Doeren scores in Pack loss
Sep 20, 2013
Dave Doeren, N.C. State, B: Although one of the worst officiating blunders in ACC history helped Clemson get a 26-14 win, the Wolfpack took a lot of pluses out of Carter-Finley Stadium.
Coordinator Dave Huxable’s defenders executed a well-crafted strategy that kept Tiger quarterback Tajh Boyd out of sync from the start.
And for a team that was penalized nine times and was working with makeshift quarterback personnel, State’s offense was generally productive most of the night.
Led by senior Rashard Smith, the Pack’s receivers stacked up near evenly with Sammy Watkins and his Clemson catchers.
The game turned in the third quarter.
What should have been an 83-yard State touchdown run by wideout Bryan Underwood, which would have resulted in a 14-13 lead with an extra-point kick, was wiped out when Richard Misner committed the first cardinal sin of officiating by calling something he didn’t see.
Misner ruled Underwood out of bounds near midfield and then complicated that mistake by whistling the play dead, thereby ending any chance of a booth overturn. Television replays revealed that Underwood was in bounds all the way to the end zone.
While the ruling no doubt was a innocent case of haste and waste, it inadvertently gave the appearance of an ACC official protecting the best interests of the beleaguered football conference’s No. 3 ranked team. That effect became doubly pronounced three plays later when Pack quarterback Pete Thomas lost a fumble.
But as losses go, Doeren’s first at State hardly had the look of a calamity. It’s the opposite, in fact. If the Wolfpack (2-1, 0-1 ACC) can come up with that same level of energy and defensive efficacy nine more times, the final regular-season record will be impressive.
Previous grades: One B, one C.