NC State’s game against #10 Notre Dame tomorrow marks the 4th time the two schools have faced one another.
Heading into tomorrow, the Wolfpack hold a 2-1 advantage in the series, but the Irish won the last matchup up in South Bend with ease in 2017, beating NC State 35-14. Even though Notre Dame was a 7-point favorite, it was a matchup between #14 NC State and the #9 Irish. Instead of being a competitive Top-15 matchup, it ended up being a 21-point blowout.
The first time the two met was back in 2002, as NC State rounded off the winningest season in school history, picking up their 10th win of the season against Notre Dame in the Gator Bowl. The Wolfpack were only 1.5-point favorites, but ultimately crushed the Irish 28-6. In that game, Notre Dame entered as the #11 team in the nation, and the Wolfpack entered at #17.
The first time that Notre Dame came to Raleigh was in 2016, when Hurricane Matthew also decided to come to town. The game was practically played in a monsoon, and the winning (and only) touchdown of the game was scored by Safety Dexter Wright, returning a blocked punt to the house. NC State entered the game as a 2.5-point favorite.
Notre Dame has won 28 straight regular season games against ACC opponents dating back to 2017. On the other hand, NC State has won 23 straight games at home against non-ACC opponents, dating back to the loss against ECU in 2013, which was Dave Doeren’s first year.
One of these streaks will be broken tomorrow.
NC State is Appealing Targeting Call on Safety Sean Brown
With a couple of minutes left in the 3rd Quarter, NC State Free Safety Sean Brown was hit with an absurd targeting call. After reviewing the hit, the call was confirmed to be targeting, and Brown was ejected for the remainder of the game, and will miss the beginning of the Marshall game this Saturday.
I’m all for penalizing intentionally dangerous tackles, where the intent is blatantly to harm. That is not what happened in this instance. Brown’s tackle was textbook. For starters, the receiver squats. Secondly, Brown drives his face into the chest of the receiver. The helmet in no way makes initial contact with the opposing players helmet.
Here’s the “targeting” call in question. Watch it in slow motion. Hit pause and zoom in.
Sean Brown disqualified for this hit.
— NMD Grant (@NMDgrant) September 30, 2023
Wolfpack Head Coach Dave Doeren shared at his weekly press conference yesterday that NC State is appealing the targeting call on Brown.
“Yes. We’ve submitted the paperwork through the league office. They turn it in and then eventually we’ll find out can he play in the first half or not. Right now we don’t have an answer.”
If the targeting call is upheld, then Brown will have to miss the first half this Saturday against the Thundering Herd. If it is overturned, he will be free to play.
Prior to the targeting call, Brown was having a career day. He had 8 tackles, 2 sacks and a forced fumble.
NC State’s Highest & Lowest Graded Offensive Players vs. Louisville
Here’s a look at which NC State Offensive players graded out the best and worst according to ProFootballFocus against Louisville this past Friday night.
WR Terrell Timmons – 72.5 – Career High
TE Trent Pennix – 68.0
WR Porter Rooks – 64.2
RT Timothy McKay – 63.8
RB Delbert Mimms III – 61.9
RG Derrick Eason – 36.1 – Career Low
QB Brennan Armstrong – 50.0
LG Lyndon Cooper – 52.3
WR Julian Gray – 52.3
WR Kevin Concepcion – 52.8
Season Top 5
LT Anthony Belton – 75.2
RB Kendrick Raphael – 74.5
RB Delbert Mimms III – 72.4
WR Porter Rooks – 68.5
WR DJ Collins – 68.9
Season Bottom 5
TE Christopher Toudle – 45.5
RB Demarcus Jones II – 52.8
WR Keyon Lesane – 53.5
WR Terrell Timmons – 56.1
RG Derrick Eason – 57.6
MJ Morris’ 2022 Highlight Reel
Yesterday Wolfpack Head Coach Dave Doeren announced that Sophomore MJ Morris would be starting at Quarterback, rather than Brennan Armstrong. To get yourself ready to watch Morris behind center on Saturday against Marshall, check out our 2022 MJ Morris Highlight Reel above.
Dave Doeren Breaks Down Decision to Name MJ Morris the Starting QB
Head Coach Dave Doeren announced today at his weekly press conference that Sophomore MJ Morris would be NC State’s Quarterback going forward, beginning this weekend against Marshall.
Here’s what Doeren had to say about the decision.
“It’s clear that we need a spark on that side of the ball. MJ Morris is going to take over as our starting quarterback. He is ready to lead the offense. As I stated in the past when I was asked, it was my plan, and our plan to redshirt MJ and allow him an opportunity to develop behind Brennan Armstrong, but plans sometimes need to change. The time is now, because it’s what’s best for our team. MJ’s excited for the opportunity to lead the football team. I do believe that he’s ready.
Brennan will be a great teammate to MJ, just as MJ has been to Brennan in his role. Brennan has a role on our team. He’s a very competitive, tough guy. He understands this is what’s best for the team right now and what’s needed. I got tremendous respect for him and what he’s gone through, but for what this team needs right now, it needs a spark. I do believe MJ can be that for our offense.
Ever since MJ’s been here, he’s come to practice with great energy. He’s always done that. Each week since coach Anae’s got here, you can see him growing in the offense. That part is now second thought to him. In the Spring, he was learning it…now he knows it. He’s always been an encourager to guys around him. He’s got a positive outlook. The way he can throw the football, he can do that pretty well. There’s certain things that he brings to the table. I think more than anything right now, he’s in a really good headspace. He’s excited. I think that’s the spark that we need.
He’s got a very calming effect on game day. He’s not a guy where the lights are too big. He jumped in as a Freshman and went and played. Some guys, you’d see them shrink in those scenarios…he doesn’t. He’s the same guy in games as he is in practice.
The decision to redshirt MJ at the beginning of the year was about development. It wasn’t about ‘he’s not a good player.’ We went with experience and wanted to give him a chance to have an extended period of time to be healthy and develop as a player. I think it served him well. He looks really good right now. We’re bailing on that a little earlier than expected, but he got an entire offseason and all of training camp and the whole month of September here under his belt. He feels good. It’s what the team needs
I came in Saturday. I watched the game a bunch of times and then sat down with the coaches on offense. We watched a bunch of it together and talked about the season so far…talked about where we’re at, and where we need to go. Then Sunday when we came back in and made that decision. I met with those guys individually and let them know what we were doing. They both handled it as good teammates and competitors would.
Like I said, Brennan’s going to be a great teammate. He handled a very tough conversation as well as you possibly can. I think my respect for him has always been high because he’s a super competitive dude, but he is an excellent teammate. He handled it as well as you can hope. You’ll see that. You’ll see him leading. He’ll be on the sideline cheering guys on throughout the game. If he’s needed to play, he’s going to play. He’ll come in and play hard.
Brennan knows the offense well. He’s been through a lot as a player. He’ll be a great sounding board. He’ll have energy down there for guys. He’ll cheer guys on. He’s going to be a good teammate down there…I guarantee that. I know that he’ll do a good job helping MJ and the other guys around him.
It’s hard. We all know why anyone transfers and has 1 year left. They want to finish out and have a great year. Like I said, this is a guy you want on your team. Brennan’s tough. He competes his butt off. He puts his body on the line every week and runs through people. He’s a good guy…He’s a good person.
Whenever you have to have tough conversations with anyone who does everything he can do and works really hard and it’s not going well. That’s not easy for anybody in life. Speak to him from the heart. Tell him you love him. This is what’s best for the organization. He understands that. He’s a great guy. But to answer your question, yeah. Delivering hard news as a leader is never the fun part of the job, but it’s also a necessary thing.