NC State (0-1) vs. Eastern Kentucky (0-2)
Saturday, September 17, 2005
6:00 pm Carter-Finley Stadium (57,500)
Eastern Kentucky Links
Manny Lawson, DE - knee sprain
Merci Falaise, OT - ankle sprain
Stephen Tulloch, LB - ankle sprain
Brian Clark, WR - ankle sprain
NC State Game Notes
NOTING THE PACK
AMATO STRONG VS. NONCONFERENCE COMPETITION: NC State has won 83% of its games against non-conference competition in Chuck Amato's five seasons at the helm of the Wolfpack program, including an 11-1 mark at Carter-Finley Stadium. In NC State's 22 non-conference contests since 2000, the Wolfpack has gained victory 19 times. The only losses against non-conference opposition came against Pitt in the 2001 Tangerine Bowl (19-34), a triple-overtime loss at thirdranked Ohio State (38-44) in 2003 and a loss to the ninth-ranked Buckeyes last season.
PACK PLAYS FLAG FOOTBALL IN SEASON OPENER: The offense was solid - gaining 438 yards and averaging six yards per play. The defense was solid - allowing just 232 total yards and giving up just 3.7 yards per play. But penalties and turnovers ended up being the difference as the Wolfpack fell 16- 20 to eighth-ranked Virginia Tech on Sept. 4.
NC State racked up a dozen penalties for 105 yards and turned the ball over three times.
Last season, the Wolfpack averaged 9.2 penalties per game, the 115th mark in the nation and turned the ball over 2.9 times per contest.
NC STATE OUTGAINS OPPONENTS: In the last 13 games, the Wolfpack has posted a 6-7 record. However, Chuck Amato's squad has outgained its opponent in all of those contests, dating back to the 2003 Tangerine Bowl game against Kansas (12/22/03). The last time NC State did not gain more yards on offense than its opponent was against Maryland on Nov. 22, 2003. That streak of outgaining opponents is the longest in school history. During the 13-game stretch, NC State has averaged 379 ypg while holding its opponents to 241 ypg.
DAVIS STRONG IN OPENER: Quarterback Jay Davis had a solid outing in the season opener, completing 63 percent of his attempts, and throwing for a career-high 311 yards and a careerhigh 27 completions. That marked the first 300 yard performance of his career.
Davis led the Wolfpack to 438 yards of total offense against eighth-ranked Virginia Tech, the top mark for an ACC quarterback in the first week of action. His 311 passing yards also led the ACC.
HARRIS, KING OF STATS: Another year, another stat for center Leroy Harris. Last season, offensive line coach Mike Barry made up a stat called a 'round trip,' after Harris began to block defenders in a complete circle.
This season, Harris has inspired another stat. The players are already graded on 'Raleigh Rails,' which is when they drive a defender at least five yards backwards. Harris is the author of the new "RDU Express,' which means driving the defender back at least seven yards. Barry says the difference between a 'Raleigh Rail' and an 'RDU Express' is like the difference between flying coach and flying firstclass. Harris led the team with six knockdown blocks and four Raleigh Rails in the season opener against Virginia Tech, as well as an 'RDU Express.'
SPREADING THE WEALTH: Eight different receivers caught passes from Jay Davis in the season opener, with six pulling down two or more grabs. Tramain Hall led the team in receptions for the sixth time of his career, pulling down eight grabs for 97 yards. T.J. Williams, the leading receiver among current ACC tight ends, had six catches for 62 yards.
THREE AND OUT: Not only did NC State's defense hold Virignia Tech to just 232 yards of total offense, but the Wolfpack's tenacious defense also forced the Hokies to five three-andouts. In the first half, VT scored on two of its six possessions, with the other four posessions all being three and outs. The two scoring drives accounted for 14 plays and 111 yards, while the other four possessions racked up just 12 plays and 18 yards.
Of the six times Virginia Tech punted in the game, five came after three-andouts.
ONE TRUE FRESHMAN PLAYS FOR PACK: Chuck Amato has always contended that the fewer young players who are forced into action early, the better off the team is. In his previous seasons, he hasn't had the luxury of being able to let his new players sit and learn - they've been thrown right into the fire.
This season, however, is a different story, or at least it was in the first game. Only one true freshman saw action for the Pack against Virginia Tech, tailback Toney Baker. Baker and junior walkon linebacker Marcus Howell were the only players who saw their first action for the Wolfpack in the opener.
Those numbers are vastly different from the last four years, even though the Pack's opening opponent was a tougher one than in past years. In the past four seasons, an average of 17.5 newcomers saw their first career action in the season opener (8.3 true freshmen).
DEFENSIVE FRONT TABBED AS NATION'S BEST: The 2005 Wolfpack defensive line was picked as the nation's best by a couple of preseason college football publications, including The Sporting News, ESPN Insider and Lindy's. That unit, which returns eight of its 10 letterwinners from last season, tallied 50 tackles for loss and 16 sacks a year ago en route to leading NC State to the national total defense title.
Both returning ends, Mario Williams and Manny Lawson, earned All-ACC honors last season, with Williams earning a first-team nod and Lawson gaining second-team accolades.
That pair is on the preseason watch lists for the Bednarik and the Lombardi Awards, while Williams is also on the Walter Camp and Nagurski preseason lists. John McCargo and Tank Tyler started at the tackle spots in 2004, with McCargo being the unsung hero of the unit.
Demario Pressley, who was the only true freshman to start a game on defense last season, started the first game at tackle.
In the season opener, the defensive line tallied 23 tackles, including three tackles for loss.
NC State Depth Chart
|2005 NC State Depth Chart|
Getting To Know Eastern Kentucky
Location: Richmond, Ky.
School Colors: Maroon & White
Stadium: Roy Kidd
Head Coach: Danny Hope
Record at EKU: 13-10 (2 years)
2004 Record: 6-5 (6-2)
2005 Record: 0-2 (0-0)
2004 Bowl: None
Starters Returning: 14 (8 offense, 6 defense)
2005 Ranking: N/A
Eastern Kentucky Scouting Report
Danny Hope is building a strong program at his alma mater, and eight offensive starters return for the Colonels who came up a game short of the conference title in 2004.
Leading the way offensively will be quarterback Josh Greco, tailback Mark Dunn, and explosive wide receiver Andre Ralston.
|QB Josh Greco (EKU Athletics)|
Dunn is a workhorse for the Colonels, as he is averaging 26 carries and 110 yards per game through the first two contests. He's quick, strong, and one of the top running backs in the Ohio Valley Conference.
Ralston will be looking to record his third consecutive 100-yard receiving game this weekend at NCSU. The senior tallied a game-high 106 receiving yards at WKU and has notched eight 100-yard receiving games in his career.
Ralston isn't the only top target of Greco, as tight end Patrick Bugg leads the team in touchdown catches with two. Bugg has 11 receptions for 109 yards, and both of his TD catches came in last week's loss to Western Kentucky.
|RB Mark Dunn (EKU Athletics)|
The defensive leader for the Colonels is senior linebacker Jerome Jones, a preaseason first-team All-American. Jones was outstanding against WKU, as he finished with 14 tackles, two off his career high.
"Jerome had an outstanding year in 2004, and he's very deserving of this preseason recognition," said head coach Danny Hope prior to the season. "He has been a great player for us during his three years as a Colonel, and we're expecting even better things this season."
Also performing well for the Eastern Kentucky defense are defensive end Cardius Dowell and strong safety Carl Hayden, two players who came into the season with high expectations.
Dowell, a 6-foot-1, 260-pound defensive end has recorded nine tackles and two quarterback pressures. He also has two sacks, leading the team in the category.
Hayden, a redshirt senior, has totaled 17 tackles, two quarterback pressures, and the team's only interception of the season. He's the leader of the Eastern Kentucky secondary and considered to be one of the hardest hitters on the team.
Eastern Kentucky Game Notes
No Road Magic: EKU has lost its last six road non-conference games dating back to Nov. 2, 2002, when the Colonels dispatched of Liberty in overtime, 35-28.
Against The ACC: The Colonels have never faced an ACC school.
OVC Offensive Player of the Week: Sophomore QB Josh Greco notched career highs in completions (24), yardage (273) and touchdowns (3) at #7 Western Kentucky on Sept. 10 to earn OVC POTW honors. For the game, the quarterback completed 24-of-34 passes without an interception for a 70.6 completion percentage. Greco stepped up his play in the second half as he helped the Colonels convert 6-of-9 (66.7 percent) third-down attempts while tossing two touchdown passes.
In the National Rankings: Senior WR Andre Ralston ranks among the top 10 in Division I-AA in receptions per game (8.0 - 6th), receiving yards per game (129.0 - 8th) and all-purpose yardage (188.5 - 5th).
Defense Steps Up: After allowing #7 Western Kentucky to score on three of its first four possessions, the Colonel defense stiffened and allowed just six points the rest of the way on Sept. 10. Also, the EKU defense forced its first two turnovers of the year and came away with three sacks in the effort. Leading the way for Eastern was senior LB Jerome Jones with a game-best 14 tackles and one tackle for loss.
Costly Turnovers: Eastern Kentucky controlled the clock (38:04 to 21:56) and outgained Appalachian State (455 to 334 yards) in week one of the 2005 campaign, but four costly turnovers spelled disaster for the Colonels. The first two turnovers led directly to 14 ASU points. On the other hand, EKU was unable to force a Mountaineer turnover.
Preseason Accolades: Senior linebacker Jerome Jones earned preseason All-America honors by The Sports Network. Jones led the Colonels and ranked third in the conference with 113 tackles last fall. Joining Jones on the preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference Team was junior tight end Patrick Bugg and sophomore offensive lineman Sean Dumford.
More Prognostications: The Colonels were picked second in the preseason Ohio Valley Conference poll as selected by the league's coaches and media relations directors … EKU, which received one first-place vote, was picked immediately behind two-time defending champion Jacksonville State.
Astonishing Run: By capturing six of its final eight contests in 2004, Eastern Kentucky earned the program's 27th consecutive winning season. The Colonels have posted double-digit wins during nine of those seasons. EKU, which has competed in the IAA playoffs a nation's best 17 times, has not had a losing season since 1972, but went 5-5 in 1977.
Looking Ahead: Eastern Kentucky returns home and opens conference play against Tennessee Tech on Sept. 24. The Colonels own 45 victories over TTU in the long series history. EKU has only defeated Morehead State more times -- 48.
Carolina Boys: Eastern Kentucky has three players on its roster from North Carolina including starting punter Benton Kuszmaul (Smithfield, N.C.) while NC State does not have any players hailing from Kentucky. Kuszmaul's father, Craig, played on NC State's basketball team that captured the 1974 NCAA Championship.
Eastern Kentucky Two-Deep Depth Chart
OFFENSE QUARTERBACK 15 Josh Greco (6-2, 200, r-So.) 14 Zach Denton (5-11,
190, r.-Fr.) TAILBACK 28 Mark Dunn (6-0, 200, So.) 46 Markeith Gillis (6-1,
265, So.) X RECEIVER 81 Andre Ralston (5-11, 180, r-Sr.) 80 Quinton Williams
(6-1, 215, So.) A RECEIVER 11 Kyle Barber (5-10, 180, So.) 84 Matt Schoborg (6-0,
201, r-Jr.) Z RECEIVER 7 Andre Green (6-1, 202, r-Sr.) 1 Lewon Lurry (5-11,
190, Jr.) LEFT TACKLE 66 Jose Matthews (6-6, 290, r-Jr.) 77 Derek Hardman
(6-5, 250, Fr.) LEFT GUARD 73 Kayland Denson (6-2, 330, r-Jr.) 78 Mike Brooks
(6-5, 280, r-So.) CENTER 61 Will Heineman (6-2, 305, r-Sr.) 75 Shawn Dedden (6-0,
265, r-Fr.) RIGHT GUARD 57 Lance Petro (6-4, 310, r-Sr.) 78 Mike Brooks (6-5,
280, r-So.) RIGHT TACKLE 56 Sean Dumford (6-5, 295, r-So.) 71 Rashaud Mungro
(6-4, 290, r-Fr.) TIGHT END 4 Patrick Bugg (6-5, 215, r-Jr.) 89 Kyle Cutsail (6-4,
250, r-Fr.) *FULLBACK
QUARTERBACK 15 Josh Greco (6-2, 200, r-So.) 14 Zach Denton (5-11, 190, r.-Fr.)
TAILBACK 28 Mark Dunn (6-0, 200, So.) 46 Markeith Gillis (6-1, 265, So.)
X RECEIVER 81 Andre Ralston (5-11, 180, r-Sr.) 80 Quinton Williams (6-1, 215, So.)
A RECEIVER 11 Kyle Barber (5-10, 180, So.) 84 Matt Schoborg (6-0, 201, r-Jr.)
Z RECEIVER 7 Andre Green (6-1, 202, r-Sr.) 1 Lewon Lurry (5-11, 190, Jr.)
LEFT TACKLE 66 Jose Matthews (6-6, 290, r-Jr.) 77 Derek Hardman (6-5, 250, Fr.)
LEFT GUARD 73 Kayland Denson (6-2, 330, r-Jr.) 78 Mike Brooks (6-5, 280, r-So.)
CENTER 61 Will Heineman (6-2, 305, r-Sr.) 75 Shawn Dedden (6-0, 265, r-Fr.)
RIGHT GUARD 57 Lance Petro (6-4, 310, r-Sr.) 78 Mike Brooks (6-5, 280, r-So.)
RIGHT TACKLE 56 Sean Dumford (6-5, 295, r-So.) 71 Rashaud Mungro (6-4, 290, r-Fr.)
TIGHT END 4 Patrick Bugg (6-5, 215, r-Jr.) 89 Kyle Cutsail (6-4, 250, r-Fr.)
*FULLBACK(for 2-back sets) 34 Wes Wolfe (6-0, 225, r.-So.) 23 Josh Turner (6-3, 242, Fr.)
LEFT END 94 Steven Cassell (6-2, 245, r-Jr.) 99 George Anderson (6-1, 240, r-So.)
LEFT TACKLE 90 Bakahri Thornton (6-3, 282, r-So.) 95 Tory Miller (6-1, 300, So.)
RIGHT TACKLE 70 Mark Cristiani (5-11, 275, Jr.) 92 Marcus Pearson (6-1, 273, So.)
RIGHT END 25 Cardius Dowell (6-1, 260, r-So.) 45 Chris Coy (6-2, 255, r-Fr.)
SAM LINEBACKER 16 Jerome Jones (6-2, 220, Sr.) 47 Justin Grundy (6-2, 231, r-Jr.)
MIKE LINEBACKER 44 Brandon Rosser (6-1, 238, Jr.) 27 Travis Hart (5-9, 216, Fr.)
WILL LINEBACKER 13 Marcus Mayes (5-11, 205, r-Jr.) 24 Justin Curry (5-11, 210, r-So.)
LEFT CORNER 6 Derrick Huff (5-11, 175, So.) 9 Jamis Gaines (5-10, 185, Jr.)
FREE SAFETY 20 Victor Nichols (6-1, 195, r-Jr.) 26 Brandon Gathof (6-2, 205, r-Fr.)
STRONG SAFETY 5 Carl Hayden (5-11, 180, r-Sr.) 10 Justin Glotzbach (5-11, 200, Sr.)
RIGHT CORNER 2 Tremayne Perkins (5-9, 183, r-Sr.) 17 Antwaun Molden (6-1, 193, Jr.)
PLACEKICKER 35 Taylor Long (5-10, 180, Fr.) 41 Benton Kuszmaul (6-2, 190, r-So.)
PUNTER 41 Benton Kuszmaul (6-2, 190, r-So.) 35 Taylor Long (5-10, 180, Fr.)
SNAPPER 37 Brad Willoughby (5-11, 190, Fr.) 3 Adam Ellis (6-2, 233, Sr.)
HOLDER 14 Zach Denton (5-11, 190, r-Fr.) 10 Justin Glotzbach (5-11, 200, Sr.)
KICK RETURN 81 Andre Ralston (5-11, 180, r-Sr.) 11 Kyle Barber (5-10, 180, So.)
PUNT RETURN 2 Tremayne Perkins (5-9, 183, r-Sr.) 81 Andre Ralston (5-11, 180, r-Sr.)
EKU Depth Chart for NC State Game
Kurt Beathard................ BETH-urd
Cody Deti ......................... DEE-tie
Detrick Belvin ................ DEE-trick
John Brumbach ........... BRUM-baah
Steven Cassell ............... kah-SELL
Mark Cristiani ..... CHRIS-tee-AN-ee
Kyle Cutsail ................... CUT-selld
Cardius Dowell ............ CAR-dee-us
Brandon Gathof ................ GAT-off
Justin Glotzbach .......GLOTCH-bahk
Josh Greco ................... GRECK-oh
Will Heineman ........... HI-nah-man
Klay Koester .................... Coaster
Benton Kuszmaul ......... KOOZ-mall
Lewon Lurry ................... LEE-wan
Andre Ralston ...............RAHL-ston
Nick Samar ................... Sa-MARH
Matt Schoborg ............SHOW-borg
Bakahri Thornton ........bah-CAR-ee
Kody Tuupo ..................... TWO-po
Ryan Viana .................. Vee-AH-na
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Thanks to NC State and Eastern Kentucky Athletics for much of the information in this preview.