The cavalry may not be coming
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The cavalry was supposed to arrive after the bye week, but as NC State returns to game-week preparations for Saturday's road tilt at Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., the news on the injury front is not good.
The Pack announced Monday that sophomore running back Mustafa Greene, the team's leading rusher in 2010 with 597 yards, will redshirt this fall. He had missed the first six games with a foot injury suffered in spring practice that required surgery.
Head coach Tom O'Brien stated Monday that Greene will have a second operation in the near future to remove a metal plate in his foot.
"By the time that's done and you try to get him back up and running, it doesn't make sense to see if he can continue to play," O'Brien said.
Greene is not the only other player that season's may be in jeopardy. O'Brien said that senior fullback Taylor Gentry is "still up in the air" with a leg injury, and that fifth-year senior defensive end Jeff Rieskamp's shoulder injury has not "made any progress whatsoever."
"I think we're going to have to re-MRI him and do something this week," O'Brien said of Rieskamp. "I would think in the next week to 10 days a decision would be made on him, too."
Although Rieskamp may be a good candidate for a sixth year since he missed the 2009 season with a sports hernia, O'Brien said that Rieskamp has not expressed any interest in pursuing that yet. Rieskamp played in just one game this year before hurting his shoulder. He started every game at defensive end in 2010.
Fifth-year senior defensive tackle J.R. Sweezy is having his foot reexamined this week. Sweezy, considered an All-ACC candidate before the season started, broke his foot in the preseason. He returned against Georgia Tech Oct. 1 and started versus Central Michigan a week later, but if off the depth chart for the Virginia game.
The only player that is coming back is reserve sophomore defensive tackle A.J. Ferguson. Redshirt freshman defensive tackle Thomas Teal also had his boot taken off his broken foot that he fractured in the season opener against Liberty Sept. 3. Teal though is ruled out for the UVA contest.
"He's probably two weeks minimum I would think unless something miraculous happen," O'Brien said.
O'Brien also noted that fifth-year senior tailback Curtis Underwood, Jr., who had 42 times for 226 yards and a touchdown in the first four games, has yet to return to the practice field after injuring his knee. Redshirt freshman Tony Creecy will continue to serve as junior starter James Washington's backup.
Click on the link to listen to O'Brien's press conference.
- O'Brien, a former offensive coordinator at Virginia, said he has not been to Charlottesville since June of 1997, but his wife has made plenty of return trips to the region.
- O'Brien called UVA second-year coach Mike London "a really good coach." He noted London's passion and enthusiasm, and O'Brien is also impressed with UVA's power running attack.
"They got those little guys behind them that kind of hide and pop through and run with power. They're 5-9, 5-10 guys, 200-pound running backs that have a lot of power. Anytime you can run the ball that makes your play action passing game very good.
- Redshirt junior quarterback Mike Glennon continues to impress O'Brien. Glennon has completed 124 of 193 passes (64.2 percent) for 1,486 yards and 16 touchdowns with just four picks this year.
"Each game he gets better in his decision-making process," O'Brien said. "I think that its' become pretty apparent that he's putting the ball to the right guy at the right time now, so as we go along a lot of those things are now allowing him to become more of a leader on the offense, taking a little bit control in the huddle and everything else, where he was worried about doing his job. I think he's got his job figured out.
"His poise has been remarkable. He's been unflappable, or has been, and he's been under duress a couple of games this year. As I said after the Cincinnati game this year, that was a positive. He got knocked down and came back and played. The game's not too big for him."
- Since the move to morning practices, state fair traffic has been less of a hassle for NC State. The fair, held across the street from Carter-Finley Stadium, started last week and runs through this weekend. Pack players though are usually at the Murphy Center around 6 a.m., and done with practices around 10:30. Sunday though was a different story.
"Yesterday was a travesty," O'Brien noted. "I don't know if we set a record, but there was a heck of a lot of people around here yesterday."