Whatever the Wolfpack players did in today's practice, it apparently wasn't enough for Head Coach Chuck Amato. Amato gave one quote to the media today before making an early departure from his daily meeting with the press.
"Real quick, we couldn't beat a high school team tonight," Amato said prior to leaving the practice field.
Obviously the Wolfpack head coach wasn't pleased with today's practice. NC State has two more days of workouts before heading to Virginia Tech on Friday.
Hall Hopes to Bounce Back
It seems like wide receiver Tramain Hall felt practice went at least a little better than Amato, as he labeled it "pretty good."
"We did pretty good," Hall said. "Coach told us to put the Ohio State behind us, and I think we've done that. We just came out here to work hard."
"The offense was sound and the line had a few 'MA's' in the game... the whole offense did," he added. "That's what we worked on today... execution."
Hall, who's versatility could present problems to Virginia Tech much like Southern Cal's ultra-athletic Reggie Bush did in the season opener, has watched Virginia Tech on film and is impressed with the Hokies.
"They are a very aggressive team," Hall said. "They fly to the ball on defense, and that's similiar to Ohio State. I think they've got much more speed than Ohio State, and the secondary looks real good."
Look for NC State to try and get the ball in Hall's hands more this weekend against the Hokies.
Ollie's Ready to Roll
A definitely bright spot for NC State from this past weekend's Ohio State game had to be the stellar play of middle linebacker Oliver Hoyte. Hoyte finished the day with 14 tackles, three tackles for loss, and one sack. He's now put the Ohio State game behind him and is focusing on Virginia Tech.
"We've been watching film and preparing," Hoyte said. "We've got a couple of schemes that we're working on to try and stop their quarterback. We've just been preparing."
Under defensive coordinator Reggie Herring's philosophy, it seems the linebackers have a lot of freedom to roam the field and make plays.
"In Coach Herring's schemes the middle linebacker has to be a playmaker," Hoyte said. "You can't just plug gaps. You've got to be able to shed blocks, fall back into coverage, and do a lot of different things. It's something that you have to learn, and I'm doing it well right now."
Another factor in Hoyte and sophomore Stephen Tulloch's (12 tackles) strong play against Ohio State could have been the hard work put in by the Wolfpack's young defensive front. Led by Manny Lawson, Mario Williams, and John McCargo, the defensive line tied up offensive linemen, giving Hoyte, Tulloch, and the other linebackers space to make tackles. Was that a factor?
"Oh yea, big time," Hoyte said. "In the spring and now in the fall they've been dominating. Hopefully they can keep it up because that helps the linebackers a lot."
Look for Hoyte to again be key for NC State this weekend, as Virginia Tech works out of the I-back formation a lot with a fullback as the lead blocker, similar to Ohio State.