NC State spring game continues tradition of football for a cause
Posted April 16, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — Kay Yow may have been most directly linked to basketball at North Carolina State, but since her passing in 2009, it is clear that she had a bigger impact across all the schools’ sports and beyond. This Saturday is once again evidence of that as for the fourth year in a row, the Wolfpack spring football game will be dedicated to her honor.
“We’ve had tremendous response from the Wolfpack nation,” said head coach Tom O’Brien. “We’ve raised over $100,000 in the last three years by asking for a donation. We ask everybody to drop a dollar in the bucket.”
Of course those planning on attending the annual Kay Yow Spring Football Game can contribute more than a dollar if they want to with no objections.
“I remind them that if they drop a five, ten or twenty in, don’t be getting change out of the bucket,” O’Brien joked. “Whatever they throw in stays.”
On the field, NC State will have no shortage of storylines coming out of spring.
Linebackers coach Jon Tenuta opted to stay in the offseason despite numerous rumors that he was headed for Illinois. For a corps that may be the most inexperienced of any Wolfpack position group, that is undoubtedly one of the positives.
“We have a lot of questions there and that is something that we have to solve right now.” O’Brien said of his linebackers. “Jon Tenuta stayed with us there so there’s continuity in the coaching staff at that position so that helps us a lot.”
O’Brien said that he doubts any starting positions at linebacker will be sealed when spring workouts conclude at this week’s end.
Running back has been the most interesting position battle to watch for NC State through this spring.
Off-field issues have prevented Mustafa Greene from joining in on the rotation that has seen James Washington and Tony Creecy battle for carries and Brandon Barnes work his way into the discussion. More NC State Stories
Two areas that Wolfpack fans can feel comfortable at this point of the year are in the secondary and behind center. Returning David Amerson to one of the nation’s best secondary’s from a year ago has even helped along the growth of returning quarterback Mike Glennon.
“He’s a very talented young guy and he’s better now than he was this time a year ago,” O’Brien said. “He continues to get better so it’s a positive for us going forward to have a quarterback with the experience that he has.”
At last year's Kay Yow Spring Football Game, the first-team secondary gave the 13,000-plus in attendance a preview of things to come with two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown by Terrelle Manning.
O’Brien said that having a healthy team as this spring winds down is a big plus as his units can work on continuity and familiarity. While many of the faces may change and some guys may be moving to new positions, the core of what Wolfpack football will look like won’t change.
“You have to change it up a little here and there depending on your personnel and what they can do and that changes yearly,” O’Brien said. “The base concepts of what we do offensively and defensively have to remain the same.”
He added that while the fall season is still a ways out, there is no wavering on his team goals.
“Our goal is to get to a conference championship and play in Charlotte and that is where we start,” O’Brien said. “We kick off the season against Tennessee in the (Chick-Fil-A) Classic down there in Atlanta. It’s going to be a great way to start the season for us and hopefully it culminates in an ACC Championship.”
NC State’s spring game is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Carter-Finley Stadium with festivities beginning at 9:45 a.m. Admission is free with a donation to the Kay Yow Fund. The game will also be broadcast on ESPN3.com.