NOTEBOOK: OL Not There Yet

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Dave Doeren admits that his offensive line remains a work-in-progress, but he isn't surprised.

NC State head coach Dave Doeren admits that his offensive line remains a work-in-progress, but he isn't surprised.

The Wolfpack opened the season with projected starting right tackle Tyson Chandler sidelined with a knee injury, and although he returned for Richmond the Pack still is looking to develop the chemistry needed up front.

"I think we have a long way to go when it comes to [chemistry]," said Doeren. "We've had two different lineups in two different games. It takes a while to have chemistry up front. It takes a while.

"They are working at it though. It's not because they are not working hard or doing what they are coached to do. It's about having more game reps with each other."

The Pack's next opponent isn't facing the same issue. Clemson has plenty of experience up front and it is a big reason why they are so successful offensively.

These guys have five returning starters on the offensive line," Doeren said of Clemson's offensive line. "They are good. Everything starts on the line of scrimmage, and they are strong on the offensive line."

NC State's offensive line could be starting a different lineup this week, as it was announced on Tuesday that senior Rob Crisp is questionable with an upper extremity injury. Crisp started the Pack's first two games at left tackle.

Ferguson To Return
NC State's defensive line could receive a boost on Thursday as senior defensive tackle A.J. Ferguson will be available for action after missing the first two games due to a suspension.

However, don't expect an instant impact from Ferguson.

No, he won't make an impact," Doeren stated after Tuesday's practice. "I hope he just plays. He hasn't played in a game yet so he's not going to be an impact player not being out there in three weeks."

The 6-foot-2, 301-pounder has played in 21 games in his career, totaling 20 tackles with four quarterback pressures and two sacks.

"He adds depth to the lineup," said Doeren. "I know he's excited about being back."

Parting Shots
Dave Doeren is obviously pleased to be 2-0 after a 23-21 win over Richmond, a game that he considers a wake-up call for his team.

We turned it over four times and had ten penalties," he said. "It's hard to play good defense when you do things like that. We have to finish plays and finish quarters, finish drives and finish games.

"It was a wake-up call and if you're lackadaisical against anybody you're going to beat yourself. Our number one goal is to not beat ourselves first and we did that last week a lot."

  • NC State seniors Rashard Smith and Jarvis Byrd have been major contributors this season, and the duo faced a lot of adversity prior to this year.

    "They've both been here a while, and they've both been through a lot in their careers," said Doeren. "With Rashard it was position changes and with Byrd it was injuries. They've been through a lot together, and I think when you get to be a senior and overcome a lot of things, there is a lot to look back on and be proud of.

    "I think both of those guys don't take football for granted. That's what is fun about being around them."

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