N.C. State Wolfpack seniors, cornerback Jarvis Byrd and wide receiver Rashard Smith, may not play Saturday when the Syracuse Orange play their first ACC football game on the road, head coach Dave Doeren told local reporters on Thursday.
Doeren has already pretty much ruled out Byrd, a converted free safety that has played in all five of N.C. State's game this season, for the contest, while Smith, who has the team's second-highest total of catches (21) and receiving yards (242), will be a game-time decision.
The first-year head coach also said that Week 1 starting quarterback Brandon Mitchell, who has been out the past few weeks with an injury, will also be a game-time decision but he has looked a lot more mobile in practice. The Wolfpack coaching staff will reevaluate the quarterback in the next 48 hours. If Mitchell can't start then Pete Thomas will make his fifth straight start.
Unfortunately for the Wolfpack, injuries have tested the team's roster depth this season. Last week, in a loss to Wake Forest, N.C. State was without its leading rusher, freshman Matt Dayes, one of its top wideouts, freshman Marquez Valdes-Scantling, its starting left tackle, Rob Crisp (concussion), a senior defensive end, Darryl Cato-Bishop, and lost Smith and Bryd during the game. Both Dayes and Valdes-Scantling are expected to return Saturday, but Crisp, a possible NFL prospect entering the season, and Cato-Bishop will not play.
Meanwhile, the Orange are expecting junior cornerback Brandon Reddish to return to the field this week. This will be a big boost considering earlier in the week it was announced senior cornerback Keon Lyn will miss the remainder of the season.