“We move on to a really good Clemson team,” Doeren said. “They’ve had two tough losses against two great opponents and a senior class that is 21-2 at home, 21-5 as a senior class. A really impressive group of leaders at Clemson and a freshman quarterback that’s lighting it up against a defense that has a bunch of seniors and graduate students on it. It’s going to be a great challenge. It’s an awesome atmosphere, I’ve been told, to play in. For us to have to play in the top two teams in our league back to back, it’s going to be a great challenge for our football team this week. Look
forward to the opportunity.”
Q. Going up against Clemson, you
come off an emotional game against Florida
State. What did your team learn from that loss,
and being able to score 41 points against
Florida State despite the loss, what did they
take away from that heading into Clemson.
DAVE DOEREN: I believe we can beat
anybody, and that game showed. There were so
many plays — even with the 41 points, our
offensive guys will tell you, we turned it over twice,
and one of them was in the red zone going in to
score. We know that we can score on anybody.
We have that confidence.
I think now we’ve had to deal with the
crowd noise that we’re going to get at Clemson,
but I think it was a confidence builder. Like I told
the guys after the game, we’re way better than we
were, but we’re not as good as we can be. So
we’ve got to keep fighting and scratching to move
and close the gap that existed between us and
where we were last year.
Q. When you look at that gap from last
year to this year, what’s going on that you’re
having maybe some difficulty in closing that
gap? I mean, obviously, you had a 4-0 start,
but against Florida State, what are some of the
those things that you still need to address to
get to where you really want to be?
DAVE DOEREN: We’re the third youngest
team in college football. That’s the problem.
We’re just young. We’re playing teams like
Clemson with seniors and graduate students, and
freshmen and sophomores on our side. We’re a
really young football team. We’re playing hard.
We’re playing with passion. We’re practicing hard.
We just don’t have the experience or the years in
the weight room that our competitors do in some
We tell our guys, we’ve got to be great
technicians. We’ve got to play above our heads
from an effort standpoint to meet up with the two
and three differential on the teams we’re playing.
That’s all it is. It’s just a youth thing. We’ve got 51
freshmen and sophomores and 15 true freshmen
that are playing. It’s a lot different than Florida
State and Clemson’s lineup.
Q. What challenges does Watson pose
for you this week? What’s going to be the
message to the pass rush or the pass defense
for how to contain that Clemson passing
DAVE DOEREN: Similar to playing Florida
State, he’ll run. He’s one of the best spread
runners in the country coming out. Right now he’s
throwing the ball really well, one interception and
ten touchdowns, I believe.
His receivers are strong. They’ll go up and
get the football. They play with confidence. We’re
going to have to have tight coverage. We’re going
to have to be able to go up and play jump balls,
and our pass rush lanes and our pressures are
going to have to be disciplined.
Q. I’m just moving away from the game
on Saturday and just discuss a hot topic in
sports, in particular, football — concussions.
Clearly, there were some mistakes made
through some miscommunications with
Michigan dealing with the head injury of the
quarterback, Shane Morris. What’s in place at
NC State that would prevent this from
happening during the game?
DAVE DOEREN: Well, any time there’s an
injury, whether it’s a head in
jury or a bodily issue of the player, our training staff
will take that student-athlete to our team physicians that are at
the game. Once they have a diagnosis, they’ll
report to me. Hey, Coach, he’s out, he’s
concussed. Hey, Coach, he sprained his knee.
We’re going to see if we can get him back. Hey,
Coach, he sprained his ankle. He’s going to be all
right. We’ll retape him.
They give me the information, and I really
have no say-so at that point. They’re just going to
tell me so I can get on the headphones with
offense, defense, and special teams coaches and
let them know that so and so is out for a while or
so and so is out for the game.
Q. I know after the Florida State game
you mentioned that you guys really liked the
matchup you had with Bo Hines. He’s played
really well and had a really good start to the
season. What kind of makes him so good? I
know he took advantage of a guy who’s a
freshman All-American in James Ramsey last
week a little bit. Wonder what you guys have
seen to give you so much confidence in him.
DAVE DOEREN: Just watching the film,
we felt like there were certain routes that that guy
struggled against, and he’s really good. There’s no
question. He’s on an island the whole game,
playing man to man. When you play in the slot, it’s
not easy. Bo is such a good route runner with
good timing, we felt there were things we could
take advantage of. Sometimes we did, and
sometimes we didn’t. He won some, and we won
Some of the routes that Coach Canada
came up with just worked against the leverage he
was playing, and I think that’s the biggest thing.
When you’re man to man, you can’t play head up.
You’re either inside or outside, just trying to take
advantage of leverage.
Q. With an offense like you guys, you
mentioned you guys have a lot of young guys,
certainly the case especially with Bo. For him, I
think he’s pulling in something like four or five
catches a game. He’s among the ACC leaders
in just receptions. How impressive is that for a
freshman to come in and be that reliable, be
that kind of player?
DAVE DOEREN: It’s impressive. Bo
came in early, so he was benefited from going
through spring ball with us, and I think that’s a big
part of why he’s playing so fast.
He’s different. Just his dad was an NFL
player. He played in a great football program at
Charlotte Christian. He was well coached. He’s
one of those guys that football is not hard for him
to learn. You say it once, and he gets it, and he
has great effort when he plays.
Q. Coach, maybe the most impressive
stat among the good ones that Jacoby Brissett
has put up, 13 touchdowns and just one
DAVE DOEREN: Let’s knock on some
wood right there.
Q. What does that say about his
judgment and that sort of thing?
DAVE DOEREN: I think Jacoby is
managing the game. We’ve really worked hard
with him because he is so good, just trying to make
every throw. If it’s not good and it’s not there, just
throw it away and run. He’s been able to do that,
extend some drives and scrambles, and third and
seven, if everybody’s covered, run for eight. He’s
been able to do that.
And some quarterbacks will stand there
and stand there and stand there, throw it away or
get hit late and fumble, which happened to him a
couple of times in the game. He’s really smart. He
learns from his mistakes. He has a great
understanding of what Coach Canada wants him
to do from a timing standpoint.
Just got to keep working it and keep
working it because we saw a great pass rush last
week. He threw the ball extremely well and
probably held it too long one time. This week he’s
going to see maybe even a better pass rush with
Q. His poise seems to be one of the
best things about him too.
DAVE DOEREN: He’s super competitive.
He loves the spotlight — not the look at me part of
it, but the competition part of it. He just loves
competing and being on that stage and seeing if
he’s better than anybody. He loves that.