Week 1: Richmond Spiders

NC State's football season draws near and the Wolfpack opens against the Richmond Spiders.

Program: Richmond Spiders
Enrollment: 4,325
2003 Record: 2-9 (1-8 A-10)
Head Coach: Dave Clawson 0-0 (29-29 overall)

#3 Quarterback Stacy Tutt (6-2, 215, Jr.)-
Tutt's considered the Spiders' best player and will enter his first season as starter at quarterback. A dynamic athlete, he also stars as point guard for Richmond's basketball team. Last year he started eight games at wide receiver before moving to quarterback for the final three games. He finished the season with 535 yards passing and 2 touchdowns while completing nearly 62% of his passes.

#42 Defensive End Brian Burnette (6-3, 245, Jr.)-As a sophomore Burnette started all eleven games for Richmond, totaling 34 tackles and led the team with seven tackles for a loss. He's the team's best pass rusher and also plays outside linebacker in certain formations.

#9 Safety Antoine Newsome(6-1, 190, Sr.)- Last year Newsome led Richmond in tackles with 79, and he moves to safety from cornerback for his final season. Newsome started all eleven games in 2003 after missing the 2002 season with an injury.

#13 Wide Receiver Jake Schools (5-9, 170, Sr.)- Richmond's top receiver from last season returns as Schools is back for his senior season. In 2003 he led the Spiders with 49 receptions and 4 touchdowns. A smallish receiver, Schools is known for his pass-catching ability and is described as a possession receiver.

#8 Defensive Back Clement Johnson (5-11, 180, Sr.)- An experienced corner, Johnson enters his fourth season as a starter for Richmond. He led the team in 2003 with three interceptions and tied for second with 34 solo tackles. Johnson will likely defend NC State's most explosive wide receiver, Tramain Hall.

Richmond is 0-10-1 in Raleigh. The last visit -- also the last meeting in the series -- ended in a 27-21 decision for NC State on September 5, 1981. The first meeting came on November 18, 1895 when NC State won 40-0.

An inspired Spider team led 14-10 at halftime but was overcome in the second half as NC State rallied for a 27- 21 win before 40,400 at Carter-Finley Stadium on Sept. 5, 1981 ... Richmond quarterback Steve Krainock ran for a one-yard touchdown and threw two scoring passes (14, 15) to Clayton White ... White finished the game with six catches for 95 yards ... Richmond's Heisman Trophy candidate Barry Redden ran for 100 yards on 26 carries and averaged 40.7 yards per punt in seven attempts ... NC State fumbled seven times but lost only three ... The Wolfpack scored on their first two drives of the second half ... It was the season-opener for both teams.

Dave Clawson became the 32nd head coach in Richmond football history when he was hired on Feb. 23 … Clawson spent the last five years leading Fordham football, posting a 26-10 record during the past three seasons, the 14th best winning percentage (72.2) in I-AA football during that time … In five years, Clawson posted a 29-29 record and earned Patriot League Coach of the Year in 2002 and Co-Coach of the Year in 2001.

Four of the Spiders' top-5 rushing leaders from 2003 are gone … The only Spider returning with more than 16 yards of rushing last fall is Stacy Tutt … The quarterback gained 159 yards on 51 carries (3.1 yards/carry) … David Edwards (429), Kenny Dantzler (332), Bryson Spinner (332), Lee Williams (264) and Boyd Ouden (30) accounted for 88.0 percent (1,387-of-1577) of last year's rushing attack.

A few Spiders have changed positions for the fall and are expected to contribute immediately in their new home … Junior David Freeman moved back to his old stomping grounds when he returned to running back … After spending his first two seasons in the offensive backfield, Freeman moved to the secondary where he made 67 tackles – second most on the team … Freeman and junior Lamont Jones will be Richmond's primary ball carriers … Sophomore Eddie Darney, who split time at tight end and defensive end last season, has moved to fullback for the fall.

For the Spiders... who knows? The Dave Clawson era begins at Richmond and he's likely to bring a passing attack to Richmond. Clawson, considered a rising star in the coaching ranks, utilized the spread offense at Fordham and will likely do whatever he can to keep the ball in quarterback Stacy Tutt's hands. Tutt is a dangerous threat who can beat you with his arms or his feet, and is Richmond's best player.

The Wolfpack defense will make it a point to shadow Tutt all day long, possibly with linebacker Stephen Tulloch. Tulloch's a terrific playmaker who should succeed as a "spy."

NC State's defensive front should have a field day against a smaller Richmond offensive line.

Look for NC State to try and establish the running game early, and that could be with freshmen tailbacks Darrell Blackman and Bobby Washington leading the charge. Quarterback Jay Davis won the starting job this fall and should have a good game against an average Richmond defense. Freshman Marcus Stone will receive snaps and will also try to impress the Wolfpack coaches and fans.

Could we see a different offensive philosophy from NC State in 2004? We may find out on Saturday.

Another unknown for Richmond is the defense, although they do return some solid players in defensive end Brian Burnette and safety Antoine Newsome.

What it boils down to is NC State will be too big, too strong, and too fast for Richmond on both sides of the ball, and they should have no trouble taking all the Spiders in the season opener.

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