College Football: An easy September for Wolfpack
Published 12:00 am Monday, September 5, 2011
RALEIGH ó Next up during North Carolina State’s manageable September: A visit to the Atlantic Coast Conference’s worst team from 2010.
The Wolfpack face an early season schedule that seems ideal for bringing along new starter Mike Glennon. During the first month, they face two Championship Subdivision teams and two major-conference programs that missed the postseason last year.
It’s even possible they already cleared their toughest pre-October obstacle when they pulled away in the opener to beat a pesky Liberty team that has won or shared the past four Big South Conference titles.
Now N.C. State (1-0) crosses the state this weekend for its ACC opener against Wake Forest (0-1), which has lost 10 of its last 13 games dating to the start of last season.
Of more concern to coach Tom O’Brien is that the Wolfpack will play their first ACC game on the road for the fifth straight year under him. O’Brien says he’d prefer to finish the nonconference schedule before starting league play.
“But this is the way the schedule breaks, so we have to go do it,” O’Brien said Monday.
After the trip to Wake Forest, N.C. State plays host to another FCS team, South Alabama, and visits a Cincinnati team that finished 4-8 last year. Then comes October, which includes what’s by far the toughest game on the schedule, a visit to No. 6 Florida State.
Yet the Wolfpack know they can’t afford to look past Wake Forest yet. They haven’t won in Winston-Salem in a decade.
“I think it’s going to be a pretty tough challenge, but I think we’re going to be up for it,” tight end George Bryan said. “We’ve got to prepare ourselves this week and get ready for a good team because Wake Forest is a really good team. They’re fresh.î