- That wasn’t very fair, but yeah.
- We’ll be home Saturday night at like 1. Then we have to leave on Wednesday to play a game.
- I think it’s something that the league should look into, for both teams that have to play a Thursday short week game to never have to play a night game on the Saturday prior.
- From a player safety standpoint, I think that would be a wise discussion.
- We’ll have to adjust. It will be very difficult to practice with pads on that week, maybe one day.
- Our guys have a lot of academic obligations too on Monday and Tuesday.
- When you wake up on Sunday, it’s already game week Wednesday. It’s crazy. It’s a short turnaround.”
NC State Head Football Coach Dave Doeren met with the media today at the 2019 ACC Kickoff (Media Day). Below is the transcript from his press conference.
Q. Last year you outscored your opponents by 98 points in the second quarter. In the third quarter the margin was a scant 7. You’ve expressed concern before about fans leaving the stadium.
With NC State now beginning alcohol sales, do you feel that’s the beginning of a turnaround of keeping more fans in the stadium? Will that help your third quarter effort?
DAVE DOEREN: Man, you just threw a softball right at me (laughter).
Well, they’re two separate issues. First of all, I’m excited for our fans. I think the entertainment is such an important part of game day for them. Obviously the product we put on the field, the type of player we bring in for them to watch, the style of football we play, is a big entertaining value.
But now for them to be able to buy beer, if that’s important to them, have the opportunity to do that in the shade under the stands at halftime, I know there’s going to be a lot of different spots where they can do that. Then be back in there for us.
The fact is for those of you that have been to Carter Finley, it’s an incredible place to play. It’s a huge advantage. Our sidelines to the bench, our parents sit right behind them, our recruits sit behind. Our student section is incredible. It brings energy, creates an advantage for our football team. We want that for four quarters.
Selfishly, absolutely, I would love to see everybody staying in there because it helps us win. At the end of the day I think everybody would agree that’s our job here, is to win as many games as we can and do it right the right way, so our fans can enjoy it and in my opinion be a part of it because that’s a strength for us.
Q. Could you talk about the development of Devin Leary. Will he be figuring into the quarterback mix this year?
DAVE DOEREN: Really excited about Devin. One of the best young passers, just true arm strength, that I’ve been around. I think what spring ball is for a guy at his age is his chance to show you where he’s at, what he knows. Then how does he take that information from the spring which ended the first week in April for us, up until August 1st, and grow from that information?
Because I think for all of our players, the less they’re thinking about what they have to do, the better they play. It takes reps to get them there. So Devin has now the opportunity to see if learning going from the spring to the fall, allows him to showcase that arm, so he’s not thinking about the offensive play, he’s thinking more about the defensive coverage or the blitz that’s coming at him. That will allow him to play faster.
He’s going to be a really good player for us. He’s a big part of this competition.
Q. What can you say about George McDonald, wide receiver coach, making him co-offensive coordinator, recruiting coordinator. How has he elevated himself there?
DAVE DOEREN: I’m a huge fan of George’s, to be honest. I think the guy is one of the best teachers and motivators in the country at his position. I feel fortunate that I’ve had him on my staff as long as I have. I’m really proud of him, for his growth. Love his family. His wife Heather, their son Roman. He’s a really good role model for these guys.
He is hard on his players, but he loves them. He holds them to a high standard. They hold themselves to it now because they see it works. It was fun seeing Steph Louis teach Kelvin Harmon, and Kelvin Harmon teach Emeka, and now Emeka is trying to teach Devin. They passed th torch to each other through his leadership. So I’m really thankful to him. He’s earned the co-offensive coordinator title. He does a really good job with our pass game.
Q. Obviously there’s been turnover on the offense. I want to ask you about the defense. Defense seems like it’s going to be one of the strong points. What is one area of the defense you think needs to improve?
DAVE DOEREN: Well, I think statistically we were really good, top three in rushing defense, top three in third-down defense, top three in red-zone defense. We need to create more takeaways on defense, in my opinion.
Offenses are going to get yards. You guys all know the RPO world that allows offenses to do things that really aren’t fair in football, to have linemen downfield and throw forward passes is really hard on a defense. The stress gets put on the secondary, if you’re a team that wants to stop the run. That’s something I believe in.
Our DBs obviously get a lot of the blame. I don’t think that’s always their fault. A lot of times they’re playing one-on-one, everyone else is trying to defend the run game. That’s just college football.
But if we can get more takeaways and do what we did last year on third downs in the red zone, stopping the run, create shorter fields for our offense, I think that would be outstanding for our football team.
Q. Certainly we’re here in Charlotte. You want to be back here at the end of the year. You and your staff are here a lot because of recruiting. Talk about how important Charlotte recruiting is for you guys.
DAVE DOEREN: Charlotte has been great to our program. High school coaches here, we’ve built great relationships with. Obviously this year’s draft, last year’s draft, you can see that when you see what happened with Garrett Bradbury, national award winner, the career that Jaylen Samuels, and BJ Hill are having from this area. We’ve got a lot of good players from Charlotte. We’ll continue to battle to do that.
I think it’s an important city for all the schools in this state. It’s been one that’s helped us quite a bit. It’s been fun over the last six years to see this area grow. There’s so many people moving into our state, not just Raleigh, but Charlotte. There’s a good population of talent here to recruit from.
Q. With Larrell Murchison, his agility, strength, he’s great on the defensive line, but are there other positions maybe he could play for you, but also in the NFL?
DAVE DOEREN: Yeah, I think Larrell is a name, if he stays healthy, knock on wood, that’s what we need him to do, should be one of the better defensive linemen, interior guys in the conference. He’s very disruptive. He plays hard. He’s got a great motor, big heart. The game is slow to him right now. He’s not thinking at all. In the weight room, there isn’t anything he can’t do in there with Coach Thunder.
The biggest thing for him is going to be staying healthy. He would be a disruptive force in the interior of our front.
Q. Coach, last year you were very pass heavy. Worked out great. Talented quarterback, receivers. You have some talented young running backs.
DAVE DOEREN: We do.
Q. As the new players involved in the pass game mature, if you may become a little more run heavy? If the run-pass balance will change?
DAVE DOEREN: Our offense is built to be balanced, first of all. But at the same time I’m not going to just beat my head against the wall. We had three outstanding wide receivers last year. Ryan was one of the best throwers in the country. We took advantage of that.
We’ll see what we end up with this year. I’m excited about Ricky Person. I’m really excited about our young backs, Zonovan Knight, Jordan Houston, Delbert Mimms, we’ve got four talented running backs. They need to get into camp and show they can hang onto the football, protect our quarterback, do all the things that Coach Kitchings demands from them.
Our offense is trying, constantly evolving. One thing that does remain constant is I want to be a balanced football team. I want to run it when I want to run it, I want to throw it when I want to throw it, and be able to have the confidence with our offensive line that they can do both. I think if you get too one-sided to that, it gets really hard now to shift to the other when you need it in a football game.
Q. With Payton Wilson coming off the issues with his knee, what can you say about what you’ve seen from him this spring?
DAVE DOEREN: Well, he’s chomping at the bit. I’m going to tell you, Payton is an incredible competitor. He was a great wrestler, incredible player in high school. Hasn’t been able to play in a long time. He’s healthy. He’s fully cleared. Probably more excited to play in training camp than anybody on our football team. He’s in the office all the time watching tape on his own. I see him every day. He’s really, really looking forward to this fall.
I’m excited to see him. The kid loves his game. He hasn’t had it in his life It’s something he’s missed. I’m excited to see him out there doing it.
Q. Do you have a timeframe you’d like to establish a starting quarterback? What impressed you with Matt McKay last season?
DAVE DOEREN: It would be great to be able to give you a timeline. I think when it shows itself to us, we’ll know. There’s a lot of data that we accumulate on a day-to-day basis when we start practice from completion rate to touchdown interceptions to who can stay on the field, create the most first downs, to our red zone opportunities, what happens down there, do they score, kick a field goal, turn it over, two-minute drills.
You accumulate data over time, see who has the lead. Sometimes it’s really telling. Sometimes it isn’t. So I wish I could give you a deadline. I don’t know it. It’s on the players to show me who it is, to be honest.
I want to see who is the leader of that group, how do these guys play for them, and who can inspire the guys around him. I know as a guy that played offense in college, we had a quarterback we would have done anything for that guy. He got hurt in the game, I remember it. The next guy came in. You could just feel the emotion of the huddle leave. You want that guy to be an inspirational part of your offense where they trust and fight for him. He takes time to find that.
The good thing is, we’ve got options. We have some good players there.
Q. I imagine being in North Carolina you’ve had contact with Coach Satterfield. What have been your impressions of him, how do you think he’ll do at Louisville?
DAVE DOEREN: When Coach Satt was at App, they used to visit us every spring. Got to know him. Think a lot of him. Good coach, good man. He did a tremendous job at App State. I’m not sure what the workload looks like for him at Louisville. I know he’s a guy that will do it the right way and work hard at it.
Q. North Carolina is a growing state, talent growing with it. You’ve had a lot of recent success with Raleigh area recruits. How have you tried to tap into that?
DAVE DOEREN: I think 45 players on our team were from North Carolina when I was hired six years ago. Now it’s upward of 70. So we always try to start in the state. It’s nice for those young men to have their families close. I think the transition for a lot of people is hard from high school to college. Sometimes having that family nearby helps them through those struggles.
Then being able to have them come to the games easily, less expensive, all those things. But it starts with having the talent to do that. I’ve coached at places where you didn’t have that, didn’t have that many good
players in your state. I think that’s the one thing people don’t realize. If you look at the current NFL active rosters, the state of North Carolina is represented very well. It’s in the top 10 for active players in the NFL.
There’s a lot of good players in this state. So we’re fortunate to have that. Then surrounding the state, the states that touch our state, we’re in those states heavily, as well.
Q. You touched on the quarterback situation. Right now, can you give us an idea, does anybody have an upper hand?
DAVE DOEREN: I’m not going to give you the answer to that because I don’t want to do that. I want to see who improves over the summer. I’m not trying to hide anything. I mean, I just think you’re talking about a transfer that came in in January, a kid that redshirted last year, a kid that’s in his third year. There’s a lot of growth that’s going to happen from the end of the spring to the beginning of this fall.
I’d be selling them short not to give them that opportunity, you know? Once we see where it’s at, obviously Matt has been here the longest, ha taken the most reps. So he has that value for him. But I’m really excited to see these guys compete. I think that’s what they signed up to do when they came here. We need to give them that opportunity.
Q. Special teams never get a whole lot of love during these press conferences. Talk about Mackenzie Morgan.
DAVE DOEREN: We’re fortunate, with Mackenzie coming in, to bring him in a year earlier than he would be the starter to follow. AJ Cole, who in my opinion was a really good punter for us, he’s one of the greatest human beings I’ve been around. For Mackenzie to get to see him, shadow him for a year, I’m excited for him.
He’s got a lot of ability. He can punt on the move, being a guy that was an Australian Rules player. But he can also sit in the pocket, directional punt. He’s got a great personality. He’s an older guy that has a lot of experience behind him.
He’s in a room with a guy that had great success last year in Chris Dunn. Chris was a weapon for us as a field-goal kicker a year ago. Kicked a 50-plus, I think it was a 54-yard field goal in our spring game, might have been longer, and drilled it. It would have been good from 60. He’s getting better, coming off of a year where he was a freshman All-American.
I feel great about that area of our football team. The return game is an area we can get better. I’m excited to add Tabari Hines, and some of these young freshmen to our football team to help us in the return mode, as well.
Q. To speak on recruiting, what you see from these guys going through their high schools, whatnot. Not only are they rising up at NC State, but they’re going to the NFL. What are you seeing in them? What can you say about your staff doing their homework to find good guys collegiately and on the professional level?
DAVE DOEREN: I was really fortunate when I was at the University of Wisconsin to work for Bret Bielema, Barry Alvarez. I think that program did a phenomenal job at developing players. There were three-sport athletes, tough guys. I got to watch that, be a part of that for five years. It’s come with me here.
I think our staff understands, we just don’t look for good football players. We look for guys that love to train and love to play, that are good human beings. I think James is a great example of that. Here is a guy that was 185-pound linebacker, that’s a 270-pound defensive end. That doesn’t happen if he doesn’t love the process of working hard.
We have to find that in our process of evaluation of recruiting and go to the weight room and watch them lift, go to their track meet, go to their wrestling meet, their basketball practice, see them do the dirty stuff behind the scenes, not the stuff on game day that everybody does.
We put a lot of time and effort into that. I think our staff has done well following that formula. Then it comes down to how we coach ’em, how Coach Thunder and his staff develop them, Justin Smith, our trainer. We have a good group of people around these players to help them a lot. I think they understand the value of those people in their lives. They take advantage of the opportunity they have to work with them.
THE MODERATOR: NC State, thank you. Good luck this year.
DAVE DOEREN: Thank you.ACC
Dave Doeren’s Press Conference Before Louisville: BULLETED
NC State Head Coach Dave Doeren met with the media today for his weekly press conference before the Wolfpack’s game against Louisville on Saturday. You can watch it here, or check out a bulleted breakdown below.
- I’d like to start off just thanking our fans and students for the atmosphere and the crowd that we had in the game Saturday night, particularly in the first half.
- I know right now that it’s tough as a fan base as we are suffering through some difficult things, but I also know that we’ve built a heck of a program here and these kids are working really hard, and the staff is working really hard.
- Being young and facing the injuries has created a reality of adversity that we’re in.
- I really believe that adversity shows you your true self.
- I think for us, it’s an opportunity to be the best leaders that we can be.
- I was raised by a great family and had a terrific grandfather who used to say ‘tough times never last, but tough people do.’
- I look forward to continuing to persist and fight and help these guys get better.
- Excited to get back on the grass with these guys.
- They were really good in our meetings yesterday.
- It really comes down to us not beating us.
- As good as Clemson is, we obviously gave them a lot of opportunities with the turnovers we had in the first half.
- It’s about ending every drive with the football, and handing the ball to the referee at the end of every play.
- If we end each drive with a kick, whether it be a punt, a field goal or an extra point, that’s got to be what we do to win football games.
- Defensively, we’ve got to get much better in our tackling fundamentals.
- Last two weeks that has not been where we need it to be.
- Need consistency in technique, which allows you to be consistent in your fundamental execution of your plays.
- For us, it’s just about helping who’s in the lineup to execute as good as they can, and giving those opportunities to them.
- We’ve got to practice really, really fast.
- The hard thing for us right now is our scout team.
- When you’re taking guys from the scout team to play on the upper fields, your scout team doesn’t give you the best look all the time.
- I have a lot of respect for Scott Satterfield.
- He’s doing a great job.
- Good team speed.
- He inherited a team that had some really good skill players, and those guys make plays for them.
- Three receivers averaging over 17 yards per catch.
- I think Seth Dawkins, Chatarius Atwell and Dez Fitzpatrick are all very good players.
- They do a good job with them on their play action schemes and their jet schemes, getting the ball to them where they can make plays.
- On defense, they’ve struggled in some games and in other games they’ve been very productive.
- They are a disruption-based defense.
- They bring a lot of pressure.
- They give you a lot of looks, a lot of different coverage.
- Young tailback that’s very dynamic.
- Play hard on both lines of scrimmage.
- Had some turnover issues early in their season, but have gotten that together.
- They’ve been relatively healthy as a football team.
- Quarterback is playing really well.
- 62 percent.
- Very good athlete.
- Only three interceptions and 10 touchdowns.
What’s Gone Well…
- We’re punting and kicking the ball well.
- We’re covering kicks better than we have.
- Coach Goebbel has done a really good job with our coverage units.
- Isaiah Moore will be back this week.
- Drake Thomas is fine.
- C.J. Hart is fine.
- It sounds like Payton Wilson is going to be good.
- Still waiting to find out on Louis Acceus.
- Haven’t heard yet on his status.
Most injuries have been in games…
- Tyrone Riley’s wasn’t. He got his foot stepped on in a drill.
- Two or three practice injuries, but about 90 percent of them have been on game day which is really weird.
- A lot of times, because they’re playing so fast, you don’t have that.
- Most of the injuries that I’ve dealt with over the last 6 years have been training camp, where you’re having back to back-to-back-to-back kind of work.
- They just don’t have the recovery aspect like they normally do during the season.
Louisville’s run game…
- The stretch, or wide zone, is the staple.
- They’re doing a lot more of a quarterback run game, because their QB is a good athlete.
- He’s their third-leading rusher.
- About 75 percent of that run game is stretch.
Picking up blitzes vs. Clemson…
- It could be better. There were times where we won, and there were times where we didn’t win.
- When you get into a game like that where you’re down as fast as we were, they’re just going to tee off at that point and put you in some tough situations protection wise.
- There were a lot of different things being thrown at two true freshman.
- I thought Dylan McMahon and Icky Ekwonu played really well as freshmen in that game.
Xavier Lyas Transferring…
- He came in and saw me on Sunday.
- I wish him luck.
- I’d rather talk about the guys that are here.
- Somebody put a great screenshot out today though that their girlfriend was in the portal. I thought that was pretty funny.
- It’s life. Some of these kids don’t play as much as they want, and that’s how it goes.
- As far as our depth, we’ll be fine. We’ve got enough defensive ends. We’ll be good.
3 players hurt on 1 play against Clemson…
- I just looked up to the sky and said ‘come on’ on that one.
Him remaining positive…
- I believe in karma.
- I think that if I bring negativity into that building, then that building has a negative feel.
- My job is to create an environment where people want to be great. I’ve got to be positive to make that happen.
- I’ve also got to be truthful.
- I’ve got to tell them the facts, but I think that if you’re a positive person, you have a positive outlook and you try to find solutions instead of problems, then better things happen.
- That’s the approach that I’m taking with our guys.
- There’s a lot of days where I’m picking people up, because not everybody sees things like that.
On playing on Thursday after Saturday night primetime…
NC State DE Xavier Lyas Enters Transfer Portal
NC State Redshirt Sophomore Defensive End Xavier Lyas has officially entered his name into the Transfer Portal.
Thank you Ncstate coaching staff for giving a kid from the middle of nowhere a chance to play football at their school. I have growin so much here at state. I have decided to enter the transfer portal in order for me to reach my full potential both academically and football. 💯 pic.twitter.com/Yu69zl6Sff
— Lightspzzd_97 (@xavierlyas) November 11, 2019
Lyas has flashed his potential all season long, collecting 4.0 sacks (4.5 tackles for loss) on the year, but that has all come in very limited playing time. The most snaps he has played in a game is 19 against Wake Forest.
There is a lot of depth at the Defensive End position, and there aren’t as many snaps to go around with the Pack primarily running a 3-3-5 defensive scheme. Also, there’s a lot of buzz surrounding Jeffrey Gunter, who is a transfer from Coastal Carolina who is sitting out this season, meaning that he won’t likely be guaranteed snaps next season.
Lyas was listed as James Smith-Williams backup against Clemson, but he likely missed the contest due to transferring, and not injury.
Mr. and Mrs. Wuf Wore BLACK for the RED OUT, Which was Fitting
It was supposed to be a RED OUT in Carter-Finley Stadium tonight for the Wolfpack’s Homecoming game versus Clemson.
Maybe in the most ironic moment of the night, Mr. and Mrs. Wuf were on the field dancing with the Dance Team in all black.
That was fitting.
NC State was a lifeless team tonight, suffering a 55-10 beat down at the hands of Clemson.
The Wolfpack entered the game with an injury epidemic.
The following players have been lost for the year.
Redshirt Junior Right Tackle Justin Witt
Junior Cornerback Chris Ingram
Redshirt Junior Wide Receiver C.J. Riley
Redshirt Junior Tight End Dylan Autenrieth (Captain)
Graduate Redshirt Senior Left Tackle Tyrone Riley
Redshirt Freshman Cornerback Taiyon Palmer
Sophomore Cornerback Teshaun Smith
Tonight, the Wolfpack were without starting Linebackers Louis Acceus (Junior) and Isaiah Moore (Redshirt Sophomore) due to injury. Reserves Free Safety Isaiah Stallings (Redshirt Junior) and Defensive End Xavier Lyas (Redshirt Sophomore) both were unable to go tonight.
Starting Offensive Lineman Joe Sculthorpe was suspended for the contest.
Things didn’t end there.
Starting Redshirt Freshman Cornerback De’Von Graves left the game and didn’t return.
Starting Redshirt Freshman Linebacker Payton Wilson left the game with a sprained shoulder, and didn’t return.
On the play Wilson was hurt, this was literally the scene on the field.
State’s season in a nutshell pic.twitter.com/SQl5c9SYjk
— Mark Armstrong (@ArmstrongABC11) November 10, 2019
Graduate Redshirt Senior Defensive End James Smith-Williams and Sophomore Defensive Tackle Alim McNeil would eventually get up and return to the game.
Freshman Linebacker Drake Thomas was injured at the end of the game.
Sophomore Running Back Ricky Person warmed up, but didn’t play.
Freshman Running Back Zonovan Knight may have rushed for 139 yards and a touchdown, but he wasn’t 100%, and was dinged up on a short run.
Redshirt Freshman Linebacker C.J. Hart was injured during the game, but was able to return.
Honestly, I’m probably missing some injuries…
Mr. and Mrs. Wuf wearing all BLACK was completely appropriate.
Clemson 55 NC State 10: ACCDN Highlight Reel & Condensed Game
Below is the ACC Digital Network’s Highlight Reel and Condensed Game from NC State’s 55-10 loss to Clemons tonight.
This is better to watch if you’re a Clemson fan.
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