Doeren: "It's A Huge Game"

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Dave Doeren met with the media after Thursday's practice.

Is the ECU offense similar to what it was under Ruffin?
There's some similarities, there definitely is. Last year, they were dealing with some quarterback injuries, so they had to rotate guys for different reasons, probably. They're playing with a lot of confidence; you can see that.

It's a spread offense, and uptempo, which is with with Ruffin as well, so, that part of it's pretty similar.

There're some run-game things that are different. They were a huge perimeter screen team when Lincoln was there. They had some [vs. Western Carolina], but not as many.

The reason I ask that is because, maybe not your group, but Carolina had problems beating them at their own game.Now you're playing that similar type of style, so I wonder if there's a theme there.
I know what you're saying. I don't think so. I think, for us, going against that kind of tempo now shouldn't be as difficult, because we see it at practice everyday. I think that should help us.

I think it comes down to executing whatever your offense or defense says. Whether we're playing fast or not fast, we have to execute. Same for them, and that's what it's going to come down to. If you look at the games where they didn't play well down there, and I didn't study them, because I'm not their coaches, why did that happen, I'm not sure.

You believe in the adage that our biggest improvement comes from the first game and the second game?
I guess. I mean, I hope that there's improvement in every game, but for the guys that were first-year players, I think that's really true.

That's really true, and some of that depends on where you're at opponent-wise on your schedule, too.

You talked about, before the opener, you wanted to see how guys handled game-day situations. What do you want to see from a group going into a game like this?
I thought we beat ourselves with penalties in the first half, and in the second half, we were much cleaner, so that's got to come off the table. That's number one. There were some guys, like Kentavius is the one that sticks out. He made his first college sack, and he went nuts. He took his helmet off. I understand his excitement. I don't understand why he lost his mind, either. I think he blacked out in excitement, but those are the kind of things.

I'm sure when Nick McCloud gets his first interception or Kelvin Harmon scores his first touchdown, they're going to be excited. We've got to act like we've done it before.

How do think your receivers blocked in the first game?
As good as I've seen them. We've got to continue that. It only gets more difficult the better you play. These guys have an athletic group in the back end. ECU's DBs can run. They're experienced back there, so it's a little bit different than blocking guys we did last week.

We got a glimpse of your post-game talk from William & Mary, and you mentioned that the loss to the Pirates was one of the lowest moments of your life. That seems pretty profound. What inspired you to say that?
Their fans did a great job in our stadium, and, obviously, the team that I coached and we played with created that. So our job is to go down there and not let them have that spirit, and that's their job as fans to do that.

My job is to put the team out there where they don't want to do that. I think anytime you're a head coach, you don't want to hear the other crowd talking about how they played in your stadium, and I'm sure they would feel the same way if it was reversed.

Some of that ... You were talking about the neighbors. Did you hear some of that when you got home after the ...
No, no. No, no, no. They're classy people.

Yeah. Is there some confusion? Because when you say something on a conference call or in a locker room, maybe we lose some context. Is there some confusion as to the meaning of this game for NC State, for you?
As far as what?

It seems to be ... There does seem to be this perception that the game means more somehow that you see that it does to NC State.
I don't feel that way.

Is there some confusion as to ... Your comments have been misconstrued, I think.
I don't feel that way at all. It's a huge game. It's the next game on our schedule. It's an in-state game. It's a pride game. It's a very important game to our guys and to our staff. I don't feel that way at all.

The only comment I've made is that I've been in a locker room like theirs, and I understand their perspective on the game, but that doesn't mean we don't have the same perspective in our locker room.

Thaddeus Moss was able to get in 32 snaps. For a freshman tight end, that's not the easiest position for a freshman to break into, is it?
Says a lot about his learning ability as a football player, and he can block. He's a physical dude, and, obviously, he's someone who'll catch the ball.

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