Notebook: Maddox Bounces Back

RALEIGH, N.C. -- With just one more week left until the Red-White game, NC State wrapped up its second spring scrimmage on Saturday, as Wolfpack head man Tom O'Brien tries to improve upon last year's 5-7 campaign.

The Pack scrimmaged against itself in mostly rainy conditions in Carter-Finley Stadium on Saturday, but O'Brien was pleased with how his team responded in the less-than-optimal weather.

"It was another tough day out there today. They went hard at it," O'Brien said. "We are getting to be a more physical football team which we have to be."

O'Brien was particularly appreciative of how his team improved since its initial spring scrimmage last week.

"We really didn't put anything new in [for this practice]. We went back and made sure we didn't make the same mistakes that we made a week ago," O'Brien said. "There weren't any glaring things that we didn't wrong."

After last week's scrimmage, O'Brien said that true freshman linebacker Dwayne Maddox "got his head turned around a few times" after he was "thrown into the fire." Saturday's scrimmage was a different story as Maddox finished with eight tackles and a sack.

"He's been at every practice and gotten every rep and he's learned from his mistakes," O'Brien said. "He got burned a couple of times last week and he corrected those mistakes so he was a better player today."

Although touchdowns and interceptions are not released in these closed scrimmages, redshirt freshman Russell Wilson has been the best statistical quarterback in this spring's incomplete quarterback competition.

Wilson has completed 26-of-39 passes for 349 yards in two scrimmages. Harrison Beck and Justin Burke, the other two quarterbacks available in the spring, have completed just 23-of-54 passes for 255 yards. Those numbers drop 14-of-40 for 109 yards without Beck's performance in the first scrimmage.

Even still, O'Brien refused to say anything was certain at the position.

"There's been no decision on the quarterback situation," O'Brien said. "We are still evaluating and we'll be doing it all the way till we are ready to play South Carolina."

With returning starter Daniel Evans still recovering from off-season shoulder surgery and top prospect Mike Glennon yet to arrive on campus, Wilson's performance may have put himself in position as the third man fighting for the starting job with in the fall.

One surprise from the scrimmage was the play of sophomore walk-on Ulysses Tuft. Tuft, who was listed as a wide receiver last year, ran for 92 yards on 20 carries.

Returning starter Jamelle Eugene has ran for 107 yards on 38 carries this spring. Eugene was the go-to back after Andre Brown suffered a broken left foot in the sixth game last season.

Brown competed in the first scrimmage, but not in the second. He was seen attending a State baseball game Friday night with a protective boot on his left foot.

Saturday's Red-White game will play out, for the most part, the same as it was last year. O'Brien said there will be some changes, however, to ensure more players don't suffer injuries.

"We won't kickoff or kickoff return. We will punt and punt return," O'Brien said. "We'll play a game pretty much for the half and then we'll play running time for the second half because we are running out of healthy people right now."

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