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Couch Potato: Pack Fans Are Howling About Football Team

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By Sonny Jones

These are some happy times for N.C. State football fans. Their team is ranked No. 13 in the preseason Associated Press poll. It’s the highest the program has been ranked in the preseason poll and the first time the Wolfpack has appeared in the preseason rankings since 2003.

After winning either nine games if you consider the Holiday Bowl was canceled or 10 games if you consider UCLA forfeited the game, the Wolfpack will be led by quarterback Devin Leary, who threw for 35 touchdowns and 3,433 yards and was named ACC Player of the Year.

Alabama, as usual, is ranked No. 1 in the preseason poll. Clemson is No. 4, Miami is No. 16, Pitt is No. 17 and Wake Forest is No. 22. The Wolfpack plays at Clemson on Oct. 1 and hosts Wake Forest on Nov. 5. The season opener is Sept. 3 at East Carolina.

It’s going to be difficult to top last season’s success, but the Wolfpack should be fun to watch.

South Columbus coach Russell Dove was the West Bladen head football coach through the 2015 season. Before that he was an assistant coach at the school and graduated from Bladenboro High School. He’s spent a lot of time standing on the West Bladen sideline. Thursday, at The Castle, he stood on the other side as his Stallions beat West Bladen 34-13 in the season opener.

It wasn’t the first time Dove has been on the visitor’s sideline at West Bladen, still “it feels strange being on the other side of the field because I’m always used to being on that (home) side,” he said after Thursday’s game.

How often has a football team led 4-0? Clinton did in its xx-x win at Goldsboro. The Dark Horses got a safety after an intentional grounding penalty in the end zone against Goldsboro, then added another safety when Amaris Williams tackled a runner in the end zone. With 5:01 left in the first quarter it was Clinton 4, Goldsboro 0.

Larrell Murchison and the Tennessee Titans are scheduled to host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 7 tonight. The game will be shown on the NFL Network. Would think the East Bladen High graduate would see a good bit of playing time along the defensive line since many starters either don’t play or see limited time in the second exhibition game. Look for No. 91 when Tampa Bay has the ball.

What a week it has been to be in Atlanta. The Braves hosted the division-leading New York Mets, who are a potential National League playoff opponent, followed by the AL West leading Houston Astros, who are a possible World Series opponent.


Baltimore’s Cedric Mullins will have 2 hits and steal a base against Boston. The former Campbell University outfield has gone 5-for-11 with a home run and 3 RBIs against scheduled Boston starter Michael Wacha.

FRIDAY’S PICK: D’Onta Foreman scores a touchdown in Carolina’s preseason game at New England. He ran for 566 yards and 3 touchdowns, including three 100-yard games, last season with Tennessee while filling in for the injured Derrick Henry. RESULTS: Freeman carried the ball 7 times for 16 yards as the Panthers lost 20-10 in what must have been a preseason bore fest. I didn’t tune in.


WNBA PLAYOFFS: New York at Chicago, Noon, ESPN2

PGA: BMW Championship, Noon, GOLF and 3 p.m., NBC

MLB: Toronto at NY Yankees, 1 p.m., MLBN

LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL WORLD SERIES: Queensland, Australia vs. Bologna, Italy, 1 p.m., ABC

NFL PRESEASON: Washington at Kansas City, 4 p.m., NFLN

MLB: Milwaukee at Chicago Cubs, 2 p.m., FS1

LACROSSE: World U-21 Championship: United States vs. Canada, 2 p.m., ESPNU

NASCAR XFINITY: Sunoco Rewards 200, Watkins Glen International, 3 p.m., USA

LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL WORLD SERIES: Bonney Lake, Wash. vs. Davenport, Iowa, 3 p.m., ABC

LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL WORLD SERIES: Managua, Nicaragua vs. Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, 5 p.m., ESPN

LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL WORLD SERIES: Middleboro, Mass. vs. Hollidaysburg, Pa., 7 p.m., ESPN2

MLB: Houston at Atlanta, 7 p.m., FOX

NFL PRESEASON: Tampa Bay at Tennessee, 7 p.m., NFLN

GYMNASTICS: U.S. Championships, 7 p.m., CNBC

BOXING: Super Lightweights, Omar Figueroa Jr. vs Sergey Lipinets, 8 p.m., SHO

WNBA PLAYOFFS: Phoenix at Las Vegas, ESPN2

BOXING: Featherweights, Emanuel Navarrete vs. Eduardo Baez, 10 p.m., ESPN

MLB: Miami at LA Dodgers, 10 p.m., MLBN

Sonny Jones can be reached at [email protected] and follow on Twitter @FOSonnyJones.