NC State head coach Dave Doeren recapped the Wolfpack’s 45-7 win over VMI at his weekly press conference yesterday. Here’s a bulleted breakdown.
- 4 drives over 12 plays.
- 17-play drive, and it’s hard to sustain drives like that.
- 24 pancake blocks
- 2 drops, both catchable balls.
- Brennan Armstrong really operated well.
- Good to see Michael Allen and Kendrick Raphael get going in a regular part of the game in the run game.
- Delbert Mimms continues to be a force in short yardage and goal line for us.
- Lyndon Cooper came in and played center after the 1st series for the entire game until the end.
- He did a tremendous job. He was our player of the game on offense. He graded out at 99 percent in his first real game playing that much at that position.
- I was excited last year when he started getting reps behind Grant Gibson.
- Jacarrius Peak really helped the run game as well.
- He’s a guy that we look at as one of our future starters.
- He’s moved and played some tight end. He’s also playing some tackle.
- Gave up a sack, one that we shouldn’t have given up.
- Robert Kennedy scored a touchdown. That was a great play.
- He also had a nice sack on a blitz later in the game.
- Played really well on 3rd down.
- Had 4 penalties on defense.
- One was an offsides by Travali Price that ended up negating an interception by Bishop Fitzgerald, so that was disappointing.
- Two Defensive Pass Interferences…those will be good teachable moments for Brandon Cisse.
- On the explosive pass we gave up, we had poor eyes on a deep ball.
- It’s something that we’ve got to work really hard on, and Terrente Hinton will improve from that play.
- Had one run that we misfit, and it ended being an explosive run.
- Return game has been very good for us.
- Julian Gray had 2 great returns.
- Jalen Coit continues to average 10 yards per return.
- Great pinned punt by Caden Noonkester, and Bradley Rozner did a tremendous job downing it inside the 10.
- Brayden Narveson made his only field goal attempt, and it was great to get Kanoah Vinesett in at the end to make his 1st extra point.
- Had 2 special teams penalties, both technique-oriented that we have to work on.
- Sean Brown is getting better.
- He was more active and productive. His eyes were better. He played faster.
- Being a starter for the 1st time against Notre Dame helped him, and now it’s something he’s more comfortable with, being in that role.
- Kendrick Raphael is a natural guy when it comes to seeing things on the field.
- He’s got really good balance and vision. I talked about him a lot during training camp; he’s impressing us as a runner.
- As you know, that’s not the only thing running backs have to do.
- You have to understand the protections to take care of the quarterback, and as a freshman, that takes a little time.
- As you have seen, he’s pretty good at running the football. He can see things. He’s got balance, he’s strong, and it’s just continuing to get him game ready in all the other areas.
- We also want to keep the Running Backs fresh, so it’s good to have that rotation back there between Jordan Houston, Michael Allen, Kendrick Raphael, and then using Delbert Mimms and DeMarcus Jones in the way that we are.
NC State’s Highest & Lowest Graded Offensive Players vs. UVA
Here’s a look at which NC State Offensive players graded out the best and worst according to ProFootballFocus against UVA last night.
IWR Kevin Concepcion – 80.9 – career high
QB Brennan Armstrong – 72.3
C Lyndon Cooper – 66.0
LT Anthony Belton – 64.6
WR Bradley Rozner – 63.9
IWR Juice Vereen – 41.7 – career low
WR Keyon Lesane – 53.1
WR Julian Gray – 54.2 – 2nd lowest of career
TE Trent Pennix – 54.5
RB Michael Allen – 56.0
- Concepcion caught 6 passes for 116 yards and 2 touchdowns, and was targeted a team high 10 times.
- Brennan Armstrong has graded out in the Top-5 in 3 of the first 4 games.
- He posted a rushing grade of 77.5, which was tops on the team, and his best since Week 9 of the 2021 season.
- Juice Vereen has been the lowest graded player on the team two weeks in a row.
- Anthony Belton has been in the Top-5 in 3 of the first 4 games.
- Julian Gray has been in the Bottom 5 in 2 of the firsts 4 games.
- Anthony Belton had the highest pass block grade: 83.7.
- RB Michael Allen has to improve at pass protection. His pass protection grade was 31.6.
- Give Julian Gray credit…he had the highest run blocking grade on the team in 22 snaps: 74.3
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.