N.C. State Spring Game: All eyes on Glennon
By Joedy McCreary
RALEIGH ó Mike Glennonís untested arm got quite a workout Saturday at North Carolina Stateís spring game.
The heir apparent to Russell Wilson at quarterback threw for 182 yards during the Wolfpackís final scrimmage of the spring.
Glennon was 21 of 40 for a White team that consisted of the starting offense and the No. 2 defense. Keyed by the first-string defense, the Red won 13-3 in a game shortened to roughly 90 minutes because of severe weather threats.
But the final score was largely irrelevant. With 2010 starter Russell Wilson playing minor league baseball at the other end of the state, all eyes this spring were on the redshirt junior who figures to take his place.
Coach Tom OíBrien has said the team plans to move on without Wilson ó whoís playing second base for the Colorado Rockiesí farm team in Asheville ó and with Glennon.
ěI think I definitely improved as a player, and more importantly, I think all the other guys on the team, I got comfortable with them and they got comfortable with me,î Glennon said. ěMy goal coming in was to take control of this offense, and I think thatís what I did.î
Terrell Manning returned an interception 53 yards for a touchdown and Tyler Brosius threw a short touchdown pass to Tyler Purvis for the Red. J. Ellis Flintís 33-yard field goal provided the Whiteís only points in a scrimmage called with 4:17 left in the third quarter as a severe storm system made it way toward the Raleigh area.
ěThe defense made some plays, which is good,î OíBrien said. ěIt shows their experience and that theyíre growing up a little bit. We still have some things to work out on offense, but I think we can solve those problems.î
Wilson had been the face of N.C. Stateís program during the past three seasons, winning the Atlantic Coast Conferenceís rookie of the year award in 2008. Last year, he led the league with averages of 274 yards passing and 3071/2 total yards.
He led N.C. State to a 9-4 finish ó its first nine-win season since the Philip Rivers era in 2002 ó and was the MVP of the Wolfpackís 23-7 win over West Virginia in the Champs Sports Bowl before going back to baseball. While he has kept open the option to return, OíBrien has said N.C. State must be prepared to move on without him.
Thatís where Glennon ó and, for that matter, redshirt freshman Tyler Brosius ó come in.
ěThe ballís there,î OíBrien said of Glennonís passing acumen. ěMichaelís going to be fine.î
During a first half that more closely resembled game conditions with two 15-minute quarters and normal clock stoppages, Glennon threw for 139 yards on 18-of-37 passing. Had this been a game that counted, he would have been on pace to threaten Shane Montgomeryís 22-year-old single-game record of 73 attempts.
ěI think I have control of the offense and I think all the guys on the team have trust in me that I can be the quarterback and win games with us,î Glennon said.
Of course, there were a few he would like to have back. He threw a quick pass on fourth-and-2, and linebacker D.J. Green got a finger on it. Manning ó with both arms wrapped around an offensive playerís head ó then pulled down the interception and raced downfield with it to put the Red team up 6-0.
ěHeíll definitely show up to the party during the season,î Manning said of Glennon, whose two interceptions came on tipped balls in a 56-second span.
Linebacker Audie Cole pulled down the second interception three plays later to give the Red team a short field and set up the dayís only offensive touchdown ó Brosiusí 1-yard scoring flip to Tyler Purvis that made it 13-0 on the fourth play of the second quarter. Brosius finished 11 of 17 for 95 yards before the game was halted with 4:17 left in the third.