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Dave Doeren’s Weekly ACC Teleconference Transcript: ‘Hope We Can Get a 12th Game’



NC State Head Coach Dave Doeren spoke with the media today on the Weekly ACC Teleconference, and he made it clear that he is still hopeful the Wolfpack can play a 12th game in 2018. Check out the full transcript below.

MODERATOR: We’re now joined by NC State head coach Dave Doeren. Coach, if you could please give us an opening statement, then we’ll take questions.

DAVE DOEREN: Obviously with Hurricane Florence, our prayers go out to everybody in the path of the storm. I know decisions were made to not play the game, which we all support with what could happen here. Priority shifted from West Virginia to the safety of our team and staff. We’ve done that. Now we’re just kind of waiting to see what happens.

Going backwards to our game, it’s great to get another victory. Enjoyed the whiteout crowd by our fans. Had a good day. A lot of guys had their first opportunities to score offensively. I thought we started fast, which is an area we wanted to improve from the week before. We had a good opening drive that started with Thayer Thomas catching a really nice pass from Ryan over the middle, then a touchdown by Thayer later in the drive.

Offensively I thought we moved the ball well throughout the game. We averaged eight yards per first down. Defensively after the first drive we settled in and didn’t give up a score the rest of the game, did some good things there. Both sides of the ball have a lot of improvement to make. I thought we played fast on our offensive line. I thought we struggled at the tight end position at times. I know those guys are going to work hard to get better here over this period we have before we played Marshall.
It was good to get some guys in the game. It was good to get Matt McKay some reps, our backup quarterback, get him some reps in the game. I thought in the kicking game we were very effective. Our punter punted the ball well. Chris Dunn was 100% on his field goals and extra points.

First game I’ve been in with the rule changes where every kickoff return was fair caught, eliminated a phase of the game that way. First time I’ve been a part of that. A little different.

But thank our fans again for being here in the hot conditions. Came out of the game pretty healthy other than Steph Louis did suffer a concussion and is in our protocol now, doing really good. Just be a matter of time. With us not playing, obviously helps him as far as his return to play on our clock. We’ll see where he ends up when we get back into it next week.


Q. With all the fair catches on special teams, what does that mean for college football moving forward? A lot of those guys that aren’t your number one receiver, DB, runningback, they get their opportunities to showcase who they are to college football and the NFL. What do you think about the rule changes, what it means for special teams?

DAVE DOEREN: I think that’s still a coaching decision. Had we played West Virginia, if you watch their film, they return every kick that they can. They have a dynamic returner there. We were actually talking about that with our team before we knew the game was canceled because they were riding it out of the end zone five yards deep with their guy. In our game last week, no matter where it was caught, that guy is the all-time leading receiver for Georgia State. He was fair catching it.

I think if you have a player that you think is a play- maker in your return game, you still have that ability to your system. I guess it’s team per team on how you’re going to see that used.

We’re continuing to return kicks here unless we feel it’s a ball that puts us in a bad position to return it. It definitely changes the game. It can limit touches when you’re a coach that thinks that’s a better way to use that play. I know if you get a lead in a football game, that gives you a way to protect the lead maybe a little safer by not taking a risk where you could have a fumble by fair catching it. You still have to catch it cleanly obviously for it to be a rule that helps you get to the 25.

I know Coach Cutcliffe said it earlier, I agree with him, I’m sure there’s going to be a continuation of ways to make the game safer. I know that’s why that rule was put in place. I guess the numbers will tell if it worked or if they need to continue to tweak it.

Q. As far as dealing with the hurricane, things that you can’t control, what can you say about the future of scheduling? Would you like opportunities to maybe have a few more weeks or the opportunity to play something at the end of the season, knowing these hurricanes have affected the lives of families, you want to keep people safe?

DAVE DOEREN: I hadn’t thought about it. First time in my career that weather has changed a game this way. It’s not something that is regular enough to say that it’s an every-year issue for me just because I’ve never seen it as a coach. I know it affects the schools in the state of Florida probably more than anybody else. Last year in Texas, obviously.

There’s two sides to that. The longer you make the season, everyone talks player safety, then now you’re making them play longer, have longer practice seasons, longer competitive seasons. They’re an impact there on the team, as well.
I do hope that we can get a 12th game. I’m not sure where that’s going yet. I haven’t heard kind of what the different options are at this point just because our attention has been turned to our players getting to safe places, what we’re going to do that way.

It’s obviously something now that I’ve been a part of it. I’m sure I’ll sit down with our administration and do some research with other schools. I’m not sure you’re going to have a lot of people to extend our season one way or the other just because of how long it is already.

Q. You do have the open date ahead. Would you like to see the administration try to find a game for you in that date, if possible?

DAVE DOEREN: That would then make us play nine straight without a bye there. That’s not great for your team either. But I think we have to look at all the options at this point because you do want to have 12 regular-season games. I’m not sure what they are yet. We haven’t gotten to that point.I spent all day yesterday from 1:00 on just trying to make sure our players and staff were safe, that we had a good plan.

As things now get to where we have everybody in the right places, I can probably spend some time on that, get with Dr. Yaw and Michael and see with their heads are on it. I know we all want to have that 12th opportunity. What are the options? Probably other teams affected. I know there were three games canceled but there may be others as this continues. There may be teams looking for a game. We’ll have to see who has the same dates as us, if anybody does, if not, what are the options after our last regular-season game if we’re not in the championship game. There’s a
lot of moving parts.

Q. I asked Coach Cutcliffe about this as well. As someone who is relatively new to the south whether you have an appreciation for Waffle House and its ability to stay open through almost anything?

DAVE DOEREN: That’s a great place to eat, I’ll tell you that. I wasn’t aware of their ability to do what you just said. Not somebody that really goes out to eat when it’s really bad weather. That’s about all I can say on that one.

Q. Having coached through what you did in 2016 against Notre Dame, did you offer any input as to what you guys experienced that day, whether it would be feasible to play in conditions like that ever again?

DAVE DOEREN: Well, we actually talked, because we have to, we have to assume we’re playing until they tell us we’re not. We said, Look, we’ve been through this, half of our roster was still here when we played that game. You guys now if we take care of the football like we did in that game, because we practiced with wet balls all week preparing for it, we scored 10 points in that day, none of them were on offense. We kicked a field goal, blocked a punted for a touchdown, never turned the ball over. We kind of had that to lean on from this game to talk to our players about the importance of those things, field position, special teams play, not turning it over in a game like that.

We were very well prepared if it would have been a deal where they had us play the football game.

THE MODERATOR: Coach, thank you. (ACC)

NC State Football

RELEASE: Wolfpack to Participate in Florence Relief and Recovery Efforts



RALEIGH, N.C. – In response to the devastating flooding, damage and loss suffered by the state of North Carolina, our communities and citizens following Hurricane Florence, NC State Athletics is joining the University’s overall efforts to aid in relief and recovery in a variety of ways.

On Saturday, Sept. 29 at the Wolfpack’s Parents and Families Day football game vs. Virginia, items of need will be collected at the entrance gates to Carter-Finley Stadium and at the Lowes Foods Fan Zone in front of PNC Arena. More details on the most needed items will be released prior to the game.

This year’s Primetime with the Pack basketball event will be a ticketed event with all after-tax ticket proceeds going to disaster relief. More details about this event will be released in the coming days.

NC State Athletics is also involved in a number of other relief efforts:

  • Donation of new adidas merchandise to those in need, in partnership with adidas.
  • Carter-Finley Stadium has been used as a staging area for Duke Energy and The Finley Fieldhouse was used by power crews to shower and rest between shifts.
  • GoTriangle is partnering with WRAL and the United Way to stage a Storm Relief Bus in the parking lot of the Close-King Indoor Practice Facility. Non-perishable food donations can be dropped off on Thursday, between 7 am and 6 pm.
  • NC State’s athletic facilities are being made available to regional universities and schools for teams displaced or impacted by the hurricane.

Fans who would like to make financial contributions may give directly to NC State University’s Student Emergency Fund, which was established to address the needs of current NC State students, or to the governor’s Disaster Relief Fund.
Fans can also volunteer for relief and recovery efforts at the State of North Carolina’s volunteer website.

Please check and @PackAthletics on Twitter for updates on all relief efforts supported by NC State Athletics.

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NC State Football

WATCH: 4-star QB transfer Bailey Hockman Video Vault



In case you missed it, NC State landed a big commitment from FSU transfer Bailey Hockman on Monday.

Here is a treasure trove of the best of his highlight reels from both college and high school…

Florida State spring game (Hockman led the Garnet squad with 203 yards passing and a touchdown)

FSU Skills video

Hockman interview on the transition to college…

Highlight from senior year (Corky Kell Classic)

Junior year highlights

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NC State Football

NC State Ranks 24th in PFF’s Post-Week 3 Power Rankings



ProFootballFocus has released their ELO Power Rankings after Week 3, and NC State remains in the Top-25, landing at #24.

Preseason: 19th
Week 1: 21st
Week 2: 23rd
Week 4: 24th

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NC State Football

NC State’s ACC Leaders Heading Into Week 4



Week 4 of the 2018 College Football Season is days away, and before NC State heads up to Marshall, let’s take a look at the individual NC State players that rank in the Top-10 in the ACC in their respective statistical categories.

Wolfpack Redshirt Graduate Senior Quarterback Ryan Finley ranks 1st in the ACC in Total Offensive Yards per game (342.5), passing yards per game (339.5), and completion percentage (74.1%). He also ranks 5th in passing efficiency rating (158.3). Finley’s 4 touchdowns currently ranks 7th in the conference.

NC State has 3 receivers that rank in the Top-10 in the ACC in receptions per game. Junior Kelvin Harmon ranks 3rd (6.0), Redshirt Freshman Thayer Thomas ranks 5th (5.0) and Sophomore Emeka Emezie ranks 8th (4.5).

They also have two receivers that rank in the Top-10 in receiving yards per game, with Harmon ranking 6th (81.0) and Thomas ranking 9th (65.0).

Freshman Place Kicker Chris Dunn ranks 5th in the ACC in average points (kicking) per game (8.5) and in field goals made (3).

Senior Punter AJ Cole currently ranks 7th in average yards per punt (41.8). Last season, Cole’s average was 43.7 yards.

Through 3 weeks, NC State has 3 players that rank in the Top-10 in the ACC in tackles per game. Redshirt Graduate Senior Germaine Pratt leads the conference in tackles per game (9.5), Redshirt Freshman Linebacker Isaiah Moore is 6th (8.5) and Redshirt Junior Safety Jarius Morehead ranks 8th (8.0).

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