"We're giving up big plays early, and that's just a killer," said Bishop. "We're able to get back in the game, but to dig yourself a hole like that... it is tough to come back from."
Bishop is exactly right. Against North Carolina, the Pack defense allowed the Heels to score two touchdowns on just eight plays, jumping out to a 14-0 lead. After settling down, the Pack defense would then force eight 3-and-outs and another 4-play drive that resulted in a punt.
State was able to get back in the game, but spotting a team a double-digit lead is hard to recover from.
"We'll have probably seven or eight series where we'll go three-and-out and then we'll have four series where they are putting it into the endzone from the other side of the field," said Bishop. "We've got to keep the ball in front of us, stop giving up big plays, and just be a little bit better on defense."
What has to be frustrating for Bishop is that in both of the Pack's conference losses the offense has lit up the scoreboard. State lost to Miami and North Carolina after scoring 37 and 35 points respectively.
"If the offense scores 30-something points there is no excuse for why we shouldn't be able to win the game," he added.
State began the season with plenty of experience in the secondary and along the defensive front, but the Pack was thin and inexperienced at linebacker. While that could have been an issue early on, Bishop thinks they all are experienced contributors at this point in the season.
"Even our guys that aren't considered veterans, we're into the eighth week of the season now," he said. "We've got to grow up. We obviously have to play better... stop giving up the explosive plays."
Next up for the Wolfpack is a home game against Virginia. What does Bishop expect to see from the Cavaliers?
"Virginia is more of a pro-style team," he said. "They are going to try and pound the ball. They've got a good running back.
"So we've got to shut the run down first, get them into long-distance passing situations, and see if we can create some turnovers and get pressure on the quarterback."