NC State Looks for Third Win in a Row
By Stuart Barefoot
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A win over The Citadel on Saturday would give the Wolfpack a three-game winning streak.
The Citadel upset Appalachian State last week, and defeated Georgia Southern the week before, and will look to give NC State similar treatment to extend their winning streak this Saturday. At 3-0, the Bulldogs are making an impression on teams outside of the FCS. “We’re definitely taking them very seriously,” said State QB Mike Glennon after watching game film of the Bulldogs annihilating App State 52-28. For their part, the Wolfpack will be looking to pick up their third win of the season to improve to 3-1.
State has won their last two games after dropping their season opener to Tennessee. To make it three in a row, they will have to nix The Citadel's vaunted triple option attack. So far, the Pack have done a decent job defending against the run. They’ve allowed just 2.98 yards per attempt so far, and they’ve also kept their last two opponents under 20 points. While the Wolfpack have one of the nation’s most talented secondary units, it will be their ability to stop the Bulldogs from running the ball that will secure them a win. Of course they play in a conference with Georgia Tech, who runs a similar offense, so seeing the triple option won’t be a total culture shock to them. State won the 2010 meeting with Georgia Tech 45-28, but lost last year 45-35.
They will be trying to defend QB Ben Dupree, who relies heavily on his running backs or his own set of legs to move the ball up the field. One of those running backs is Darien Robinson, who has rushed for 241 yards and two touchdowns so far. But leading the team in rushing yards is Dupree himself. The QB has amassed 349 yards and four touchdowns through three games. Against the Mountaineers last week, he wore down the defense, rushing for an astounding 180 yards, and 144 in the first half alone. He’s thrown just eight passes all season.
Defensively, LB Carl Robinson leads the team with 32 tackles, while fellow LB Rah Mohammed has 24. The most points they’ve allowed in a game is 28 against App, but they used a flurry of offense to win that one.
It might be a bit more difficult to stop Mike Glennon and the Wolfpack, the first FBS offense they will see this year. Still, The Pack averages just 20 points a game, and Glennon has thrown five touchdowns to four interceptions. He’ll get some help from sophomore RB Tony Creecy, who leads the team in rushing yards with 132 and has scored twice. Glennon’s main two passing targets will be Quinton Payton and Bryan Underwood. Underwood has caught three touchdown passes and Payton leads the team in receiving yards with 238.
Despite an impressive triple option and a three game win streak, it will take a large upset for The Citadel to beat NC State. It’s not easy to go into Raleigh and win if you’re not a team named the Wolfpack. State is currently riding a 12-2 record at Carter-Finley over the past two-plus seasons.