The injuries are so bad on N.C. State's defensive line, even offensive players who switched over to play defense are getting hurt. Taylor Gentry, the starting fullback, played a series at defensive tackle in the first quarter but suffered an ankle injury in the second quarter and did not play in the second half.
The Wolfpack's defensive front did get a boost from the return of senior captain J.R. Sweezy, who played for the first time this season. Sweezy had a sack in the first half. He also took some snaps at defensive end.
N.C. State's weary front showed some life in the third quarter on fourth-down stand at its own 4-yard line.
Without a dominant "B" back this season, Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson has been spreading the ball around to an array of running backs. Orwin Smith, one of two "A" backs, has given Johnson the most bang for his buck. Through the first four and half games, Smith had seven touchdowns on 27 touches.
N.C. State needs to figure out how to start the game faster. In three games against major Division I opponents, State has trailed 20-6 (Wake Forest), 24-7 (Cincinnati) and 21-7 to the Jackets on Saturday.
The Wolfpack had out-scored its first four opponents, 76-58 in the second half, with a 27-9 margin in the fourth quarter.