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Ben Finley After He Led NC State to a Win Over #17 UNC: BULLETED

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Redshirt Freshman Quarterback Ben Finley defied the odds and led NC State to a 30-27 win over #17 UNC yesterday. He spoke with the media after the game, and you can watch it here, or check out a BULLETED breakdown below.

  • I think he [Ryan Finley] went 2-0 here in Carter-Finley West [Kenan Stadium].
    • But just having my 1st start and being able to go out there with the guys and get the W, this is the greatest feeling ever.
    • 5 weeks ago I was the 4th-string Quarterback messing around on the Scout Team.
      • I was still getting better, and having those guys still trust me when I came back up.
      • It just means the world to have the support from the entire team. They just played so well.
      • The defense. The offensive line gave me so much time. It was like I was just camping back there. It was awesome.
  • My roommate [Matt McCabe], who starts on our artillery, which is just the PAT and field goal unit, we were like ‘dude, the 1st week against ECU, there’s no way we would have thought we both would have been starting at UNC.’ It’s unreal.
  • I was just running around trying to hug everyone. I grabbed an NC State flag and planted it on the field, as I should have.
  • The nerves go away when you take the 1st hit.
    • It helped to get that lead at 7-0.
    • Leading up to the game if you’re not nervous then something is wrong with you.
    • I was a little nervous, but it’s just football.
  • It’s his [Devin Carter] 1st week back in a while.
    • To be honest, I haven’t thrown a pass to Devin Carter in probably over a year-and-a-half.
    • It’s like that with Thayer Thomas and Darryl Jones.
    • I had never thrown a pass to Darryl until last week in Louisville.
    • It’s just kind of weird. It’s like I’m playing on an All-Star team or something. I’ve just got ballers everywhere.
  • We knew if we got this win at UNC that it would be a big old band-aid on the season. Any time you can beat your rivals, especially at their home on Senior Night, it’s just huge.
  • You can never doubt yourself.
    • To be able to persevere, that’s the biggest thing in life. Things are going to happen to you.
    • Just keep fighting and climbing up the hill. You never reach the pinnacle of the mountain.
    • You’ve just got to keep climbing and getting better. That’s what our entire team does. We’re just constantly fighting.
  • It [being on the Scout Team] definitely helped with some of the throw windows and being comfortable in the pocket.
    • It definitely doesn’t help with the speed.
      • I definitely thought the game was going to be pretty slow when I got out there last week in Louisville and this week, and it wasn’t. With the scout team you let up.
      • You don’t get tackled. I haven’t taken a hit in three years. It was just kind of getting back into that.
      • But my O-line, I don’t even look like I’ve played a game. My jersey is pristine white. Any time you can go and just camp back there and deliver the ball, it’s a privilege.
  • I wanted to graduate from NC State [didn’t consider transferring from NC State]. That’s huge.
    • I graduate in December. That’s going to be really important for me to get my degree here.
    • I never tried to get into UNC, but according to Drake [Maye] I couldn’t have. It’s good that I get a nice degree from NC State in finance and go from there.
  • I had to find my parents. I love them so much, and they’ve just been such a big part of my life.
    • They’re the best parents that anyone could ask for. They show constant support.
    • Even when I was fourth string they were coming to every single game. The last three years they haven’t missed a game. I love them so much.
    • The least I can do is go over and celebrate with them. I’m definitely going to be continuing that celebration when I get home.
  • It was Terrell Timmons [was his go-to receiver on the Scout Team], and then I got him moved up. We were just tearing up the defense. He was bumped up.
    • Then it was Jalen Coit.
    • My tight ends were ballers. We were balling. Wake Forest was fun with that slow mesh.
  • I’m glad I could do that, but it’s a team win.
    • I made some crucial mistakes that I wish I could get back that I’ll learn from.
    • It was the entire team, starting with Chris Dunn.
      Jack [Chambers] went in there and put that 1st touchdown in.
    • Our defense was making stops. It was so fun watching our defense out there.
    • This is a big-time NC State win no UNC’s Senior Day. It’s not a Ben Finley win.
  • Oh yeah [wants to be the starter at NC State next year].
    • I’ve got 3 years of eligibility to play, which is crazy that I’m going to be in college just as long as my brother and he was in college for like 20 years.
    • I want to keep playing football. I love this game. I love this team. I love this school.

Matthew is Co-Owner of Pack Insider. He writes for all sports, with a focus on football and recruiting, and is in charge of business strategy. He is an NC State alum who majored in business. Matthew is also the lead pastor of The Point Church in Cary, NC.

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NC State Football

NC State’s 2023 Football Schedule has Arrived!

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NC State’s 2023 Football schedule was released yesterday.

Image

Notes

  • NC State will play all three in-state ACC rivals: UNC, Duke and Wake Forest
  • NC State has two Friday night games back to back: UVA & Louisville
  • NC State will play Quarterback Brennan Armstrong’s former team UVA on 9/22.
  • NC State will host Notre Dame for the 2nd time ever, and will face a familiar face in former Wake Forest Quarterback Sam Hartman.
  • In the first year without Divisions in the ACC, 5 of NC State’s 8 conference opponents will be teams that were in the Coastal Division last year: UVA, UNC, Miami, Duke, VT.
    • The three former Atlantic Division opponents are: Clemson, Wake Forest and Louisville

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NC State Football

NC State’s 2023 Football Recruiting Class has the Most 4-Star Players in the Dave Doeren Era

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NC State’s 2023 football recruiting class is currently ranked 30th nationally by ON3, but I think you can make an argument that this could be Dave Doeren’s best class since he’s been in Raleigh.

Currently, 9 of the 18 players that make up the class (not including collegiate transfers) are 4-star prospects. You would think a class that included 9 4-star prospects would be ranked higher than 30th, but the reason it isn’t, is because different recruiting services rank players differently.

This is the most 4-star players that Doeren has ever had in a single class.

2023 – 9
2022 – 7
2021 – 8
2020 – 3
2019 – 7
2018 – 6
2017 – 4
2016 – 2
2015 – 5
2014 – 6
2013 – 2

4-Star Players in the Wolfpack’s 2023 Recruiting Class

Safety Daemon Fagan (247, ON3, Rivals & ESPN)
Tight End Javonte Vereen (ON3 & ESPN)
Safety Zack Myers (247 & Rivals)
Running Back Kendrick Raphael (ESPN & Rivals)
JUCO Defensive Lineman Jykeveous Hibbler (ESPN)
JUCO Safety Bishop Fitzgerald (ON3)
Offensive Lineman Darion Rivers (ON3)
Wide Receiver Kevin Concepcion (Rivals)
Cornerback Brandon Cisse (ON3)

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NC State Football

Former NC State Defensive End Claude Larkins Commits to FIU

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Former NC State Defensive End Claude Larkins has committed to play for Florida International University.

On January 1st, Larkins made it official that he was entering the Transfer Portal.

Larkins only played 11 snaps in 1 game this season (Charleston Southern), and recorded 1 tackle. In 2021, he played 16 snaps in 1 game and recorded 2 tackles.

He was a 3-star recruit out of Hollywood, Florida, in the 2020 recruiting class, so heading to Miami puts him at around an hour from his hometown.

Larkins has three years of eligibility remaining.

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NC State Football

NC State will Host Notre Dame for their 2023 Football Home Opener

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It’s official. NC State’s football home opener will be against Notre Dame next Fall.

The Wolfpack defense will see a familiar face across the line of scrimmage throwing the pigskin. Former Wake Forest Quarterback Sam Hartman transferred to play for the Irish for his final year of eligibility.

This will mark the 4th time Hartman has faced NC State in his career.

Notre Dame finished the 2022 season ranked 18th in the AP Poll, with a 9-4 record.

This will mark the 4th time the Wolfpack have played the Irish, and the second time at home. The other time Notre Dame came to Raleigh, NC State won 10-3 in a hurricane. The Wolfpack have won 2 of their 3 games against the Irish.

The Wolfpack’s other non-conference opponents in 2023 will be at UCONN, and VMI and Marshall at home.

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