Glennon Heats Up

Junior Mike Glennon has given the Wolfpack consistency at the quarterback position.

PLAYERS TO WATCH:
-- QB Mike Glennon has given the Wolfpack consistency at quarterback. There were only a couple of rare occasions this season when Glennon's play wasn't praised by the coaching staff. He was under extreme pressure because he was given the nod and that translated into the departure of Russell Wilson, who had been playing professional baseball and then latched on with Wisconsin and has taken the Badgers to a Rose Bowl berth.

-- CB David Amerson has a nation-leading 11 interceptions this season and that has contributed to 24 total interceptions for the defense. He could be angling for interceptions in the bowl game to tack on his total and that could leave the Wolfpack vulnerable in the secondary depending on his level of discipline.

-- LB Audie Cole has been the team's leading tackler in the past and his 98 tackles are one behind S Earl Wolff for the team lead. Cole has continued to make the transition from outside linebacker to a spot in the middle. His mobility is an asset in the defense and keeping track of him is often a priority for opponents.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
BOWL BREAKDOWN:
Scouting the running game:
This was an area of great concern because of offseason injuries, but it has fallen into good hands with RB James Washington making a significant impact during his junior season. The most impressive part about Washington might be his durability as he has been called upon for some heavy-duty games at times this season.

Redshirt freshman RB Tony Creecy has shown signs that he could have a solid career ahead of him and he has been a dependable backup as he gains more experience and puts himself in line for an increased role in the future.

Scouting the passing game: The conversation starts with QB Mike Glennon, who has been a steady influence at the quarterback position. His receiving corps has gone through some ups and downs, but with WR T.J. Graham, a sprinter in track and field, there's always the long-ball threat.

TE George Bryan had trouble getting untracked during parts of the season but he came on strong at the end because he's considered a key part of the passing attack.

Scouting the run defense: The Wolfpack was shattered along the defensive front for most of the season and that allowed teams to pick them apart across the line of scrimmage.

But that has been an evolving situation and the Wolfpack toughened up during the final month with the return of players from injuries that either sidelined them or limited them. The linebackers are well respected in LB Terrell Manning and LB Audie Cole.

Scouting the pass defense: It took time for the Wolfpack to put things together in the secondary, which was expected to be a unit that could carry the team.

It has been an active group, with CB David Amerson leading the country with 11 interceptions this season and that has made opponents consider their options. S Brandon Bishop is another standout in the defensive backfield, which has started to live up to its reputation.

Scouting the special teams: With WR T.J. Graham, the Wolfpack has the ACC's all-time leader in kickoff return yardage so that means opponents have to pay special attention in that area.

The Wolfpack uses true freshmen at kicker (Niklas Sade) and punter (Wil Baumann) but has made it through the season without major issues at those positions.

Intangibles: The Wolfpack worked its way through a potentially disastrous finishing stretch of the regular season by winning three of its final four games just to become bowl eligible. The comeback from a 27-point second-half deficit in the regular-season finale against Maryland might translate into some momentum entering the bowl game if such a thing can be sustained during a month's layoff.


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