Junior tailback Matt Dayes was arguably NC State's best player through the first six games of the season. He is currently second in the ACC in rushing (588 yards), total touchdowns (11), and tield for first in rushing touchdowns (10).
However, he still tried to use the bye week to imiprove his overall game.
"I just have to get that extra yard," Dayes said. "That's the main thing for me... getting that extra yard and breaking those shoe-string tackles. They hurt a lot, and I can't let that happen. They've happened two or three times and that's definitely a game-changer. Those could have been touchdowns on those plays."
Dayes is also a threat in the receiving game. He's currently second in the ACC among tailbacks in catches (21), and that total could increase moving forward.
"I tried to learn a lot of things [during the bye week]," said Dayes. "I tried to learn some of the different positions at receiver also. It was hard at first, but I'm learning it right now."
Next up for Dayes and the Wolfpack is a road game at Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons gave up 50 points last weekend to North Carolina, but that performance was more of an outlier than the norm. Wake is allowing 21.7 points per game this season and are allowing just over 160 yards per game on the ground.
"They are a much-improved defense," said Dayes. "They are better than they were last year, but I'm excited to play them."
NC State hasn't won in Winston-Salem since 2001, despite often having the better team. What does this year's squad need to do to pull out the victory?
"We just have to go out there and execute," Dayes said. "That's the main thing. The other years no one executed, and the energy down there is low so you have to try to pick yourself up and execute."
Look for Dayes to receive his normal workload on the ground, and he has already indicated that he could be a bigger factor in the passing game. In fact, it sounds like being more aggressive in the passing game is a focal point this week for the Wolfpack.
"That's going to open the run game more," said Dayes. "That's probably the main thing. We missed some opportunities early on this season with our passing game, and we need to capitalize on it.
"This week I feel like [I could be] out at receiver a lot more and that could be a good thing for our team... to open it up a little more. I'm excited."