Friday, October 29, 2010

Pack notes: Wolff holds on

RALEGH - The scene of N.C. State sophomore safety Earl Wolff hanging on desperately to the back of wide receiver Taiwan Easterling's jersey late in the fourth quarter Thursday night must have brought back some unpleasant memories for Wolfpack fans.

Last year, Wolff held on in a similar fashion at Virginia Tech as running back Ryan Williams dragged him 10 yards into the end zone during a Hokie win. This time, though, Wolff kept Easterling from breaking loose and brought him down after a 29-yard gain.

Five plays later, Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder lost a fumble that was recovered by Nate Irving, and the Wolfpack held on to win 28-24 at Carter-Finley Stadium.

Wolff had one of the best games of his career. He led N.C. State with nine tackles unofficially, had a half-tackle for loss and broke up one pass.

"Earl Wolff seemed to be in a lot of places, made a lot of tackles and showed up a lot," coach Tom O'Brien said. "Hopefully he's grown up and taken another step forward."

- N.C. State established a season high for rushing yards with 189 against Florida State, but has yet to have anybody rush for 100 yards in a game this season.

Freshman running back Mustafa Greene led the Wolfpack with 76 rushing yards, and quarterback Russell Wilson added a season-high 69 yards. The highest single-game rushing total for an N.C. State player this season belongs to Greene, who carried 10 times for 91 yards against Virginia Tech.

The Wolfpack has been splitting carries between Greene and Dean Haynes for much of the season, and has added James Washington into the mix at running back.

- The prolific N.C. State attack has accomplished at least one historical first.

The Wolfpack has scored at least 27 points in each of its first eight games. That's something no N.C. State team has accomplished, even during Philip Rivers' time at quarterback.

With Rivers at the controls in 2002, N.C. State scored at least 32 points in its first seven games, but scored 24 against Duke in the eighth game of the season.

Ken Tysiac