Jeff Gravley

Tuesday morning quarterback

Posted September 13, 2011

The most impressive performance in the state of North Carolina was Cam Newton on the road at Arizona. His 422 yards passing is an NFL record for a rookie debut. It wasn't just the numbers Newton posted, it's how accurate he was. We didn't see that in the preseason which was why it was so unexpected. The Panthers looked like an NFL offense, not the one we have seen the last two years.

The curse of Winston-Salem continues for NC State which has won just one time in the last 8 games at Wake Forest. Mike Glennon had his best day passing with 315 yards but it was another slow start for the Wolfpack's offense. In two games, they have scored 22 points in the first half, 48 in the second.

But the Pack's defense has been less than stellar and Tom O'Brien points to injuries to three defensive linemen which adds to the number of plays the healthy d-linemen play. The return of Thomas Teal, JR Sweezy and Jeff Rieskamp is unknown. That not only hinders their pass rush and rush defense. It affects their blitz package. 

North Carolina would have had an easier time with Rutgers had they not turned it over five times. Bryn Renner says he has total confidence that his receivers will come down with the catch. They just need to hold on to it. I wasn't surprised at all that Giovani Bernard got the start in his second game. He's a special player that uses his lack on height and burst of speed to his advantage. He doesn't run past his blockers like a lot of running backs do. Bernard patiently waits behind his blocker to engage their block and then takes off for freedom.

I was totally surprised that ECU and Virginia Tech combined for only 27 points. I thought the Pirates offense would be able to find the end zone in the air and the Hokies would move it on the ground. The Pirates defense has been harshly and correctly criticized for their generous defense a year ago. They looked much improved against Va. Tech knocking down several end zone passes. Ruffin McNeill said after the game he would have liked to have seen more end zone picks. The one by Damon Magazu, who toed the back of the end zone with a one-handed catch, was simply spectacular. I was in Greenville for the game and was very impressed with the new end zone seating and the atmosphere it had. What will it be like on October 1 at 8pm for the kick-off of ECU and UNC? 

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  • PackFan1983 Sep 13, 10:57 p.m.

    Hey, how about WRAL doing a season-long comparison of Kerry Collins and Cam Newton?

  • Sauras69 Sep 13, 4:51 p.m.

    My mistake in the 2nd. I hope that he can become the Head Coach...

    I have been in Newton's camp since he was drafted. He has all of the skills to be a special player. It takes time to adjust to the speed of the game when you are a rookie. He will pick up defensive schemes in time through experience. If the Defense improves they can win a bunch of games.

  • Sauras69 Sep 13, 2:04 p.m.

    Jeff, I agree with you about the much improved ECU defense. But Bud Foster's defense played... View More

    — Posted by tdebord

    You covered this one. Foster has done a stellar job with the Hokies for a long time. Hope than he can become the Head Coach when Beamer hangs it up. Logan Thomas needs to react a little quicker with his reads. When he gets this we should be OK. It takes time.

  • tdebord Sep 13, 11:55 a.m.

    Jeff, I agree with you about the much improved ECU defense. But Bud Foster's defense played lights out. To hold ECU's offense to a little over 100 yards was exceptional. Looks like the old Hokies defense is back.

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