throws.
The Road To Victory
On paper, and in the Vegas sports books, this is a game that NC State is supposed to lose. If the Pack wants to pull off an upset, the biggest key is going to be winning the turnover battle.
Specifically, forcing Virginia's rotating carousel of quarterbacks to make plays and subsequently make mistakes. The Pack can't allow the Cavs to run the ball all day and never have to make plays in the passing game. But the Pack will need to get its own running game going, and it will need secondary receivers like Tobias Palmer and Bryan Underwood to make plays in the passing game.
With two weeks to prepare, this is both a winnable game for the Pack and a must-win game if it wants to turn the season around.
NC State Game Notes
Saturday's meeting will mark the 56th meeting between NC State and Virginia in the series that dates back to 1904. Although the Wolfpack holds a 33-21- 1 advantage in the series, the tally is 7-7 in the last 14 outings and the Pack hasn't won two in a row against UVa since 93-94.
State and Virginia played every year from 1960 - 2003, but have met just two times since ACC expansion, with the ‘Hoos winning in Charlottesville in 2006 (14-7) and the Pack taking the victory in Raleigh in 2007 (29-24). The last time NC State won a game in Charlottesville was in 1994 - a 30-27 victory over the 13th-ranked UVa team. Tom O'Brien was the offensive coordinator/quarterback coach for that Cavalier team that finished the season 9-3 and won the Independence Bowl.
PACK-CAVALIERS PLAY IT CLOSE
Five of the last nine games between NC State and Virginia have been decided by a touchdown or less, including the last two (7-14 in 2006 and 29-24 in 2007). In 2003, NC State won by two touchdowns in Raleigh (51-37), but that game may have actually been the closest in recent history. In a battle of two quarterbacks who are now NFL starters, Philip Rivers and Matt Schaub, there were four ties and eight lead changes before the Pack went on to win, 51-37.
Close games between the two teams are nothing new, however. In 1944, in a game played in Norfolk, the Wolfpack gained a 13-0 victory in a driving rainstorm by recovering two UVa fumbles in the endzone for touchdowns. State failed to make a first down and had just 10 yards of total offense in that game, an NCAA record for fewest yards gained by a winning team and one of only two games in bowl subdivision history where the winning team failed to make a first down.
O'BRIEN FACES PROTEGE
Cavalier head coach Mike London is one of O'Brien's seven former assistant coaches who have gone on to become head coaches. London served on the Boston College staff as defensive coordinator from 1997-2000.
This will mark the fifth time that O'Brien has faced one of his former assistants on the gridiron, with all four previous contests coming against Boston College. He faced Jeff Jagodzinski, his replacement at BC twice, and Frank Spaziani, who was his defensive coodinator for the Eagles, twice.
STAFFS ARE TIED UP
The Wolfpack coaching staff has some pretty strong ties to the University of Virginia, as well as to the Cavalier coaching staff. On the Wolfpack side, head coach Tom O'Brien was on the Cavalier staff for 15 years (1982 - 1996), coaching guards and centers for nine years, then serving as offensive coordinator for six seasons (four with the QBs, two back with the OL) under George Welsh. He helped lead the Cavaliers to 12 winning seasons, four bowl appearances and an ACC Co-Championship.
Four other members of the current Wolfpack staff also coached at UVa during that time frame: Mike Archer (linebackers, 1991-92), Jim Bridge (GA, 1994-95), Don Horton (GA, 1985-87), and Jerry Petercuskie (defensive tackles, 1995-96).
Linebackers coach Jon Tenuta lettered at defensive back at Virginia for three seasons, earning the team's John Acree Memorial Football Trophy and Kevin Bowie Award. He also served as a graduate assistant from 1981-82.
From the Virginia side, wide receivers coach Shawn Moore was a All-American signal caller for UVa during O'Brien's time on the staff (O'Brien was coaching the offensive line during Moore's career).
Virginia defensive coordinator Jim Reid was the defensive coordinator at BC in 2004, before O'Brien was head coach, but Wolfpack secondary coach Mike Reed's senior season.
Cavalier running back coach Anthony Poindexter was a safety at Virginia from 1994-98, crossing paths with O'Brien for his first three seasons with the program.
PACK PLAYERS RETURN HOME
Several Pack players hail from the Old Dominion. Quarterback Mike Glennon grew up in Centreville and played at Westfield High, while defensive tackle Brian Slay is from Ashburn and attended Stone Bridge High. Wide receiver Jay Smith is a Norfolk native, having attended Lake Taylor High.
Offensive Tackle R.J. Mattes' father, Ron, played at UVa from 1981-84 and collected All-ACC honors while O'Brien was a member of the coaching staff. He spent the 2010 season coaching the offensive line for the Cavaliers.
PACK GETS A BREAK
NC State will travel to Charlottesville after a much-needed break. The Wolfpack entered the midway point of the season with a 3-3 record, but an 0-2 mark in ACC play.
The main goal for the break is to get some players back who have missed time with injuries during the first half of 2011. Versus Central Michigan, several players who had missed action were back in the lineup, including defenders J.R. Sweezy (DT), Terrell Manning (LB) and Brian Slay (DT). On offense, Logan Winkles (FB) and Andrew Wallace (OG) are back after missing time since last season with knee injuries.
Other players who could possibly return for the game at Virginia are A.J. Ferguson (DT) and Curtis Underwood (HB).
The Wolfpack has enjoyed some success after open dates under Tom O'Brien. During his first season with the program, the Pack came back after the open date to reel off four straight wins. In 2008, his squad lost to Florida State after a semi-open date (the FSU game was on a Thursday night following an open Saturday), then won at Duke following the true open date.
In 2009, State dropped a close contest, 42-45, at Florida State following the break and last year defeated the 16th-ranked Seminoles, 28-24, after a week off.
PACK LOOKS FOR SECOND HALF TURNAROUND
NC State is hoping that the second half of 2011 falls into the pattern of previous years under Tom O'Brien and the 3-3 record turns into a winning one at season's end. Under O'Brien, NC State posts a 13-11 record in the last six games of the regular season.
In 2007, O'Brien's first year with the Pack, State opened the season with a 1-5 mark, but then won four of its last six games (including four in a row). In 2008, after opening ACC play 0-4 and starting with a 2-6 overall mark, the team won four in a row to become the first league team ever to start out so poorly and finish with a balanced conference slate. The Wolfpack ended up earning a trip to the PapaJohns. com Bowl that season.
In 2009, the injury-devasted Pack was just 2-4 in the second half of the season, which included three straight games against ranked opponents (State won one of those contests - versus No. 23 UNC).
Last year, the Wolfpack finished the season with a 3-3 mark, including wins over No. 16 FSU and UNC.
PACK GETS SECOND HALF TURNAROUND
The Wolfpack is already getting second-half turnarounds this season on a game- by-game basis. The Pack has been outscored 71-92 in the first half in 2011, but has outscored the opposition 121-89 in the second half.
State has started off slow, being outscored 24-55 in the first quarter this season (including being held scoreless in the first frame three times - Wake Forest, Cincinnati and Georgia Tech). In fact, the Wolfpack has outscored the competition in the three other quarters.
On the flip side, the team finishes strong, outscoring five of six opponents in the fourth quarter (Cincinnati posted a 3-0 advantage in the fourth) and posting an overall 58-40 scoring advantage in the final quarter this year.
DEFENSIVE LINE IS DECIMATED
NC State looks to start its fourth different combination on the defensive line in just six games this season on Saturday, with all of the turnover due to injuries. And the starting lineup isn't the only area that has taken a hit - the secondary unit, which plays frequently in the Wolfpack's scheme has also changed from week to week.
Against Georgia Tech, two starters on the defensive line were playing in their just their fifth game at NC State (Frandsen and Norman) and one was making his first start (Frandsen). The four backups (Sylvester Crawford, Kahut, McGill and Theo Rich) on the depth chart heading into the contest had combined for 15 games and just 184 snaps prior to that contest.
AMERSON IS NATION'S TOP THIEF
Sophomore cornerback David Amerson is the national leader in interceptions heading into the Virginia game. The Greensboro native now has six for the season, including a pair in the season opener and another pair versus Central Michigan. He leads all players in the FBS, FCS and Division III ranks and is tied with one player in Division II who also has six.
Amerson, who was one of just three true freshmen to start a game for the Pack in 2010, is the baby of the defensive secondary, even though midway through his sophomore campaign he already has 15 starts to his credit. Last season, he didn't have a pick in 640 snaps played.
Amerson was named ACC Defensive Back of the Week following the Central Michigan game.
With six games left to play in 2011, Amerson is just two INTs from tying the single-season school record that has stood for 73 years! (Art Rooney in 1937 and again in 1938).
SCOUT TEAM PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Each week before a home game, the coaching staff selects scout team MVPs, who are then given the honor of leading the team onto the field at home games, carrying the North Carolina and American flags.
Here's a list of this year's Scout Team Players of the Week.
Liberty: Fullback David Hyde, Defensive Back Shane O'Toole
South Alabama: Halfback Jonathon Fisher, Defensive Back Hakim Jones
Georgia Tech: Wide Receiver Josh Stanley, Defensive End Dave Mann
Central Michigan: Offensive Lineman Alex Barr, Defensive Back Juston Burris
Virginia Snap Shot
With last week's 24-21 win over Georgia Tech, suddenly the Cavaliers' bid to make a bowl game for the first time since 2007 appears much stronger. Virginia reaches the midpoint of its season with a 4-2 record, and with at least two games remaining on its schedule where the Cavaliers have a good chance to win.
One of those games takes place this week, as the Cavaliers host N.C. State in the conclusion of a four-game homestand. Heading into the season, this four-game stretch at home looked pivotal with regard to Virginia's bowl hopes. The Cavs have proven up to the task thus far, and closing the homestand with three straight wins would be a huge boost heading into the meat of the ACC schedule. Not only that, it would keep Virginia in the thick of the Coastal Division race -- something that was not expected of this team in preseason balloting.
Defeating the nationally-ranked and previously undefeated Yellow Jackets was a huge feather in the cap of London, but he and the Cavaliers aren't taking anything for granted going against N.C. State, which snapped a two-game skid with an Oct. 8 win over Central Michigan before taking its open date.
"You celebrate the moment, but in a football season, it's not over until you're playing the last game. Then you start celebrating and reflecting on the accomplishments," London said.
Virginia had the benefit of an extra week of preparation before facing Georgia Tech. This time, N.C. State is the team coming off the bye. The time off allowed several of the Wolfpack's injured defensive players to get healthy.
-- The win over Georgia Tech, which was ranked No. 12 at the time, marked the highest ranked foe to fall for Virginia since the Cavaliers beat No. 4 Florida State in 2005.
-- Virginia changed up its routine heading into the Georgia Tech game. The Cavaliers typically run a light practice during the Thursday of a game week, but instead Virginia's scout-team offense ran 86 plays against the defense to prepare the Cavs for the challenge against the Yellow Jackets.
-- Beating a ranked opponent didn't work out very well for last season's Virginia team, in the long run. After topping No. 22 Miami 24-19 on Oct. 30 of last year, the Cavaliers didn't win another game, going 0-4 during the month of November.
SERIES HISTORY: N.C. State leads Virginia 33-21-1 (last meeting, 2007, 29-24 N.C. State).
SCOUTING THE OFFENSE: QB Michael Rocco threw a pick-six interception but recovered to continue to manage the Virginia offense well. The Cavaliers attempted 19 passes in the 24-21 win over Georgia Tech, a season low. Heading into the game, Virginia was averaging 40.2 pass attempts per game.
SCOUTING THE DEFENSE: Virginia held Georgia Tech to season lows in rushing yards (272), passing yards (24), first downs (17), passes completed (2), total offense (296 yards) and scoring (21). More importantly, the Cavs limited Georgia Tech to just five plays of 20 or more yards. That's a huge leap for a team that got gashed for too many big plays in losses to North Carolina and Southern Miss in September.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We felt in this situation we could run against them. That's what we did. We were able to do that, and we were able to do it successfully." -- Virginia coach Mike London, after his team ran for a season-high 272 yards against Georgia Tech
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
THIS WEEK'S GAME: N.C. State at Virginia, Oct. 22 -- The Cavaliers try to build on the momentum of their upset of nationally-ranked Georgia Tech against a Wolfpack team that is still seeking its first ACC win of the season. A victory would put Virginia one win away from obtaining bowl eligibility.
KEYS TO THE GAME: Stop the Wolfpack ground game. In the history of this series, N.C. State has won only twice when running for less than 125 yards as a team -- in the 1944 and 2007 meetings. The Wolfpack are 17-1 against Virginia since 1937 when topping 200 rushing yards as a team.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
RB Perry Jones -- Virginia's leading rusher, Jones has topped 100 yards in consecutive games following his career-high 149-yard performance in the 24-21 win over Georgia Tech last week.
CB Chase Minnifield -- After seeing opponents throw around him in Virginia's first four ballgames, the Cavs' All-ACC defensive back now has picked off a pass in consecutive ballgames. Is it any coincidence the Cavs also have won both those contests? Doubtful.
P Jimmy Howell -- Virginia's punter faces a real challenge this week. N.C. State has the top punt return man in the conference in T.J. Graham, who has 148 yards on eight returns and ran one back for a touchdown in the Wolfpack's season opener with Liberty.
-- The 10 tackles tallied by Virginia LB Steve Greer marked his highest total in an individual game since he racked up that many in 2009.
-- WR Tim Smith snared a touchdown pass against Georgia Tech, the second of his career and the first since grabbing a TD against Southern Miss in 2009.
-- DTs Matt Conrath (10) and Nick Jenkins (7) both set or matched career highs in tackles against the Yellow Jackets.
NC State Depth Chart
*- Wayne Crawford has moved from offensive line to defensive line.
*- Andrew Wallace is now listed as the backup at right guard.
*- Tyler Purvis is listed as the starter at fullback. He is backed up by redshirt freshman Logan Winkles.
*- Cameron Fordham is now listed as the backup center.
*- Andy Jomantas has moved from backup left guard to reserve right guard.
*- Tony Creecy is the backup tailback.
*- Brian Slay is now listed as a starter at defensive end. Slay has been playing defensive tackle.
*- Darryl Cato-Bishop is back starting at defensive end. He is backed up by Art Norman.
*- True freshman T.Y. McGill is listed as the starter at defensive tackle. He is backed up by A.J. Ferguson, who had been injured.
*- Terrell Manning is back on the depth chart as the starting weakside linebacker.
*- True freshman Tyrrell Burriss has moved from boundary corner to backup field cornerback.
*- C.J. Wilson and Rashard Smith are listed as co-starters at boundary cornerback.
NOTE: *- Indicates a player has redshirted a season.
|2011 NC State Depth Chart|
Virginia Depth Chart
Thanks to NC State and Virginia Athletics for much of the information in this preview.