There are high expectations for the N.C. State Wolfpack as they head to Atlanta for the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game Friday. The Wolfpack return 15 starters and has a team that can compete for an ACC title.
Junior tight end Anthony Talbert said he and his team are excited to get the season started, especially since the game is in Atlanta.
"We're all excited as a team," said Talbert. "Tennessee is a good team. It's going to be a great competition between us and them, and the Georgia Dome will have a good atmosphere, so we're all looking forward to it."
Their main weapon on defense is David Amerson, a junior cornerback that led the NCAA in interceptions last year with 13. The rest of the starting secondary is back and includes senior safety Brandan Bishop who recorded 97 tackles last season. Bishop, Amerson, and the rest of the defense will look to limit Tennessee's passing game and force the Vols to run the ball.
N.C. State struggled to run the ball last season, averaging 3.0 yards per carry, and will turn to redshirt sophomore Tony Creecy to carry the load and balance the offense. Creecy has just recently been named the starter over last season's starter, senior James Washington.
"You have to look at what the defense is gonna do and what they're gonna give you," said head coach Tom O'Brien. "If we can't throw the ball successfully then we're not gonna run it because everyone is going to be in the box."
N.C. State's senior quarterback Mike Glennon is very similar to Tennessee's Tyler Bray. He is 6'6" and is an upper-tier college quarterback. He threw for over 3,000 yards last season and 31 touchdowns. Glennon is confident, but also gave credit to Tennessee's historic program.
"We want to win because it will get our season off to a good start, but I think it adds to it that it is a national spotlight game," said Glennon. "It's against an SEC opponent against historically one of the best teams in college football."