Spring lookahead: N.C. State Wolfpack

2012 record: 7-6 overall, 4-4 ACC
Spring practice opened: March 19
Spring game date: April 20

2012 in review: Then-North
Carolina State coach Tom O’Brien said last fall’s group would be his
best team in six seasons, but it wasn’t. It was another underachieving
group that won a game it shouldn’t have (over Florida State) and lost a
couple it shouldn’t have (Tennessee and Virginia) and the Wolfpack’s
vaunted secondary wasn’t so spectacular.

Same old same old, which
was a shame for quarterback Mike Glennon, who had a terrific season
despite having no pro-caliber receivers running routes.

With those struggles, it came to little surprise that O’Brien was fired after the season.

Biggest hole to fill:
No matter what kind of offense new coach Dave Doeren runs, it’s highly
unlikely the Wolfpack will get the caliber of play at QB that Glennon
gave them the last two years.

Glennon completed 66 percent of his
pass attempts for 4,031 yards and 31 touchdowns in 2012 and for his
career as a two-year starter totaled 7,411 yards and 63 touchdowns.

Whether
the new signal caller is already on campus – rising sophomore Manny
Stocker or Colorado State transfer Pete Thomas – replacing Glennon is a
significant task. Thomas, a two-year starter for the Rams, who passed
for 4,269 yards and 18 scores, may have the edge this spring. 

Watch out for:
Senior cornerback Dontae Johnson isn’t going to come from out of nowhere this season.

He
registered 70 tackles a year ago including a sack and broke up eight
passes, deflected eight more, forced a fumble and had two quarterback
hurries. But with Juston Burris on the other side of the field, Johnson
may get picked on some and he should pick off some passes — something
he didn’t do a year ago — and turn in a good enough season that the
only concern in the secondary for the Wolfpack will be at safety.