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N.C. State survived a legit scare when the Wolfpack fended off James Madison 24-13 in Saturday’s season opener.
The next hurdle to surpass is health-related.
The Wolfpack survived the Dukes but saw several players receive knocks, including a frightening looking situation where senior defensive end Eurndraus Bryant was left lying motionless on the field for several minutes.
Jakobi Meyers, while in the midst of one of the greatest receiving performances in school history, also limped off the field and was wearing a walking boot after the game.
Bryant and Meyers did get to play Saturday. The same cannot be said for senior wideout Stephen Louis. He was held out of the contest when a pre-existing hamstring injury had not quite healed as kickoff approached.
The hot weather Saturday did not help matters as several N.C. State players cramped up as the game wore on.
“Guys needed an IV, cramping and things like that so I talked to our nutritionists, our training staff and our strength staff,” N.C. State head coach Dave Doeren said. “We thought we did everything right going into the game, but we still had some guys cramp so we have got to do some more things that way.”
After recovering a fumble, Bryant proceeded to return the ball before putting it in the ground himself. In the ensuing chaos, he received a stiff neck and his time spent motionless on the field afterwards was more of a precaution.
Meyers made plays seemingly all afternoon. His issues were more fatigue-based and the walking boot afterwards was also a precaution.
“Eurndraus is doing really well,” Doeren said. “ I am sure people want to know how he is doing. He is doing great. He will practice [Tuesday] so he is fully cleared.Jakobi is doing good also. He just needs to get his body back — he was pretty beat up after the game — but he said he would be ready to go.”
Expect Louis to also feature for the Wolfpack sooner rather than later, although exactly when remains unclear.
“During training camp his hamstring was bothering him and then it got better,” Doeren said. “Then on Wednesday it got tight on him. We were hopeful, with not doing anything with it until Saturday, that he would be ready. He tried to warm it up but it was still tight. I think he will be fine for this week but we won’t know he goes out there tomorrow and we see how he is feeling.
JAKOBI’S BIG DAY
As for Meyers, he finished with 161 receiving yards on 14 catches — one short of the school record of receptions in a game.
Ryan Finley finished 29-of-43 passing for 309 yards and two touchdowns. Nearly half of his completions were Meyers, a former quarterback himself.
Despite limping for most of the second half, the redshirt junior was not looking for any pity.
“I just think I understand,” Meyers said of what Finley hopes to accomplish at quarterback. “I know there are guys that’s two times bigger than you bearing down on you. I know I’ve got to get my eyes around and make a tough catch. If he can stand in there and take that hit, I can stand in there and make that catch.”
“I feel alright,” Meyers added. “I’ll be able to play next week. I just have to focus on getting back for practice, and I’ll be alright.”
DEXTER WRIGHT UPDATE
The Hunt High School alum got the start in the defensive backfield and finished with four tackles in N.C. State win over James Madison.
Fans who entered the game also got a Wright souvenir as the Wilson-native appeared on the game program in the season opener of his final campaign with the Wolfpack.
Rob McLamb of Inside Pack Sports has covered N.C. State athletics and recruiting since 2012. You can follow him on Twitter @RobMcLamb.