It’s been a tough year for Dave Doeren and the NC State football program, to say the least.
With close, heartbreaking losses to perennial powers Clemson and Florida State, coupled with head-scratching losses to East Carolina and Boston College, Doeren says the Wolfpack is ready to take out some of their frustrations on Friday in Chapel Hill.
“Our message to the guys is to take all your frustrations out and do everything you can to end on a great note,” Doeren said.
Doeren told the media earlier in the week that the team’s typical 1-0 mantra each week has officially been altered, saying that it’s time for the players to cut it loose, play fast, and end the season on a high note.
“We are playing for postseason, so we want to win to play and we want to win for a variety of reasons.”
NC State has also gained a lot of insight for their game plan this week by studying the tape of UNC-CH’s loss to Duke back on November 10th.
“Duke is really sound and they do a lot of the same things structure-wise on defense that we do,” Doeren said. “They played hard. They got off to a poor start [down 14-0] and then they held them to  points after the first quarter.”
With the Wolfpack scoring touchdowns on just 58% of their red zone trips, capitalizing on the opportunities they have against the Tar Heels will be a crucial element to the outcome of the classic rivalry showdown.
“It’s critical because we have moved the ball well, but there are a lot of points we’ve left out there that could put us in a lot better situation,” Doeren said.
With an unusual Friday kickoff this week, NC State has also been forced to alter this week’s preparation in order to work around classes and, of course, getting in a team Thanksgiving meal at the Angus Barn on Thursday.
“We lost a day, so what we did is a walk through on Sunday night, which would have normally been a Tuesday practice,” Doeren said. “Monday was our day off due to our academic load, and then we jumped into our normal week.”