Home Press Conference: N.C. State football coach Dave Doeren

Press Conference: N.C. State football coach Dave Doeren


ncstate_logoN.C. State football coach Dave Doeren talks with reporters on Monday. The Wolfpack (4-1, 0-1 ACC) plays at Virginia Tech (2-3, 0-1 ACC) on Friday night.


OPENING STATEMENT: Coming off of the (Louisville) game, anytime you play a game that comes down to a one-possession score there are a lot of plays that could have altered the game. Going all the way back to how we got things going last year, I think when we turn the ball over, don’t take it away more than they do and lose the turnover battle, that hasn’t been a good formula for us. In Saturday’s game we had two turnovers. One of them, Bra’Lon (Cherry’s), he was going in to score and waited until a 17-point swing. I think we would have scored on that drive and it would have been seven points for us. It went the other way for them, with a 14-point swing and then after the fumble they got a field goal. Obviously those points are big in a game like that.

We probably had the most negative plays that we’ve had in awhile against our offense. There were 13 plays in our backfield. A lot of those were on first down and that hurts our efficiency on third own. Those are things that we need to spend a lot of time on, and we do. We spend the first five minutes of every practice on protecting the football on offense, faking it away and tackling on defense. I thought we were disruptive defensively. We had 14 tackles in their backfield, ten tackles for loss, four sacks and five three-and-outs. The biggest thing that I’m disappointed in was the self-inflicted things. We had some penalties that extended drives, lost contain on the pressure in the first third-down of the game and had a sack. We missed too many key tackles on their quarterback and I knew we missed them but to win one-possession games you’ve got to find a way to make one or two of those plays.

Football is a game of inches and a game of making one more play than they do. We made some good adjustments at halftime but unfortunately we down ten points at that point in time and didn’t make it back up. We did play well on special teams. We had a big return by Nyheim (Hines) and I thought our punt team protected well and forced fumble. We had seven guys around that hit and it landed right in the lap of one of their guys. It’s unfortunate because that was a great hit by Germaine Pratt. Our kickoff coverage was good and Jackson (Maples) continues to kick the ball well. The pressure from our field goal team was good. We got our hands on a field goal kick but unfortunately that ball went through. We came out of that game healthy which is always a positive. The key is not to beat ourselves. That’s mine and our coaching staff’s job; to continue work with out players and minimize our mistakes.

There’s no doubt that it’s disappointing to lose a game but I’m excited about our team. It’s a great team to coach and I’m excited about the opportunity to take this team on the road to Virginia Tech. I’m honored to coach a game against Coach Beamer. I think he’s one of the classiest people I’ve met in this business. I really respect and look up to him and have for a long time. To coach a game against someone who has 275 wins, averaging 10 wins a year is pretty remarkable. They’ve blocked 136 kicks in his tenure and he has an 80 percent record at home, so we have a great challenge facing our football team this week. Look at their team statistically; they average close to 32 points per game, around 380 yards, overall a balanced team. They have a very athletic quarterback and he’s (Brenden Motley) gotten better as the season has gone on. He’s played in some tough weather games that I know has probably hurt their pass game a little bit.

Defensively they have given up some big plays but they’re a really athletics, quick twitch and disruptive group. They lead the ACC in takeaways and make a lot of plays. Those three defensive linemen (Luther) Maddy, (Corey) Marshall and (Dadi Lhomme) Nicolas are all-conference players. Their middle linebacker (Andrew Motuapuaka) is really fun to watch and both their safeties are active; it’s an aggressive defense. They blitz a lot and play a lot of man-to-man with a lot of press coverage. On offense, they’ve had their share of injuries there but they still have some guys that are really good. Both their tight ends, (Bucky) Hodges and (Ryan) Malleck, have two touchdowns each are averaging 13 yards per catch. Their receiver, Isaiah Ford, is averaging 16 yards and has 24 receptions.

It’s going to be a tough game against a good coaching staff and a good crew but I’m looking forward to get back on the field with our players and get back to work. It’s an opportunity to take another step on the road and play at a great place. I’ve heard so many good things about playing up there from the entrance they have to the environment so I’m very excited to get over there and face the challenge.


Q. On confidence in running the ball after watching the film:
COACH DOEREN: When you lose 60 yards like we did on those plays that hurts your production obviously but we had some very good runs in the game but we weren’t able to sustain the down and distances that we need to stay on the field and continue to run the ball like we’ve been able to. I think that some of our lineman played really well and some of them struggled against a really good defensive tackle. (Sheldon) Rankins is a really good player. He would penetrate at times and cause problems but I’m not doubtful of our ability to run the ball we just have to do a better job of staying on schedule.


Q. On Virginia Tech defensive front:
COACH DOEREN: It’s hard to run up the middle on these guys. They’re MIC is a really good player and they’re three all-conference players are right there in the center of it so they pack it in. If you look at their runs they’ve given up around 26 runs over 20 yards and almost all of them are quarterback runs and that’s not what we do. There’s other things we have to be able to do, you’re not going to sit there and just run downhill on their front and have a good day doing it. There’s no reason to make some two, three and four yard gains and then you have to make the guy miss in the pocket. I think our backs are good. They’re great with contact, can run through people and make guys miss. We’ve got get the ball in space, use our ability to get on the edges in our jets and throw the football. The biggest thing is protection against them.


Q. On the team putting the Louisville loss behind them quickly:
COACH DOEREN: We spoke yesterday as a team and I told them we’ve learned one tough loss can’t equal two. If we don’t win at Virginia Tech let’s not lose because of the last game. Let’s go play as hard as we can and execute as best as we can, letting the chips fall as they fall. Nobody’s going to be down on you, nobody’s pointing finger, we’re all in this together. We’re going to be positive and move forward and the guys have been great about that.


Q. On Friday night game time:
COACH DOEREN: All the programs that play on that stage enjoy that stage. All of our players are excited about being the team that’s on and I’m sure our university is excited about being the team that’s on as well. We’ll obviously tell that we’re on and ask them to watch. As far as the high school part of it, I get that. I was a high school coach and Friday nights are forever high school football but today it’s not that way. There’s football on almost every night of the week and when we get to November I think it is on every night of the week once the MAC starts playing. That’s just how things have changed.


Q. On being off the ball too far against Louisville:
COACH DOEREN: They got us on a couple of underneath throws. I think what happens sometimes when you’re playing a quarterback that’s a runner is that your eyes get off of the routes and you stare at the guy, thinking that he’s going to take off and you want to go get him. I think early in the game Jerod (Fernandez) and Dravious (Wright) were doing that. They had to get their eyes back into the route directions and matching routes the right way. We weren’t as concerned about that part of the game. We didn’t think he would throw the ball to beat us, which he didn’t do. It was the long run he had that really was the difference in the offense.


Q. On Virginia Tech being a running or passing game:
COACH DOEREN: We’re always going to be balanced in our efforts. Sometimes a run comes in the form of passes with the quick screens or the quick, flat throws. When the ball is in and out of Jacoby [Brissett]’s hands, those are like run plays to us. Sometimes you have to use more of those to get to ball outside but I do think that it’s important that we don’t become one-dimensional, that’s not who we are, it doesn’t fit our strengths. We’ve got to find ways to run the ball and a good job of using our formations and our motions to find some advantages.


Q. On Virginia Tech entrance:
COACH DOEREN: During training camp we have our players come up each night and do a presentation about our commandments. This week it’s about focus and our offensive line did this presentation and we talked about this game. That’s what the word was attributed to, being able to maintain your focus and with their crowd noise and the hype that they get in the opening minutes of the game obviously our guys are excited but they have to maintain their focus. It’s great to be a part of an environment like that and you have to enjoy the moment but just take it in as a life experience and then lock your focus back in for the 60 minutes of football.



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