Doeren: "It's A Big Deal For Them"

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

"We are excited to get into our actual opponent preparation. We’ve had two weeks where we’ve allowed the guys to focus academically. Our last day of finals is tomorrow (Wednesday). The guys, I know, are excited to be in the next phase of the semester, which is preparation for our game.”

“We’ve had some good lifting opportunities and a chance for some of our guys to get healthy. It is a chance for our coaches to get back off the road--the quiet period started this week. We spent yesterday and today watching Mississippi State and studying their systems.”

“We had a lot of time yesterday and today to talk about our first and second down gameplans. When finals end, we will get out on the field mid-afternoon and install our first and second down gameplans. We will get about seven days of work here and then give the guys a chance to go home and be with their families a little bit for the holiday and then we will convene our bowl prep back down in Charlotte Christmas evening.”

“Looking at Mississippi State, it is a team that won eight games and has a great quarterback in Dak Prescott--probably the best they’ve had in Mississippi State history. You look a a guy that has 25 touchdowns and only four interceptions and 67 percent completion rate but also the leading rusher on the football team. I think that says a lot.”

“He’s got a couple of receivers that are All-SEC players in Ross and Wilson. Eighty-one catches and 55 catches. Wilson is explosive. Nine touchdowns and he is a good returner.”

“We are definitely playing an offense that is capable of scoring a lot of points. They are averaging 33 points a game.”

“They are big up front. Their tailback is a really quick kid and a good returner. Second team all-league.”

"Defensively, obviously their defensive coordinator Manny Diaz used to be here. I’ve known him a long time and he’s done a nice job in his career. Defensively, they are very multible--they play zone and man. They mix it up quite a bit on third down.”

“They are active up front. They have a defensive tackle, No. 98, that a lot of people have struggled with. He’s a very disruptive player.”

“They are giving up close to 23 points per game and 388 yards total defense. They have been in the backfield for 25 sacks. The two linebackers are one and two in tackles.”

“It is kind of a well-rounded team. They block kicks and return both a punt and a kickoff for a touchdown. We look forward to playing them. It is a good opportunity for us.”

“Just looking at our ticket sales, I appreciate what (NC State fans) have done already. Looking forward to having an in-state feel. We’ve asked for more tickets in the lower seats and the lower levels. As much red as we can get in there, the better.”

“I know Dr. Yow has already talked about the noisemakers that we are going to try to have for them to offset the cowbells. Excited to see that climate as well. I know it is going to be a lot of fun.”

“Our players are looking forward to playing in Charlotte. We have 15 players from the Queen City. It is a big deal for them. It is a great city for football, from a recruiting standpoint. There is a lot of state championship programs in Charlotte and even on the other side of the South Carolina side of the state line--there are some great teams down there as well. To have some of those players visit our practice will be great for our program.”

“It has been fun to just to see our players at the team banquet on Sunday. You get away from them a little bit and you go out on the road recruiting, to come back and get to see them and the parents. I was in the weight room today watching them lift and there was grit and energy.”

“It will always be about winning the turnover margin, making plays on special teams when you can and tackling in a game like this against a quarterback like that is going to be a big deal.”

“They are similar. I think DeShaun Watson is involved in a little bit more of the quarterback-run game just because they have dialed him up more this year. Offensively, they do so similar things in their systems. They are both big and accurate. I think DeShaun’s downfield accuracy is the best in the country. That has been documented. I don’t think Dack’s is poor by any means. He throws a good deep ball as well.”

“Winning is important, period. Why do you coach? You coach to be victorious. You don’t coach to lose, so for us we always want to win. Whether it is win number five, six, seven, eight, nine or 10. I don’t think in the grand scheme of things it is going to set our program back one way or another because we are going to come back and have some goals we need to get after.”

“This game won’t define us one way or another but (if NC State wins) it would give us a better taste in our mouth going forward. We would love to get this win, no doubt.”

“I think once I put the headsets on I will be focused. I don’t know. I have not seen how many tickets they’ve sold. I hope it is loud for both teams.”

“For us, it is the opportunity to get as any of our fans, families of the players and people that enjoy watching Wolfpack football. A trip down without breaking the bank to watch us play.”

“A lot of people wanted to see us play a Power-5 team in the first four and we are doing that next year...that doesn’t impact the game I am trying to win in 15 days.”

“Matt (Dayes) is out.”

“I am sure it does. The perception is that since they’re from the SEC, and they play a great schedule. Coach Mullin and his staff and players play against good competition.”

“I think both schools have a tradition of what their programs are about. It starts with the academic end of it. I think when you go back to the beginning and when they were founded and what type of schools they were when they were founded. I have said a lot about what I think State stands for. I know talking to Coach Mullin he feels the same way. They believe in those kind of values.”

“We definitely want to finish the season the right way. Talking about (the UNC) game is not going to help that. For us, we have got to get back to four quarters of football. When we’ve been good this year that’s what done. The biggest challenge we have talked about as a team is doing what you do the best you can do four quarters of the game.”

“(Pharoah McKever) just wasn’t playing as much on defense. Our rotation out there with guys like Roseboro coming in has taken some of his playing time. Bradley Chubb has had a really good year. And Pharoah--you guys know how I feel about Pharoah. We have been trying to find a way to get him out there. We have gotten him tougher, bigger and stronger. I think having him standing around, to me, is a waste of ability. For us to get him at the tight end position, I didn’t know if he’d be able to play it as easily as he has been able to. He’s got to learn a lot right now about the volume of offense he has missed and the installs. He has got a good skillset over there. He knows how to catch the ball well. I hope he can play in the bowl game. I can’t guarantee that’s going to happen because we haven't had practice yet and I have not gone out there to see him.”

“(Jacoby Brissett) has meant a lot, not just to the program but to his teammates and to his coaches. He’s very competitive. He has carried himself the right way. He is a great representative of not just what the players should be like but the student-athlete in my opinion. He is graduating as a transfer, you lose credits when that happens. He has caught himself back up. He works really hard in the classroom. There has never been a practice where he didn’t work extremely hard.”

"We definitely have fun with it. It is a reward earned, and I tell them that. They have been practicing since August 4th. They went through summer workouts all summer and it is hot. To have an extra chance to play and compete is a great thing for them as a football player but it is also a reward for all their work.”

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