The North Carolina State Wolfpack football team announced today that they will play their season opener against Louisiana Tech without Shadrach Thornton, their leading rusher for the 2012 season.
This is not good news for first year head coach Dave Doeren, who joined the Wolfpack after being the head coach of the Northern Illinois Huskies for the past two seasons. Thornton will serve the suspension over a misdemeanor assault charge he received in early June. The charge came after Thornton was arrested for pushing his girlfriend during a verbal altercation.
Thornton was a pleasant surprise for the Wolfpack football squad as a freshman. He rushed for 694 yards and 11 touchdowns despite not playing in the first three games of the season. Thornton was also a pretty solid receiving threat out of the backfield, as he posted 30 receptions for 274 yards and a touchdown on the season.
He will certainly be missed in Doeren’s first game, as Louisiana Tech is no walk in the park. They will bring their high-octane offense to Raleigh looking to pull the upset on the Wolfpack.
While the loss will not be convenient for the Wolfpack, they should be okay as the carries will now go to junior Tony Creecy, who also had a solid season sharing the carries with Thornton last season. Creecy had 476 rushing yards to go along with five touchdowns in 2013.