Mission Accomplished

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The NC State coaching staff would have preferred it if Hakim Jones avoided making the now-infamous comments about the toughness of North Carolina quarterback Marquise Williams on Monday at the team press conference.

That does not mean they disagreed.

The soft-spoken safety shocked reporters earlier in the week when he stated, "So, after you hit him a few times, he basically almost quits. He doesn’t really like to get hit even though he runs the ball a lot of times in the game."

At Kenan Stadium on Saturday, the Wolfpack backed him up.

NC State’s defense produced one of its better performances in years, limiting the Tar Heels to 207 yards of offense, and knocking Williams from the game in the third quarter, en route to a comprehensive, 35-7, drubbing over North Carolina.

It is the sixth time in eight seasons that the Wolfpack have defeated the Heels.

"He was saying what all of us were saying, but it is not what we needed to say in the press conference," NC State head coach Dave Doeren said, with a smile. "[Williams] is the guy that stirs their drink on offense. He is a really good player. When you hit a really good player repetitively, it makes it hard.

"We didn’t want to do it any other way but clean but we wanted to tackle him, hit him hard and get a lot of people to him."

Jones and his mates thoroughly dominated the North Carolina offense, with the Tar Heels averting a shutout only in the final two minutes of the game. It was the lowest yardage output not only for North Carolina’s season but also in Larry Fedora’s head coaching career.

"They came here hungry," Jones said of his teammates. "They heard about [what was said]. I am glad the attitude showed on the field. It is very satisfying. We definitely backed it up."

When Jones made his remarks, seemingly unprompted, it not only surprised those in attendance, he also caught the coaching staff off-guard.

"I am a very soft-spoken guy," Jones said. "I watched a lot of film and that is just kind of how I felt."

Williams entered the game a strong contender for ACC Player of the Year and the Tar Heels had won four of its last five contests to become bowl-eligible. He left however after T.Y. McGill sacked him and took abuse from the NC State defense all day. Jones praised the junior from Charlotte afterwards and wished him a speedy recovery.

"He is definitely a good player," Jones said of Williams. "He runs the ball hard for the most part. He is definitely a good guy. I hope he comes back for their bowl game. He is a big part of their team."

But when Jones was asked if he stood by his comments from Monday, the redshirt sophomore from Henderson dodged the question, with a smile.

"He is a good player," Jones repeated, while laughing. "It is just rivalry talk."

Pack Pride Top Stories