"Obviously he is playing at a high level," NC State defensive coordinator Mike Archer said of Amerson. "People continue to throw in his area, which is fine, and he has made plays for us. He is playing very well."
Amerson's interceptions against Virginia were extremely important. His first pick, a diving grab made in the first half, was followed by a Wolfpack touchdown pass from Mike Glennon to Bryan Underwood. The score gave State a 14-7 lead that they wouldn't relinquish.
"Obviously [the first interception] was a converted route and the quarterback didn't read the conversion and that was a heck of a catch that [Amerson] made," said head coach Tom O'Brien. "That's what he does in cover two, he plays his zone and plays the quarterbacks eyes and broke on the ball. It was a great catch."
The second interception was even bigger for NC State. Clinging to a seven-point lead late in the fourth quarter, the Wolfpack had the Cavs backed up deep in their own territory. Freshman quarterback David Watford's pass was deflected by wideout Tim Smith, and Amerson grabbed it off Smith's shoulder pads before running 12 yards and diving into the the endzone for the touchdown.
"We had them backed up and it's a 21-14 game," said Archer. "He takes it and scores. When you score on defense it's a big momentum swing for your football team."
"By the time I looked over there he was already six feet in the air like Superman into the endzone," said defensive tackle Markus Kuhn, laughing.
The Wolfpack's defensive numbers have improved across the board the last few games, and Amerson's consistency and development is a major reason why. According to Archer, Amerson's mindset and confidence are exactly where they need to be right now to play field cornerback in NC State's defensive scheme.
"We threw him out there as a freshman last year and started him against Virginia Tech," said Archer. "We knew that he was very talented. Playing that position, you must have a short memory.
"That is what I have tried to talk to him about. You are going to play against great people, so you're going to get beat every once and a while. You have to move on."
Earlier this season Amerson gambled some and was burned, and Wake Forest wide receiver Chris Givens had a big outing against the Wolfpack. However, Amerson didn't regress and continued to work on the practice field and in the film room.
"David Amerson is a great player, a great guy," said Kuhn. "He works hard everyday and it pays off for him. It's great to have him."
Amerson leads the team in snaps played (481) and has also totaled 35 tackles and four pass breakups. His eight interceptions leads the FBS ranks, and is three more than any other player. That total ties the NC State single-season record that was set by Art Rooney in 1937 and again in 1938.
At times Archer will assign Amerson to defend the other team's top receiver, and No. 1 receivers haven't had a great deal of success this year against NC State, especially after the second game of the season against Wake Forest and Givens.
Cincinnati star D.J. Woods entered the NC State game averaging 78 receiving yards per game, he finished with 22. Georgia Tech's Stephen Hill was especially hot when the Yellow Jackets came to Raleigh, as averaged 116 yards a game and already totaled four touchdowns. With Amerson on him for the majority of the game, Hill had a single catch for 40 yards. Virginia's Kris Burd is one of the ACC's top wideouts, and he headed into last week's game averaging 77 yards per contest. He had just three catches for 44 yards in the loss to the Wolfpack.
Being able to take away the other team's top receiving option is certainly a plus for any defense. Consistently forcing turnovers is even better.
"[David] has had a couple of plays this year where people have beat him on double-moves," said Archer. "But, the interceptions have been really critical.
"To have eight interceptions at this point of the year... that is impressive."