NC State head coach Dave Doeren met with the media after practice yesterday prior to the Wolfpack’s matchup against rival #14 UNC tomorrow. You can watch it here, or check out a BULLETED breakdown below.
Great weekly practice becoming the norm…
- Yeah, I think the standard has been set.
- Our job is to try and raise it, so this week it was ‘let’s have the best Tuesday we’ve had all year.
- Let’s have the best Wednesday,’ and so on.
- It’s just trying to do one thing better than you did the last time you had an opportunity. That’s kind of the mantra that we have right now.
Pleased with Linebacker group…
- It’s a fun group to watch.
- They feed off each other’s energy.
- They’re active.
- They understand the scheme.
- They are playing fast, and they are very talented.
- I don’t expect it to slow down.
- The way these guys are playing, the way they are picking things up right now, it’s a lot of fun to see Payton Wilson and Drake Thomas and Isaiah Moore just feed off of each other.
- Then Levi Jones with what he’s been doing on third down, too.
QB Bailey Hockman in the running game vs. UNC…
- We’ll just have to see on Saturday.
- We definitely need to be able to run the ball to help Bailey.
- The run game is a big part of his success being in there, just because the play actions and the nakeds and full protections you can do with downfield play action.
- All that stuff is better when you are able to run the football. Whether it’s a tailback run or a quarterback run or a receiver run with some of our jets that we do, we’ve got to be able to run the football in this game.
Success stopping the run the past two weeks…
- Stopping the run is a collective thing.
- The way that college football is now with so many perimeter plays, it always starts inside out with your nose guard, and we are getting very good nose guard play.
- Then it goes to the leverage on the edges of your defense, and we’ve been sound in those areas for the most part.
- Then it is pursuing the football.
- It just kind of ties together.
- If you’re soft in the middle, then you’ve got no chance.
- If you don’t leverage the ball in pursuit, then it doesn’t matter.
- Our guys just understand the 11-man approach that we are taking and whose job it is to do what, and then just be a guy that’s not going to be blocked by a single person and just get extra people there.
The moment he felt like he was going to land Payton Wilson instead of UNC…
- There was a night where I was going, me and coach Huxtable, to see him play.
- That same afternoon we found out that the UNC staff was going to be flying in there in a helicopter.
- I just called Payton’s coach and AD and said ‘Hey, just so you know, we are coming in a pickup truck and country music is playing on the radio. I heard they’re bringing in a helicopter. I hope you know we are for real. This is a better place for him.’
- The AD called me back and just thanked me for not creating all the stuff that got created over there; for them, having to find a field for them to land a helicopter in.
- I just kind of felt like it put us in a place that made us more like them as a family.
- I think I had Hank Williams Jr. on the radio when I was talking to him, so we were laughing about that.
Wilson playing like a man against boys right now…
- He’s a throwback.
- He’s definitely like Jack Lambert and that old-school linebacker that’s just a vicious player.
- He plays extremely hard.
- He’s learned how much he loves football by losing football, with his injuries.
- He actually plays that way.
- He’s gonna give it everything because he knows how precious it is to him.
- There’s few guys out there that play as hard as he physically plays the game. He’s relentless.
- During training camp when we lost Devin Leary to contact tracing, we were able to soak Ben and Bailey at that time.
- Ben’s done a really good job understanding the offense.
- We do developmental practice every Friday where he gets to run our skellys.
- He hasn’t really looked like a guy that hasn’t practiced.
- He’s had a very good week.
- He’s ready to play if called upon.
- He’s done a really good job of preparing himself for his moment when it comes.
UNC’s Wide Receivers…
- They are very skilled at running back, wideout, tight end and quarterback.
- The biggest thing you see this year is QB Sam Howell, gets out of trouble and extends plays, not by running down the field but by letting his receivers get open as he scrambles.
- There’s a lot of explosive plays that way in their offense.
- You’ve got to tackle their quick game, tackle their hitches, tackle their screens and all that.
- We’ve got to be disciplined, one in keeping him in the pocket, but two staying on our guys in coverage.