N.C. State is expected to have a healthy Nyheim Hines in the lineup for Saturday’s game with Notre Dame.
Hines, a sophomore receiver/running back, turned his left ankle in the fourth quarter of the East Carolina game on Sept. 10. He sat out the Old Dominion game on Sept. 17 and then, after N.C. State’s bye week, played primarily on special teams in last week’s win over Wake Forest.
“He has had a good week,” N.C. State coach Dave Doeren said on Thursday. “This is the first time he has been able to practice every day and do everything we’ve wanted him to do.”
It has been a slow start to the season for the sophomore from Garner. He has seven catches for 70 yards and four carries for 22 yards in effectively two games. He played eight snaps on offense against Wake Forest and didn’t touch the ball.
Hines had a breakout game against Wake Forest last year in Winston-Salem. He came on in the second half of his freshman season after getting more snaps at running back. He finished 2015 with 20 catches for 256 yards and a touchdown (a 58-yarder vs. Wake) and 48 carries for 243 yards and a touchdowns. He also had a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Clemson last season.
Hines hasn’t been able to get loose on a long kickoff return this season. He has nine returns for 175 yards with a long of 33 yards.
N.C. State has gotten more production out of its receivers lately but Hines’ return adds another speed element to the Wolfpack offense, which ranks No. 21 in the country in yards per game (505) and No. 28 in scoring (40 points per game).
Joe Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio