Very bad news for NC State

September, 22, 2008
9/22/08
5:15
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

The news that both quarterback Russell Wilson and linebacker Nate Irving will miss Saturday's game against South Florida with injuries is devastating for the Wolfpack -- not just from an Xs and Os perspective, but perhaps even moreso from a morale standpoint.

NC State coach Tom O'Brien did not specify the injuries, other than Irving sustained a lower leg injury in the Wolfpack's upset of East Carolina last weekend. Freshman Dwayne Maddox, who took over for Irving against ECU, will start on Saturday. Harrison Beck will start in place of Wilson.

These are the top playmakers on both sides of the ball. Wilson was just named the offensive back of the week, and deservedly so. All three of his touchdown passes tied the game. He took such an important step in assuming leadership of an offense in desperate need of it.

And Irving has been a hard-hitting, interception-grabbing beast on defense.

Beck is the third starting quarterback in five games. That now makes 11 starters or key contributors who have missed at least one game this year.

NC State deserves a break, and not the kind it has been getting.

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