NOTEBOOK: Five Honored By Doeren

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Dave Doeren announced in his weekly press conference that five players were honored for their play in the 41-10 win over Louisiana Tech.

Kicker Niklas Sade was named Player of the Game for special teams, defensive tackle Thomas Teal and defensive back Dontae Johnson for their play on defense, and tailback Matt Dayes and wideout Rashard Smith shared the honors offensively.

Sade made all four of his extra point attempts and hit 4-of-4 field goals (22, 24, 38, 45). He also had seven touchbacks on his nine kickoffs.

Teal was stout in the trenches, recording four tackles (three solos) and two tackles for a loss in 32 snaps.

Johnson headed up the secondary, as he led the Wolfpack with seven tackles.

Dayes was outstanding in his first college game. The true freshman led the team in rushing (17 carries, 84 yards) and scored three touchdowns.

Smith was all over the place for the Wolfpack, finishing with 158 all-purpose yards: 82 receiving yards, 38 kickoff return yards, 28 rushing yards, and 10 punt return yards.

Next Man Up
Pete Thomas is now the starting quarterback.

"With Brandon being down for a substantial amount of time Pete will be our quarterback with Josh Taylor and Bryant Shirreffs backing him up," said Doeren. "That's the plan going forward until we get Brandon back."

Mitchell has already had foot surgery and is expected to return in 4-to-6 weeks.

"His procedure was a success yesterday," added Doeren. "Doc said it went great, so it's just a matter of healing time now for him."

Impact Freshmen
11 true freshmen saw action for the Wolfpack in the season opener, and wideout Marquez Valdes-Scantling earned the starting nod. Matt Dayes led the Wolfpack in rushing and Valdes-Scantling in receiving.

"I was in the weight room a little bit ago and Monty Nelson was sitting there, he had just finished his workout, Matt Dayes, and Marquez Valdes, three of our Florida freshmen," said Doeren. "That was pretty good recruiting down in south Florida last year for us."

Johnathan Alston, Bra'Lon Cherry, Monty Nelson, Sean Paul, Jumichael Ramos, Matt Dayes, Bryant Shirreffs, Josh Taylor, Jack Tocho, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Dravious Wright all played.

"I'm happy with the impact some of those guys are making," said Doeren. "On special teams, you don't see them but Jack Tocho, Dravious Wright, and Sean Paul all played and helped us."

Copeland To Return Soon
West Virginia transfer Travares Copeland wasn't on the depth chart and didn't play in the opener, but look for the dynamic wideout to be on the field soon.

"He had a hamstring pull in the summer," Doeren said of Copeland. "He got into camp and re-pulled it. It's taken us a while to get him right. Instead of continuing to push him out there and re-injure it we just shelved him a while to try and get healthy.

"I just saw him a little bit ago and he said he felt great. We'll get him back in practice tomorrow and hopefully have him back on Saturday."

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