For the last three weeks, Vanderbilt has been preparing for NC State’s stout passing game, led by future NFL quarterback Mike Glennon. The Wolfpack’s offense will remind you of Tennessee’s with Tyler Bray, but Glennon actually makes decent decisions throughout the course of a football game.
NC State’s passing game behind Glennon is 20th in the country, averaging 304 yards per game. Glennon has thrown for 3,648 yards and 30 touchdowns, completing 57.7 percent of his passes. He has three receivers with over 40 catches and one with over 30 catches.
And it’s a good thing for Vanderbilt the defensive unit’s strength lies in the secondary with corners Trey Wilson and Andre Hal and safeties Javon Marshall and Kenny Ladler. It’s the second year in a row the Commodores had a top secondary within the conference, and this group finished third overall in pass defense in the SEC this season, with opponents only averaging 175.8 yards per game. Vandy finished ahead of Florida, South Carolina and LSU. Does that tell you anything?
This group is pumped once again to show how stout they are against top passing offenses, too, especially Glennon and company.
“Glennon has a real nice arm on him,” Vanderbilt cornerback Trey Wilson said. “I would put him a very close second, in terms of arm strength, behind Bray. They take some chances, with Glennon being able to make the throws that he can. I want to see how many chances they are going to take with us.”
Defensive coordinator Bob Shoop has done a fantastic job developing the players he and his staff inherited from the previous regime, and he knows as long as the players prepare and execute the plan – much like they did against Tennessee a few weeks ago – the Commodores will notch their ninth win of the season.
“The players executed the gameplan exceptionally well,” Shoop said. “Especially Trey Wilson and Andre Hal … there’s not much that those guys haven’t seen. When those two are on their game and (safeties) Javon (Marshall) and Kenny (Ladler) are on their game, and Eric Samuels is playing well at the nickel, we can play pretty good pass defense.”
The secondary will have to elevate their play once more as the Commodores take on NC State in an attempt to win nine (nine!) games in 2012.
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