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September 1, 2011Saturday is the day that NC State redshirt junior quarterback Mike Glennon has waited for since he signed with the Pack in February of 2008. He will step under center as the starting quarterback for NC State.
"I just got to be calm, relaxed and play like I played in practice," Glennon said. "It's exciting. It's a lot of preparation going in. This is a great opportunity. It's an opportunity I have been waiting for and now it's here."
All the chatter about three-year starter Russell Wilson's transfer to Wisconsin will not go away Saturday. Glennon, who said he will watch Wisconsin's season opener Thursday night, knows that.
"I just want to go out there and play the way I've been taught," Glennon noted. "I'm not thinking about those distractions. It's the first game of the season, one of hopefully 14, so I'm just treating it like any other game."
Nerves have not been an issue for Glennon in the past, but then again that was high school and this is major college football. He suspects that he will get some butterflies before the Liberty game Saturday evening. He does not expect that to last however.
"Once that snap gets underway, it's the same game of football that I've always played," Glennon added. "Go out there and play like I have been taught, just kind of find the speed of the game and play like that."
Glennon may also draw on the experiences of his older brother Sean Glennon. The elder Glennon was a starting quarterback at Virginia Tech, winning the 2007 ACC Championship Game MVP for the Hokies, but he was benched in 2008 in favor of then true freshman quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
"I have seen the highs and the lows of being an ACC quarterback," Glennon said. "I think I've learned a lot from him, and just not let yourself get too high or get too low."
That's why Glennon is focused on Saturday's opponent. Liberty opens the year No. 18 in the FCS preseason coaches' poll, and they defeated their one FBS opponent last year, winning at Ball State. The Flames almost won at FCS No. 3 James Madison as well, losing only 10-3.
"I've watched a bunch of them," Glennon said. "They've got some good talent there. They beat Ball State last year, the year before they competed well with West Virginia. They definitely have talent over there, and obviously they show up well for the big game."
Having said that, Glennon has full confidence in his team.
"I don't see any reason why we can't win them all," Glennon said. "I think it's a legitimate team. It has the talent. We've put in the work. There's not a game on our schedule that we can't win."
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