The Wolfpacker

May 2013 Wolfpacker

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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omore Hakim Jones, younger brother of former NCSU linebacker Ernest Jones. Redshirt sophomore Juston Burris, who had three picks as a rookie and made an interception in the spring game, is expected to start alongside Johnson at corner. "They've done a nice job," Huxtable said about the secondary. "I think we have some really good athleticism back there. We have some guys with some height and some range. I've seen steady improvement with those guys. Again, it's not where we want to be yet, but we are gaining on it back there. "I really like our corners. I think we have two good corners back there. Our safeties have some athleticism, and they are both tough. They'll stick their nose in there. Those safeties have to be ready to come into the box and stick it in there. They'll also have to be able to cover." Finishing The Spring Strong The spring game April 20 was confirmation of how far ahead the defense was of the offense. At halftime, the only scoring was a pair of field goals, one for each squad. There were five fumbles and an interception during the scrimmage, and the Red team's offensive line gave up six sacks, although in fairness some of those were touch sacks when the quarterback is simply tagged by a defender and the officials are forced to whistle the play dead. "They are [ahead], there's no doubt," Doeren conceded. "There are more returning starters. There is probably more similarities, structurally." If Johnson has his way, the defense's superiority will be a constant for NCSU, at least for the remainder of his career. "Defense is ahead of offense, always," Johnson said, half-jokingly. Johnson noted, though, it has not been easy for the defense. They have had to learn new terminology while studying up on the schematic changes. "That was kind of challenging, but just trying to do it at this pace made it that much harder," Johnson said. "If we are able to do that and read things at this pace, once it comes Saturday, all of that will slow down and be a lot easier for us." Johnson stated that just as he felt the defense started catching up to the tempo and new defensive assignments, the coaches picked up the pace even faster. "A lot of people are trying to keep up, but it's getting better," Johnson said. If and when it reaches the point that the pace becomes second nature to the players, then Huxtable might have found that tough defense that he wants. ■ Nash Produce is proud to support Wolfpack athletics and North Carolina Agriculture. 6160 South NC 58 • Nashville, NC • 27856 Year-round supplier of sweet potatoes. May 2013  ■  51 48-51.Spring FB Defense.indd 51 4/30/13 2:51 PM

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