GAMEDAY: NC State vs. Miami

NC State (3-1) faces Miami (3-1) in the Wolfpack's first ACC game of the season. Kickoff is set for noon, and the game can be watched on ESPNU.

NC State vs. Miami
Saturday, September 29, 2012
12:00 pm (EST), ESPNU
Miami, FL
Sun Life Stadium

NC State Links
Official Site

Miami Links
Game Notes

CFN's Take

NC State (3-1) at Miami (3-1) Sept. 29, 12:00, ESPNU

Here's The Deal: Did the significance of this matchup at Sun Life Stadium come completely out of left field or what? Just two weeks ago, Miami and NC State were a couple of 1-1 teams that appeared to be going nowhere fast. Today, both schools are two games over .500, with renewed hopes for a prosperous campaign. The Hurricanes were one of the improbable storylines of Week 4, rallying from a deep deficit on the road at Georgia Tech to pull off an improbable 42-36 shocker in overtime. While this is still the same young team that was ransacked by Kansas State on Sept. 8, last Saturday's upset in Atlanta lent hope that things are finally turning around for second-year head coach Al Golden. The Pack's rebound has been far less dramatic, though three straight wins are still three straight wins. NC State has answered its opening day loss to Tennessee with defeats of Connecticut, South Alabama and The Citadel, so it still remains to be seen if it has improved or was just the product of a soft string of non-conference games.

Why NC State Might Win: As impressive as the win was last week, it can't erase the fact that Miami remains a raw and very erratic program. The defense has been particularly shoddy, a situation complicated by an injury to starting LB Denzel Perryman and an inability to pressure the pocket. Now, the Pack offensive line is hardly a fortress, but it should be able to afford QB Mike Glennon the time he needs to find one of his favorite receivers, Quintin Payton, Bryan Underwood or Tobais Palmer. ‘Canes QB Stephen Morris will labor to build on last week's breakout performance if his young receivers can't shake CB David Amerson and the rest of the veteran NC State secondary.

Why Miami Might Win: Well, for starters, the Hurricanes are suddenly hot and unexpectedly confident after upending Georgia Tech. New playmakers have begun to emerge around Morris, who can't help but be encouraged by last week's performance. Veteran RB Mike James scored four touchdowns in the win, while rookie Duke Johnson, the nation's leader in all-purpose yards, continues to provide the flash and big-play ability out of the backfield. On the outside, speedy WR Phillip Dorsett is blooming into the kind of weapon that can take a short hitch and turn it into long gain. The big and physical Miami O-line did not allow a sack last week, a trend that'll continue if the team's backs can pick up the blitz.

What To Watch Out For: Miami needs someone other than sophomore DE Anthony Chickillo to mount pressure, or else Glennon will have his way with the defensive backs. In a chess match of weaknesses, the Hurricanes have just two sacks in three games versus teams not named Bethune-Cookman, yet NC State ranks 113th nationally in pass protection. Something has to give this weekend. Golden is holding out hope that one of the interior linemen, Darius Smith or Olsen Pierre, can perforate the mealy Pack line from the inside.

What Will Happen: It's anybody's guess which Miami team shows up this weekend. Or which NC State team for that matter. Neither team's calling card has been consistency in the month of September. The Pack has the more reliable quarterback. The ‘Canes have an edge at running back, especially if rookie Shadrach Thornton needs to shoulder the load for NC State. Miami will sneak by in a close game, looking more battle-tested than a pack team that hasn't faced a quality opponent in four weeks.

CFN Prediction: Miami 28… NC State 24
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Miami -3 O/U: 55
Must Watch Rating (5 – Ryder Cup 2012, 1 – SNL Thursday Weekend Update): 3

Saturday's Keys

NC State Offense vs. Miami Defense

Miami has talent and they have speed. However, what they're lacking is a lot of experience and that's fairly evident on the stat sheets.

Excluding the game with Bethune-Cookman, Miami has given up 120 points in three games (40 points per game average). They gave up 52 points to a Kansas State squad that averages 40 points per game. The Canes yielded 32 points to Boston College, a team that scored just 16 points in their only other FBS game. They gave up 36 points to Georgia Tech which was right in line with the Jacket's average against other FBS opponents.

For NC State, if they can get anywhere near 40 points then you have to think their odds for winning are pretty good. However, history has shown that there have been games where State has fallen flat (particularly on the road) when they should've performed better. In 2010 there was a 13 point letdown at Clemson and a 10 point offensive collapse at Boston College. If the Pack can avoid that kind of showing then they'll be in good shape versus the Canes.

NC State had their best offensive output of the year a week ago against The Citadel and they'll hope that effort will set the table for another solid performance against Miami.

After struggling to put together any consistent rushing attack through the first three weeks of the season, State managed to gash the Bulldogs for 282 yards and 20 first downs on the ground.

The Pack's success running the football ultimately set up a very efficient passing attack that mustered 233 yards through the air on 19 of 25 passing.

If the Wolfpack hopes to beat Miami they'll need the same balanced attack on Saturday. They'll need to use the success of a week ago to keep the Cane's offense on the sideline and take advantage of a defense that has struggled to get off the field at times.

The Wolfpack doesn't have to amass 500 yards to be successful but they can't afford another 50-60 yard rushing effort and put themselves into a position where they have to throw the football 80% of the time. With both of your starting tackles unavailable, this is a recipe for disaster and a good way to get run out of Florida.

Through four games it's been somewhat difficult to figure out just what this NC State offense in all about. They couldn't get much of anything going against Connecticut but looked unstoppable against The Citadel. Then again, it was The Citadel so the truth is you don't know if you can really read much into that.

One way the Pack can really help their cause on Saturday is to take care of the things that are in their control- specifically limiting mistakes like unforced penalties, turnovers, missed blocking assignments and dropped passes.

So far this season State has been pretty solid in three of those four areas. They are 49th nationally in fewest penalty yards per game which is respectable. State ranks 34th in turnover margin and is actually much better than that if you take away the Tennessee game. They've also done a much better job of catching passes this year. You've not had anywhere near the dropped balls that dogged them at times in recent years.

The one area that has proved bothersome is the inability to pick up blitzes and being beat off the edge way too often. The Pack has to do a better job of getting in the right protection and making sure they account for extra defenders on obvious passing plays. This could very well mean that State ultimately has to keep a running back or tight end in to help out State's offensive tackles.

NC State Defense vs. Miami Offense

Miami has shown that they are going to throw the football. In all three wins, the Canes have attempted more passes (132) than rushes (95). In the lone loss, at Kansas State, the Canes had more rushes (29) than passes (28).

It all starts with the play of signal-caller Stephen Morris. The talented junior has started to become a legit threat, and he had a breakout game last Saturday against Georgia Tech. Morris passed 52 times, completing 31 for a career-high 436 yards and two touchdowns in the win.

What is even more impressive is that even with all the passing attempts, Morris wasn't sacked. Not once. In fact, through four games, Miami's offensive line has allowed just six sacks, a very good number given the offensive approach of the team. All six of those sacks came in the first two games, with five coming in the Kansas State loss.

NC State has to find a way to get to Morris and knock him down. They must be able to pressure him because Miami has skill guys who can make plays with the ball in their hands.

"We've got to do a good job of disrupting there routes, and getting pressure on him and getting him out of his rhythm," said Mike Archer. "When he's in rhythm, he's really good."

The Pack comes in averaging 2.75 sacks per game, and they need to have at least that many down in Miami if they are going to come away with the victory.

Few freshmen across the country have had the instant impact that Miami tailback Duke Johnson has had.

A five-star recruit out of Miami (FL) Norland High School, the true freshman burst on the scene with a scintillating 135-yard, two-touchdown performance against Boston College in the season opener and hasn't looked back.

What makes him so special is he can impact the game in a variety of ways. Not only is Johnson dangerous at tailback, but Miami lines him up in the slot, uses him in motion, and he is a dynamic player in the return game. He is currently third in the ACC in rushing (80 yards per game) and leads the COUNTRY in all-purpose yardage with 209 per game.

The NC State coaches know they have to be aware of where Johnson is at all times and you can't allow him to roam free in space because he is a threat to score whenever he touches the football.

"Johnson can fly," said Tom O'Brien. "Once he gets into the open field you're going to have a problem so we're going to have to keep him surrounded."

Even though he's only a freshman, Johnson will be the most dangerous player on the field. State can't let him explode.

It is going to be strength on strength when it comes to third down because both sides are very efficient on the most critical down in football.

Miami checks in at No. 20 nationally on third down, converting an impressive 51% of the time. However, NC State is No. 12 in the country in third down defense, as the Wolfpack has limited opponents to a conversion rate of just 25.5%.

State's been even better in the three consecutive wins, holding opponents to conversions on just four of 32 attempts (12.5%). The biggest difference for the Wolfpack has been the pressure on the quarterback and being able to put the opposing team in obvious passing situations on third down. At that point, Archer and his staff can dial up the blitzes.

"I think the whole thing on third down is to confuse quarterbacks," said O'Brien. "I think Mike Archer and Jon Tenuta are doing a good job of creating confusion, not only with coverage but with blitz schemes and everything else going on up front... confusing linemen up front and the backs and their protections.

"That's always the key, be disruptive and don't show the same things twice."

If State can consistently win on third down, they will probably leave Miami with a victory.

NC State Game Notes

Although the University of Miami joined the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2004, The Wolfpack of NC State has faced the Hurricanes on the gridiron just three times since the turn of the century. The Pack has won each of the last two meetings - in overtime at the Orange Bowl in 2007 (19-16) and in Carter-Finley in 2008 (38-28).

That 2008 win made State the first team in ACC history to lose its first four ACC games and then come back to win four in a row and become bowl eligible.

Only one current Wolfpack player has ever competed against Miami: senior linebacker and captain Sterling Lucas. Lucas was a true freshman in 2008 when the ‘Canes came to Raleigh. He saw action from scrimmage on 13 snaps and made three tackles.

Saturday's game will mark the first of three this season when Tom O'Brien will face a former assistant that is now the head coach of the opposing team. Al Golden, in his second year with the ‘Canes, was on O'Brien's staff at Boston College from 1997-99, serving as the linebackers coach.

O'Brien, now in his 16th year as a head coach, is known for a low turnover rate on his staff. He has had just 23 assistants during his time as a head coach and seven of them have gone on to be collegiate head coaches. In fact, a third of the coaches in the ACC are a part of the Tom O'Brien coaching tree: O'Brien, Golden, Mike London at Virginia and Frank Spaziani at Boston College.

Since he took over as head coach of the Wolfpack after the 2006 season, Tom O'Brien and his NC State squad have faced teams from the ACC's Coastal Division 15 times. In 11 of those 15 contests, the Wolfpack has emerged victorious. That .733 winning mark ranks second among current ACC coaches.

O'Brien has had his most success versus Coastal Division teams on the road, posting a 6-1 mark with the only loss coming at No. 16 Virginia Tech in 2009. He has won at UNC twice, at Georgia Tech, at Miami, at Duke and at Virginia. The Pack has posted a 5-3 mark at home against Coastal opponents since 2007.

NC State and Maryland are the only Atlantic Coast Conference teams who have not played a league game this season, but that ends this weekend as the Wolfpack travels to Miami to face the 3-1 Hurricanes. It will be the third ACC game of the season for Al Golden's squad.

Tom O'Brien doesn't know what it feels like to play his first conference game in Carter-Finley Stadium. This will mark the sixth straight year that his squad has played its first league game on the road.

In fact, the last time NC State opened conference play at home, O'Brien was actually on the road! In 2006, he brought his Boston College team into Carter-Finley for State's first ACC contest (BC's second). The Wolfpack won that game, 17-15. NC State is the only ACC team that has opened on the road each of the past six seasons.

In the last three games, when an opponent gets to third down, their punter better be warming up. NC State currently ranks second in the ACC standings and 12th nationally in third down conversion defense, allowing opponents to convert just 25.5% on third down (13-51). On fourth down tries, the defense has held the opposition to an 0-7 mark in 2012.

In the last three games - all victories, a staunch Wolfpack defense has held the opponents to a .125 (4-32) percentage on third down conversions and an 0-5 mark on fourth down attempts. From late in the UConn game, until the 3rd quarter against The Citadel, opponents went 16 consecutive third downs without a conversion. On Sept. 15, Mike Archer's defensive unit held South Alabama without a third or fourth down conversion on the game as the Jaguars finished 0-for-11 on third down and 0-for-1 on fourth. The last time NC State had held a team without a third down conversion came in 1992, when the Pack forced Virginia Tech to an 0-for-12 mark, a span of 228 games.

It had been a while since a freshman rushed for over 100 yards in his first career game - 31 years to be exact - before rookie Shadrach Thornton surprised Wolfpack nation on Saturday night by running for 145 yards on 21 carries in the win over The Citadel.

Thornton, a true freshman who had not played a snap before Saturday's contest came out of the gates strong - gaining 35 yards on four carries on the Pack's first series, including a 19-yard touchdown run.

Thornton became the first freshman since Andre Brown in 2005 to rush for over 100 yards in a game. He became the first freshman to pass the century mark in his first collegiate game since Joe McIntosh had 131 against Richmond in 1981. Thornton tallied 171 all-purpose yards in the contest, also catching four passes for another 26 yards.

True freshman Shadrach Thornton was a very unlikely candidate to be starting in the fourth game of the season just a few short weeks ago. No one was listed ahead of him on the depth chart, because he wasn't even ON the depth chart.

Last year's leading rusher, James Washington, was returning for his senior season after gaining 897 yards in 2011 - most for a Pack player since 2002. Tony Creecy was returning for his red-shirt sophomore campaign after gaining great experience as the backup last season, as well as working hard in the Pack's off-season conditioning program.

Adding to the abundance of depth at halfback was Mustafa Greene, the leading rusher for NC State in 2010 who missed all of last season with an injury. And finally, red-shirt senior Brandon Barnes was on the roster as well - a player who had been hampered by injuries throughout his career. Creecy started the season opener, but Greene came in and led the team in rushing. Greene started the next week at Connecticut in a defensive battle, but was suspended following that contest and is still not back on the depth chart. Creecy started against versus South Alabama, and then the injury bug hit. At one point the week before The Citadel game, Creecy, Washington and Barnes were in injured jerseys.

Enter the true freshman, who was able to get the nod versus The Citadel and make the most of it, gaining the most yards for a back in his first game since 1981.

Junior cornerback David Amerson just can't keep his hands off other people's .... well, let's just say that he intercepts a lot of passes. The returning All-American stole his third of the season and the 16th of his career in the win over The Citadel, tying the NC State career record held by Eric Williams (1978-82) and Art Rooney (1936-38).

Amerson is now tied for ninth in ACC history in career interceptions. He set the State and ACC single-season marks in 2011 with the second-best mark in FBS history - 13. He returned two picks for scores, also a BCS best, and led the national ranks in INT return yards with 205.

In 2011, Amerson was one of three finalists for the Thorpe Award, was a first-team Walter Camp All-American. He broke the record that had been set just a few years before he was born: Art Rooney (of the Pittsburgh Steeler Rooneys) held the record with eight in 1937 and again in 1938! NC State posts a 10-2 record when Amerson records an interception.

Since giving up touchdown passes of 41 and 72 yards in the loss to Tennessee in the season opener in Atlanta, the Wolfpack defense has virtually shut down the opposition's passing game. That wasn't surprising against The Citadel, a team that only passes a handful of times every game, but in the last three games, the only passing TD the Pack has given up was an eight-yarder with 5:20 left in the fourth quarter in the win over South Alabama.

In the past three games, NC State has allowed just 164.7 passing yards per game. The Wolfpack ranks fifth in the ACC in pass defense, despite giving up 333 yards to the Volunteers in the opener.

After turning the ball over a dismal four times in the season opening lost versus Tennessee, the Wolfpack has turned its butterfingers into sticky fingers. State has turned the ball over just three total times in the last three games.

Quarterback Mike Glennon, who threw a career-high four interceptions against the Vols, has not been picked off since that contest. In terms of fumbles, the Pack has dropped three. On the flip side, the defense only had one takeaway in the season opener, but has since forced nine TOs in three games: six interceptions and three fumbles.

Even with the stats from the shaky start, the Pack ranks third in the ACC with a +0.75 turnover margin heading into the fifth game of the season.

The Wolfpack currently ranks eighth nationally in tackles for loss with a total of 34. That mark ranks second in the ACC. Fourteen different defenders have tallied stops behind the line of scrimmage for State this season, led by linebackers Ricky Dowdy with 5.5 and Rodman Noel with five.

The Pack has tallied 11 sacks this season, the fourth-best mark in the ACC.

When it comes to cornerbacks, NC State can definitely look down at other teams. Research has been unable to find another pair of starting cornerbacks in the country as tall as the Wolfpack's. Both David Amerson and Dontae Johnson are listed at 6'3.

In the ACC, only Virginia Tech has two starting cornerbacks listed over 6'0.

Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Bryan Underwood ranks third on the team with nine catches this season, but he leads the team and ranks seventh in the ACC in touchdown scoring.

The most diminutive member of the NC State wide receiver corps at 5'11, 174, Underwood has scored in all four games this season. That four-game streak of touchdown receptions is tied as the second-longest in school history. Only Koren Robinson had a longer streak, opening the 2000 season with five straight TD grabs from quarterback Philip Rivers.

Four of his six scoring grabs have been for 33 or more yards. Last season he scored on a 33- and a 79-yarder at Virginia and this season has caught TDs for 44 and 46 yards.

At 6'6, NC State's Mike Glennon is tied as the tallest quarterback in the ACC (Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas is also listed at 6'6). That is usually a pretty positive stat for the Wolfpack, but it also means he has further to fall.

NC State is next to the bottom is terms of sacks allowed this season with 14, and 13 of those have been on Glennon. Connecticut sacked him six times. Although nine of those sacks have been the responsibility of an offensive lineman, head coach Tom O'Brien says that running backs and even Glennon himself have been at fault when it comes to allowing sacks.

State has lost 98 yards on sacks this season.

Thirteen different players have caught passes for the Wolfpack in 2012, as five wide receivers, two tight ends, five halfbacks and a fullback have all been on the receiving end of a Mike Glennon throw.

The wide receiver spot was an area of concern heading into the 2012 campaign, as both starters from last season and another senior graduated. Quintin Payton has been on the recieving end of the majority of Glennon's throws, catching 17 passes for 338 yards. He ranks ninth in the ACC in receptions (4.2/game) this week, and is sixth in receiving yards per game with 84.5.

Miami Game Notes

• Through four games, 17 freshmen have seen action for the Miami Hurricanes, including 14 true freshmen.

• Five freshmen have started at least one game for the Miami Hurricanes — true freshman RT Ereck Flowers, true freshman RB Duke Johnson, true freshman WR Malcolm Lewis, true freshman S Deon Bush and redshirt freshman LB Eddie Johnson.

• Freshman RB Duke Johnson has earned back-to-back Paul Hornung Award Weekly Honor Roll honors.

• In the first 16 games of the Al Golden era, Miami has used 13 different defensive starting lineups.

• Notable Miami ACC statistical rankings: 2nd in kickoff returns (28.86), 4th in rushing offense (154.33), 5th in net punting (38.85), 5th in turnover margin (.00) and 6th in scoring offense (30.67)

• Notable Miami NCAA statistical rankings: 15th in kickoff returns, 41st in net punting, t54th in turnover margin, 58th in scoring offense and 68th in rushing offense

• Duke Johnson ACC statistical rankings: 1st amongst all-purpose runners (209.50); 2nd in kickoff returns (30.40); 3rd in scoring among non-kickers (9.00) and 3rd in rushing (80.00)

• Duke Johnson NCAA statistical rankings: 1st amongst all-purpose runners; t31st in scoring; 15th in kickoff returns and tied for 61st in rushing

• Junior QB Stephen Morris ranks fourth among ACC quarterbacks in passing yards per game (267.2) and fifth in total offense (274.5).

• Freshman DE Tyriq McCord and DE Anthony Chickillo are tied for fifth in the ACC and tied for 91st nationally in sacks per game (.50). Chickillo is also tied for first in the ACC with .50 fumble recoveries per game.

• Senior PK Jake Wieclaw is tied for second in the ACC and tied for 13th nationally in FG per game (1.75).

• College Sports Madness has named Miami DE Anthony Chickillo Madness ACC Defensive Player of the Week for his exceptional performance against Georgia Tech. The sophomore was in on a career-high seven tackles, leading the Canes with three for loss and recording the game's only sack.

• Nearly 70 of Miami's 2012 roster hails from Florida (67 players), including 21 that hail from Miami-Dade County.

• Saturday will mark the 14th series meeting, which dates back to 1939. Miami leads the all-time series, 7-5-1, but NC State has won the last two meetings by a combined score of 57-44.

• Miami and NC State have only met three times as ACC members, with the Wolfpack holding a 2-1 advantage in the ACC-only series.

• No active player on Miami's roster has faced NC State.

• Give the Hurricanes their first three-game winning streak under Al Golden and first since the 2009 season.

• Give the Hurricanes a 2-0 record on the season at Sun Life Stadium.

• Give the Hurricanes their first 3-0 ACC start since 2004 — the first season in the conference.

• Give the Hurricanes their first 4-1 start to the season since 2009.

• In Miami's fourth game of the season, 16 freshmen (13 true freshmen) played at Georgia Tech.

• True freshman OL Ereck Flowers made his fourth consecutive start at right tackle. On the defensive side of the ball, redshirt freshman LB Eddie Johnson made his third start and true freshman Deon Bush made his second consecutive start at safety.

• RB Duke Johnson tallied 200 all-purpose yards (72 rush, 38 receiving, 90 return) and now ranks fi rst in the NCAA with 209.5 yards per game.

• In his third start, Eddie Johnson led the Canes with nine tackles (six solo stops) including the overtime stop of QB Tevin Washington on 4th-and-1.

• Miami has 14 different players that have at least one reception in the first four games of the season.

• Allen Hurns, Rashawn Scott, Phillip Dorsett, Clive Walford, Malcolm Lewis, Duke Johnson, Devon Johnson, Mike James, Asante Cleveland, Kendal Thompkins, Eduardo Clements, Dyron Dye, Maurice Hagens and Herb Waters each have at least one grab through two games.

• Sophomore WR Phillip Dorsett leads UM with 21 receptions and 273 receiving yards this season.

• Through the first three games of the season, senior RB Mike James had not found the end zone. In Miami's 42-36 OT road win at Georgia Tech, James scored four times, including three rushing scores and the 25-yard game-winning scamper in overtime. James finished with 15 rushes for a career-high 89 yards and three scores.

He also added a 10-yard TD reception.

• James became the second Hurricane in as many weeks to record four TDs in a game. Freshman RB Duke Johnson accomplished the feat against Bethune-Cookman. Prior to last week, the last UM player to score four times was Tyrone Moss in 2005 against North Carolina.

• Junior QB Stephen Morris established career highs for yards (436), attempts (52) and completions (31) in Miami's 42-36 come-from-behind OT road win at Georgia Tech. Morris was the first Miami QB to throw for 400+ yards since Ken Dorsey (422) at West Virginia in 2002. Morris' 436 yards were the most by a UM QB since Gina Torretta threw for 485 against San Diego State in 1991.

• For the first time in his career, senior RB Mike James scored more than two touchdowns in a game. In fact, he reached the end zone four times against Georgia Tech, three times rushing and once on a reception.

• WRs Phillip Dorsett (184 yards on 9 receptions) and Davon Johnson (107 yards on 7 receptions) set career highs for both receiving yards and receptions.

• Senior RB Mike James and freshman RB Duke Johnson have combined for 567 of Miami's 636 rushing yards on 87 through four games. The lightning-quick Johnson, who has already collected two ACC Rookie of the Week honors this season, has amassed 320 yards and four rushing TDs on 40 carries, while the bruising James has 247 yards and three touchdowns on 47 carries.

• The duo has combined for 160-plus rushing yards in three of Miami's first four games. In the Hurricanes' 41-32 season-opening win at Boston College, Johnson rushed for 135 yards, while James added 54 yards. Two weeks later, the pair amassed 171 yards — Johnson 94 yards and James 77 yards (both season highs).

• Johnson (6) and James (4) have combined for 10 of Miami's 16 total touchdowns this season.

• Senior RB Mike James is one of 22 student-athletes selected to the 2012 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, announced by Allstate Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association.

• James is one of only 11 college football players from the Football Bowl Subdivision to be honored with the award, one of the most prestigious community service awards in all of college football. He is the sixth Miami Hurricane to be named to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, joining Robert Bass (1993), Tony Coley (1996), Ryan Clement (1997), Nate Books (1998) and Joaquin Gonzalez (2001).

• During his career at the University of Miami, James has contributed countless hours to supporting community service organizations in the Miami community, including volunteering for Empowered Youth, an organization providing mentoring to at-risk youth, serving as a project manager for the 2012 University of Miami Bone Marrow Drive and serving meals to the homeless with the Miami Rescue Mission. James has also been involved with The Ronald McDonald House, Rushing the Community and Canes on Patrol.

• James, who is on pace to graduate in December with a degree in sport administration with a minor in sociology, will be invited to join fellow 2012 Allstate AFCA Good Work Team members in New Orleans to participate in a community project before the Allstate Sugar Bowl in January. The Allstate AFCA Good Works Team will also be honored during halftime of the Allstate Sugar Bowl on ESPN.

• Through the first three games, Miami had only two scoring drives that went for 10+ plays. During the Hurricanes' road win at Georgia Tech, Miami engineered three scoring drives of 10+ plays.

• Against Georgia Tech, Miami posted season-bests for plays (17), yards (91) and time of possession (5:33) — all on three separate scoring drives.

• Miami's two-play drive in overtime was its shortest scoring drive of the season.

NC State Depth Chart

NOTE: *- Indicates a player has redshirted a season.

2012 NC State Depth Chart
8Mike Glennon6-6/232Sr.*
15Manny Stocker6-3/200Fr.
26 Tony Creecy 6-0/196 So.*
10 Shadrach Thornton 6-1/200Fr.
44 Logan Winkles 6-1/240So.*
49 Tyler Purvis 6-3/220Jr.
Wide Receiver
4Tobais Palmer5-11/175Sr.*
2 Rashard Smith 5-11/176Jr.*
13 Hakeem Flowers 6-3/182Fr.*
Wide Receiver
88 Quintin Payton 6-4/210 Jr.*
80 Bryan Underwood 5-11/170So.*
84 Charlie Hegedus 6-2/195Fr.
Tight End
87 Mario Carter 6-4/262Sr.*
83 Anthony Talbert 6-4/254Jr.*
82 Asa Watson 6-4/225Jr.*
89 Benson Browne 6-5/246Fr.*
Left Tackle
74 Tyson Chandler 6-6/340So.*
67 Quincy McKinney 6-4/304Fr.
Left Guard
79 R.J. Mattes6-6/306Sr.*
62 Duran Christophe 6-6/302Jr.*
53 Camden Wentz 6-3/301Sr.
54 Joe Thuney6-5/265Fr.*
Right Guard
72 Zach Allen6-3/322Sr.*
50 Cameron Fordham6-3/281So.*
Right Tackle
64 Andrew Wallace 6-5/304Sr.*
71 Alex Barr6-7/332Fr.*

Special Teams
Place Kicker
32Niklas Sade6-3/195So.
36Wil Baumann6-4/185So.
Long Snapper
57Scott Thompson6-0/220So.
36Wil Baumann6-4/185S0.
Kick Returner
4Tobais Palmer5-11/175Sr.*
27 Earl Wolff 6-0/201Sr.*
1David Amerson 6-3/194Jr.
Punt Returner
2 Rashard Smith 5-11/176 Jr.*
1David Amerson 6-3/194Jr.
Defensive End
55 Brian Slay 6-3/290Sr.
95 Art Norman 6-1/242So.*
90 Mike Rose 6-4/232Fr.*
Defensive Tackle
69 Thomas Teal 6-2/315So.*
70 Carlos Gray 6-3/321Fr.*
Defensive Tackle
75 T.Y. McGill 6-1/290So.
76 Deylan Buntyn 6-4/330Jr.
Defensive End
92 Darryl Cato-Bishop 6-4/281Jr.*
97 Forrest West 6-1/270Jr.*
98 McKay Frandsen 6-3/255Sr.
Weakside Linebacker
34 Rickey Dowdy 6-2/240Jr.*
49 Zach Gentry 6-0/227Sr.
Middle Linebacker
7 Sterling Lucas 6-2/238Sr.*
43 Ryan Cheek 6-1/240Jr.*
Strongside Linebacker
5 Rodman Noel 6-3/210So.
39 Brandon Pittman 6-3/216So.
Field Cornerback
1David Amerson 6-3/194Jr.
11 Juston Burris 6-1/193Fr.*
16 Jordan Monk 6-0/184Sr.*
Boundary Safety
27 Earl Wolff 6-0/201Sr.*
38 Hakim Jones 6-2/190 Fr.*
Free Safety
30 Brandan Bishop 6-2/210Sr.
6 Tim Buckley 6-0/202Fr.*
Boundary Cornerback
25 Dontae Johnson 6-3/190 Jr.
14 Jarvis Byrd 5-11/186Jr.*

Miami Depth Chart


Thanks to NC State and Miami Athletics for much of the information in this preview.

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