QBs Glennon, Imhoff Lead Show at Spring Game
BY TIM PEELER
RALEIGH, N.C. – Sophomore Mike Glennon had the best statistics during NC State's Kay Yow Spring Football game Saturday afternoon at Carter-Finley Stadium, but reserve quarterback Daniel imhoff had the better record.
The senior walk-on from Sanford, N.C., led the Red team to a 31-21 victory over the Red in front of 25,372 spectators, throwing three touchdown passes, including an 86-yarder to Asa Watson in the first half. Offense was the order of the day, with the two teams combining for 847 total yards in the two-hour game.
"That was a lot of fun out there," Imhoff said with a wide grin after completing 11 of his 24 passes for 221 yards. "My receivers were making great plays, the line was making some great blocks. Our whole goal this spring was to come out, execute and get better. I think the whole team has made some great plays these last couple of weeks.
"Throughout the spring, I spent time working on progressions and making the right reads and that is what I was able to do in the game today."
Receiver T.J. Graham also had a big day for the Red team, throwing a 49-yard end-around pass to Jay Smith for a touchdown and catching a 21-yard scoring pass from Imhoff in the fourth quarter that ended the White team's hopes of a comeback.
For the game, Graham had two receptions for 34 yards and Smith caught four passes for 96 yards.
At the beginning of the game, all eyes were on Glennon, who completed 21 of 38 passes for 423 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He certainly acquitted himself nicely, taking over the first-team offense in the absence of two-year starter Russell Wilson, who is spending this spring with the NC State baseball team.
"I think I played well, but there is always room for improvement," Glennon said. "Now we will look to the summer to get bigger, faster, stronger and get out here with the receivers to get better. I would say it is still a work in progress.
"Overall, I think we have definitely improved over the spring from Day 1 until Day 15 today. Hopefully, that will translate into the fall."
Imhoff and Red redshirt freshman tailback Travis Leggett ended up stealing some of Glennon's thunder by leading their team to the victory. Leggett led all running backs, carrying the ball 21 times for 129 yards.
For the White team, senior receiver Owen Spencer had a big day, catching four passes for 165 yards, including a 93-yard scoring play from Glennon that traveled the entire length of the Red sideline.
A crowd filled the lower half of the east and west grandstands at Carter-Finley Stadium. By the end of the game, a total of $21,640 had been collected to split between the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund and the Wolfpack Club's Kay Yow Endowment Fund, with some receipts and pledges still to be counted.
Afterwards, head coach Tom O'Brien said he was pleased with the Glennon's play, the progress of the team throughout the spring and the large crowd that came out to enjoy a spectacular spring day at the stadium.
He was asked often about Glennon's progress and seemed pleased with the results.
"Mike has improved each and every day," the coach said. "There are things he does really well and we have to emphasize those things. We also have to minimize the things he doesn't do well and try to make him better at those things."
Defensively, both the red and the white squads were a little disadvantaged in the spring-game format, but O'Brien was pleased that the secondary combined to intercept three passes.
Sophomore linebacker Terrell Manning led the White team, made up of most of the projected defensive starters going into the fall, with seven tackles and one sack. Senior linebacker Asante Cureton and freshman defensive end A.J. Ferguson led the Red team with seven tackles each.
Senior linebacker Nate Irving, who missed all of last season following a serious single-car accident last July, made his long-awaited return. Adjusting to his new position of middle linebacker, Irving is still easing his way back into full participation. He played in only the first half of Saturday's game.
O'Brien emphasized that the defensive backs tackling was much improved over last year, with the possible exception of Spencer's 44-yard touchdown catch just before halftime, when he broke through a couple of tackled in the middle of the field en route to the end zone.
"I think we will definitely have to evaluate the secondary's play," O'Brien said. "We tackled better today and that's an improvement."
In the end, O'Brien said it would be hard to evaluate the overall strength of the team's play. More than 20 regulars and reserves were held out during the spring because of injuries. Only about 46 scholarship players participated in the spring game.
"Of those 20 guys who were out, with the exception of a couple, all should be ready for when we begin practice in the fall," O'Brien said. "We had to get everybody fixed so they could be ready for the fall, so we could start the fall healthy.
"We can't go through another fall here with the number of injuries we had last year."
You may contact Tim Peeler at firstname.lastname@example.org.