N.C. State at Connecticut Noon, WRAL-FM
Keep an eye on
RB Lyle McCombs, UConn
At 5-foot-8 and 166 pounds, the biggest problem in defending Lyle McCombs isnt tackling him but finding him behind UConns offensive line. McCombs moved his way through traffic last season for 1,151 yards as a redshirt freshman. Six times he broke the 100-yard barrier last season. In UConns 37-0 season-opening win over Massachusetts, McCombs ran for 82 yards and a touchdown.
Given Tennessees success on the ground against N.C. States defense, expect to see a lot of McCombs or at least see a lot of results.
Hes not a real tall kid, Wolfpack coach Tom OBrien said, but hes shifty and quick he makes a lot of people miss. Its tough to find him sometime behind that big offensive line.
McCombs is on the watch list for several offensive awards.
UConn CB Dwayne Gratz vs. N.C. State WR Tobais Palmer
Palmer had four catches for 28 yards against Tennessee but N.C. States offense needs more from its best receiver. Gratz, a fifth-year senior, has 30 career starts and returned an interception 37 yards for a touchdown last week against UMass.
N.C. State CB David Amerson vs. UConn QB Chandler Whitmer
After Amersons performance against Tennessee, you figure Whitmer will test the Wolfpacks top corner. Whitmer, who made his first start last week, is not Tyler Bray, though, and UConn doesnt have the talent at receiver than Tennessee does.
Stat that matters
8-1 N.C. States record after a loss since the start of the 2010 season.
N.C. State cant afford to start 0-2, not if it wants to have a successful season and UConn feels pretty good after a 37-0 over UMass, a newly-minted FBS team.