NC State and South Carolina Exchange Blows In an Epic Battle of Defenses

Allen LoppCorrespondent ISeptember 4, 2009

COLUMBIA - NOVEMBER 1:  Eric Norwood #40 of the South Carolina Gamecocks celebrates on the field during the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 1, 2008 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

North Carolina State was looking to start off the college football season with a victory at home against the South Carolina Gamecocks.

Unfortunately Steve Spurrier and the South Carolina Gamecocks weren't going to be such an easy victory as the Wolfpack Nation had hoped.

The Gamecocks capitalized on an early turnover by Toney Baker on the first offensive play of the game for the Wolfpack.

After the turnover, the gamecocks had the ball on the NC State 14 yard line and a few plays later they scored on a Brian Maddox one yard rushing touchdown

They would hold on to that lead to beat the Wolfpack at home, seven to three.

This game was won by the Gamecocks because Tom O'Brien's group made many mistakes on both offense and defense.

On Offense the Wolfpack didn't get much started only gaining 59 yards rushing and 74 yards passing and scored their only points of the night on a 42 yard field goal by kicker Josh Czajkowski.

The Wolfpack receivers also had a bad night dropping many passes including some for first downs but more importantly dropped passes in the end zone.

Defensively they were stout only allowing seven points, but they also need to improve on the team's tackling.

The injury to Jake Vermiglio really hurt the offense by forcing relatively inexperienced offense lineman into action, that really showed when South Carolina blitzed the left side of the offensive line constantly.

Ray Michel and Willie Young both really looked sharp in the opener, with Michel leading the team in total tackles with eleven and Young right behind him with eight tackles including one for a loss of five yards.

They also looked rusty in the department of special teams averaging very poor starting field position and they had their first punt of the game blocked.

They had one really good punt return by the speedy T.J. Graham, only to have him violently taken down by a South Carolina defender grabbing him by the helmet/ face-mask and bring him to the ground.

I'm really getting upset by the officials because for two years in a row they have missed an obvious penalties, last year's was the hit on Wilson after he had thrown the ball which had caused him to have a grade three concussion.

The true freshman James Washington got some carries in the game compiling 17 yards on three carries. He looked pretty good but I am basing this on only three carries, so it is hard to tell but his future looks bright.

George Bryan was the leading receiver on the team catching four passes for 22 yards. Bryan stepping up as a big time receiving option this year will be a key to success for this Wolfpack team if they are to compete in the ACC.