Doeren: "It's A Great Opportunity"

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Dave Doeren met with the media to discuss the upcoming game against Florida State.

Dave Doeren

Opening Statement:
It's good to be 4-0 and we're excited about having a shut out and the big plays that we did in the game against Presbyterian. We had the chance to play so many different people. To average eight and a half yards per carry and to hold somebody to 2.7 yards, while basically playing everybody in the game that we aren't redshirting. Sometimes that's hard to do.

We had eight explosive plays and three of those plays went for touchdowns. Our punter Will Baumann had a tremendous day and both our offense and defense were 100-percent in the red zone. We came out of the game healthy.

Now, we get ready for a great Florida State team. They have a 19-game win streak with tremendous players and they have probably the best defensive tackle in college football with [Eddie] Goldman. The linebacker [Terrance] Smith played a lot last year.

The offense has maybe the best receiver we'll see all year in [Rashard] Greene. I don't know how many great receivers Florida State has had, but to be the guy that can say you were the leading receiver for four straight years says a lot about his ability. He's a very good football player. The tight end Nick O'Leary is a big target for them in the red zone. They have five senior offensive linemen, a tailback who runs hard and obviously a returning Heisman winner at quarterback. It's a great offense and it's going to be a huge test. They're averaging 32 points per game and over 300 yards passing.

We're looking forward to a great atmosphere. I know our fans are going to show up, and I look forward to that. It's a great opportunity, and a great challenge for our football team. We're excited about playing Florida State at home and I know our guys will be locked in with their preparation. Obviously, when we played down there a year ago we left with a bad taste and we want to play this football team a lot better than we did a year ago.

On the history of beating FSU:
It has no bearing to what happens in this game. It just shows that Carter-Finley is a great stadium. It's a hard place to win. Our fans are loud and into the game and when we get them fired up its hard for anybody to win here. I think the past eight years, our record against them is 5-3 but that isn't going to matter on game-day. We just have to do our job and the louder we can be as a fan base the more help we'll get.

On the ability to not look past Presbyterian:
Well, they listened to the message. We told them that to have the chance to win the way we want to once we get into conference play that we needed to play better in week four than we did in week three. Clearly as a young team, we're not anywhere near where we want to be yet.

It was the first game where we didn't allow a big play defensively that hurt us. We had two runs for less than 20 yards and one pass that was 33 yards and none of them turned into points. That was a huge step forward on defense.

When you play a spread offense, that's hard to do. We've tackled much better the last two games and that will be a huge thing in this game.

I'm proud of the senior leadership. I'm proud of the young players for listening to the seniors. I think that's one thing that's not said sometimes. The followers have to do a good job to and they did.

On Jacoby Brissett progress so far:
I think he's in great game shape. He's already played in two four-quarter games. He's had to bring us back from a deficit, and he's played two games with the lead. He's had both situations. Even last week, we didn't have a good rhythm in the first quarter and we got into an empty set and did a couple of quick passes and all of a sudden things clicked.

He has been able to be a catalyst for us, but he's also been able to be a game manager. He needs to be able to do both.

On the play of Will Baumann:
His net punts are over 50 yards, which is tremendous. He had two punts that were nearly downed on the one. He worked in the off-season on his pooch-kicking and that's big. We challenged him last week, because of the turnover that Presbyterian had to get some hang time. They'll have Greene back there this week, so that'll be a huge challenge.

Not just the length of the kick, but the height of it as well in terms of allowing our coverage to get down the field.

On last year's game:
It's hard to watch. We're a different team than we were last year. That's very evident when you watch that film. We had a lot of turnovers. Defensively, they had a whole bunch of first-round picks in the game that did their thing and did their thing against everybody. You can't help a team like that, particularly when you're in their stadium you can't help them by giving them the football. It's going to be a challenge.

I just feel better being here for a year, seeing the growth of our team and knowing we have a quarterback we can trust in situations so that we can compete in a game like this.

On difference of quarterback situation going into the game from last year:
I don't know what the end result of the season is going to be, but I feel totally different than I did a year ago right now. I know what's supposed to happen and I know what will happen if we can execute. A year ago, I couldn't say that.

We just didn't know what those kids would do. They might look really good in practice and really bad in a game. The biggest difference is the execution that's happening right now is on a different level.

On the play of Matt Dayes:
I'm proud of him with what he did in the offseason. I think he was a guy that came here last year and thought he was better than he was and thought it would be easy.

He didn't play the way he's capable of a year ago. He manned up about it in the offseason. He got on a regimented diet, worked really hard and lost the weight. He's running extremely well because of that. He's always had the skills, but he didn't take care of his body the way he should have last year.

I'm very proud of him for his commitment.

He's a great receiver. He's got good speed. Obviously, with some of the long runs that he's had. He has really good change of direction and good vision. We put him a lot of places. He can be a receiver, jet guy in motion, wildcat quarterback, tailback. He's good at all of them. Having the rotation that we do keeps him fresh which helps over the course of the season.

On Florida State being challenged by opposing teams:
One of the games, they didn't have their quarterback. I think Oklahoma State is a pretty good team, just from watching that game.

Last year, I think their defense was so good, not to say this year isn't. It was different than most college football defenses a year ago. Across the board, they had a first-round draft pick at every spot. Now, they're just younger at some of those positions and don't have the experience. It's helped. The rushing yards they're giving up and the points that they're giving up it's different because of that.

I can say the same thing about us. We had guys that haven't played a lot yet and it takes them awhile to get where you want them to be.

They have played a couple of good teams offensively. They're kind of like us, they had to play a no-huddle spread in game one and in week two they played The Citadel which runs Georgia Tech's offense.

On the growth of the upperclassmen:
All of us don't want to relive what happened a year ago. Also, as a team I don't think we played to our ability level at times. Guys that once they weren't having the season they wanted to have, they weren't preparing the right way. We had a ton of injuries, which hurt us. I think guys learned a lot from that experience. They learned how to better go about the process and we've talked about the process. We talked about respecting the game, respecting the preparation that's needed, respecting the practice. When you have a team as young as ours, we have to play as hard as we can. We have to be tough and can't beat ourselves.

On overall theme and message for the week:
Just the opportunity to play against the No. 1 team in the nation. It's why we all compete is to play against the best and to beat the best. We need to relish that opportunity, enjoy the moment and let the big stage be the big stage.

Great players play really good football in big-time games and I want to see that out of out guys. We're not afraid of them. We're going to play hard for four quarters and if they beat us, they beat us. We're going to play as hard as we can for four quarters and try to make it a physical four-quarter game.

On the development of the Wildcat:
I'm happy with it. I think it's one of the sky is the limit type of packages. Coach [Matt] Canada is a creative guy and I think he's really good at formatting people, using motions and tight-end movement to pull people certain ways.

I like that package and I think we can still do some more things. There are a lot of plays people haven't seen out of it, and I'm excited where that'll go.

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