Jeff Gravley

You're invited to a pig pickin'

Posted August 30, 2012
Updated August 31, 2012

The college football season begins this week and I have a few thoughts and things to keep an eye on while you watch the first weekend. Here's the menu for the pig pickin'. 

NC State vs. Tennessee

This is a battle of 6-6 quarterbacks who can sling it.

Who will catch it for Mike Glennon? Keep an eye out for red-shirt freshmen Maurice Morgan and Hakeem Flowers who are both over 6-foot-2.

Tennessee's Tyler Bray won't have All-SEC receiver Da'Rick Rogers, which is discomforting for a quarterback. NC State's defensive backfield has been tested and they are experienced.

What happens at the linebacker position? Sterling Lucas inherits the interior where Audie Cole and Nate Irving roamed so well. On special teams, the Wolfpack won't have the speedy delivery of TJ Graham. Do they dare put pick-man David Amerson back there?

Elon at North Carolina

There has been much talk about the up-tempo that Larry Fedora wants to use on offense. His goal is 80 plays per game. I'm interested to see how that talented offensive line keeps the pace. They all packed about 300 pounds entering spring football but have shed a few pounds.

How effective will Bryn Renner be? He played well last year and that's with a bothersome right ankle that needed off-season surgery. He should be more mobile this year and will need quick feet in this offense.

Defensively, North Carolina will see one of the best receivers in college football on Saturday. Elon senior Aaron Mellette, 6-foot-4, 212-pounds, hauled in 1,100 yards and 12 touchdowns last year. He played high school football at Southern Lee in Sanford and admits he grew up a Duke fan. As if he needed any bigger target for the Tar Heels to see.

Florida International at Duke

Talking with Duke coach David Cutcliffe at the ACC Kickoff, he begged for a season of health for his football team. How many coaches in the 21st century have had to endure his team being hit by the swine flu like Cutcliffe in 2009? Unfortunately, the Blue Devils will enter the opener with 12 scholarship players who will not be able to play. They don't have the depth to have that happen.

Florida International went 8-5 last year and one of those losses was to Duke. The Golden Panthers return 10 of 11 starters on defense which will challenge senior quarterback Sean Renfree or any combination of quarterbacks Duke chooses to use.  

Appalachian State at ECU

ECU is facing in-state for Appalachian State in the home opener at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. What a first segment of the season for the Pirates. After the Mountaineers, the Pirates hit the road to South Carolina, Southern Miss and then North Carolina. That adds so much more weight to Saturday's match-up with Appalachian State and ECU is breaking in a new quarterback, Rio Johnson.

Scoring hasn't been a problem for East Carolina but keeping opponents out of the end zone sure has. Last year, the Pirates surrendered 32.2 points per game but players like Jeremy Grove and Damon Magazu should help reduce that stat. 



3 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Newest First
View all
  • 4tarheels Aug 31, 2012

    Should be a good weekend for football.

  • iron fist Sep 1, 2012

    Any weekend is good for football. Except the Pack got picked yesterday

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Sep 1, 2012

    I think the pig, in this pig pickin', is NC State.

  • CBB: Texas A&M at LSU

    Saturday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CIAA: Winston Salem State @ Fayetteville State

    Saturday at 4:00 pm on METV 50.2

  • Nascar Sprint Cup Series: Sprint Unlimited

    Saturday at 8:00 pm on FOX50

  • Nascar Sprint Cup Series: Daytona 500 Qualifying

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on FOX50

  • CBB: UNC vs. Pittsburgh

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: Oregon at Cal

    Tomorrow at 9:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • CBB: NC State vs. Wake Forest

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-FM

Men's College Basketball
14
6:00 PT7:00 MT8:00 CT9:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 北京时间7:00 MST9:00 EST
Preview
 
62Final
63
 
6:00 PT7:00 MT8:00 CT9:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 北京时间7:00 MST9:00 EST
Preview
16
 
681:37
2nd Half
69
 
353:27
1st Half
28
 
NHL Scoreboard
Ottawa04:00
3rd Pd
Detroit2
 
NY Rangers13:50
2nd Pd
Pittsburgh0
 
Vancouver 6:30 PT7:30 MT8:30 CT9:30 ET2:30 GMT10:30 北京时间7:30 MST9:30 EST6:30 UAE (+1)21:30 ET
Preview
Arizona 
 
ATP Scoreboard
Wednesday, Feb. 10
Memphis Open (ATP)
Second Round
(5) D. Kudla1 5    
M. Kukushkin6 7    
I. Marchenko1 3    
Y. Nishioka6 6    
(4) S. Querrey6 6    
H. Laaksonen3 4    
(1) K. Nishikori6 4    
R. Harrison2 2    
 
World Tennis Tournament (ATP)
First Round
(6) R. Bautista A77 1 6   
J. Sousa64 6 3   
J. Chardy69 6 710   
E. Donskoy711 4 68   
(8) V. Troicki4 77 6   
A. Kuznetsov6 62 3   
V. Pospisil5 2    
A. Zverev7 6    
(3) G. Simon77 6    
R. Haase65 1    
Second Round
P. Kohlschrei6 6    
I. Dodig4 2    
(2) M. Cilic77 79    
G. Muller62 67    
(5) G. Monfils6 5 6   
B. Coric3 7 2   
 
Argentina Open (ATP)
Second Round
F. Delbonis3 6 4   
N. Almagro6 4 6   
(5) D. Thiem3 79 6   
G. Elias6 67 3   
(4) J. Isner610 6 66   
D. Lajovic712 4 78   
(3) J. Tsonga6 6    
L. Mayer1 2    
 
WTA Scoreboard
Wednesday, Feb. 10
St. Petersburg Ladies (WTA)
First Round
(7) K. Mladenovic6 5 1   
L. Siegemund1 7 6   
A. Beck4 6 7   
L. Hradecka6 4 5   
E. Vesnina3 6 6   
P. Tig6 3 1   
D. Cibulkova6 6    
E. Rodina3 0    
K. Flipkens4 7 4   
D. Kasatkina6 5 6   
Second Round
(4) A. Ivanovic7 6    
M. Gasparyan5 2    
(2) R. Vinci6 77    
Y. Wickmayer2 62    
 
Taiwan Open (WTA)
First Round
(1) V. Williams6 6    
P. Lee3 2    
Second Round
A. Sevastova7 2 7   
D. Vekic5 6 5   
(7) K. Nara6 4 6   
Y. Zhang2 6 3   
(5) S. Zheng 
S. Voegele