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 LB Payton Wilson Wins the Bednarik Award!
NC State’s Payton Wilson won the Butkus Award earlier this week, naming him the best Linebacker in college football. Tonight he won the Bednarik Award, which has been given out annually to the best defensive player in college football since 1995.
Wilson beat out Alabama Linebacker Dallas Turner and UCLA’s Defensive End Laiatu Latu.
Prior to this week, no NC State Linebacker had ever won the Butkus Award. Prior to tonight, no NC State defensive player had ever won the Bednarik Award.
Below is a list of the former Bednarik Award winners.
In one week, Wilson has done what no other Linebacker of defensive player at NC State has ever done.
Go ahead and retire the #11 already!
Wake Forest Transfer WR Welsey Grimes Commits to NC State!
NC State just picked up their first transfer of the 2024 class, and it’s a big one. Former Wake Forest Wide Receiver Wesley Grimes (6’2″/187) just committed to run with the Wolfpack.
As a Sophomore this season, Grimes caught 20 passes for 339 yards and 4 touchdowns in 12 games. As a True Freshman last year, he played in his 6 games, collecting 4 receptions for 33 yards and a touchdown.
In all reality, Grimes is coming home. He was a 4-Star prospect out of Millbrook High School here in Raleigh. ON3, 247Sports and Rivals all ranked Grimes as a Top-250 prospect in the 2022 recruiting class, with Rivals ranking him as the #36 overall player nationally, the #4 Wide Receiver, and the #2 player in the state of North Carolina.
From a recruiting rankings standpoint, Grimes instantly becomes the highest ranked player on NC State’s roster. Since he played as a True Freshman, Grimes has 3 seasons to play 2 years of eligibility.
Back in 2021, Grimes chose the Demon Deacons over NC State, Tennessee, Duke and Louisville. On December 8th, 2023, Grimes decided to come back home and run with the Pack.
Kansas State will be Without Their Offensive Coordinator & Starting Quarterback Against NC State
Kansas State will be without their Offensive Coordinator and starting Quarterback when they face NC State in the Pop-Tarts Bowl on December 28th.
New Texas A&M head coach Mike Elko, who just left the same position at Duke, paid big bucks to hire Wildcats Offensive Coordinator Collin Klein as his OC, who had been serving in the position at Kansas State for the past 2 seasons. For the past 7 seasons, Klein has served as the Wildcats Quarterbacks Coach.
This season, Kansas State ranks 23rd in Total Offense (446.1) and 14th in Rushing Offense (199.7).
As Quarterbacks Coach, he helped develop four-year starter Will Howard, who announced he would be entering the Transfer Portal on November 27th. This season, Howard earned 2nd Team All-Big 12 honors. In 12 games, he threw for 2,643 yards and 24 touchdowns (10 interceptions). Howard also rushed for 351 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Howard will be replaced by Freshman Avery Johnson. There was speculation that Johnson might follow Klein to Texas A&M, but he will be starting for the Wildcats in Orlando against the Wolfpack.
NC State’s Kevin Concepcion Earns Freshman All-American Status from The Athletic
NC State Wide Receiver Kevin Concepcion has been named a Freshman All-American by The Athletic.
Here’s what they had to say about KC:
WR Kevin Concepcion, NC State: “KC” easily won ACC Rookie of the Year this season after catching 64 passes for 767 yards, rushing for 297 yards on 7.8 yards per carry and scoring 11 total touchdowns. The 5-foot-11, 187-pound slot receiver from Charlotte was a three-star signee who proved he should start right away as a true freshman. Over his last seven games, Concepcion has averaged 117 total yards per game. (The Athletic)