Defense Looks Impressive In Red & White Game
April 3, 2004
RALEIGH, N.C. - The NC State football team held its Red & White spring scrimmage on Saturday in front of 15,000 Wolfpack fans at Carter-Finley Stadium. The defense looked impressive holding the offense to only one score the whole day as the first string players went head to head for four sets of 10-play repetitions, rotating between four second team sets.
"We've got a long way to go," said head coach Chuck Amato. "We've got some big shoes to fill there on offense in the leadership department. I'm pleased that we didn't get anybody hurt today, although we lost Marcus Stone on Thursday with a fracture in the middle finger of his throwing hand. It's funny because Philip Rivers broke a finger in the exact same practice, the Thursday before the spring game of his freshman year, four years ago. Marcus had really been working hard too. Jay Davis has too and he did good today. He threw a couple long passes today that were right on the money. He tried to get a couple in there against double coverage that got knocked down, but I was glad that he wasn't afraid to try. When our offensive line gets back intact, they should be pretty good. Our young defensive linemen are starting to grow up.
"T.A. McLendon got a little banged up the other day so he wasn't at 100 percent today, but two weeks ago when we scrimmaged we couldn't tackle him. He has really had a good spring for us. Marcus Hudson brings us leadership on defense and a little bit of cockiness back there that we need. He's made big plays in every scrimmage we've had. Manny Lawson is getting better and better at end since we moved him there from linebacker before the bowl game. When you've got two kids that are almost six-foot-six coming off the ends, you're going to knock a bunch of passes down. He is so hard to block because he is so quick and athletic. Mario Williams has just had an unbelievable spring too."
Patrick Lowery was leading tackler on the day, with seven stops including three solo tackles. Marcus Hudson and Stephen Tulloch each had six tackles and Tulloch also recorded four quarterback pressures. Mario Williams, Andre Maddox, Kennie Covington and Maurice Charles each had five tackles. Williams also recorded a pair of sacks and caused a fumble. Manny Lawson was credited with four tackles, one for a loss of six yards, and also had three pass breakups and two QB pressures.
"Our defense has really come together this spring," said Mario Williams. "We've become a family and now we're like brothers out there. With Manny and I on the ends, we're just trying to get off the ball as quick as possible and get our hands on the quarterback. I feel so much more confident out there with a year under my belt now. It makes me want to correct the things that I messed up last year because I know the things that I can do better and improve at. We've got a lot of talent on the defensive line and if we keep our intensity up we'll be alright." Reggie Davis rushed for 75 yards on 10 carries, including a 17-yard touchdown scamper on the last play of the day. T.A. McLendon rushed nine times for 25 yards and caught a pass for 16 more yards. Eric Taylor picked up six yards on eight carries and 20 more with two receptions.
Jay Davis took all the snaps with the first string and completed 11-of-20 passes for 141 yards. Chris Moore completed 13-of-27 passes for 71 yards. Russ Dubisky completed both of his passes in a series that he played quarterback. The passing was evenly distributed to 13 different Wolfpack receivers. Brian Clark had four catches for 74 yards and Chris Hawkins caught five passes for 35 yards. Four catches were made by the tight ends for 38 yards, as John Ritcher, Roddy Long and Jamesly Jean played a prominent role.
"Well I've never had so many microphones in my face at one time," said Jay Davis after the scrimmage. "It's something you've got to get used to and I knew after my first year here that I would have to get used to it following Philip, if I get the job. I've been trying to make smart decisions and not make any big mistakes. No matter who the quarterback is we're going to be running NC State's offense."
At the halftime break, John Deraney put on a kicking exhibition, drilling a couple 60-plus yard field goals, while the spring practice awards were announced.
Most Improved Quarterback
Most Improved Receiver
Most Improved Running Back
Most Improved Tight End
Most Improved Linebacker
Most Improved Cornerback
Most Improved Safety
Most Improved Defensive Lineman
Most Dependable Quarterback
Most Dependable Receiver
Most Dependable Offensive Lineman
Most Dependable Running Back
Most Dependable Tight End
Most Dependable Linebacker
Most Dependable Cornerback
Most Dependable Safety
Most Dependable Defensive Lineman
Offensive King of the Boards
Offensive Leadership Award
Offensive Second Effort Award
Defensive Second Effort Award
Offensive Top Newcomer
Defensive Top Newcomer
Offensive Big Hitter Award
Defensive Big Hitter Award
Offensive Most Outstanding Player
Offensive Most Dominate Player
Defensive Most Dominate Player