THURSDAY: Dave Doeren Audio + Quotes

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Dave Doeren met with the media following Thursday's practice.

Dave Doeren

"They are good. We had a great week of practice."

"We're close. Four games, other than Florida State that we lost, you can go through every single one of them where you're tied or down by a touchdown or less and there are one or two plays that you see guys making in practice that they aren't making in games. We just need to make that next step as a team."

"They are all working hard. They know. They want to win. They know they've got to make plays."

"We play a really good team this week so we've got to execute at a high level. They've had two weeks to prepare so we know they'll be about as rested as they can be."

"They are a finishing team. They play better in the third quarter than they do the second, better in the fourth than they do in the third."

"They've got one player on their team that is really, really good. No. 3 is a big-time difference maker for them and we need to do a good job of knowing where he is."

"Their punt returner is scary. He's really good. He puts his foot in the ground one way or another and gets north and south."

"You can see that they are sound in their punt protections."

"They don't beat themselves."

"It's not just Northern. At Kansas may have been my best experience of turning a program around. When we got hired there was a major drug problem, they had horrible grades. There were 20 kids that quit the team the first semester because we made it hard. We were the worst team in college football the first year. Five years later that team beat Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl."

"I know where the program is going. I see the guys work ethic and I look into their eyes. I know how we're recruiting. I know how many guys are injured and what could of been if we didn't have all the problems we had as far as a rotating lineup. With all that said we're still in every game except for one. I have no doubt in my mind where it's going. I assume they hired me here because there might be some things that needed to get fixed. We're working hard at fixing them."

"I've always looked at jobs that I left, if I left it in a better place than when I got there? I did. They hadn't won the league in 28 years and we won it two years in a row. I recruited really well there. You can see a ton of those players playing right now and playing well for them. Anytime you have a quarterback of that caliber returning you know that you're going to have a chance to win every game and they do. Some of the coaches stayed behind so they had carry-over, they hadn't had to learn anything new... I'm really happy for them. I don't look back at all. I'm really excited about where I'm at and where we're going. It's just a matter of time."

"He's got a lot better. [Grinnage] is one of those guys that's 6'5 and 270 and doesn't know it yet... at times he's a dominating blocker... his upside is tremendous and his work ethic is tremendous."

"Both of them have practiced hard. We're not giving up on Brandon and we're excited about Pete getting healthy. Brandon has had two games and he's missed five. The growth he could have had in those games is pretty important. He's going to play and Pete's going to play. How much depends on what we see early in the game. They are both ready to compete and we've given them both a lot of reps."

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