Today's game

September 07, 2002|By Kevin Van Valkenburg

Today's game

No. 21 N.C. State (2-0) at Navy (1-0)

Site: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium

Time: Noon

TV/Radio: No TV/WJFK (1300 AM), WNAV (1430 AM)

Line: N.C. State by 17 1/2

Series: Navy leads 6-2

Last meeting: Navy won, 40-0, in October 1921 in Annapolis

Last game: Navy defeated Southern Methodist, 38-7; N.C. State beat East Tennessee State, 34-0

Navy offense vs. N.C. State defense: Navy quarterback Craig Candeto ran for 153 yards and three touchdowns last week, so N.C. State will need to shut him down. If the Wolfpack key on Candeto, fullback Kyle Eckel should pick up some yards running inside. Senior middle linebacker Dantonio Burnette leads N.C. State's defense and was named Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Lineman of the Week after making 10 tackles (four for loss) against East Tennessee State.

Navy defense vs. N.C. State offense: Navy's pass defense wasn't tested much by SMU's freshman quarterback Tate Wallis last week, but N.C. State junior Philip Rivers won't let them off quite as easy. Rivers is 25 of 36 for 421 yards in the Wolfpack's first two games and has thrown three touchdowns and run for three more. Mids cornerbacks Shalimar Brazier and Vaughn Kelley will need to play well if Navy is to have any chance.

Special teams: Paul Johnson described Navy's special teams play against SMU as "bordering on horrendous." It will have to improve against N.C. State or the Mids will be in trouble. The Wolfpack has blocked 30 kicks since the start of the 1998 season (18 punts, 11 field goals and a PAT) and running back Lamont Reid ran back a kick 90 yards for a score last week against East Tennessee State.

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