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QB shines in N.C. State spring game

RALEIGH, N.C. | They're leveling the playing field this summer at North Carolina State's stadium. Mike Glennon only hopes he can do the same thing to the Wolfpack's quarterback situation.

Glennon threw for 272 yards and directed both of the White squad's scoring drives while splitting time with both teams in a 10-7 victory over the Red squad on Saturday in N.C. State's final scrimmage of the spring.

N.C. State hosts South Carolina Sept. 3 in the team's season opener.

Glennon showed flashes of the pocket-passing ability that last year made him one of the jewels of coach Tom O'Brien's recruiting class. The rising redshirt freshman is battling 2008 ACC rookie of the year Russell Wilson for the starting job.

"I don't think much has changed — I'm sure Coach is going to let it go until we play South Carolina," Glennon said. "I just have to keep working hard in the offseason to continue to get better. I'm sure Russell's going to do the same. ... I hope to make it a good competition, but I know I have a lot of work to do."

Glennon started under center for the White's team of backup offensive players, completing 15-of-24 passes for 170 yards and a 5-yard touchdown pass to Steven Howard. He was 8-for-14 for 102 yards for the Red.

"I guess I was a winner either way," Glennon said.

The rosters were split up primarily to match the starting offense against the first-string defense, with Wilson and the rest of the offensive starters joining the second-string defense in Red. The backup offense and the defensive starters made up the White team.

The Glennon-Wilson battle shapes up to be the team's most interesting when fall rolls around — if for no other reason than nothing has been promised to Wilson, who last year was the first freshman quarterback in ACC history named to the all-conference first team.

"Competition's always healthy," O'Brien said. "We try to create competition at every position. Like I tell the team, the only guys who own jerseys here have their names on the stadium up there. The rest of them are competing for their State jersey."

The two competed until the final week of preseason practice last season before O'Brien awarded the job to Wilson and redshirted Glennon.

"My knowledge of the college football game has grown dramatically," Glennon said. "I just have to keep on building from this and hopefully put up a good competition in the fall."

Wilson finished 10-of-14 for 195 yards with a 65-yard touchdown pass to Owen Spencer for the Red. He left at halftime because he was playing for the baseball team's game later that night.

Wilson, who rushed five times for minus-37 yards, nevertheless showed as much escapability as possible under the scrimmage's quarterback-protective rules — they wore black jerseys and were off-limits to contact — while recovering from the knee injury he suffered in the Bowl loss to Rutgers.

O'Brien has said all spring that one of his top priorities is keeping Wilson from being so quick to tuck the ball under and run with it — thus making himself susceptible to additional injuries.

Glennon was sharp early with the backups, using a pair of impressive completions to set up both of the White's scores.

He hit Howard with a 40-yard pass on a flea flicker, and the two hooked up two plays later for the White's only touchdown with 3½ minutes left in the first quarter. One possession later, Glennon's 25-yard strike to Mario Carter at the 10 set up Josh Czajkowski's 21-yard field goal that made it 10-0.

Playing the spring game two days after Kellie Harper was introduced as the Wolfpack's new women's basketball coach, the program's late coach was never far from anybody's mind at a pink-coated Carter-Finley Stadium.

The game was renamed in honor of Kay Yow, who died in January after a two-decade fight with breast cancer, and the 50-yard line was painted pink — the color of breast cancer awareness.

Stadium workers will replace the playing surface this summer.