Doeren: "We Can't Worry About Clemson"

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

Dave Doeren PC

"For starters, I'm proud of the team and the staff to get win No. 5 in a place that historically has been very challenging.  It was great to raise the bar for our program and do something that hasn't been done in the last six attempts.  There's been some really good players to go down there and come away without a win."

"In 12 years there's been two guys playing in the NFL right now at quarterback and didn't come home happy after that, at least not every time."

"It's a tough place to play, for whatever reason, and I feel like our guys really embraced that challenge."

"We started fast... to score 28 points like that in nine plays, it's something we haven't been able to do.  So I'm excited about the explosive plays."

"I thought the defense started fast and played pretty good football for four quarters... didn't have any letdowns. They had one long run they made, a 69-yard run on a third down scramble and obviously they need to get that guy on the ground. That's the only run play in the game that had any factor on them moving the football."

"Kendall Hinton is a good athlete.  That's why we recruited him.  I think he's a really good player, but he made a great play. It is a play we need to get on the ground. We were in a blitz, and didn't have a guy in a position down the field and missed a tackle. Other than that, I think we played pretty solid football."

"We got a turnover in the redzone defensively, Hakim made a nice play... got us some momentum. We didn't turn the football over, finished +1. Which was the first time this year in a conference game we've done that.  If you look at our wins the last two years the turnover margin has been a big part of that. I thought we did a good job of taking care of the football throughout the game."

"Matt Dayes had a great game and Matt's been working on breaking tackles.  He makes people miss all the time, that's something he's always been able to do, but running behind those pads and getting those feet up where shoestring-type plays aren't going to get him.  He did a great job. Our jet game pulled several people out of the box, and he was able to run through that second-level defender and make plays for us."

"Bra'lon Cherry continued to make plays consistent, catching the ball and returning the ball for us; that was a big play.  Our return game and our punt coverage has been outstanding... special teams just in general. They were the best net-punt team and punter in the conference and we won that battle.  I'm proud of our coverage unit and AJ Cole for getting that done.  The return was a part of that."

"No. 3 Clemson, a really good football team.  They have excellent personnel and they use them. They have a lot of depth and use their guys well."

"They are disruptive on defense.  Coach Venables does a nice job with his blitz packages. They have big DBs, good corners that press you up.  Their defensive ends are long, and their linebackers are active."

"They are an uptempo team, which we've seen a lot of, but Deshaun Watson is a very good quarterback that can run and throw and has big targets.  Their tailback is probably playing better than I've seen for them in the last couple of seasons. They are running the football well, and they are protecting their quarterback better.  He's not taking as many hits."

"They present a lot of challenges, but it's a great opportunity and we're excited about it."

"To have a chance to play the No. 3 team on homecoming in our stadium, I think it's great for our fanbase."

"We had a lot of red in that stadium, and that means a lot.  It says a lot about you, and I know you're going to show up for this game. It's going to be a lot of fun."

"Injury-wise we came out of the game healthy on the o-line, so that was great... offensively we really came out of the game pretty good. Defensively, Jerod's ankle is a sprain. All the tests they've done are negative, so it's a matter of getting the swelling out and seeing if he can go. We'll know a lot more on him tomorrow. Other than that ankle injury, we came out of the game pretty good."

"We'll watch it with them.  Not all, but a lot of them played in it.  I don't think there's a ton that needs to be said. They did what we did last weekend, they jumped out fast.  They had some big, explosive plays on offense early at the beginning of the game and then we turned the ball over a couple of times and got behind early... couldn't get back into it."

"The guys will know what happened, and I think they are more worried about what we're going to do about it."

"As a player, we can't worry about Clemson. We have to worry about the guy we're playing against... the one-on-one matchup.  To me, that's what the game is. There's a lot of matchups in the game.  If I'm a corner, I need to worry about what I need to do in this coverage against that receiver... just try to win as many one-on-one matchups as you can and take every play as that.  If you're a player that can win more one-on-one matchups they can, then over time if our team takes that approach than you will beat them."

"We have to continue that process with that guy.  If you look at it collectively and start worrying about stuff you don't control... a corner can't worry about the MIKE linebacker.  He has to worry about his job. That's the approach we'll take."

"They all watched the Georgia Tech game over the weekend. They saw a great upset.  Any game any team can win if you don't beat yourself and play to the best of your ability, have a few breaks go your way, you can beat anybody."

"We know we're going to play a great team."

"The biggest lesson is to finish. You can never look at the scoreboard... just continuing to play until the clock runs out. Some of the guys went through that [vs. FSU] and have lived it.  Hopefully that will be a learning situation."

"It helps your field position...everytime those two guys get the ball it's been positive. They make smart choices... they are excited to get on the field if you're on return unit right now."

"Kentavius was rushing the punt and three guys stayed in to block him, then he wheeled back around and got a huge hit. There are guys in there playing hard for each other on those units."

"Cherry has got so much more confident and then Nyheim's speed... he doesn't dance around, he'll just hit it."

"Coach Faulkner is the kickoff return guy and coach White is the punt return guy and they've both done a great job with those kids technique-wise."

"Well they've been efficient at everything to be honest. They ran the ball for 400 yards against Miami last week. They are a good football team."

"You have to create some turnovers... we've got to strain, run to the football, play tight coverage. We have to do what we did last week.  I thought our d-line pressure and our DB-underneath linebacker coverage complimented each other well last week.  At times we had some disguises built in that helped the coverage."

"They are going to make plays... we just have to get them on the ground and keep playing. We can't let a big play be a touchdown... if we keep playing, keep playing, and make ours, I think that's the big thing. You can't give them a big play for a touchdown."


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