Penalties A Concern

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Dave Doeren is concerned with the amount of penalties his team has totaled the last two games, and he knows they must correct the problem.

NC State head coach Dave Doeren is concerned with the amount of penalties his team has totaled the last two games, and he knows they must correct the problem.

The Wolfpack totaled just five for 41 yards in the season opener, but those numbers spiked versus Richmond, as State finished with 10 penalties for 89 yards. Last Thursday the Pack had nine for 57 yards, with several coming at inopportune times.

"In the Richmond game we had a lot of defensive penalties and none on offense," said Doeren. "The following week against Clemson it was flip-flopped, even though a couple of them were on special teams. I know we had five on offense and a few of them were procedural that we need to get better at.

"Part of what we do on offense is show a lot of looks with a lot of shifts, a lot of motions that requires a lot of focus. Some of the mistakes we're making are mental, and we have to clean those up."

Doeren expanded on his the penalties amassed by the offense.

"Valdes was supposed to come out on a personnel group and doesn't look over and see it so that cost us a substitution penalty," he stated. "They called Asa for putting his hand down on a shift, which he didn't do, so that was one they gave them, and we have to live with it."

Quarterback Pete Thomas accepted some of the blame for the penalties on Monday.

"As an offense we can't beat ourselves, that starts with me," said Thomas. "Some of those procedural penalties were because of me. The snap count was a little off so it's my fault. That's the first thing I need to get better at.

"[Penalties] will kill us. We can't beat ourselves if we want to be the team we want to be. It's all focus, all discipline, and starts the week in practice."

Doeren understands that there are going to be procedural penalties... it's football and small mistakes do happen. However, he wants his team to avoid the obvious flags and those that happen in critical situations.

"Tyson's penalty was probably the worst offensively," he said. "He goes back and cuts a guy illegally when he knows he can't do that. Those are the ones that bother me, the ones where guys know the rule on and just didn't have discipline on that play.

"That's the one you have to beat out of them, the other ones are going to happen from time-to-time, so you have to hope they aren't in key situations, like Alex Barr jumping offsides on third-and-two. That was a killer. Those are the ones we can't have."

So what is NC State doing to try and prevent those penalties?

"We ran six laps after practice yesterday as an offense," said Doeren. "Running one and a half miles in pads is not a lot of fun. We did the same thing a week before with the defense. It takes 15 or 20 minutes and that's a lot of thinking time. That's really the only thing we do other than talk about it and talk about it.

"If it was just one thing it would be fixed. The week before it was some defensive guys getting roughing the passers and being offsides and this week there were a variety of things."

This week the Wolfpack players will hear a lot about self-discipline. Doeren said during his weekly press conference that it is it critical if the Pack is going to knock off Central Michigan on Saturday.

"We're going to talk a lot about self-discipline this week," he stated. "It's going to be a key component of why I think we could win the game. If each guy on the team is disciplined in his preparation and disciplined in his play, plays with great energy and executes the plan the way he's capable of, then we should do what we are supposed to do.

"This is the most important game we have right now. Next Sunday we need to be 3-1 and the only way to get to that point is to handle our business against Central Michigan."

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