Doeren: "The Guys Just Kept Fighting"

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- NC State head coach Dave Doeren discusses the 28-21 win over North Carolina.

“I’m ready to go home and have some fun. You guys make it quick.”

“To me, it’s not about that [going to a third straight bowl game]. It’s about these players and these coaches hanging together amidst a lot of heartbreaking days, negativity, and doubt. We didn’t. The guys just kept fighting with each other and for each other, and they know where our program is headed. That’s what this is about. This has nothing to do with the bowl game. I’m glad they get to go to a bowl game, but today was about mastering ourselves, finding a way to win, and doing it against our rival.”

“It’s incredible. Until you’ve been in the arena, and fought, and laid your life on the line the way these guys do and these coaches do amidst all the B.S. that’s out there, you have no idea what that feels like. It’s tremendous to see the support that these players have had for each and every one of us as coaches and for each other. I’m proud of them.”

“Matt didn’t practice all week. He was hurt, but he stood out there and learned the game plan on his feet. We had four guys on offense that couldn’t practice this week thanks to a short week, and they showed up and played hard and found a way to win. Matt’s a warrior. He knows our offense inside and out, and he showed it today. He’s tough.”

“It’s the same thing we’ve done in every game we’ve been able to run the ball. We created space for our tailback, and we made the most of it. I thought we were really pushing them around in the first quarter. As the game went on, they started putting more and more people in there, but I thought we were the most physical team early for sure.”

“Other than a couple of third-and-three-miles. I don’t know what happened on that. Those kids are playing hard. They’re playing tough. They’re playing together. That’s what we’ve talked about all year. ‘HTT: hard, tough, together.’ We believe in that. Our players do, and our strength coaches do. Those kids take a lot of pride. They had an offseason of being told how bad their defense was. That meant a lot, so they worked their butts off to go out there and make a name for themselves this year. They aren’t the best in the country on defense, but we’re a heck of a lot better. We’re very tough to run a football on. We’re stingy. We’re physical. We’ve got to make a few more plays on third down.”

“They’re a good football team. Larry’s [Fedora] done a great job with his team, and he’s got a bunch of good players. We knew they wouldn’t quit. We knew it would be a four-quarter game. They’re a great first-quarter team if you look at how many points they score in the first quarter. We thought if we could win the first quarter and just be physical after that for the rest of the game on both sides, then we would have a good chance to win, and that’s what we did.”

“The one holding penalty on the flea flicker to the tight end, which was a masterpiece play. That was beautiful, but we got a holding. Other than that, it was a great quarter. That was a huge play, 80-something yards, that came back.”

“That was a nice pass, wasn’t it? It was kind of flipped from down here, but it was a beautiful throw. It was a great play call by Eli [Drinkwitz], and it was well executed.”

“It definitely makes you feel the worth of all your work. I’m not going to go into the details of what it was like when I first got here, but it’s a lot different now.We have a lot of players that developed and gotten bigger, stronger, and faster. We’re playing every game, except Louisville, for four quarters, going toe-to-toe with every team. We haven’t won enough of them, I agree, but we are so much more competitive than we’ve ever been. We’re doing so good in the classroom, we’re doing all these different things in the community, our team leadership. All the stuff you want in a program is there, and all it is is making one or two more plays, and that’s the progress. Today, we were able to make them. That’s what happens when you build. It takes time, and people don’t want to have time anymore, but it does unfortunately.”

“We want to get the ball to our playmakers all the time when we can, and we thought we could run the football on them and eat up as much clock and be physical and move the chains. We were able to do that some and not enough.”

“[Ryan Finley] is beat up.”

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