The two biggest pieces of news out of Columbia today are that Ben Axon has been denied admission and Steve Spurrier says he will take over play calling duties this year. First the Axon news. Spurrier claims that Axon made NCAA standards academically, so, regardless of what the administration is saying, I'm thinking Axon didn't get in because of his recent legal troubles. Like Spurrier, I'm OK with the administration's decision in that regard. As I've said before, my feelings are somewhat mixed on this one. I wouldn't have been against giving Axon another chance, but intention to sell is a serious offense that certainly warrants wariness from our coaches and administration. The fact that Spurrier accepted the decision should tell you something; in the past, Spurrier has been incensced by the administration's attempts to interfere with his players' admission. I will say that I hope that Axon is able to find a place on a roster somewhere so he can use his football abilities to get off the street and into the classroom. Unfortunately, his recent actions mean that the burden is now on him to keep his nose clean and convince someone that he's worth taking a risk on. Good luck to him; it's not going to be easy for him, but hopefully we'll hear about a happy ending.
As far as Spurrier calling plays goes, I can't say I'm surprised. The offense was beyond bad last year with Spurrier Jr. calling plays. It wasn't all Jr.'s fault, of course. However, I have no doubt that Spurrier Sr. wants control back this time around, and I'm fine with that. That's what we brought the guy here for. And anyways, I'd imagine things won't be all that much different; it's not like Spurrier was hands-off last year.
The other bit of news today is that NC State scrimmaged yesterday. The linked article spins the performance a little bit by praising the secondary, but if you read between the lines you'll see some reasons for anxiety on the part of the 'Pack. Russell Wilson and Mike Glennon both played poorly, apparently largely because the line failed to protect them well. That's basically more of the same theme we heard about State back in the spring. The running game was OK but not great during the scrimmage, which is an improvement over their spring game.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Rusell Wilson is a very good quarterback, but if that line can't do its job, our defense is going to have another field day with the Wolfpack. Our defensive line and linebackers are going to be very good again this year, and if State's line can't keep Eric Norwood, Clifton Geathers, Cliff Matthews, Nate Peppers, and others out of the backfield, it won't matter how good Wilson is, because he'll be getting sacked, scrambling, throwing on the run, etc. That won't lead to a pretty game by the State offense. Now, whether we can do some scoring of our own is still up for debate, of course.