N.C. State’s secondary keeps getting thinner and the offensive line will be reshuffled for the home opener with Marshall.
Safety Freddie Phillips will miss the rest of the season after suffering Achilles injury in the third quarter of Saturday’s loss to South Carolina, Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren said Monday at his weekly press conference.
Also, sophomore safety Trae Meadows has taken a leave of absence from the team to deal with a personal matter, according to Doeren. Meadows, who plays the nickel spot, did not play against South Carolina. Doeren said there’s still a chance Meadows could play this season but there is no timetable for his return.
Phillips, a backup nickel back, tore the Achilles tendon in his right leg trying to sack South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley. Bentley got away from Phillips on the play and threw a 39-yard touchdown.
N.C. State was already missing senior cornerback Mike Stevens in the secondary. Stevens, a starter last year, missed the South Carolina game with a knee injury and isn’t expected to play this week against Marshall.
“He’s ahead of schedule,” Doeren said of Stevens. “I don’t think he’ll play this week but we should have him for Furman (on Sept. 16).”
Safety Dexter Wright and linebacker Riley Nicholson were also banged up in the opener. Wright, in his first career start, was on the field for about half of South Carolina’s snaps before being slowed by a groin injury. Tim Kidd-Glass, a sophomore, got his first snaps at free safety, when Wright went out of the game.
Nicholson, a backup linebacker, was injured on the opening kickoff and is not expected to play this week against Marshall, Doeren said.
On the other side of the ball, Doeren is hoping junior offensive line Terronne Prescod can play more against Marshall than he did against South Carolina. Prescod, who started at left guard, split reps with redshirt freshman Joe Sculthorpe on Saturday.
Prescod was sick during training camp, and suffered a stinger in the first week of practice, so Doeren didn’t want to push it in the first game.
“He wasn’t in game condition to play more than he played,” Doeren said. “We are hoping to get a whole game out of him this week at right tackle.”
Prescod is penciled in to start at right tackle for senior Will Richardson, who was suspended for the first two games of the season for an undisclosed violation of team rules. Sculthorpe would get his first start in college at left guard.
Redshirt freshman Justin Witt started for Richardson against South Carolina. Witt, in his first college game, was penalized three times.
“We played two redshirt freshmen on the o-line, due to Will’s suspension, and that did hurt us at times,” Doeren said.
N.C. State finished with 89 rushing yards on 35 attempts and quarterback Ryan Finley was sacked four times.
Joe Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio