NC State's ground game got back on track against Florida State, as the Wolfpack averaged over four yards per carry and star tailback Matt Dayes recorded his sixth 100-yard rushing game of the season. It was encouraging given Dayes had rushed for a combined 58 yards against Louisville and Boston College.
"I think as a group we did pretty good," said sophomore left tackle Tyler Jones. "It felt good to get back on track. We had been off a couple weeks so it felt good to get Matt that amount of yards."
Dayes is just 169 yards short of 1,000 yards, and that has been a goal for the Wolfpack.
"It's a big thing for us to have a 1,000-yard rusher," said Jones. "That was the goal at the beginning of the season to get Matt to 1,000 yards and so him being so close and we've got three more games left, that's a big thing for us."
Next up for the Wolfpack is a matchup against Syracuse. The Orange has struggled defensively this year, ranking No. 105 nationally in scoring defense and No. 94 in rushing defense. However, Jones believes the Pack must fully prepare for the next challenge.
"We played them last year," he said. "I know they throw the ball a lot. They're a big moving team on defense. They like to move and shift a lot so we're getting prepared for that. I know they're young up front.
"[We have to prepare for] the moving and different blitzes that they bring. That's just what we're focusing on right now. Clemson moved I think a little more than Syracuse does, but I think that definitely helped prepare us for all the other games that we played and what teams move and shift a lot."
NC State also has to prepare for the environment. Playing in the Carrier Dome is a unique experience, and Jones traveled with the team as a true freshman in 2014 when the Wolfpack knocked off the Orange.
"It does get loud," he said. "I remember when we went my freshman year... it does get pretty loud but that's why we're here focusing on noise and being able to communicate up and down the line."
A big rushing game would be great, but the main goal is snapping the Wolfpack's four-game losing streak.
"We're going to go into the game trying to win," he added. "Trying to do our stuff. So our coach always tells us to control the approach so we'll play as hard as we can and hopefully we come out with a win."