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October 20, 2011NC State coach Tom O'Brien said healing from injuries is the best aspect of having a bye week, but there are other crucial elements that occur away from the practice field.
NC State plays at Virginia at 3:30 p.m. Saturday and should be refreshed and healthier after enjoying a few days off during last week's bye week.
"I think you also get a chance to go back and evaluate what you've done, whether it be offense, defense, special teams," O'Brien said. "What's good, what's bad and what needs to be emphasized in the second half of the year right now."
O'Brien said Thursday he has also been pleased with the play of redshirt junior quarterback Mike Glennon, who has smoothly performed well despite the constant comparisons to former quarterback Russell Wilson, who is a Heisman Trophy candidate with Wisconsin this season.
Glennon has gone 124 of 193 passing for 1,486 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions through six games for the 3-3 Wolfpack.
"[Glennon's play] doesn't surprise us at all," O'Brien said. "We're not surprised by the way he has played. We saw that through spring practice and through being around the kid and understanding, as we've talked about before, he's had a brother who's gone through this. He's lived maybe vicariously a little bit through his brother, so I think he knew how to handle the situation.
"The best way to handle it is what he did, is take care of his business himself. Make sure he's doing what he has to do to be the type of quarterback he is and I think his talent has shown. With the receivers stepping up and catching the ball a little bit it's helped him out a lot too."
NC State's problems have come more on the defensive side of the football due to the numerous injuries, especially along the defensive line.
O'Brien alluded to the notion that he doesn't have a crystal ball to know if the Wolfpack would have had a much better record if Wilson was the quarterback this season.
"I have no idea," O'Brien said. "Probably not because it hasn't been lack of offense. You could say that here or there, but there isn't anything throw-wise or leadership-wise offensively that would be any different at this point in the season."
O'Brien also pointed out that Glennon should get a little more protection from his offensive line during the second half of the season. Redshirt junior left guard Andrew Wallace returned to the depth chart this week, and fifth-year senior right tackle Mikel Overgaard has also proven he can help out at guard. Overgaard backed up left guard Duran Christophe against Central Michigan, which also freed up more playing time for sophomore right tackle Robert Crisp against the Chippewas.
O'Brien hopes to play Crisp more in the future.
"He's practicing better, he's doing the things he has to do, he's much more comfortable doing things," O'Brien said. "We've gotten into a little rotation now, actually Overgaard is playing a little bit of guard. Friday we'll talk about how that is going to rotate.
"Rob has stepped up a lot. He's doing many things better than he was coming out of camp. He's warranted the opportunity to play more."
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