Caulton Tudor

Wolfpack QB carousel sure to spin as season starts

Posted July 17, 2013

Four talking points certain to arise during the ACC Kickoff Sunday and Monday in Greensboro:

Wolfpack may mix QBs 

If you read between the lines, first-year North Carolina State University head football coach Dave Doeren’s recent statement that he’s not averse to using multiple quarterbacks could be a reflection of a couple of unstated items.

One likely relates to Doeren’s assessment of the quarterbacks at his disposal this season. The most obvious choices are Pete Thomas, a transfer from Colorado State, Brandon Mitchell, a versatile transfer from Arkansas, and Manny Stocker, who was recruited by Tom O’Brien’s staff to succeed Mike Glennon.

Doeren and staff may also be looking ahead to 2014 and '15, when winter transfer Jacoby Brissett from Florida will be eligible. He'll sit out this season.

A second factor is the nature of the Wolfpack’s early schedule.

With four straight home games to start the season and three of those against Louisiana Tech, Richmond and Central Michigan, Doeren should be able to experiment fairly often.

Louisiana Tech won nine games last season but coach Sonny Dykes left for California and was replaced by former ECU and South Florida coach Skip Holtz. The Bulldogs also lost record-setting quarterback Colby Cameron and several more key players.

Doeren faces an important league game against likely preseason Atlantic Division and ACC favorite Clemson on Sept. 19 (a Thursday) but should have a comfortable feel for his quarterback situation by the time the Pack has to take its first road trip – Oct. 5 at Wake Forest.

Virginia Tech emerges from offensive upheaval

The Hokies didn’t make a change at the top, of course, but Frank Beamer re-invented his offensive staff after a disappointing 7-6 record capped by a sluggish 13-10 overtime bowl win over Rutgers.

Scot Loeffler was brought in from Auburn to take over as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Loeffler, in turn, added Auburn staffer Jeff Grimes to handle the offensive line and supervise the run-game strategy.

Next, Aaron Moorehead jumped cross country from Stanford to take over the wide receivers.

Exiting were former N.C. State head coach Mike O’Cain (quarterbacks), Curt Newsome (offensive line) and Kevin Sherman (receivers).

“Change isn’t easy for me,” Beamer said when the housecleaning was finalized in January. “At the same time, you’ve got to do what you think is right for your overall organization, and that’s what I’ve done in this case … I think with different personalities and so forth, these guys can bring freshness to the organization.”

Historically, the Hokies have relied on Bud Foster’s defensive unit and a robust ground game to win big.

For Beamer, it all amounts to a radical course adjustment – and a significant gamble with program chemistry.

Early SEC games will show where ACC teams stand

With four early games and four at the end against SEC opponents, the ACC’s overall success again will be defined by the non-conference schedule.

It’s not the best way to upgrade the league’s competitive image nationally, but it is good for business and changing the paradigm will not be easily accomplished.

ACC commissioner John Swofford has suggested exploring season-ending alternatives to three time-honored rivalries _ Clemson vs. South Carolina, Georgia Tech vs. Georgia and Florida State vs. Florida. But state legislatures in each case could be a barrier and the Seminoles-Gators games frequently have been blockbuster television events.

This season, North Carolina will open at South Carolina on Thursday Aug. 29, followed by Virginia Tech against Alabama in Atlanta and Georgia at Clemson on Saturday. Toss in a Sept. 7 trip by Florida to Miami, and the potential for an 0-4 or 1-3 ACC stand is entirely possible.

Who else parties with Fats?

Haydn (Fats) Thomas’ parties will be come up during interviews.

The six Triangle players – State’s Rashard Smith (wide out) and Dontae Johnson (defensive back), Carolina’s Bryn Renner (quarterback) and Kareem Martin (defensive end) and Duke’s Anthony Boone (quarterback) and Ross Cockrell (defensive back) – certainly will be asked if they have attended Thomas’ parties and if they have had any dealings with the Durham man.

Thomas is a central figure in the on-going story involving Tar Heel basketball player P.J. Hairston and has been photographed at an event with Carolina cager Leslie McDonald and former player John Henson.



On Sunday at 6 and 11, WRAL's Jeff Gravley will break down the commissioner's report and players preparation.

Log on to WRALSportsFan on the web, app or mobile device for full player interviews and Caulton Tudor's analysis.


620 The Buzz will broadcast live from the ACC Kickoff beginning at 6 a.m. with Mark Thomas and Mike Maniscalco. Coach Steve Logan joins the guys with his perspective during the 8 a.m. hour.

99.9 The Fan picks up the live coverage at noon with the David Glenn Show followed by Adam & Joe at 3 p.m. Logan will wrap up the day with Adam & Joe.

WRALSportsFan will have the coaches and media preseason picks first Monday afternoon, along with interviews with each of the coaches. 

WRAL's Mandy Mitchell will wrap up two days of football prep and hype on the WRAL News at 6.


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  • packfan07 Jul 21, 2013

    View quoted thread

    UNC would go 7-6 with States schedule, and that includes ANOTHER bowl loss.

  • The Rameses Ultimatum Jul 18, 2013

    View quoted thread

    LMTHAO at a Wolfie that is whining about how the conferences are set up. Really Pickled Herring, if you are going to post and be considered legit, you gotta at least get a "tudor's" help.

  • The Rameses Ultimatum Jul 18, 2013

    View quoted thread

    "Cam Newton"? WOW!!! I need some of what you are smoking so I will believe I'm a Billionaire.

  • Warren G. is back again Jul 18, 2013

    View quoted thread

    State did not play South Carolina in 2011 or 2012 and Duke didn't play Alabama in 2012.

  • sburks1906 Jul 18, 2013

    None of this means anything to me as a State alum/fan who have seen teams underachieve with good QBs (see Phillip Rivers). Just win some BLEEPING games, that's all I ask.

    Oh, and GO STATE!

  • jmcdow2792 Jul 18, 2013

    View quoted thread

    I agree that the innocents should not be punished. Seems to me that if a little thought were put into it there would be a way to punish those responsible. The coaches and ADs and management are a good place to start. Job sanctions or loss of employment are available. For players, especially those that go on to the pros, money is a punishment. Loss of scholarship or the requirement to pay it back are possible. Players who do not follow the rules can be punished through loss of future employment oppportunites as coaches or staff. I also believe that fans and backers of the programs should be subject to punishment for intentional rules violations. There are ways to punish those responisble and not the innocents who follow them. We just need someone to look at it and have the courage to decide to do something.

  • StunGunn Jul 18, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Oh, I believe the SEC is an absolute sausage factory when it comes to football, but that doesn't excuse what went on at Carolina. The NCAA won't bite the conference hand that feeds them, though.

  • StunGunn Jul 18, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Totally agree about the punishment of innocent people. Unfortunately, the University has to take the fall on NCAA violations, and I understand and agree with that side of the equation. I wish there was a way to punish the players who have moved on to the Pros or coaches who have accepted jobs coaching at other schools.

  • StunGunn Jul 18, 2013

    View quoted thread

    I was wondering the same thing.

  • packfan07 Jul 18, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Try going to a bowl game and winning it for once.




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