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Dave Doeren’s Press Conference After NC State Beat BC 28-23



Wolfpack Head Coach Dave Doeren spoke with the media in his postgame press conference after his team beat Boston College 28-23 to improve to 5-0. The video is ABOVE, and a bulleted breakdown of what he had to say is BELOW.

  • Heck of a ball game. Proud of the resiliency of our guys. The toughness and fortitude they had to finish. It was sloppy, but awesome to find a way to win against a really good team. Knew BC wouldn’t quit.
  • Defensively we played about as good as we could in the first half.
  • 2nd half didn’t finish some drives. The turnovers hurt us. When you have 533 yards of total offense, you expect to score more than 28 points.
  • The blocked punt. I’ll take credit for that. We were really worried about their returner. Thought they were set up for a return. We could have been in a better protection than we were in.
  • Great to see Reggie Gallaspy and Ricky Person both get over 100 yards rushing (Person only had 92).
  • Kelvin Harmon and Jakobi Meyers both had big games.
  • Thought the play call by OC Eliah Drinkwitz to Steph Louis at the end of the game was clutch. Pressure call. Allowed us to ice the game.
  • Great to be 5-0 heading into a bye week. Players are excited, and they deserve to be.
  • Played better than the final score shows, but we turned the ball over. When you do that you don’t get the points. Kind of like South Carolina last year. Obviously ball security is going to be a major emphasis this week.
  • The play with Germaine Pratt getting a fumble for us in the redzone was huge.
  • The defense responding after turnovers was tough as nails. Coach Huxtable has them right where he wants them. They’re playing hard. Believe in what we’re doing. They play together. They don’t care who makes the play. They bought into this game plan. A lot of time went into it. Didn’t sleep a whole lot last week preparing for what BC does. They’re a really good offense. Played pretty damn good.
  • You talk about Seniors. Germaine Pratt making a play. Steph Louis making a play to seal the game. Brady Bodine making plays. Players making plays in their last year is what you hope for. During the week, Steph is like “Coach put me on more special teams.” He wanted to do more, and did. Today he was on two units. He’s a selfless guy.
  • Reggie Gallaspy’s ball security is the best that we have. Obviously, when Ricky fumbled the football, you’re going to go with the guy who’s never done that at the end of the game. Be crazy not to. Ricky played a good football game. That will be a play he learns from. We put the ball in the Senior’s hands, and he does a good job with the football.
  • When Ryan Finley threw the ball in the redzone that the defensive end intercepted, he should have never thrown that. It was a poor choice. Should have thrown it away. Will have to see the other one. Didn’t get it to see it as closely.
  • Statistically you would say the defense has been better this year than last year. I don’t think we have as many disruptive plays, and think we had more turnovers at this point, but our scoring defense, our third down defense, and our redzone defense…and those are the top three things that matter…are better.
  • There was no flinch in the players on the sideline as Boston College made a run at the end. Just needed to get a few more first downs. They were great. Thought our onside defense at the end was good. It was a battle. We talked about it all week. It was going to be one. They’re a good football team. It wasn’t like a funeral on the sidelines. They were saying “Come on let’s finish.” There was a lot of encouragement. You can sense when a team gets tight and panics, and they didn’t.
  • Think Germaine Pratt, Isaiah Moore, Louis Acceus, and even Brock Miller when he’s in there, are playing fundamentally sound. Pratt’s just playing hard and having a good time with it.
  • Looking forward to seeing the film. I think we took them out of a lot of stuff they are good at in the run game. Other than one run, they didn’t do a whole lot.
  • Being 5-0 isn’t something you can ignore. You remind them what got them here. The process we go by is a day-by-day critical process. I want them to enjoy the respect they’ve earned nationally, because they deserve it. At the same time, they need to stay focused on the process. I hope they get the respect they deserve, because this football team has done a great job this year.

NC State Football

Keys to an NC State Victory over #3 Clemson



#15 NC State’s matchup versus #3 Clemson is the biggest game for the Wolfpack in recent memory. Here are my keys to a Wolfpack victory.

Get to Trevor Lawrence early and often

Head Coach Dave Doeren made the point earlier in the week on his radio show that a key to the game will be rattling Freshman Clemson Quarterback

“What do you do? You hit him. You try to get him out of rhythm, you try to make him see things he hasn’t seen and you have to make plays,” Doeren said. “Rattle him a little bit. He hasn’t been rattled…You can just get him to question what he’s looking at a little bit, give the D-line a little bit more time to get there and the blitzes a little more time to get there and get him on his back more than he wants to be on his back. All of those things add up back. But that’s easier said than done.” (Link)

Somehow Doeren took criticism this week for his comments, as if there is something wrong with emphasizing sacking the quarterback. ClemsonInsider, wrote this critique of Doeren’s words that we’re as soft as Charmin Extra Strength.

Lawrence is extremely talented, but NC State will want to make him win the game for the Tigers. He leads the ACC in passing efficiency rating, but he is a frosh, and the Wolfpack’s chances of winning will be better if Lawrence’s Jersey is stained with brown and green at the end of the day.

Stop the Chunk Plays

Clemson ranks 5th in yards per play, but their ability to hit the home run play are what set them apart. The Tigers have 12 plays thus far in 2018 that have gone for 50+ yards, which is tops in the NCAA. Clemson is going to make plays, but the Safeties and the Nickelbacks will have to have perfect pursuit angles and not give up the big plays.

Play Smart

The past two times that NC State has played Clemson, they have shot themselves in the foot through a lack of self-discipline. Last year the Wolfpack had 6 penalties, compared to the Tigers 3. In 2016, NC State committed an audacious 13 penalties, compared to Clemson’s 5.

The Wolfpack needs to play a clean game, even though emotions will be high.

Make Field Goals

Freshman Place Kicker Chris Dunn might be the most valuable player in today’s game. Over the past two years, NC State has only made 2 of their 7 field goal attempts against Clemson. Dunn has made 8 of his 11 field goal attempts through the first 5 games.

Battle of the Trenches

The Tigers boast a future NFL defensive line, but NC State’s offensive line is simply one of the best in the nation as well. If NC State can find a way to get Thunder (Reggie Gallaspy) and Lightning (Ricky Person) to be productive day, Ryan Finley will have a strong advantage throwing against man-to-man coverage to the Wolfpack’s elite receivers.

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NC State Football

GAMEDAY PRIMER: #16 NC State vs. #4 Clemson: How to watch, gameday info, quotes, and more



#16 NC State Wolfpack (5-0) vs. #4 Clemson Tigers (6-0)

Location: Death Valley, Clemson, SC
Game Time: 3:30pm

How to watch:
📻: 101.5 FM – WRAL

Gameday Info:

The battle of the unbeaten. If there were ever a time for Dave Doeren to grab his first signature win at NC State, now is the time. #4 Clemson has become a national powerhouse and if the Wolfpack wants to take their program to the next level, well they’ve got their shot.

A win today at Clemson puts NC State squarely in the College Football Playoff conversation. There was talk about it a few weeks ago, and a win today would amplify that.

This marks the first time since 2000 that the Wolfpack will play in an October game that boasts two unbeaten teams. In that season, head coach Chuck Amato’s first as head coach, a 4-0 NC State squad headed to South Carolina to face a 4-0 Clemson squad. The Wolfpack lost that game, 27-34.

Uniform Report:

Quotes from the Coach


The Spread
Clemson is picked to win by 16.5


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NC State Football

VIDEO: Dave Doeren Talks Before NC State’s Showdown with Clemson



NC State head coach Dave Doeren spoke to the media today before the Wolfpack’s showdown against Clemson this Saturday down in Death Valley. The video is ABOVE and a bulleted breakdown is BELOW .

  • Going to have to play the best we can against their front-4. They are NFL players. It’s not just blocking really good players. They do a lot of different stuff. Got our hands full, but we are excited.
  • We will play uptempo. Give them different things to look at. Move the ball around. We’ve got to take advantage of tight coverage and get behind them. We have to run our offense and execute and give Ryan (Finley) a chance to do.
  • LG Terronne Prescod and C Garrett Bradbury deserve credit for buying in. You can develop only if you want to develop. They deserve all the credit they get. They’re playing hard. I told them it would be better to win the award, instead of a midyear deal
  • Clemson has good defensive backs. They play tight coverage. They’re going to compete for balls. Our guys have to win those competitions. If they can’t catch it, they need to break it up. There are going to be 50/50 balls in the game. We’re going to give our guys chances. He’s going to put it in some tight spots, and we need to win those balls.
  • Clemson leads the nation in explosive plays. Our overlap players have to be where they are supposed to be. Have to have proper pursuit. We are going to miss some tackles, that’s inevitable, but need to hit them with the proper leverage so the other guys can get it down on the ground.
  • RB Travis Etienne is the one that stirs the pot for their offense. Playing with a lot of confidence. More snaps. Scores every 8 touches. Really dynamic player.

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NC State Football

NC State’s Dave Doeren’s Week 8 ACC Media Teleconference Transcript



Today NC State head coach Dave Doeren answered questions on the weekly ACC Media Teleconference before the Wolfpack’s matchup against Clemson this Saturday. Here’s the transcript:

THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by NC State head coach Dave Doeren. Coach, please make an opening statement and then we’ll open it up for questions.

DAVE DOEREN: Excited for the opportunity this week, play Clemson on their homecoming at their place. Two really good teams, undefeated. Great rivalry team between Atlantic Division foes. Excited for that. In the bye week, sure for them as well, has been very productive, not just from a scouting standpoint, but to get a little bit of a head start on a great opponent, also be able to heal up a few guys that were banged up, put us in a better position. Excited for the opportunity down there and looking forward to it.

Q. Could you share a few specifics about why you’ve matched up so well against Clemson the past few seasons? Some great games. How much is your run D going to need to be special in this one?

DAVE DOEREN: Yeah, I mean, both games have come down to one possession, single plays in the game that swing it one way or the other. Our kids have played hard. Two years ago we forced a bunch of turnovers against them defensively, weren’t able to capitalize, which really ended up losing the game. I think we had five takeaways in that game and didn’t get enough points out of them. Last year is more of a shootout, a lot more points scored in that game. I just think we’ve been able to execute, not enough to win, but to make it a game. That’s kind of where we’re at now. Obviously want to be able to put them away if we’re in that position. Try to make it a four-quarter game, make the key plays at the key moments. You have two teams that are battling, I know that. It means a lot to both programs.

Q. Your run D is going to have to be a real key in this game?

DAVE DOEREN: Absolutely. I mean, everybody playing in this league, you have to stop the run. What makes them challenging is their tailback is the fastest guy on the field. When No. 9 is in the game, he is super explosive. Each week you’ve got a different challenge in this conference. When you play Clemson, it’s always the explosive plays you’re concerned about from a defensive standpoint. He just adds a different dimension to their run game.

Q. I’m asking coaches this week with Nick Bosa withdrawing from Ohio State, preparing for the NFL, do you sense that’s going to be a trend in college football, for guys that project that high, do you think it’s going to be one or two guys that might do that going forward?

DAVE DOEREN: I couldn’t tell you. I mean, I’m not able to read the future, buddy. I’m worried about this game and our team, not Nick Bosa.

Q. Have you ever had that discussion with players that have been injured, obviously have NFL futures, whether they would try to come back and play for you or shut it down and prepare for the NFL?

DAVE DOEREN: We dealt with it last year. We had a couple seniors that didn’t play in our bowl game. Bradley didn’t play, was healthy. I feel like that was a good decision for him. Tony Adams didn’t play and wasn’t healthy. Didn’t think it was worth the risk for him. He wanted to play. He just couldn’t get back in time for it. I’ve had those discussions with them. The thing I loved about our guys is they were both on the sidelines cheering on their teammates, being a part of the preparation, helping those guys finish out their senior years. To me that was special, still having that leadership from them.

Q. You mentioned how one play, one possession can make a difference. Your kids that have been through these last two games, is that something you emphasized it or something they already know?

DAVE DOEREN: No, we’ve emphasized it. I have said ‘every rep matters’ to these guys for the past two years. I’ve probably said that as much as I’ve said anything. You don’t know what the play is that can cost you or win you a game. You have to approach it that way. People all talk about the last play of the game because that was the one they remember. There was plenty of opportunities in both of those games where we could have won and didn’t. Dropped the pass, had a pass interference on a critical third down, had a field goal blocked before we missed the one that was a chip shot. Every rep matters is a big deal in a big game. I think you look across our game last year with them, the punt return they had for a touchdown is really what gave them the lead. That wasn’t the last play. The guys just have to strain that way and understand the importance of every rep that they get.

Q. In light of all the personnel you lost on the defensive side of the ball, what have you been pleased most with in terms of your defense?

DAVE DOEREN: Really just the way that they go about their work. I think you have a bunch of guys that play for each other, play hard. They’re getting better. They know that they have things to work on and they work on them. It’s just week-to-week. I think they’ve rose to the challenge depending on what the offense was we were facing. Played a great receiver at Marshall, shut him out. Played really, really well on the road up there against them. That guy had 240 yards on us the year before. To be able to play Virginia the way we did, I don’t think that team gets enough respect. I think that’s a really good football team. I think what they do offensively is really, really challenging. Our guys took a quarterback out that was basically on the highlight reel of every ESPN SportsCenter for a week hurtling over people. He had 20 yards against us. Then Boston College, I thought we might have played as good of football as we’ve played since I’ve been here in that first half with their difficult offense, holding them to three points. They’ve rose to the challenge. Obviously this week presents another one and the most difficult one of all of them because of their personnel.

Q. You and Brent Venables are Kansas guys, coached in the Big 12. He told us he gave you an endorsement at Kansas. Describe how your relationship has evolved over the years, what makes him such a good coach?

DAVE DOEREN: Yeah, Brent is a great coach. I’ve known him since I was a GA at Drake, when he was a GA at Kansas State. I have great respect for him as a person, as a football coach. We used to recruit the same area in Dallas, talk football, talk linebacker play. Obviously compete against each other. But he did, he helped me get an interview with Kansas when he was at Oklahoma with Coach Mangino. Obviously I got the job because he got me the interview. I definitely owe him for that. But I think a lot of him. What makes him a great defensive coordinator, I think he’s a very detailed guy, I think he’s a passionate guy, very knowledgeable guy that understands how to relate and connect to people, but also how to push them, get a lot out of them. I know his players play hard for him and he competes his ass off in practice every day as a coach. I know that about him. I have great respect for him. He deserves every dollar he gets down there, he does a great job for them.

THE MODERATOR: Coach, thank you

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