Cato-Bishop: "We've Come A Long Way"

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Darryl Cato-Bishop knows that his group has to win up front versus The Citadel.

Darryl Cato-Bishop knows that his group has to win up front versus The Citadel. The Bulldogs are explosive offensively and it all starts with their rushing attack that ranks No. 3 in the FCS in rushing, averaging an astounding 370 yards a game.

Led by quarterback Ben Dupree and running backs Darien Robinson and Rickey Anderson, The Citadel has been nearly flawless with its offensive execution.

What is State going to try and do? Look for the Wolfpack to re-establish the line of scrimmage and to do that they must get strong play out of Cato-Bishop and the rest of the defensive linemen.

"We've got to be in the backfield," said Cato-Bishop. "We've got to stop the dive. We've got to stop the pitches. If we can penetrate up front we should be good."

The good news for NC State is while they haven't faced a rushing attack as potent as The Citadel, they have lined up against teams who focus on rushing the ball in UConn and South Alabama and was very successful in defending both offenses.

Two weeks ago State held UConn and All-BIG East tailback Lyle McCombs to 35 yards rushing on 32 carries. That's a week after limiting Tennessee's tailbacks to 126 yards on 33 carries (3.7 yards per carry).

The Pack was even better against South Alabama. The Jaguars came in having attempted 56 passes while rushing the ball 82 times... clearly they wanted to dominate on the ground. However, State held them to just 51 total yards rushing on 23 attempts, a 2.2 yards per carry average.

The Pack now ranks No. 18 nationally in rushing defense, and seems to be getting even better, particularly at rushing the quarterback (sacks are factored into rushing totals). State recorded just one sack against Tennessee, but followed that up with three versus UConn and seven this past Saturday.

"I think we've come a long way," said Cato-Bishop. "I think in camp we've figured guys out, we've figured out our strengths and weaknesses, and we're trying to work together.

"I think we made improvements, but there is still a lot of room for improvement."

As for rushing the quarterback, Cato-Bishop just smiled when asked about the increase in sack totals. He got in on the action for the first time this year against South Alabama, when he totaled 4 tackles, 1.5 tackles for a loss and his first sack (while also forcing a fumble).

"[We've got to] sell out," he said. "Sometimes the quarterback is right there, one step in front of you. You've got to give it your all to get to him.

"If we do that, we'll be good."

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