Some good stuff from Coach D in this ESPN interview.
A year after going winless in conference play, NC State wrapped up the regular season with a 7-5 record and a berth in the BITCOIN St. Petersburg Bowl against UCF. We talked with Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren last week about the improvement of his team down the stretch and the big win against North Carolina to end the season.
At the end of October, you were riding a four-game losing streak and had lost 12 straight in ACC play, but by the end of November, you were playing your best football of the year. How much changed in that last month of the season?
Dave Doeren: We won three of our last four, and I really feel like our last two games against Wake and UNC, we were dominating in all three phases. We got better after the stretch [of losses]. We played pretty good against Florida State and lost, and we played pretty good against Louisville and lost. We’re a seven-win team that really had a chance to win nine games. Georgia Tech and Clemson we didn’t, but the others we did, and to finish the way we did, dominating the lines of scrimmage in both games, I was really proud of our players.
You have talked a lot about the challenges of having such a young team, but that those players managed to bounce back from a really rough stretch midseason has to speak highly of their maturation, right?
Doeren: Yeah, we had a team meeting where I thanked our seniors for just that, keeping the guys together. The younger players followed their leadership, and I told our staff that they did a great job keeping the ship the way it needed to be kept. Guys that wanted to win were willing to throw it in there and compete, and [it] showed in the small victories as we went through that process and came out of it playing pretty good football.
Read the full interview here http://espn.go.com/blog/acc/post/_/id/78384/qa-with-nc-state-coach-dave-doeren