Hope and concern: NC State

June, 30, 2009
6/30/09
11:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Biggest reason for hope -- Quarterbacks

Unlike coach Tom O'Brien's first two seasons in Raleigh, there's no question who the starting quarterback is -- Russell Wilson. He also happens to be the best quarterback in the ACC, and he finally has a backup who isn't a liability in Mike Glennon. Both of them are going to play, and they bring different strengths to the offense that will keep opposing defenses alert. Wilson is one of the most accurate passers in the conference, and Glennon has already drawn comparisons to Matt Ryan.

Biggest reason for concern -- Injuries

It might have been the program's biggest weakness over the past two seasons. We saw how good a football team NC State had in the second half of 2008 when everyone was healthy, and we also saw it fall apart in the second half of the Papajohns.com Bowl after Wilson hurt his knee. Strength and conditioning coach Todd Rice is slowing rebuilding the Pack's philosophy and approach to training, and in turn there should be fewer injuries this fall. NC State will fall out of the Atlantic Division race again if players like Nate Irving and Alan-Michael Cash don't stay on the field.

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