Kay Yow Spring Game, 1 p.m., ESPN3

NC State football shows up-tempo

jgiglio@newsobserver.comApril 19, 2013 

NC State, football, ACC

Torry Holt, an All-American receiver at N.C. State whose jersey is retired by the school, talks with Bryan Underwood (80) during N.C. State football's practice and player reunion Friday, April 19, 2013.

ETHAN HYMAN — ehyman@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

— N.C. State offered just a hint of the future on Friday at its open football practice.

The real dress rehearsal is Saturday at the Kay Yow spring game at Carter-Finley Stadium (1 p.m., ESPN3). New coach Dave Doeren will reveal a new-look Wolfpack, with a new offense, new quarterback and a cadre of new starters on both sides of the ball.

“We’re excited to get out there in front of some fans,” Doeren said. “I know there are a lot of guys who just want to see our kids play.”

If the parsed bits from Friday’s practice are any indication, most N.C. State fans aren’t going to recognize the up-tempo version of offense preferred by Doeren and coordinator Matt Canada.

“You’re going to see an offense that has not been seen around here probably ever,” junior quarterback Pete Thomas said.

“I don’t know how much we’re going to show on Saturday, but I think we’ll show a little bit of what we can do.”

Any semblance of a huddle on offense was just a rumor at Friday’s practice, which was also the annual reunion for former players. More than 300 showed up for the open practice, which included former pro Torry Holt, current pro Mario Williams and future pros Mike Glennon and Earl Wolff.

A lot of time and attention was paid to special teams in Friday’s practice but the offense is the real intrigue for Saturday’s showcase.

The offense featured the “pistol” formation and play placards, at least one with a picture of the king from Burger King.

“The offense is a lot different than what people are used to,” Thomas said. “It’s fun to watch and fun to play in and I think fans will see that.”

Thomas and sophomore Manny Stocker are vying to replace Glennon, the starting quarterback for the past two seasons. Doeren needs to find seven new regular starters on both sides of the ball.

Doeren, hired from Northern Illinois in December, won’t make any personnel decisions based on Saturday’s game. His primary concern is the players picking up tempo, and moving with speed.

“We’re finally at the point where we are running everywhere,” Doeren said. “The guys are starting to understand the tempo and what it means.”

Doeren said after the players pick up the tempo, and the new offense, which will feature multiple formations and options, he will start to shape up the depth chart, specifically at quarterback.

“I don’t think it’s fair to make a decision on a guy that doesn’t even know your offense yet,” Doeren said. “We have to give those kids a chance to play football without thinking. We’re not there yet.”

After 14 practices, all the players are ready for Saturday’s showcase. The Wolfpack changed coaches after a disappointing 7-6 finish in 2012. Doeren replaced Tom O’Brien, who went 40-35 in six seasons. Doeren led Northern Illinois to a 12-1 record and spot in a BCS bowl.

Thomas, a transfer from Colorado State, said the players have tried to make adjustments to Doeren’s system and are anxious for Saturday’s

“Obviously, we need to keep improving and we’re nowhere near where we need to be,” Thomas said. “But we’re all excited and it will be good to get out in front of the fans.”

Giglio: 919-829-8938

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