With Ohio State operating out of the quarter semester system, the players are currently not in school. NC State's Head Coach Chuck Amato believes it's a big advantage for the Buckeyes.
"They can come in and have lunch at twelve, they can meet and watch our film from 1-3, they can practice from 3-6, they can go out to dinner and have another meeting from 7-9 and watch practice," Amato said. "I'd like to do that. That's better than two open dates back-to-back."
Sure, NC State had a bye week before this weekend's game, but like Amato pointed out, having a situation where the players are not in school gives Ohio State nearly the same advantage as an open date.
"It's a big advantage," he said. "You guys are always talking about open date, open date, open date. How would you like to have three of them before your first four games?"
Look for both teams to be prepared this Saturday.
'They Play Like Champions'
There's a reason why Ohio State's able to win close games, and it boils down to the Buckeyes giving the necessary effort.
"They play hard," Amato said. "They play like champions. They play that way and they win. They execute."
For the first time in three years, Ohio State heads on the road to face a tough program in a hostile environment without quarterback Craig Krentzel at the helm. Newcomer Justin Zwick now heads the Buckeye offense and he has the ability to beat an opposing defense with the deep ball.
"If someone gets open down the field he's going to get the ball to them," Amato said. "He was a high school all-american. He was the best player in the state of Ohio."
Zwick, playing his first game ever on the road, will not find the crowd as friendly as in the 'Shoe, and that could be the difference.
It may have surprised some Wolfpack fans to see red-shirt freshman LeRue Rumph's name a top the final statistics as NC State's leading tackler against Richmond. Playing fourteen snaps on defense, Rumph finished with nine tackles and a pass breakup.
Despite the strong opening performance, Rumph admits that he's still learning the position after moving from rover this fall.
"It's a great learning experience," he said. "[Stephen] Tulloch's a great player and so is Pat [Thomas]. Freddy's really been helping me out with my mistakes so it's good playing with them."
LeRue's biggest adjustment has been the need to shed oncoming blocks from offensive linemen, tight ends, and wide receivers, an element he didn't experience nearly as much as a rover. With added weight, he hopes that will be much easier to do.
"I really need to gain weight," he said. "It's tough going against those big guys at 215 pounds. I've already gained four pounds since the start of the season, but I need to get bigger."
Coach Reggie Herring is now Rumph's position coach and he's impressed the Wolfpack freshman.
"He's an intense coach and a great one," Rumph said. "Coach is all about teaching us life's lessons and he's just trying to help us learn. He's a great coach."
"Playing linebacker has been a process, but once I grow into it, I'll be ready," he added.