Virginia benefited from its bye week in many ways. It gave the Cavaliers extra time to prepare for Georgia Tech’s triple-option offense. It also gave them an opportunity to get some of their injured players (redshirt freshman tailback Kevin Parks, senior defensive end Cam Johnson, etc.) closer to full health.
At least in regard to dealing with injuries, North Carolina State’s bye last week was not as fruitful. Wolfpack running back Mustafa Greene – the team’s leading rusher last season – is out for the season with a foot injury, Coach Tom O’Brien announced Monday, according to the Winston-Salem Journal. Greene has not played this season after injuring the foot during spring practice.
Tailback Curtis Underwood and fullback Taylor Gentry remain questionable with their respective injuries, the report stated, though each possibly could return to play Saturday against Virginia. Despite missing two games, Underwood is N.C. State’s second-leading rusher (226 yards, one touchdown).
N.C. State also is dealing with a slew of injuries on its defensive line, according to the Journal. Senior defensive end Jeff Rieskamp (shoulder) may miss the rest of the season.
Defensive tackle J.R. Sweezy (foot) will be re-evaluated this week. Defensive tackle A.J. Ferguson (knee) has sat out the Wolfpack’s last two games, though he could return Saturday. Defensive tackle Thomas Teal broke his foot during the season opener, though O’Brien told the Journal that Teal likely remains at least two weeks away from returning to the field.
“I think the way we’re set up now is probably how we’re going to have to play the rest of the year,” O’Brien told the Journal. “This is what we are, and we’ve got to find a way to make this work.”
The Wolfpack is tied for last in the ACC in scoring defense, allowing 30.2 points per game. N.C. State ranks No. 9 in pass defense (239.8 yards per game allowed) – though it has tallied a league-high 12 interceptions – and No. 7 in rush defense (172.3 yards per game allowed).