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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

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  • 4tarheels Aug 31, 2:56 p.m.

    Should be a good weekend for football.

  • iron fist Sep 1, 10:20 a.m.

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

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Sep 1, 10:50 a.m.

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

  • ACC: North Carolina at Virginia

    Tomorrow at 12:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Seattle at Carolina

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Indianapolis at Pittsburgh

    Sunday at 4:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Logan Zone with Steve Logan

    Tomorrow at 10:00 am on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Carolina Panthers vs. Seattle Seahawks

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
ECU 31
UCONN 21
Final
CHA 79
IND 88
Final
CAL 5
CAR 0
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
CAR
 
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
Final
CHA 79
IND 88
Final
DET 109
PHI 103
Final
NOP 88
DAL 85
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
DAL
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
NYK
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
MIA
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
MIN
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
SAN
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
PHO
 
10:00pm Tonight
LAL
SAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
DEN
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
POR
 
Final
ECU 31
UCONN 21
Final
VT 6
MIAMI 30
7:00pm Tonight
CIN
SFLA
7:30pm Tonight
SALABAMA
TROY
9:00pm Tonight
BSU
BYU
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
OREG
Final
BOS 2
NYI 3
Final
DET 4
PIT 3
Final
MIN 2
ARI 0
Final
NAS 3
CHI 2
Final
STL 1
VAN 4
Final
CAL 5
CAR 0
Final
LOS 2
BUF 0
Final
SJS 4
CLB 5
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
DAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
TAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
VAN
 
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
CAR
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
CLB
 
Final
DEN 35
SDC 21