Friday, March 26, 2010

UNC gets prime TV slot for opener

North Carolina will get a prime TV slot for its season opener against LSU in Atlanta.
ESPN and Chick-fil-A Bowl officials announced Friday that the Sept. 4 game at the Georgia Dome will begin at 8 p.m. on ABC.

"There's no doubt this is a top game of the opening weekend," said Chick-fil-A Bowl president and CEO Gary Stokan, who's marketing the game, "and we're thrilled that ABC will deliver the Tigers and Tar Heels to a national audience.

This will be Atlanta's third straight marquee matchup between ACC and SEC opponents on the opening Saturday of the season. Alabama has defeated Clemson in 2008 and Virginia Tech in 2009 in the previous games.

The Alabama-Virginia Tech matchup, which matched two top-10 teams, delivered a 4.2 rating on ABC, which represented more than 5.5 million viewers.

Ken Tysiac

Sunday, March 21, 2010

N.C. State suspends Mooresville's Sweezy

N.C. State football player J.R. Sweezy has been suspended indefinitely after getting into a late-night fight with a shuttle bus driver in Mooresville last Thursday.

Sweezy, 20, was charged with misdemeanor assault and misdemeanor larceny, according to the Mooresville Police Department, after getting into a physical altercation with David Scott Magnuson and Nicholas Kaplan at 2:37 a.m. on March 18.

Sweezy, listed as 6-5 and 293 pounds on the N.C. State roster, was asked to leave the shuttle bus by Magnuson, the driver, for acting "loud and obnoxious," according to a press release by the Mooresville Police Department.

As he exited the bus, Sweezy knocked over Magnuson's tip jar, according to the release. Magnuson and Kaplan left the bus to confront Sweezy and the altercation turned physical. According to a New 14 Carolina report, Magnuson is 65 years old.

Underage drinking was a factor in the altercation, according to a Mooresville Police spokeswoman.

Sweezy, a third-year junior from Mooresville, started one game at defensive tackle with 26 tackles and three sacks in 2009 and is considered to be in line for a starting job for the 2010 season.

N.C. State spokeswoman Annabelle Vaughn confirmed Sunday that Wolfpack coach Tom O'Brien suspended Sweezy indefinitely.

-- J.P. Giglio

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pack's Archer comfortable working with Tenuta

N.C. State defensive coordinator Mike Archer was surprised at how much he has in common with new linebackers coach Jon Tenuta.

"These past three weeks as we’re looking at what we’re trying to do and better our football team, a lot of his terminology and a lot of the things he says are similar to me,” Archer said as the Wolfpack prepared for the start of spring practice today.

Coach Tom O’Brien hired Tenuta after Andy McCollum left for Georgia Tech. Tenuta has been one of the most respected defensive coordinators in college football, particularly during his time under Chan Gailey at Georgia Tech.

Archer is the coordinator of a defense that ranked 11th in the ACC, giving up 31.2 points per game last season. It was logical to guess that there would be some friction between Archer and Tenuta.

But Archer said there hasn’t been. He said that when he was coaching under Bill Arnsparger at LSU in the mid-1980s, Tenuta was at Arnsparger’s camp.

That’s why some of their terminology is the same.

"Jon has come in here and adjusted very well,” Archer said. “And obviously with his ability to pressure the quarterback the way he did at Georgia Tech. . .he’s brought in a lot of good ideas. Now what we have to do is get our guys to understand the trigger terms.”

They will work with a defense that loses all four starters on the line but returns its 2008 leader, linebacker Nate Irving, who missed the 2009 season while recovering from injuries suffered in a car wreck.

Irving said nobody on the defense wants to go through another season like 2009. While incorporating Tenuta’s ideas, it’s Archer’s job to turn around that defense.

"It’s gone very well,” Archer said. “I think it’s been great. It’s been great for me. . . .Jon has been a coordinator for 16 years, and I don’t have all the answers. None of us do.”

Ken Tysiac

Monday, March 8, 2010

Ten to miss spring drills at N.C. State

Nine N.C. State football players will miss spring practice because of injury according to a spring prospectus the school released Monday morning.

A 10th player, quarterback Russell Wilson, won't participate in the spring because he is playing for the Wolfpack baseball team. Spring practice starts Tuesday.

The injured players are: cornerback Justin Byers, cornerback Jarvis Byrd, tight end Mario Carter, defensive end Sylvester Crawford, wide receiver Steven Howard, offensive guard Gary Gregory, linebacker Colby Jackson, offensive guard R.J. Mattes and defensive tackle Deion Roberson.

Ken Tysiac

Monday, March 1, 2010

South Carolina spring practice opens Thursday

COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina's football team is set to begin spring practices, although they will take the field just once before heading off for spring break.

The Gamecocks will practice Thursday before taking nearly two weeks off for spring break. The second practice of the spring isn't scheduled until March 16.

South Carolina returns 17 starters from a team that went 7-6 last year, finishing with a disappointing 20-7 loss to Connecticut in the bowl.

The Gamecocks will hold two scrimmages before the April 10 Garnet and Black game, which will be played at Williams-Brice Stadium. -- Associated Press

N.C. State football staff observes Duke's spring practice

DURHAM - N.C. State football coach Tom O'Brien and his staff observed Duke's spring practice on Monday morning.

Duke coach David Cutcliffe said that since the teams do not face each other for the next three seasons (in 2013) that they could welcome in the State staff.

"It's not often that you get to watch another team's practice," Cutcliffe said. "So we agreed to swap out a day to watch each other work. That's really all it was, end of story."

Cutcliffe, who enters his third season at Duke, said his staff will attend an N.C. State practice when they start this spring. -- Edward G. Robinson III