Gameday: NC State vs. Louisville

NC State (1-3) returns to the gridiron today against Louisville (2-2). Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPNU.

Carter-Finley Stadium

NC State (1-3) vs. Louisville (2-2)
Saturday, September 29, 2007
3:30 pm Carter-Finley Stadium
Raleigh, NC

Louisville Links

Louisville Official Site

Roster

2007 Statistics

Game Notes


NC State Game Notes

NC STATE VERSUS LOUISVILLE
This weekend's matchup will mark the third between NC State and Louisville, but the first time the two teams have played on the Wolfpack's home field. Mike O'Cain's 1994 Wolfpack squad played at Louisville (10/8/94), losing by three touchdowns, 35-14.

The only other meeting between the two programs was in 1951, when the Pack under head coach Beattie Feathers fell at Louisville, 2-26.

NC STATE FACES (ANOTHER) MARQUEE QB
For the second time this season, NC State's defense will go up against one of the nation's top quarterbacks - this time, Louisville's Brian Brohm. Brohm, who was listed on almost everyone's early list of Heisman hopefuls, currently ranks second nationally with 1,697 total passing yards, 424 passing yards per game and third in total offense with 427 yards per game.

Three weeks ago, the Wolfpack faced another of the country's top QBs - Boston College's Matt Ryan. Ryan currently ranks fifth in passing yards nationally with 1,341. Against a tenacious Wolfpack defense, Ryan threw for just 142 yards and one touchdown. In his other three games this season, he has averaged 400 passing yards and three touchdowns.

THIRD AND LONG, FIRST SECOND STRONG
NC State's defense has been solid on third down so far this season, holding opponents to a third-down conversion mark of .294. The Wolfpack was leading the ACC heading into the Clemson game, but dropped to third after letting Clemson convert on half (9-18) of its attempts. That mark still ranks 21st nationally this week.

A big factor behind the Wolfpack's defensive prowess on third down has been it's success on first and second down. NC State's three opponents have needed an average of 7.4 yards to convert on third down this season. NC State's opposition has gained three yards or less on first down 58 times this season and has gained no yards or been knocked for a loss on first down 37 times.

On second down, Mike Archer's defense has held the opponent to three or less 51 times and to zero or negative yards 29 times.

BLACKMAN IS ALL-PURPOSE BACK
The Wolfpack's Darrell Blackman is definitely the man of all purposes for the Wolfpack. Blackman leads the ACC by 23.8 all-purpose yards and ranks 17th nationally in that category three weeks into the season - averaging 179.8 yards per game.

Thus far in 2007, Blackman has 232 receiving yards on 15 grabs, 11 punt returns for 137 yards and 13 kickoff returns for 350 yards. He has moved up to eighth place on the NC State career list for all-purpose yards with 3,461. In terms of kickoff returns, Blackman has the best average in school history with a 28.2 mark - a mark that also ranks second in ACC history. He has moved into third-place on the Wolfpack career list for yards with 1,495 - 19th in ACC history.

He had a 99-yard return for a touchdown on Saturday versus Clemson - the longest kickoff return in school history.

As a punt returner, Blackman's 679 career yards is the third-best ever for a Wolfpack return man, and ranks 22nd in ACC history. His 9.98 punt return average for his career is the ninth-best ever by a Wolfpack player.

This season, Blackman has added his name to the single-game records as well. His 90 yards in punt returns in the season opener marked the fourth-highest single game total in school history and he now holds three of the top five marks on that list. He tallied 143 yards in kickoff returns against Clemson, the ninth-best single-game mark in school history. He now holds three of the top 10 marks on that list.

Blackman caught six passes for 128 yards (all in the first quarter) in the loss at Boston College. That marked the first 100-yard receiving game for a Wolfpack player since the 2005 season.

OPENING DRIVES STALL PACK
NC State has dug an early hole for itself in its three losses this season. In the games against Central Florida, College and Clemson, the Wolfpack was intercepted on its opening drive and all three times the opponent went on to score after getting the ball. The only time in four games that NC State has not been picked off on its opening drive was against Wofford, when the Pack scored on a nine-play, 74-yard drive.

BREAKING UP, BUT NO PULLING DOWN
In four games this season, the Wolfpack has broken up 28 opponent passes. In other words, 18% of the pass attempts by the opposing quarterbacks have been batted down or broken up by a Wolfpack defender. However, NC State's defense has just one interception for the season - Jeremy Gray's 15-yard return against Boston College.

Free safety Miguel Scott leads the Wolfpack with four PBUs this season, while linebacker Ernest Jones has three.

KUHN MAKING IMPACT
Of the five true freshmen who have seen action for the Wolfpack this season, defensive tackle Markus Kuhn is seeing the most playing time. With injuries and events forcing regular starters DeMario Pressley and Alan Michael Cash out of action in the early part of the season, the native of Weinheim, Germany has come in and made an impact for the Wolfpack defense.

Kuhn has tallied a dozen tackles, broken up three passes and tallying two stops behind the line of scrimmage in the three games he has played.

Although he's a freshman, Kuhn is 21-years-old. He didn't play football until he was 15 (as soon as German rules would allow him to play).

WINNING IS A RUSH FOR WOLFPACK
A big part of the Wolfpack's ability to snap it's nine-game losing streak against Wofford on September 15 was it's ability to effectively run the football. NC State ran for 217 yards in the contest, it's highest rushing total since the 2005 season when the Pack ran for 297 yards against Southern Miss (10/29/05).

Andre Brown led the way with 133 yards rushing (as well as three touchdowns), while Jamelle Eugene added 38, freshman Curtis Underwood had 32 and quarterback Harrison Beck had 18.

NC State scored four rushing touchdowns in the game, the most for the Pack since scoring four TDs on the ground against North Carolina in 2003.

In the Wolfpack's three losses, the rushing game has definitely been a key factor. In the losses against Central Florida, Boston College and Clemson combined, NC State has rushed for a total of just 196 yards - an average of just 65.3 yards per game. Part of the Wolfpack's inability to run the football consistently is the inexperience of the Pack's offensive line. Coached by Don Horton, who espn.com named the second-best offensive line coach in the nation, NC State's OL had five players on the opening day two-deep who had never played a collegiate game and another who had seen action in just two contests. Only four players had ever started a game before the Central Florida game and those four had combined for just 38 starts.

PACK BREAKS STREAK
NC State's nine-game losing streak ended on September 15 with a 38-17 win over Wofford. It marked the Wolfpack's first win since October 5, 2006 (Florida State). That streak tied for the longest losing streak for NC State since 1959, when Earle Edwards' squad also lost nine straight.

TOUCHDOWN BROWN
Junior tailback Andre Brown has carried the load for the Wolfpack in terms of rushing the ball this season, as his backfield compatriot Toney Baker suffered a season-ending injury in the season opener. Behind an inexperienced offensive line,Brown has rushed for 335 yards in four games for an 83.8 average that ranks sixth in the ACC. led the way for the Wolfpack against Wofford with 133 yards on 21 carries - his first 100-yard rushing game since he had 113 yards in the win over Florida State on October 5, 2006 (ironically, that was the Wolfpack's last win before Saturday).

Brown scored three touchdowns in the victory, tying with 14 other Wolfpack players for the fifth-highest rushing touchdown total in school history. Brown now ranks third in the ACC in touchdown scoring with five for the year for an avearge of 7.5 points per game.

For his career, Brown, who is on the preseason ‘watch' list for the Doak Walker Award, has 1,660 yards, a mark that ranks 12th in school history.

NEW PLAYERS SEE ACTION
Twenty six players have made their NC State debut so far this season. Five true freshmen have played so far for Tom O'Brien: LB Thomas Barnes, DT Markus Kuhn, WR Owen Spencer, HB Curtis Underwood and OT Jake Vermiglio.

SENIOR LINEBACKERS MAKING STOPS
NC State's linebacking corps isn't made up of players with household names, but the group has proven to be quite solid in the early part of the 2007 season. That solid play is in large part due to the fact that the three linebacking spots are filled with seniors: Ernest Jones on the weak side, James Martin in the middle and Lerue Rumph at strongside LB.

Two of the Pack's three starting linebackers are leading the team in tackles, with Jones boasting 43 and Martin with 35. Rumph ranks fifth with 25 (Rumph left the Wofford game with an injury after just 19 snaps).

DUNLAP QUIETLY SOLID FOR PACK
Although he hasn't had a catch as dramatic as the one that defeated Boston College in the final seconds of last year's game, senior wide receiver John Dunlap has been a solid performer for the Wolfpack offense in 2007.

The team captain leads NC State with 18 catches this season and is currently tied for sixth in the ACC with 4.5 grabs per game. After four games, he is almost 2/3's of the way to his entire reception total of 2006 (30).

Dunlap has pulled down 58 receptions in his career, the 16-best mark among active ACC players.

PASSING UP
NC State has dropped from first to fifth in the ACC in passing yards, but is still averaging 220.8 aerial yards per game, but the Wolfpack has attempted (158) and completed (88) more passes than any team in the league except Boston College (113-183).

Two quarterbacks combined for 351 passing yards in the loss at College, the highest for the Wolfpack since the 2003 Mazda Tangerine Bowl. Starter Harrison Beck threw for 321 of those yards, the highest since Philip Rivers had 475 in that same bowl game.

In the season opener, NC State tallied 272 passing yards (207 by and 65 by Daniel Evans). That passing tally was the highest for a Wolfpack squad in 23 games (since a 286 yard total against Eastern Kentucky on Sept. 17, 2005).

The Wolfpack completed 24 passes in the season opener, which was the most since the season opener versus Virginia Tech in 2005 (27). When that number was topped by 29 at BC, it was the highest since that 2003 bowl game.

PASSING UP
Although the passing numbers for the Wolfpack offense have risen, the number of passing yards allowed by the Pack "D" has dropped. NC State ranks second in the ACC and 16th nationally this week in passing defense, allowing a lowly 161.2 yards per game. That number is even more impressive when factoring in that the Pack has already faced one of the nation's top QBs, holding BC's Matt Ryan to just 142 passing yards - his lowest total since midway through his sophomore campaign.

In his other three games, Ryan has averaged 399 yards. Against NC State, Ryan threw for just one TD.

"STICKS" STICKS IT INSIDE 20
NC State started a new punter in the September 15 game versus Wofford - walkon Bradley Pierson, who is simply known as "Sticks" to his Wolfpack teammates. That name certainly seemed appropriate after his performance in his first game as a starter. Pierson punted nine times in that contest, ‘sticking' five inside the opponent's own 20 yardline.

Pierson has now punted 17 times this season (twice against Boston College and nine times against Wofford, six against Clemson). Six of those 17 times, Pierson has pinned the opponent inside its own 20 yardline. Pierson also had a 50-yard boot in the win over Wofford.


Louisville Game Notes

NC State continues to search for answers after falling to 1-3 following a loss to Clemson last weekend. The task won't get any easier as Heisman candidate QB Brian Brohm and the high-powered Louisville offense come calling to Carter-Finley stadium this Saturday. Pack Pride takes an in-depth look at the Cardinal's football program.

Record 2-2 (0-1 Big East)

Louisville National Statistical Rankings

Rushing offense...No. 35

Passing offense...No. 3

Total offense...No. 1

Rushing defense...No. 68

Pass defense...No. 104

Total defense...No. 90

Misc

Net punting...No. 115

Sacks allowed...No. 16

Passing efficiency...No. 7

Quick Facts

Name of School: University of Louisville

City, Zip: Louisville, Ky. 40292

Founded: 1798

Enrollment: 24,000

Nickname: Cardinals

School Colors: Red & Black

Stadium: Papa John's Cardinal Stadium

Capacity: 42,000

Surface: FieldTurf

Year Opened: 1998

Affliation: NCAA Division I-A

Conference: BIG EAST Conference

Recap of Louisville's last game versus Syracuse from Collegefootballnews.com

Syracuse 38 ... Louisville 35
In a wild game, Syracuse QB Andrew Robinson bombed away with a 79-yard touchdown pass to Taj Smith on the opening play, connected with Smith again in the third quarter for a 60-yard score, and threw two other touchdown passes to pull off the shocker. The Orange answered Louisville's first score, a four-yard Scott Kuhn touchdown catch, with a 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown from Max Suter. The Cardinal offense roared in the second half, with Brian Brohm throwing three of his four touchdown passes, including a five-yard scoring strike to Patrick Carter in the final minute, but Syracuse recovered the onside kick. The two teams combined for 1,093 yards of total offense, 978 passing yards, and 23 penalties for 201 yards.
Player of the game ... The quarterbacks. Syracuse QB Andrew Robinson completed 17 of 26 passes for 423 yards and four touchdowns, and in a losing cause, Louisville QB Brian Brohm completed 45 of 65 passes for 555 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions. Stat Leaders: Syracuse - Passing: Andrew Robinson, 17-26, 423 yds, 4 TD
Rushing: Curtis Brinkley, 23-53 Receiving: Mike Williams, 5-83, 1 TD
Louisville - Passing: Brian Brohm, 45-65, 555 yds, 4 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Anthony Allen, 18-66 Receiving: Harry Douglas, 12-205, 1 TD
What does it all mean? ... So that's how it's going to be this year. Lousiville isn't going to play any defense, is going to have breakdown after breakdown in the secondary, and will need Brian Brohm and the offense to save the day. Middle Tennessee doesn't have any offense, and Syracuse really doesn't have any offense, but they were able to get their speed guys in space and got big play after big play. After the shocking, bad loss to the Orange, the Cardinals get two weeks off from the Big East and need to find something to work on defense (better safety play would be nice) against NC State and Utah before dealing with Cincinnati.

Louisville Players to Watch

QB Brian Brohm...Brohm is a legitimate Heisman trophy candidate and has completed 114 of 168 passes for 1,697 yards and 15 touchdowns versus just three interceptions. He is averaging 424 yards passing per game and has an efficiency rating of 178.6

RB Anthony Allen...Allen is Louisville's top rushing threat as he's carried the ball 78 times for 493 yards and is averaging better than 123 yards rushing per game.

WR Harry Douglas...Douglas is one of the nation's top receivers and he's hauled in 38 passes for 679 yards and five touchdowns.

WR Mario Urrutia...Urrutia is another talented deep threat and has 22 receptions for 350 yards and two touchdowns.

LB Lamar Myles...Myles leads the Cardinals in tackles with 39 tackles. He also has 1.5 tackles for loss and two sacks to his credit.

Louisville Probable Starters

Offense

Pos. No. Name Class Note

QB 12 Brian Brohm Sr. 20-5 as a starter — threw for 555 yards and 4 TD vs. SU

RB 42 Anthony Allen So. Set school record with 275 yards against MTSU

WR 85 Harry Douglas Sr. Has seven straight 100-yard games

WR 7 Mario Urrutia Jr. Averages 18.9 yards per catch for his career

WR 26 JaJuan Spillman So. Caught career-high five passes against Syracuse

TE 82 Gary Barnidge Sr. Had four catches for a career-high 126 yards and two

scores vs. MTSU

RT 78 Breno Giacomini Sr. Made six career starts at tackle

RG 66 Mike Donoghue So. Started first four games at guard

C 77 Eric Wood Jr. Has made 29 straight starts at center; All-BIG EAST

LG 63 Daniel Barlowe Sr. Graduated in the summer; started 14 straight games

LT 68 George Bussey Jr. Former walk-on who earned first-team All-Conference

Key Reserves

Pos. No. Name Class Note

QB 14 Hunter Cantwell Jr. 2-for-2 for 19 yards against Murray State

RB 32 Brock Bolen Jr. Scored a TD versus Murray State

RB 28 Sergio Spencer Jr. Scored two touchdowns in the season opener

WR 3 Trent Guy So. Caught one pass for 23 yds vs. UK

Defense

Pos. No. Name Class Note

DE 95 Maurice Mitchell Jr. Team leader with five tackles for loss

DT 99 Earl Heyman Jr. Tied for the team lead with two sacks

NT 94 Adrian Grady Jr. Fifth on the team with 10 solo tackles

DE 88 Brandon Cox Sr. Registered two tackles against UK

SLB 11 Malik Jackson Sr. Second on the team in tackles with 24

MLB 22 Lamar Myles Jr. Team leader in tackles with 39

WLB 6 Preston Smith Sr. Former QB who has made 13 starts at LB

LC 14 Rod Council Jr. Recorded interception vs. MTSU

FS 2 Richard Raglin Jr. Third on the team with 22 tackles

SS 5 Brandon Heath r-Fr. Made first start against Syracuse

RC 9 Woodny Turenne Jr. Made first career start against UK and had nine stops

Key Reserves

Pos. No. Name Class Note

DT 92 Willie Williams Sr. Made one start last year

LB 7 Willie A. Williams Jr. Recorded six tackles against UK

CB 34 Bobby Buchanan Jr. Has appeared in 24 career games

Specialists

Pos. No. Name Class Note

K 18 Art Carmody Sr. Booted three field goals against MTSU

P 29 Cory Goettsche So. Averaged 53.0 yards a punt vs. MTSU

KR 26 JaJuan Spillman So. Returned a kick 100-yards vs. Rutgers

3 Trent Guy So. Scampered 100 yards vs. UK on a kick return

PR 3 Trent Guy So. Averaging 11.6 yards a return in his career


NC State Two-Deep Depth Chart

2007 NC State Depth Chart
Offense
Quarterback
12Harrison Beck6-2/220Soph.*
7Daniel Evans6-2/191Jr.*
Halfback
24 Andre Brown 6-0/228Jr.
29 Jamelle Eugene 5-10/195So.*
Fullback
46 Pat Bedics 6-1/250Sr.*
22 Cedric Hickman 6-1/252Fr.*
Wide Receiver
1John Dunlap6-1/218Sr.
80 Donald Bowens 6-3/206So.
Wide Receiver
2 Darrell Blackman 5-11/210Sr.
5 Jarvis Williams 6-4/205 Fr.*
Tight End
9 Marcus Stone 6-3/250Sr.*
89 Matt Kushner 6-4/259So.*
87 R.J. Armstrong 6-2/255Jr.
Left Tackle
73 Julian Williams 6-5/292So.*
70 Jake Vermiglio6-5/315Fr.
Left Guard
69 Kalani Heppe6-4/300Sr.*
66 Yomi Ojo6-3/310Jr.*
Center
72 Luke Lathan 6-4/292Sr.*
74 Andy Barbee6-3/303So.*
Right Guard
76 Curtis Crouch 6-5/324Jr.
78 Garrett Kline6-6/315Sr.*
Right Tackle
60 Meares Green6-4/295Jr.*
50 Jeraill McCuller6-7/330So.*


Special Teams
Place Kicker
27Steven Hauschka6-3/190Sr.*
36Josh Czajkowski5-9/178Fr.*
Punter
26Bradley Pierson5-9/163Jr.*
33Nathan Franklin6-0/165Fr.*
Long Snapper
56Corey Tedder6-1/212So.
Holder
26Bradley Pierson5-9/163Jr.*
Kick Returner
2 Darrell Blackman 5-11/210Sr.
29 Jamelle Eugene 5-10/195So.*
Punt Returner
2 Darrell Blackman 5-11/210Sr.
29 Jamelle Eugene 5-10/195So.*
Defense
Right Defensive End
41 Martrel Brown 6-2/265Sr.*
96 Antoine Holmes 6-2/281Jr.
Left Defensive Tackle
92 DeMario Pressley 6-4/293Sr.
62 Markus Kuhn 6-5/275Fr.
Right Defensive Tackle
49 Alan-Michael Cash 6-1/286So.*
91 Teddy Larsen 6-2/285So.*
Left Defensive End
98 Littleton Wright 6-6/248Sr.*
97 Willie Young 6-4/230So.*
Weakside Linebacker
5 Ernest Jones 6-2/232Sr.*
45 John Ware 5-11/205Fr.*
Middle Linebacker
95 James Martin, II 6-1/233Sr.*
44 Ray Michel 6-0/224So.*
Strongside Linebacker
52 LeRue Rumph 6-1/227Sr.*
56 Nate Irving 6-1/227Fr.*
Left Cornerback
8 Jimmie Sutton 5-11/181Sr.*
6Levin Neal 5-11/191Jr.
Strong Safety
7 DaJuan Morgan 6-1/206Jr.*
4 Javon Walker 6-0/199Fr.*
Free Safety
25 Miguel Scott 6-1/195 Jr.
34Robbie Leonard 6-0/194Jr.*
Cornerback
14 J.C. Neal 5-11/195Jr.
30 Jeremy Gray 6-2/186Jr.*


Louisville Two-Deep Depth Chart

OFFENSE

Pos. No. Player Ht. Wt. Cl.

LT 68 George Bussey 6-4 298 Jr.

55 Greg Tomczyk 6-6 290 Fr.

LG 63 Danny Barlowe 6-5 287 Sr.

79 Mark Wetterer 6-5 300 Fr.

C 77 Eric Wood 6-4 297 Jr.

62 Nick Borgelt 6-4 290 Jr.

RG 66 Mike Donoghue 6-2 300 So.

71 Abdul Kuyateh 6-2 295 Jr.

RT 78 Breno Giacomini 6-7 300 Sr.

74 Jeff Adams 6-8 300 r-Fr.

TE 82 Gary Barnidge 6-6 234 Sr.

81 Scott Kuhn 6-5 245 Sr.

WR 7 Mario Urrutia 6-6 228 Jr.

84 Scott Long 6-2 207 So.

WR 85 Harry Douglas 5-11 170 Sr.

4 Patrick Carter 6-3 200 Sr.

WR 3 Trent Guy 5-9 170 So

26 JaJuan Spillman 5-10 161 So.

RB 42 Anthony Allen 6-1 232 So.

24 George Stripling 5-11 190 Jr.

FB 32 Brock Bolen 6-0 237 Jr.

48 Joe Tronzo 5-11 243 So.

QB 12 Brian Brohm 6-4 228 Sr.

14 Hunter Cantwell 6-5 230 Jr.

DEFENSE

Pos. No. Player Ht. Wt. Cl.

DE 88 Brandon Cox 6-4 260 Sr.

58 Rodney Gnat 6-3 245 r-Fr.

NT 94 Adrian Grady 6-2 292 Jr.

93 L.D. Scott 6-2 280 So.

DT 99 Earl Heyman 6-3 290 Jr.

92 Willie Williams 6-3 305 Sr.

DE 95 Maurice Mitchell 6-3 275 Jr.

8 Peanut Whitehead 6-6 250 So.

SLB 11 Malik Jackson 6-2 231 Sr.

46 Terrance Butler 6-3 225 Sr.

MLB 22 Lamar Myles 6-0 220 Jr.

57 Mozell Axson 6-1 226 Jr.

WLB 6 Preston Smith 6-1 220 Sr.

7 Willie Williams 6-3 225 Jr.

LC 14 Rod Council 5-11 190 Jr.

4 Travis Norton 6-1 191 Jr.

FS 5 Brandon Heath 6-0 200 r-Fr.

38 Deon Palmer 6-0 206 Sr.

SS 2 Richard Raglin 6-2 195 Jr.

38 Deon Palmer 6-0 206 Sr.

RC 9 Woodny Turenne 6-1 190 Jr.

34 Bobby Buchanan 5-11 185 Jr.

SPECIALISTS

PR 3 Trent Guy 5-9 170 So

26 JaJuan Spillman 5-10 161 So.

KR 3 Trent Guy 5-9 170 So

26 JaJuan Spillman 5-10 161 So.

28 Sergio Spencer 5-10 192 Jr.

85 Harry Douglas 5-11 170 Sr.

19 Johnny Patrick 6-0 186 r-Fr.

P 29 Corey Goettsche 6-1 196 So

36 Todd Flannery 6-1 184 Sr.

K 18 Art Carmody 5-9 180 Sr.

36 Todd Flannery 6-1 184 Sr.

KO 36 Todd Flannery 6-1 184 Sr.

18 Art Carmody 5-9 180 Sr.

LS 40 Dane Mattingly 6-0 200 Jr.

65 Josh Byrom 6-5 295 So.

H 85 Harry Douglas 5-11 170 Sr.

15 Bill Ashburn 6-2 215 Jr.


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


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