Saturday, April 18, 2009

Defense dominates N.C. State spring game

Sophomore linebacker Audie Cole reacted quickly just before halftime of N.C. State’s spring game Saturday after tight end George Bryan appeared to break into the open field.
Cole hustled back to deflect Russell Wilson’s pass incomplete at the goal line, demonstrating that he might be the final piece in a formidable defensive front seven next season.
N.C. State’s defense controlled the line of scrimmage as the White team edged the Red 10-7 at Carter-Finley Stadium. Four running backs combined for just 54 yards on 29 carries as linebacker Nate Irving and end Willie Young led the defense.
“There’s a lot of experience up front on that front seven,” said coach Tom O’Brien. “And it shows, and it’s something we have to build on. . . .Audie Cole’s been a pretty good find going to the field linebacker for us.”
Redshirt freshman Mike Glennon’s 5-yard pass to Steven Howard accounted for the only touchdown for the White team, which consisted of the first-team defense and second-team offense.
The Red team (first-team offense, second-team defense) scored on a 65-yard pass from Wilson to Owen Spencer. Josh Czajkowski’s 21-yard field goal provided the winning margin for the White team in front of an announced crowd of 21,075 that filled the west stands.
N.C. State announced that before loose change had been counted, fans had donated $28,038 to the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund, as O’Brien held the game as a fund raiser in honor of N.C. State’s recently deceased women’s basketball coach.
Reminders of Yow were everywhere. Coaches wore pink golf shirts, players had pink tape on their ankles, and the 50-yard line was painted pink.
The defense was bolstered by a rule to protect the quarterbacks that declared them tackled the moment a defensive player touched them. Irving recorded one such sack on Wilson on the first play from scrimmage, acknowledging later that Wilson could have spun away and run in a live situation.
Irving also said the defense came out determined to have a big day Saturday. And it showed.
“They’re a great defense, and they brought it today,” said running back Toney Baker. “They were just all over the line of scrimmage.”

STATISTICSN.C. State spring game
White 10, Red 7
White 7-3-0-0 – 10
Red 0-7-0-0 – 7
White - Howard 5 pass from Glennon (Czajkowski kick)
White – Czajkowski 21 field goal
Red – Spencer 65 pass from Wilson (Czajkowski kick)
White: Washington 9-26, Underwood 9-14, Smith 1-(minus-1), Imhoff 1-minus-4. Red: Baker 7-10, Barnes 4-4, Glennon 2-(minus-7), Wilson 5-(minus-37).
White: Glennon 15-24-0 170, Imhoff 2-4-0 18. Red: Wilson 10-14-0 195, Glennon 8-14-0 102.
White: Carter 6-68, Howard 4-64, Stoner 2-24, Smith 2-13. Red: Williams 5-93, Bryan 4-42, Spencer 3-96, Baker 2-12.