Monday, October 5, 2009

N.C. State shuffles secondary

N.C. State has made major changes to its starting lineup in the secondary after giving up 361 passing yards to Wake Forest and quarterback Riley Skinner in a 30-24 loss Saturday.

The Wolfpack is turning to experience in an attempt to eliminate mistakes at the safety positions. Senior Clem Johnson is replacing freshman Brandan Bishop at free safety. Senior Bobby Floyd is taking over for redshirt freshman Earl Wolff at boundary safety as N.C. State prepares to play host to Duke at 4 p.m. Saturday.

"The freshmen, they were overwhelmed a little bit by the scope of the game come Saturday," coach Tom O'Brien said. "Even though they are very athletic and probably good prospects down the road, I figure we'd better settle down and go with a little more experience this week."

O'Brien also made a change at boundary cornerback, where sophomore Justin Byers is scheduled to start ahead of senior Koyal George. Byers was recruited as a cornerback out of Vance High and is more suited to that position, but started eight games at safety last season because N.C. State was thin at that position.

Field cornerback is the only position in the secondary where a starter from last week is listed atop N.C. State's depth chart. But junior DeAndre Morgan has company at that position, where he's listed as a possible starter along with redshirt freshman C.J. Wilson.

N.C. State also moved redshirt freshman Terrell Manning ahead of Dwayne Maddox at boundary linebacker.

"He has natural recognition skills in there," O'Brien said. "I think he's starting to play a lot faster because he's starting to feel a little more comfortable. In our terminology, he plays downhill. He attacks the line of scrimmage well."

Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...

How'd those secondary changes work out for you vs. Duke, Tom?