Doeren: "I Love This Team"

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

Dave Doeren PC

"It's good to be back into game week, and we're looking forward to the opportunity to play a game against Wake."

"It's a game that goes back a long time, over 100 years, and obviously it's been a home-field advantage type game on both sides."

"It's an important game obviously for us and for them... an in-state game."

"We want to be more balanced, and we need to score more points.  Those are obvious things that we're working hard to be able to do better.  I've always said that I want to be a balanced offense, and at times we have been and at times we haven't, and we need to be better there."

"It really comes down to four-quarter focus from our staff, our players, the detail, and accountability to the play... not having a play where 10 guys do it great and one guy doesn't. Really we've talked a lot about that."

"We are a team that has some experience, but we are also a team that still has a lot of young guys, and unfortunately every now and then you still see the youth.  We're working hard with our young guys, and we are still excited about our team."

"We're excited about the six games we still have on our schedule and what can happen if we handle our business. We know that every game is a game in college football that can go either way. This one is no different."

"You have to show up and play to the best of your ability and the rule for us is and always will be to not beat yourself and I think unfortunately that happened in the second quarter of the last ball game.  It was a teachable moment for some players."

"It's my job to get these guys to play four quarters, and I take full responsibility, and I always will.  I love this team, and I'm excited about coaching these guys.  It was great to be on the field with them this last week."

"We do have some good young players."

"We've been banged up on the offensive line, so the week came at a good time for our linemen.  Alex Barr did play in the last game but definitely wasn't 100%.  We do feel he's better than he was so that's helpful."

"We should have Bryce Kennedy for the game which would give us a healthy two-deep for the first time since the opener on the offensive line. That's been a problem, not because we didn't have five guys to play with but because we didn't have the same chemistry up front."

"We watched all of their good plays, watched the plays we want to be better at. We've gone back and re-taught all our schemes on offense, defense, and special teams... we had a great rookie bowl scrimmage last night in the stadium for our redshirt guys and that was fun to watch."

"Being balanced is obviously important on first and ten... particularly in the last game our first-down offense hurt us."

"We're excited about the opportunity to play a really good Wake defense.  For our offense, it's going to be a great challenge. They play hard and are sound."

"Offensively they are throwing the football better than they were. Both quarterbacks, Wolford and Hinton play and both do a lot of things with their feet. They are quick-release guys who get the ball out."

"They have a tight end who is a matchup problem for a lot of people. They look for him, particularly on third down and in the redzone, but their outside receivers are playing much better than a year ago.  Last year they were struggling there."

"Their slot receiver, No. 6, is a quick-twitch guy."

"The turnover battle is important... that's obviously something we need to do on defense to take the next step. Points per game we've been pretty good and we've played really good for three quarters in the two conference games and had a bad quarter in each."

"Takeaways, in my opinion, puts us at a different level as a football team. We've forced 12 fumbles but only recovered two on the year.  So we have to keep playing hard and running to the football... getting more hats to the piles where the ball is coming out."

"Getting our hands up on some lower throws, a little bit tighter coverage underneath will help our defensive line.  We've been close to gettting to the quarterback a couple of times and played a little soft underneath and let a few guys catch the ball in front of us... could maybe allow the d-lineman to get there."

"We've had a much-improved return game and that will be a big part of our field position in this game.  They have a great punter."

"He does a good job of kicking it differently, whether it's a spiral or end-over-end."

"Absolutely.  You always look at what's happened and talk about things you can learn from. I do think the past can repeat itself if you study it and understand."

"The best thing we did last year was we were really hard on ourselves as coaches, we looked at everything, took things out, and added things that fit us better. We brought the players in, really explained it, coached it... and the guys bought into it."

"We need to do the same thing. We have done that and now it's a matter of execution. That's the biggest key for us, four quarters of execution."

"We have to take advantage of plays that we have down the field when they are there and creating some big plays. I'm very confident because of how the guys have worked, how positive they've been, and how excited they are about the challenge and the opportunity."

"We've talked about this game and the BC game both in the preseason and the summer... just the history of the game of the road team not doing well on either side. We knew this was a big goal, a challenge, and a rivalry game.  You can see they are excited to play."

"Both games there was one big run that made it lopsided numbers-wise and both were different reasons.  One of them was a corner blitz from the Louisville game and the corner didn't come. Obviously that was a mistake. We called a good play, and if it was executed he would have pulled the ball right into a blitzer."

"The other play they had run two other times in the game for zero yards, and we played it really well. We just misfit that play and unfortunately we didn't get it down.  Two different things but the result was the same... you have a 50+ gain on a run and that's going to lopside the stats."

"It's a detail, and rule No. 1 is we have to do things right.  When you get to be an older football team and have more players that are three and four-year guys, they are going to make up for other people's mistakes more often.  When you're a younger team your margin for error is less... both of those mistakes were young guys and knew what they did wrong the minute they did it."

"Every play is the most important play."

"We've had Freddie with the travel team all year.  He's done a great job.  We looked again at him during the bye week. There's a chance we could play Freddie.  He does have really good ball skills, and he's gained almost 15 pounds since he got here.  When he first got here we didn't think he'd be able to handle his frame in the league, but now he's up to 185-something pounds. There's a chance he could play in the game."

"I like talking about the history of who you're playing with the guys. That's one thing that gets lost sometimes, the pageantry of the game."

"You can't just expect because you beat them at home last year that it's easy there."

"The past hasn't been good."

"The specialists in particular, starting with them, all four of them are freshmen and are confident. Those two kicks Kyle had were big for him at Virginia Tech because he kicked the ball like that in practice. You see a nervousness that's no longer there."

"Darian is playing a lot faster. He's not thinking as much."

"M.J. [Salahuddin] has got a lot better. He's really trusting his knee now, and we're expecting play him a lot more."

"Shawn Boone has played strong safety, free safety, nickel and dime and done a good job.  You're starting to see  a confidence thing with the young guys."

"A big one is Will Richardson, even in his preparation, has done a good job."

"I've coached against Dave in the MAC as well and I respect him a lot. I think he's a very smart football coach, a positive guy.  They've been good there on defense both years he's been there, struggled offensively... the quarterbacks in particular have got protected better."

"The receivers are giving the quarterbacks better options but the line is doing a good job for them compared to last year."

"It takes time... you develop your program playing young guys and getting them the experience they need."

"He pulled his groin. We sat him last week and he practiced yesterday... back to full strength.  He'll be good to go."

"He's good.  He had a sore foot after the game, and they put a boot on him to protect it.  He's out of the boot and he's good.  He practiced yesterday."

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