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N.C. State Wolfpack hosts Wake Forest Saturday at 3 p.m.

Posted Friday, November 9, 2012

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Raleigh, NC - The Wolfpack of NC State has played the Wake Forest Demon Deacons more than any other team. Saturday's game will mark the 106th meeting between the two teams, with NC State holding a 62-37-6 advantage.

The Pack has won 12 of the last 13 meetings with Wake at Carter-Finley Stadium, with the only home loss since 1984 coming in 2006.

Groves Stadium in Winston-Salem, however, has not been kind to State in recent years, as the Pack has lost the last five games played on the Deacons' home field. The last Wolfpack victory in Winston-Salem was a 17-14 win in 2001.

Tom O'Brien is on the national board for the Marine Corps' Toys for Tots program and has brought his passion for that cause to the entire Wolfpack nation. In the past five years, the team has helped raise over $200,000 for Toys for Tots and a highlight each year has been the shopping trip when the Pack players take money donated by the fans and select toys that will be given to children over the holidays.

At last year's designated Toys for Tots game, State and Clemson fans donated over $30,000 in cash and thousands of toys. This year, Coke has already donated $15,000 for the 30 touchdowns the Pack scored through the Virginia game.

Donations of cash and unwrapped toys will be collected at all gates at Saturday's game, as well as at the Fan Zone.

Although the Wolfpack is coming off a devastating home loss to Virginia, the friendly confines of Carter-Finley Stadium have definitely given NC State a home field advantage over the last three season.

Since the beginning of the 2010 campaign, the Wolfpack has posted a 14-3 record at Carter-Finley Stadium, including wins over two top-10 teams.

In that same time frame, the Pack has posted a 6-9 mark in away games and a 2-1 mark at neutral sites.

Mike Glennon's entry into the job of starting collegiate quarterback was not a quiet one. A year ago, nobody mentioned his name without also mentioning his predecessor Russell Wilson, who had moved on to Wisconsin.

Despite the controversy and talk swirling around him, Glennon was unflappable in his first year starting under center. He silenced all critics by throwing 31 touchdown passes, gaining over 3000 passing yards and completing .625 of his throws in 2011. In fact, only three quarterbacks in ACC history have thrown for more TDs in a season.

From the jump, Glennon seemed comfortable in his role as the starting quarterback. By year's end, he was clicking on all cylinders, completing 66% of his passes for 1,043 yards, throwing 11 TDs to only three interceptions, and posting a 141.35 efficiency rating in the last four games of 2011.

Prior to the 2012 campaign, The Sporting News ranked him as one of the top quarterbacks in the country for the upcoming season and with his ability, experience and knowledge of the State playbook, he should battle for all-conference honors in 2012. His stints at the Manning Passing Academy and at the Elite 11 Camp during the summer have put him solidly in the sights of the national media and NFL scouts.

Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Bryan Underwood was the only wide receiver in the NCAA that had a TD reception in every game this season prior to last week's loss to Virginia. Underwood set a new school record with a TD catch in eight consecutive games, one behind the ACC record (Herman Moore, UVA 1990).

His 10 touchdown receptions this season ties for fifth nationally.

The most diminutive member of the NC State wide receiver corps at 5'11, 174, Underwood ranks second on the team with 32 catches this season, but he leads the team and is tied for fourth in the ACC in touchdown scoring.

Seven of his 12 scoring grabs have been for 33 or more yards. His most memorable, however, is the two-yard reception with 16 seconds left to play to give the Pack a victory over No. 3 Florida State.

When the Pack's opposition gets to third down, their punter better be warming up. NC State ranks second in the ACC and fourth nationally in third down conversion defense. The Wolfpack is allowing its opponents to convert at just a 27.1 clip this season.

In the last eighth games, the Wolfpack defense has held the opponents to a .259 (27-104) percentage on third down conversions. From late in the UConn game, until the 3rd quarter against The Citadel, opponents went 16 consecutive third downs without a conversion. Florida State was converting exactly half of the time on third down coming into the game against a fired-up Pack defense that allowed them to convert just three of 15 third down attempts.

On Sept. 15, Mike Archer's defensive unit held South Alabama without a third or fourth down conversion on the game as the Jaguars finished 0-for-11 on third down and 0-for-1 on fourth. The last time NC State had held a team without a third down conversion came in 1992, when the Pack forced Virginia Tech to an 0-for-12 mark, a span of 228 games.

The Wolfpack ranks ninth nationally in tackles for loss with an average of 7.44 per game. That mark ranks second in the ACC.

Fifteen different defenders have tallied stops behind the line of scrimmage for State this season, led by linebackers Rickey Dowdy with 10 and Rodman Noel with seven.

NC State has tallied 25 sacks this season, an average of 2.78 per game which ties as the best mark in the league and the 16th-best mark nationally. The Pack sacked Florida State's QB four times after FSU had given up just six sacks in the five previous games.

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N.C. State Wolfpack hosts Wake Forest Saturday at 3 p.m.
Mike Glennon is the NC State Wolfpack quarterback.
photo by Gene Galin
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