Here’s a look at which NC State Offensive players graded out the best and worst according to ProFootballFocus against Notre Dame in the home opener on Saturday.
WR DJ Collins – 71.5
IWR Juice Vereen – 68.6
IWR Porter Rooks – 63.5
WR Keyon Lesane – 63.4
RT Timothy McKay – 60.9
C Dylan McMahon – 45.0
TE Christopher Toudle – 45.1
TE Trent Pennix – 45.8
IWR Kevin Concepcion – 47.5
Wide Receiver Terrell Timmons – 51.0
- After missing the season opener against UCONN due to injury, Lyndon Cooper debuted on Saturday against the Irish, and recorded the highest pass protection grade on the Wolfpack Offensive Line (69.3).
- Anthony Carter Jr., who is battling with Cooper for the Left Guard position, recorded the lowest pass protection grade on the Offensive Line (28.3).
- Wide Receiver Keyon Lesane is proving to be one of the best run blockers for the Wolfpack. In the season opener, Lesane had the 2nd highest run block grade, and he posted the highest run block grade against Notre Dame (70.3).
- While Cooper might have excelled in pass blocking, he graded out as the worst run blocker on Saturday (46.2).
- This marks the 2nd straight week that Terrell Timmons and Christopher Toudle ranked in the Bottom 5.
Dave Doeren’s Postgame Press Conference After UVA Win: BULLETED
NC State head coach Dave Doeren met with the media for his postgame press conference after the Wolfpack defeated the Virginia Cavaliers 24-21 tonight. Here’s a bulleted breakdown of what he had to say.
- Very proud of Place Kicker Brayden Narveson for making that kick. Especially in the rain, after the first one was blocked, even though it was a penalty.
- Really good return by Julian Gray to set that up.
- ACC wins are hard to come by. Winning on the road isn’t easy. You’ve got to give UVA credit.
- Their QB [Anthony Colandrea] is going to be a really good football player in this league.
- Their receivers, Malik Washington and Malachi Fields, are really good players.
- We’ve got to play better in certain areas, but we found a way to win a game on the road.
- I don’t think there’s a problem in pass protection, if that’s what you’re asking.
- We felt like with our kicker, we needed to get the ball to the 35-yard line on the final drive.
- Because of the penalty and the return, we only needed 15 yards to do that. The first play got us in field goal range, so after that, we were going to be pretty smart with the ball.
- Brayden made a 60-yarder going that direction in pregame, so we felt like we were in a pretty good spot right there.
- 3rd down defense for both teams was solid. They were only 5 of 14, and we were only 6 of 14.
- Our short yardage defense was exceptional tonight.
- Where we really struggled was on 3rd-and-long in the red zone, which is kind of weird, because that’s an area you expect on defense to be good for us.
- The run game has been inconsistent up to this point. We’ve got to narrow some things down. We’ve tried a lot of things, and I think it’s time to narrow down the play book a little bit, instead of doing so many things.
- This offense has a lot of parts to it, and that are a lot of new pieces in it.
- KC Concepcion is really hard to cover man-to-man. Both of his touchdowns were in man-to-man coverage. He’s playing fast. He’s playing well. He’s hard to bring down after the catch as well. There’s a reason his numbers are what they are for a True Freshman. He’s very talented.
- I think Brennan Armstrong settled in. The first quarter, the wind was behind us. He had a lot of energy. He overthrew a few guys. As he settled in, he started playing better. The guys did a nice job catching the ball for him tonight.
- Caden Noonkester was tremendous tonight. His leg was a weapon.
- Too many punts…8 punts…he’s punting too much.
- To win on the road you have to win the turnover margin and in field position, and our punter was phenomenal.
- A bunch of guys had to play…there were injuries.
- 2nd play of the game starting Strong Safety Devan Boykin goes down. All week in practice, Cecil Powell was our backup Strong Safety…Cecil went in the game and got hurt. Both Strong Safety’s were hurt in the first quarter.
- Bishop Fitzgerald moves from Free Safety to Strong Safety, where he didn’t take a snap in practice all week.
- Linebacker Devon Betty wasn’t at practice all week, because him and his fiancé had a baby…he missed all practices this week.
- On offense, we lost a Running Back [Jordan Houston] on the 2nd to last day of the week. Then we get out there, and Kendrick Raphael gets hurt.
- People want to b&%$# at play calling, and this-that-and-the-other, but there’s other stuff going on man. We found a way to win on the road in the rain, against an inspired football team, s$#@, be happy we won. It’s a good win. I’m excited to go home 3-1, and get ready to play Louisville.
- Linebacker Payton Wilson is awesome every night.
- Is there a game he’s played in the past three years, where people weren’t saying ‘We love watching #11 play football.’
- He plays to exhaustion. He’s the heartbeat of our football team. Can’t say enough about him.
NC State 24 UVA 21: INITIAL THOUGHTS
The Wolfpack defeated the Cavaliers to kickoff their ACC slate tonight, winning 24-21 with a field goal as time expired. Here are some initial thoughts.
For starters, a win is a win. NC State improved to 3-1, and they are now 1-0, picking up a road win in ACC play.
True Freshman Receiver KC Concepcion had the best game of his young career, catching 6 passes (10 targets) for 116 yards with 2 touchdowns.
The Linebacker tandem of Payton Wilson and Caden Fordham filled the box score. Wilson finished with 13 tackles, 0.5 sack and a QB Hurry. Fordham had 12 tackles 1 tackle for loss and 1 QB Hurry.
Punter Caden Noonkester had himself a heck of a day, punting the ball 6 times for an average of 50 yards, with the longest one traveling 67 yards.
NC State won the turnover margin battle, intercepting two passes (Sean Brown & Aydan White), compared to Virginia’s one.
Julian Gray’s proved that he can change a game with his kick returning abilities for the second straight week. With 44 seconds left on the clock, Gray returned a kickoff 35 yards to UVA’s 48-yard line, putting the Wolfpack in the position they needed to work their way into field goal range.
NC State was fortunate to get a penalty on UVA’s QB for taking off his helmet after converting on the 2-point conversion. Without that penalty, Gray might not have the same opportunity to return the ball into UVA territory.
Place Kicker Brayden Narveson hit a walk-off game-winning 33-yard field goal, in the rain, on the road, with time expiring.
Delbert Mimms III picked up his 4th rushing touchdown of the season.
UVA had more total yards than NC State (384/319).
The Cavaliers won the time of possession battle (32:34/27:26).
Brennan Armstrong did not look sharp or accurate on many of his passes. His completion percentage was a very mediocre 50%. He led NC State in rush attempts (15) and rushing yards (64), which might seem cool, but on quite a few of those runs, there were open receivers down the field.
The Wolfpack secondary was torched by UVA Wide Receiver Malik Washington, catching 10 passes for 170 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Michael Allen didn’t shine in his opportunity to start at Running Back after the exodus of Jordan Houston this week, gaining only 36 yards on 10 carries.
The Wolfpack defense gave up 6 receptions of 15+ yards, and 4 rushes of 10+ yards.
NC State 24 UVA 21: BOX SCORE
NC State (3-1) won their ACC opener on the road tonight against Virginia (0-4), with a field goal going through the goal posts with the clock expiring, defeating the Cavaliers 24-21. The Box Score is below.
NC State vs. UVA: A Historical Perspective
NC State and Virginia will face-off tonight for the 60th time in a series that dates back to 1904, with the Wolfpack holding a 36-22-1 overall advantage. In Charlottesville, NC State is 18-12-1 against the Cavaliers.
NC State has won 4 of the last 5 against UVA, and 6 of the last 10. The Wolfpack won the last matchup against the Cavaliers back in 2020, which was on the road, winning 38-21 in Charlottesville. While NC State won that road game, UVA has won 3 of the last 5 on their home turf.
Currently, NC State is on a 2-game winning streak against UVA, winning in 2018 and 2020. Prior to that, the two teams didn’t play for six years.