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NC State quarterback Devin Leary stopped by the ACC Network’s Packer & Durham Show to talk about the upcoming NC State football season.

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NC State Football

Dave Doeren’s Weekly Press Conference Before Clemson: BULLETED

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NC State Head Football Coach Dave Doeren met with the media yesterday for his weekly press conference prior to the Wolfpack’s Top-10 matchup against #5 Clemson this Saturday. You can watch it here, or check out a breakdown of what he had to say below.

Opening Statement

  • Against UConn, really proud of our team…played really hard…were prepared.
  • We challenged our guys throughout the week to be in the moment…to work on us…not overlook an opponent…not let our guard down…be present and own the opportunity.
  • Our team showed maturity, which was something that we needed to do.
  • Our Texas Tech win looks even more impressive now, seeing what they did.
    • Congrats to Coach McGuire on his win over Texas.
  • From an offensive standpoint, we started fast.
    • I don’t know if you can start faster than that…great throw from Devin Leary to Thayer Thomas.
  • One of the goals we had was to be better after the catch, better after contact…wanted more yards after contact, yards after catches.
  • Devin Carter answered that, Thayer Thomas, Keyon Lesane, Demie Sumo-Karngbaye.
    • Michael Allen and Delbert Mimms got in the mix there, so it was a lot of guys who took that to heart.
  • Devin Leary played fast…made quick decisions, distributed the ball. He was accurate.
    • He obviously had one that he would like to have back there which was a turnover before the half. He’ll learn from that.
  • It’s nice when you don’t have to punt.
    • I don’t know if I’ve had a game like that as the head coach, so that was really nice to be able to end every possession without having to punt the football.
  • One thing we did a great job of was manage 3rd downs.
    • We had manageable down-and-distances which means you did well on 1st and 2nd, but that’s your down-and-distance management.
    • When you do that the right way, it makes coach Tim Beck’s job easier, and the kids performed better in 3rd-and-1, 3rd-and-2, and 3rd-and-3.
  • Negatively [Offensively], we had some penalties: 2 pre-snap on guys and 1 on our staff…12 men on the field trying to substitute a guy out, and we didn’t get that done in a fast enough fashion for the officials.
    • We had 2 sacks we probably could have avoided with throwaways, and we had 2 drops that were probably catchable.
  • Defensively, we had 8 3-and-outs and 2 4th-down stops.
    • We stopped the run.
    • They had 0 explosive plays in their pass game, and I thought we tackled well with the 1’s and 2’s.
  • It got sloppy at the end of the game where we put in a bunch of young guys, and they looked like they were young guys.
    • It was good to get them that game experience, but the product wasn’t very good. That’s something that they’ll learn a lot from and hopefully be better for the next time they get out there.
  • On special teams, Chris Dunn continues to be very, very good for us, and I was happy with Collin Smith with his kickoffs.
    • It was nice for him to get in and play a little bit as our kicker, too. He had a nice field goal and kicked off well.
  • Our punt return scheme could have blocked better for Thayer.
    • We had 1 opportunity, and I feel like we need to do a better job there.
  • The fake field goal, I’ll take the credit for that.
    • UConn did a nice job. It wasn’t what we thought we were going to get. It wasn’t what they showed us. They did a nice job of not rushing off the edge that they had been the entire game. Kudos to them for that.
  • As far as this week, I’m excited for the game. It’s a great matchup against a very talented group with an experienced, talented staff.
  • I’ve got great respect for Coach Dabo Swinney and his program. We look forward to playing a great team.
  • It’s 2 Top-10 teams competing on a national stage, and that’s why we do this.
  • The kids have worked hard. The staff has worked hard, and we expected to be in this position. We expected to be 4-0 going to Clemson.
  • We’ll continue to focus on us. I think the path that has gotten us here is the path that we’ll continue to stay on.
    • It’s individual and collective improvement through great practice, great meetings, and taking care of business.
  • We will focus on our opponent and know those guys, but more importantly, we need to know what we need to get better at and get it done.
  • We’re playing at a great venue. It’s the longest home winning streak in college football. We know the crowd will be into it. It’ll be loud.
  • When you talk about them, it starts with their defensive front.
    • They’re really, really talented…great rotation on the D-line. They’re skilled and big.
    • They’ve done a nice job of recruiting those types of guys, developing them, and coaching them, and they put them in positions to be successful.
  • At linebacker, Trenton Simpson, is a really good football player.
    • He’s a sideline-to-sideline guy and a really, really good player.
  • They’ve played a lot of guys in the secondary.
    • I know they’ve had some injuries there.
    • They have good length at corner. You can see that they’re not doing a ton of things.
  • They’re probably less multiple than they’ve been, and guys are playing hard.
  • They just had a tough game against Wake Forest, but I have a lot of respect for Mike Reed and I know he’ll have his guys ready.
  • Offensively, their Offensive Line has stayed healthy.
    • They’ve played the same five guys in all four games.
    • They’re better than they were a year ago.
  • Quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei is maybe the most improved part of their offense.
    • He’s playing with more poise…he’s accurate…definitely giving his guys a chance on deep balls.
  • His receivers, he’s got 2 guys who are long and making plays for him.
    • Beaux Collins has gotten 4 touchdowns.
  • Not surprising to see Will Shipley playing the way that he is.
    • I have great respect for Will. He’s competitive, he’s talented, and he’s got a lot of great spirit and demeanor.

How significant it is to have his team in the Top-10 for the 1st time in 20 years

  • It’s not for me. It’s significant for our team. It’s for our university and our alumni. It’s great.
  • We’ve worked really hard to move ourselves up in the national footprint of this sport. It’s taken a lot of time, blood, sweat, tears, and commitment from a lot of people.
  • I know that it’s not a stationary spot either. You go up and down based on your performance, but you still have to get to that spot, and we’ve worked hard to get there.
  • We’re going to embrace the opportunity being there.
  • We know a lot comes with it, so I think it’s something to celebrate for sure.
  • It’s not something to say ‘we’ve arrived,’ yet because the rankings at the end of the season matter a lot more than they do at the end of the 4th week, but 20 years is a long time. I think it’s something that should be noted.
  • I think it’s something that people should be excited about. I’m proud of our players. 3 years ago, we were 4-8. These guys have worked really hard to get our football team where it is right now

Preparing for inclement weather due to Hurricane 

  • We’re going to have to have wet balls.
  • I’ve been through the hurricane situation before.
  • I hope we don’t have to play in something like the Notre Dame game in 2016. That was nuts.
  • We’ll be prepared if it is raining.
  • Hopefully, it won’t be one of those things that has devastation that comes with it either.
    • Sometimes, these things fizzle out. Sometimes, they get pretty strong, so we’ll just have to see where it goes.
  • We’ll plan for the worst and hope for the best.
  • We do have to have plans on travel. If we can’t fly, then how are we going to get there?

3rd Down against Clemson

  • 3rd down on both sides of the ball is going to be a huge thing.
  • Last year, when we won this game, we had roughly 42 minutes of time of possession, and that’s because we were successful on defense on 3rd down, and we were successful on offense on 3rd down.
    • Those things lead to time of possession which is a big deal when you are playing an explosive offense like Clemson’s.
  • Giving yourself favorable down-and-distances on both sides of the ball.
    • It’s trying to get them behind the chains and us trying to keep ourselves from being behind the chains.

Running tempo vs. UCONN

  • We did mix it up a little bit more.
  • Some of that is just a game flow thing for Coach Beck, too.
    • When he sees the defense is tired and he wants to step on them that way, then he’ll do that.
  • Some of it is our defense.
    • If we’re playing a lot of snaps, we’ve got to be smart.
    • You don’t want to go out there and run tempo for 3 plays and go 3-and-out when your defense is tired.
    • It’s complementary football.
  • We’ve been basically going 3-and-out, 3-and-out, 3-and-out on defense. They were rested.
    • Tim knew he could play at whatever tempo he wanted.

Has Demie Sumo exceeded expectations?

  • No, I think he’s right where I’d hoped he was going to be.
  • You’ve heard me talk about it for a year, so I don’t need to repeat it all.
    • Until you get into live games, you don’t know.
  • This is what I thought we would have watching him and how he played in practice.
  • He’s very talented…hard to tackle…good vision…patient…can catch…tough.
  • He’s in a good spot. We’ve just got to keep him growing. He’s still learning. Each week, he gets a little bit better.

Value of experienced players going against Clemson

  • You need guys like that linebacking group in particular, some of the D-linemen, our receivers Thayer and Carter.
  • We’ve got a lot of guys that have played football. That’s good.
    • They’ve been in big games. They’ve won big games.
  • They bring a calmness to the locker room. They’re talking the right way.
  • These are things they believe, and they can talk to their teammates and show good leadership.
  • They can be calm in the midst of a storm and get guys to settle down if they need to.
  • That experience is something that I value a lot because I’ve had teams that were the opposite.
  • You’ve just got to, when you have it, ride the wave with it.

Biggest game in his tenure…in program history

  • I don’t know. I’ll let you guys figure that out. I haven’t studied 35 years of games, so I don’t want to speak out of turn on that.
  • In my 10 years, I would say probably so.
  • As far as the history, that’s a long time. I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes with that answer.

Handling the hype

  • Enjoy the moment, enjoy the stage, and enjoy the opportunity that’s in front of you, but that’s now what this week is about.
  • This week’s about winning a game, and how do you win a game?
    • By having the best Tuesday practice of the season, and then getting the right food in your body, getting treatment, going to class, getting rest, and having a great Wednesday.
    • We have to stack things on top of each other all week.
  • We need to win the game way before the game is played with our players and our staff.
    • That’s what we’re focusing on, and don’t spend your time on your phone reading about how great the game is going to be.
    • Let’s focus on watching film. Let’s focus on 1st down, 2nd down, 3rd down and red zone, all the things that we have to be good at.
    • Let’s focus on the game plan.
  • The guys understand that there are a lot of things that can get you distracted in a week like this.
    • We’re trying not to look at it as that.

Has Thayer Thomas’ career exceeded expectations?

  • There’s no way I could have sat there in that game and told you that he was going to have the career he has had.
  • I thought he’d be a good player. I knew he would help us. I had no idea.
  • At that time, he weighed like 150 pounds. You couldn’t have predicted what he is now.
  • You have to give Thayer the credit. The guy is the hardest working player on this football team.
  • He does everything right off the field. He spends so much time on his body. He was just in the training room now.
  • He’s always doing things to be in peak condition. He eats right. He sleeps right.
  • He watches extra film. He practices as hard as any guy in that locker room, if not harder.
  • It’s not a surprise that he’s successful when you think about all the things he does right.
  • I’m glad he came back because I think he’s really putting an exclamation point on what was already a good career right now.
  • He’s blue collar, man. He works. He’s a grinder. He’s an overachiever, and he’s talented.
  • He’s definitely an incredible representative of the DNA of our program.

Preparation for Notre Dame in 2016 in Hurricane weather

  • We prepared for if we weren’t gonna be able to throw a pass, thinking, “How were we gonna win?” We talked about things like that.
  • We practiced with wet balls.
  • We’re just going to have to do similarly to be ready for that and those conditions.
  • I hope it’s not like that. That was terrible.
    • We were standing in water that was calf-deep on the sideline with sideways rain.

Value of watching last year’s game vs. Clemson with all their new coaches

  • Yeah, I watched last year’s game.
  • Offensively, it’s the same.
    • Coach Brandon Streeter is very similar to what they were.
    • Their personnel is very similar on offense, so you can look at last year’s game on that side of the ball.
  • Defensively, I think they’ve changed more than they have offensively, but player-wise, it helps to go back and see who gave us problems and how they attacked us.
    • I know they’re going to study that as well, so it’s an important piece, but you do have to base more of it on the 4 games this year when you are looking at the defense.

Importance of getting Shyheim Battle back vs. UCONN

  • We wanted to get him back in there. It was good to see him.
  • He had a great 4th-down stop when he came in.
  • We had a rotation with all 4 corners.
  • We only played 42 snaps on defense.
  • Those guys all played 20-something each. It was good to get them all in there.
  • Teshaun Smith got some good reps in that game as well. I think that’s a healthy rotation for us.

Growth of Clemson QB D.J. Uiagalelei

  • He’s endured a lot of criticism.
  • His completion rate is up.
  • He’s throwing good deep balls.
    • A lot of times a year ago, he was overthrowing guys, and now guys have chances to make plays.
  • You can see that his chemistry is good with his receivers. He’s throwing them deep. He’s throwing back-shoulder to guys, and his guys are making better plays for him, too.
    • That’s part of this that gets lost sometimes. Quarterbacks take the heat, but there’s guys dropping passes all over the field that could have changed the game. That changes the quarterback, too.
  • A lot has been said about his body transformation.
    • Until I’m right there with him, it will be hard for me to comment on that, but they say that he’s lost weight, and he’s more mobile.
  • He’s playing good. He’s got people hanging all over him.
  • That 2-point play last week was a huge play that he made.
    • There was a play in the Georgia Tech game on 3rd down that was in a similar situation.
    • He finds the back and shovels it to him with people hanging all over him. It was a critical play in that game that kind of busted the game open.

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NC State Football

NC State will Host FSU at Either 7:30 or 8pm on 10/8

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The time for NC State’s matchup against Florida State on October 8th will officially be the Wolfpack’s 4th consecutive game under the lights. The game will either be at 7:30pm on ABC in the primetime slot, or at 8pm on ACC Network.

This game could be the Wolfpack’s 2nd Top-25 matchup in a row after facing #5 Clemson this weekend. The Seminoles enter Week 5 ranked 23rd, and will host #22 Wake Forest this Saturday.

NC State has won 2 straight against FSU, and 4 of the last 5.

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NC State Football

NC State Center Grant Gibson Named Co-Offensive Lineman of the Week After UCONN

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NC State Graduate Center Grant Gibson was named Co-Offensive Lineman of the Week for his performance against UCONN this past Saturday.

CO-OFFENSIVE LINEMAN – Grant Gibson, NC State, C, Charlotte, N.C.
Graded out at an eye-opening 97 percent for his work in the 12th-ranked Wolfpack’s 41-10 win over UConn • Helped clear the way for 492 yards of total offense while playing 61 snaps • Tallied three pancake blocks. (TheACC)

Via GoPack:

Gibson, a graduate student from Charlotte, has started his past 40 games in an NC State uniform dating back to the 2019 season. He has played 50 or more snaps in all four of the Pack’s wins this season, recording 61 snaps and three pancake blocks in Saturday’s home triumph.
 
The Wolfpack churned out 169 rushing yards and averaged 5.1 yards per carry against the Huskies. Gibson’s efforts on the offensive line also helped NC State log 29 first downs and 492 total yards of offense. (GoPack)

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NC State Football

It’s Official…NC State Will Host Marshall in 2023 After Cincinnati Cancelled

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It was reported back on September 11th that NC State would host Marshall next season, after a void was created when Cincinnati backed out of a contract for a home-and home with NC State on September 6th.

What was reported is now official.

The release by Marshall explains how the money is being settled with the Cincy exodus.

The Thundering Herd will receive $1 million to come play in Raleigh, but Cincinnati will fork out $850,000 of that due to cancelling their game with the Wolfpack. NC State will only have to pony up $150,000.

Next years matchup against Marshall will mark the 6th time the two teams have met, with NC State winning all 5 of the prior games.

The Wolfpack’s 4 non-conference opponent games in 2023 will be:
9/2 – Marshall
9/16 – VMI
9/23 – @ UCONN
TBA – Notre Dame

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