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Clemson Football

Doeren: 'You just got to handle your business, if you want to control your own destiny'

September 27, 2022


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📺 Click here to watch all the interviews ahead of Clemson's matchup with NC State! 📺

No. 10 N.C. State will travel to Death Valley on Saturday with a 4-0 record and ranked in the top 10 for the first time in 20 years. 

The Wolfpack defeated Connecticut 41-10 this past weekend and handled Texas Tech, a winner over No. 22 Texas (27-14), the previous week. 

No. 5 Clemson survived a double overtime thriller (51-45) over No. 21 Wake Forest and now gets No. 10 for a primetime showdown with ESPN GameDay in town. The Tigers also have, a nation’s best, 36-game home winning streak on the line, and Hurricane Ina threatening to make it a sloppy night.

Here's what N.C. State head coach Dave Doeren had to say about the game during his weekly press conference on Monday.

Opening statement on Clemson:

"As far as this week, excited for the game. It’s a great matchup against a very talented group with an experienced talented staff, have great respect for Coach [Dabo] Swinney and his program. Two top-10 teams competing on a national stage, and it’s why we do this. The kids have worked hard, staff has worked hard, and we expected it to be in this position. We expected to be 4-0 going to Clemson, and we look forward to playing a great team, and we’ll continue to focus on us. I think the path that has got us here is the path we’re going to stay on. It’s individual and collective improvement through great practice, great meetings, and taking care of business.

"We will focus, obviously, on our opponent and know those guys but, more importantly, we need to know what we need to get better at and get it done. We’re playing at a great venue, longest home winning streak in college football, and we know the crowd will be into it, and it will be loud.”

On Clemson's defense:

"And, when you talk about them, to me, it starts with their defensive front. They’re really, really talented. They’ve got a great rotation on the D-line. They’re skilled. They’re big. They’re really good football players on that defensive front, and they’ve done a nice job of recruiting those types of guys -- developing them and coaching them, and they put them in positions to be successful.

"At linebacker, Trenton Simpson (#22) is a really good football player. He’s a sideline-to-sideline guy and [a] really, really good player. They’ve played a lot of guys in the secondary, I know they’ve had some injuries there. They have good length at corner. You can see they’re not doing a ton of things, probably less multiple than they’ve been and guys are playing hard. I know they just had a tough game with Wake, but I have a lot of respect for Mike Reed, and I know he’ll have his guys ready."

On the offense: 

"Offensively, their offensive line has stayed healthy. They’ve played the same five guys in all four games, they’re better than they were a year ago. I think their quarterback’s maybe the most improved part of their offense. He’s playing with more poise, he’s more accurate, and he’s definitely given his guys a chance on deep balls. His receivers, he’s got two guys that are long that are making plays for him. Their tight ends got four touchdowns, and not surprising to see [WIll] Shipley playing the way he is. I have great respect for Will. He’s competitive. He’s talented. He’s got a lot of great spirit and demeanor.

"So, it’s a great matchup. I’m excited to get to work and get into the game planning today and start our practice and go out there. I love our team and our mindset, and I’m excited for them with this opportunity."

On preparing for Hurricane Ina and playing in Death Valley for the first time since 2018:

"Yeah, there’s a lot – you consider crowd noise. So, we’ll have to have the noise going and going to have to have wet balls. We’ve obviously, or I’ve been through the hurricane situation before. I hope we won’t have to play in something like that like the Notre Dame game, that was nuts, but we’ll be prepared if it is raining, and, hopefully, it won’t be one of those things that has devastation that comes with that either. Sometimes these things fizzle out and sometimes they get pretty strong, so we’ll just have to see where it goes, but we’ll plan for the worst and hope for the best."

On being 4-0 and having everything they wanted to achieve in front of them:

"Yeah, I think all of us that are playing our first conference game, we’re all undefeated in the conference right now. There’s a couple of teams that have played one. And so, at this point in the season, there’s a lot of hope for everybody. I think you just got to handle your business if you want to control your own destiny. Right now, that’s our goal. It’s take it one week at a time and you look at what’s in front of us we got a lot of challenges waiting for us here week after week after week.

"The Atlantic Division is real. There’s a lot of really good football teams on this side of the division right now."

On whether the offense will continue to incorporate more tempo on Saturday:

"Yeah, I mean, we’ve varied the tempos throughout the year. I think you’re right. I think we did mix it up a little bit more. Some of that’s just a game flow thing for Coach [Tim] Beck, too. When he sees the defense’s tired and he wants to step on them that way, then he’ll do that. And some of it’s our defense. Like, if we’re playing a lot of snaps we got to be smart. You don’t want to go out there and run tempo three plays and three and out and your defense is tired. So, it’s complementary football."

On NC State playing in its first-ever top 10 matchup and whether this is the biggest game in his coaching career and program history:

"I don’t know. I’ll let you guys figure that out. I haven’t studied 35 years of games. So, I don’t want to speak out of turn on that but in my 10 years, I would say probably so. But as far as the history, that’s a long time. I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes with that answer. But it’s a great opportunity against a great team and a great venue. It’s everything you want as a coach and a player and we’re excited for the opportunity."

On if he has watched last year's 27-21 double overtime win and will it help him evaluate this year's Tigers considering the staff changes:

"I watched last year’s game. I think offensively it’s the same. Coach [Brandon] Streeter is very similar to what they were and personnel is very similar on offense. So, you can look at last year’s game on that side of the ball. I think defensively they have changed more than they have offensively. But player-wise, it helps to go back and see how, who gave us problems and how they attacked us. I know they’re going to study that as well.

"So it’s an important piece, but you do have to base more of it on the four games this year, I think, when you’re looking at defense."

On what quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei has done in the four games to show improvement from 2021:

"Yeah, he’s endured a lot of criticism. Like I said, his completion rate is up. He’s throwing good deep balls. A lot of times a year ago he was overthrowing guys and now guys have chances to make plays. You can see his chemistry is good with his receivers. He’s throwing them deep. He’s back shoulder throwing guys, and his guys are making better plays for him, too. I think that’s part of this that gets lost sometimes. Quarterbacks take the heat and there’s guys dropping passes all over the field that could have changed the game. That changes the quarterback too.

"A lot has been said about his body transformation. Until I am right there with them, it’d be hard for me to comment on that. But he’s lost weight and he’s more mobile. He’s playing good. Now he’s got people hanging all over him. That two-point play that last week was a huge play that he made, and there was a play in the Georgia Tech game on third down, similar situation. They are off the field and he finds the back and shuffles it to him with people hanging all over him. It was a critical play in that game kind of busted the game open."

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Doeren: 'You just got to handle your business, if you want to control your own destiny'

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