Mitchell: "I Played Terrible"

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Brandon Mitchell was blunt when asked about his individual performance in NC State's 49-17 loss at Florida State.

Brandon Mitchell was blunt when asked about his individual performance in NC State's 49-17 loss at Florida State.

"I played terrible," he said. "Just being blatantly honest, I played terrible. I have to do a lot better than that. I think I was 17-for-31 and had a lot of opportunities out there to make plays. I just didn't make them.

"I think the first four drives I was really, really rusty... throwing off my back foot. As the game went on I settled down, and we started moving the ball. I just have to take the positives from the film and try to execute this week."

"I feel a lot more confident, having that one game under my belt," he added. "Just finishing up the game playing pretty well, decent in the second half."

NC State was able to establish the running game, even with the struggles through the air. Sophomore tailback Shadrach Thornton rushed for a career-high 173 yards and two touchdowns in the loss, and that could be a building block for the Wolfpack offense.

"The running game always plays a big part," said Mitchell. "Going into the game we wanted to spread them out and pass it around a little bit, but having a balance on offense always makes passing and the running game work."

Mitchell's first full game came against the ACC's best defense, as Florida State's defensive front is explosive and fast. He believes he will face similar speed this weekend against North Carolina.

"Florida State had a lot of speed on the defensive front but so does North Carolina," said Mitchell. "They always have guys getting drafted on their defensive line. They have a lot of guys that can play. No. 8 can really play, and No. 9, he can get after it."

While North Carolina has speed and athleticism defensively, they have still struggled. The Tar Heels are No. 87 nationally in total defense (428.1 yards per game).

What does Mitchell expect to see from them defensively?

"They are going to line up and play football," he said. "They don't try to disguise a lot of things like Florida State kind of did. They are going to play their Cover 2, and they are going to blitz. When they are blitzing they don't check out of it or anything. They show you they are blitzing and line up and play football."

NC State comes into the game on a three-game losing streak, and is just 3-4 on the season. However, expect the Pack to be motivated for the huge rivalry game.

"It's really big," said Mitchell. "Guys are telling me the history of this rivalry, trying to make sure I'm into it. Coach Doeren came into the team meeting and got everybody fired up. We're ready to go. There won't be any letdowns or anything like that.

"We have 12 commandments so every game week we always have a word. This week, it's going to be a rivalry game so we have a perfect word for that."

What is the word?

"Oh nah," said Mitchell, smiling. "That's in-house."

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