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    MLB Robert Caldwell is currently leading the ACC in tackles with 10 per game.
    MLB Robert Caldwell is currently leading the ACC in tackles with 10 per game.
     

    Sept. 26, 2013

    Game 4: NC State Wolfpack vs. Central Michigan Chippewas
    September 28, 2013 • 3:30 p.m. • ESPN3
    Raleigh, N.C. • Carter-Finley Stadium (57,583)

    NC STATE VS. CENTRAL MICHIGAN  
    After opening its Atlantic Coast Conference slate with a 12-point loss to No. 3 Clemson, NC State will play its fourth consecutive home game when the Chippewas of Central Michigan come to Carter-Finley Stadium on Saturday.  

    The Wolfpack has faced this MAC opponent just once in history - earning a 2011 victory at Carter-Finley.  State won that contest, 38-24, although the score was tight in the first half, with Central Michigan leading, 17-14, at one point

    FAMILIAR FOES
    Although this will mark just the second time that NC State has ever faced Central Michigan, the Chippewas are no stranger to many members of the Wolfpack coaching staff.  Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren and six members of his staff coached at Northern Illinois in 2012 and/or 2011 where they faced MAC opponent Central Michigan each year.

    In 2011, Doeren and company fell 48-41 to CMU on the road.  In that Oct. 1 contest, the Chippewas jumped out to a 17-0 lead.  Down 45-24 in the fourth quarter, the Huskies came back to make it the final close, but couldn’t pull out the win.  The next week, CMU headed south to Raleigh, where the Pack won 38-24, while Northern started a nine-game win streak that including winning the MAC Championship game.

    In 2012, NIU handled the Chippewas easily, 55-24, in DeKalb.

    NOT YOUR AVERAGE JOE
    One of the biggest concerns for the Wolfpack heading into the 2013 campaign was the lack of depth on the offensive line.  Although three players who had started for entire seasons returned (Rob Crisp, Duran Christophe and Tyson Chandler), three of the players on the two-deep had never taken a snap for the Wolfpack and two played less than 100 career snaps.
    Those concerns have been amplified by injuries, as Chandler missed the opener and Crisp missed the contest vs. Clemson.

    The solution to both of those problems has been the same:  redshirt sophomore Joe Thuney.  When Chandler missed the opener, Thuney took his place at right tackle.  In the second game of the season, he was back at his regular spot - right guard.  Against third-ranked Clemson, he filled in for Crisp at the all-important left tackle position.  

    Last season, Thuney was the backup center.  That means that the only position on the offensive line that he hasn’t played is left guard.


     

     

    COACH TO CURE MD
    The AFCA will hold its sixth annual Coach to Cure MD effort this weekend and more than 110 FBS schools will be wearing a Coach to Cure MD patch to raise awareness and funding for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research.

    This is the sixth year of the Coach to Cure MD program, which has now surpassed the million dollar mark for donations.  The goal is to raise money and awareness of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, which is the most common fatal genetic disorder among boys worldwide.

    Fans are encouraged to donate online at www.CoachtoCureMD.org or donate $5 by texting CURE to 90999.”

    QBU
    In week four of the NFL season, almost 10 percent of the league’s starting quarterbacks will be NC State alums.  No other school in the nation can boast three starting signal callers in the NFL and only one other school has two (Florida State).

    Philip Rivers, who still holds the ACC career record with 13,582 yards of total offense, is in his 10th season with the San Diego Chargers - his eighth as the starter. Russell Wilson, who ranks eighth on the league’s career total offense charts, was a rookie sensation for the Seattle Seahawks last season and is in his second campaign as the starter.

    On Wednesday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers named rookie Mike Glennon their starter for this week’s game against Arizona. Glennon, a third round selection in the 2013 draft, ranks 30th in ACC history in total offense.  He was a two-year starter for the Wolfpack.

    DEFENSE LIMITS BIG PLAYS
    One of the goals for the Wolfpack defense in 2013 is to limit the oppositions big plays.  Three games into the season, NC State has come close to accomplishing that goal - no easy task considering that two of the offenses it has faced, La. Tech and Clemson, are known for making big plays.

    This season, the Pack has just given up one play longer than 30 yards - a 40-yard pass against Louisiana Tech.  

    The Pack has also been proficient at sending the opponent in the opposite direction, as it has made 29 stops behind the line of scrimmage - including a season-high 11 TFL vs. Clemson.

    TACKLE BY CALDWELL
    Senior linebacker Robert Caldwell is definitely making his presence known for the Wolfpack.  The  Pack’s starting middle linebacker is currently leading the ACC in tackles with 10 per game.  He has tallied 13 and 12 in the last two outings respectively.

    Against Clemson, he made three stops behind the line of scrimmage.

    Caldwell did not see action from scrimmage in 2012 after transferring from College of the Desert JUCO, but he did see action in every game on special teams.

    CLOSING OUT
    In the preseason, there was a lot of talk was about how the Pack’s new up-tempo offense hoped to wear down the opposing defense late in the game.  Three games into the 2013 campaign, however, it seems that it is the Pack defense that is having that effect on the opposition.

    In the 45 combined minutes of fourth quarter action through three games, the Pack defense has given up an average of just 25.3 rushing yards, 43.0 passing yards, and 58.3 yards of total offense. The Pack has forced five punts and two turnovers in nine fourth quarter opponent possessions.

    In the season opener against Louisiana Tech, a team that led the NCAA in total offense last season, the Pack gave up just one first down, 2 yards rushing, and no yards passing. The Bulldogs had the ball for just 2:40 of the final 15 minutes, and were forced to punt twice and also had a fumble.

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