These two teams played last year -- the Pack won, 30-19. A lot done changed since then. Butch Jones is in the middle of his second year as Brian Kelly's replacement, and Russell Wilson moved along to Wisconsin. Speaking of 2010, N.C. State blog Backing The Pack notes Cincy's luck has finally arrived after a tough season, which Cincinnati blog Down The Drive attributes partially to a much tougher defensive front seven.
But back to quarterbacks. NCSU quarterback Mike Glennon has fared admirably in replacing Wilson, and has Cincy fans wondering if the Bearcats' zone defense can handle a complicated pro set. Of course, Glennon's lack of imposing weaponry does calm the nerves a tad:
Glennon looks a lot like Tennessee QB Tyler Bray, though I don't think he has the raw ability of Bray, some of the physical tools are similar. On the year Glennon has 59 of 92 passes for 745 yards with 8 TDs and 1 INT. He is a capable guy, but he doesn't have anything resembling the receivers that Bray had for Tennessee.
It was a similar array of personnel that actually made Wilson look even better during his time in Raleigh. The challenge for Glennon is to make the most of his options, since he won't be taking games over the way Wilson could. Last year, Wilson had 366 total yards and three touchdowns against Cincinnati.