After zoning in on Georgia Tech’s spread option, the Hurricanes this week face a more conventional, pro-style offense led by 6-6, 232-pound, fifth-year senior Mike Glennon.
“He’s a great player,” Golden said. “Size, mentality, tough, big arm — he’s there.”
A drop-back quarterback, Glennon ranks sixth in the ACC with 245.5 yards passing per game. Since his four-interception opener, Glennon has completed nearly 66 percent of his passes, with 694 yards, five touchdowns and no picks.
The Wolfpack, averaging 28.5 points per game, leads the ACC in time of possession (32:26).
Defensively, N.C. State ranks eighth nationally in tackles for loss (8.5 per game) and is holding opponents to just 15.7 points per game.
Most impressive, however, has been the Wolfpack’s third- and fourth-down defense. N.C. State has allowed opponents to convert just13 of 51 third-down opportunities (12th nationally), and opponents are 0 of 7 on fourth-down chances (first nationally).
The Hurricanes rank 20th nationally in third-down conversion percentage with 31 of 61 attempts converted.
“They’re really big up front,” UM offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch said. “They’ve got an outstanding corner [David Amerson, with 13 picks in 2011 and three this season]. They’re very disciplined.
“It’s going to be a major challenge for our offense to move the ball and score touchdowns.”
The Canes hope they can do it in front of a substantial crowd, but Golden has convinced them to put on the blinders.
“As much as I’d like to see a big crowd, it’s not something we’re focused on,” linebacker Tyrone Cornelius said. “Either way, you still have to take care of business.”