Tony Haynes: Wolfpack, Eagles Look for the Truth
By Tony Haynes
They’ll likely get a few more answers on Saturday night at when O’Brien’s Boston College Eagles (3-0, 1-0) face off against Amato’s NC State Wolfpack (1-2, 0-0) in a key ACC football game at Carter-Finley Stadium.
The current truth is that
And what’s that age old football adage? The one that says “those missed extra points will come back to haunt you.”
To this point, the Eagles have survived their kicker’s yips. Ryan Ohliger, who has missed two key extra points the last few weeks, is 4-of-7 on field goal attempts.
Now to NC State’s truth: the Wolfpack probably should be 2-1 instead of 1-2. After taking a 17-14 lead with just over a minute left in a home game against
Will the real
Three games into the 2006 campaign, the Wolfpack is starting over. The theme this week: It’s a new season. The Pack has lost to
“We are not in the MAC conference, nor are we in Conference
Eight of the Pack’s last nine games will be against ACC opponents, including a tough stretch of three straight contests at home starting with Saturday night’s tilt. NC State’s next three foes
And adding to the suspense this week is Amato’s decision to make a quarterback change. Daniel Evans, son of former NC State All-American and current Wolfpack Sports Network color analyst Johnny Evans, will make his first college start on the same field where his father had so much success as a quarterback and punter 30 years ago.
Contributing to the irony will be the names on the back of the jerseys in NC State’s backfield on Saturday night. The starting quarterback will be Evans. The starter at tailback will be Brown. Sound familiar?
Thirty years ago, Johnny Evans teamed up with Ted Brown in the Wolfpack’s split-veer option offense. In 2006, the offensive approach is entirely different, but the names will be eerily similar when Daniel Evans and Andre Brown work together.
“We’re very aware of what kind of athletes NC State has and that they are a good football team,” said O’Brien, who picked up his 69th career victory to become
Since that chilly night in the
“He has confidence in his ability,” Amato said. “He puts the ball on the money. He sees a whole lot and he can throw it; he’s very accurate.”
But after watching the NC State defense surrender 281 yards rushing to
“I said after that game last week, you think [
Both teams figured to go through some growing pains on defense after sustaining so many losses following last season. The Wolfpack had to fill the void left by six starters, including first-round NFL Draft picks Mario Williams, Manny Lawson and John McCargo.
“We lost a lot of kids off of our defense who had played a lot of football for us,” O’Brien said. “We knew that we were going to be young, inexperienced and somewhat immature coming in. We weren’t particularly happy with our tackling against BYU. I think a lot of that had to do with some mental tiredness and physical tiredness after the double-overtime game with Clemson. We have to tackle better. We’re still learning on defense. Things happen out there with all the young kids still seeing things for the first time. We’re still a work in progress but we’ve made plays when we’ve had to make to plays to win games and that’s the best thing we’ve done right now.”
There are indeed lingering questions for both teams. Can Daniel Evans provide the consistency in the passing game that NC State so desperately needs? Can the Wolfpack’s rebuilt defense put together a strong 60-minute performance against a productive offense? Will
Stay tuned. The truth eventually comes out.
More NC State B.C. Notes: The first time NC State and
Injury Update: After missing the Wolfpack's first three games with a concussion, center Luke Lathan has been cleared for action this week. Lathan worked the entire preseason as the Pack's starting center before sustaining a concussion in the team's final scrimmage. The injury forced center Leroy Harris to move from guard to center. On his weekly radio show on Wednesday, Amato said Lathan probably wouldn't start. Cornerback A.J. Davis, who has missed most of the first three games with a pulled hamstring, is listed as questionable for the B.C. game, while receiver/kick returner Darrell Blackman has been ruled out after spraining the MCL in his right knee last week at Southern Miss.