NC State's Glennon next up for Seminoles pass rush
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- North Carolina State's Mike Glennon gets a chance for redemption on Saturday a year after one of the poorest showings in his career.
But it won't be easy generating offense for Glennon and the Wolfpack (3-2, 0-1 ACC) when they host third-ranked Florida State, which will be making its first Atlantic Coast Conference road appearance of the season.
The Seminoles (5-0, 2-0) have the league's best defense and feature its two top pass rushers in defensive ends Cornellius Carradine and Bjoern Werner, who already have 13½ sacks between them. Florida State's defense ranks first across the board in the ACC in all of the key defensive categories.
Most of the Seminole defenders are the same players who smothered the Wolfpack 34-0 a year ago, Glennon was sacked four times, intercepted twice and was held to a career-low 130 yards passing.
And this time he'll be playing behind a beat-up, patchwork offensive line that will feature a different starting lineup for the fourth time this season.
"It's going to be a challenge for those guys up front," NC State coach Tom O'Brien conceded Monday. "We've got to be able to protect the quarterback and we have to be able to throw the ball."
Florida State is coming off wins over schools with mobile quarterbacks who were largely able to escape its pass rush, but Glennon is a prototype quarterback who at 6-6 can look over the field and given time is deadly accurate. He has thrown for 1,422 yards and 10 TDs this season and has been intercepted six times.
"He can throw every ball," Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said Monday. "An extremely talented guy."
But quarterbacks need time to do what they do best and that responsibility falls mostly on the guys up front.
"We'll have our hands full with them and having a few guys out is going to hurt, but hopefully those guys will step up," 310-pound Wolfpack offensive tackle R.J Mattes said. "Their ends are real good."
The 6-5, 265-pound Carradine, who is called "Tank" by teammates and coaches, stepped into the starting lineup after Brandon Jenkins broke his foot in Florida State's opening game. Carradine leads the team with 28 tackles and seven sacks while the 255-pound, German-born Werner has 6½ sacks at the other end position and leads the Seminoles with nine tackles for loss.
"They have great speed," O'Brien said. "We saw that last year. We hadn't played speed like that until we got to them last year."
Florida State, which has had its share of trouble in Raleigh, N.C. in recent years, is a two touchdown favorite in the game where its strengths seem to line up against NC State's weaknesses.
"Hopefully we'll match up," Fisher said. "We'll find out Saturday."
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press
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