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Mark Thomas

Doeren brings new approach to NC State

Posted July 28, 2013
Updated August 6, 2013

A preview of the 2013 NC State Wolfpack season has to begin with new head coach Dave Doeren.

In his two seasons at Northern Illinois, Doeren compiled a record of 23-4 with two MAC Championships.  In Raleigh, he has hired a coaching staff that hit the ground running on the recruiting trail, having already received over 20 commits without having even coached a game in Raleigh. There is a new sense of youthful energy around the football facility as Doeren (41) replaces Tom O’Brien (64).

Doeren, along with his young staff have transitioned the Pack from having one of the oldest staffs in the ACC (2nd to Va. Tech) to now having the youngest. The added energy and enthusiasm has not only helped in recruiting, it has also given the current squad some jump in the weight room as well as in practices. A true change of culture has taken place in a regular practice that once saw a coach with arms folded (TOBing) stoically standing in the corner of the field not saying too much, to a guy that is running with the offensive line to get them to the next fast pace snap while blaring Bon Jovi over the sound system.

There have been two eye-opening experiences for Dave Doeren since he was hired on Dec. 2, 2012. One, during Music City Bowl practices, he saw the Wolfpack's lack of speed and playmaking ability. Two, Doeren watched his former team, Northern Illinois, get overpowered by Florida State in the Orange Bowl. The same Florida State team that got beat by NC State two months prior. So, as a coach, he's replacing a staff that didn’t put as much of an emphasis on recruiting, but definitely knew how to get the most out of the talent they had. Doeren and his staff feel they can definitely build a strong program in Raleigh, but what about this season?

Athletic Director Debbie Yow has already tabbed this season a “rebuilding year.” Some of the players on the team have taken that as a motivation tool. They want to make this “rebuilding year” a winning year.

The Offense – The eight home games in Carter-Finley this season won’t be void of excitement. Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada is going to be running a fast pace, no-huddle offense that even employs an efficiency clock that tracks how fast plays can and will be run. The “pistol” spread offense has become very popular in college football. The hope is that over the course of a series or even a game, the defense will get worn down, thus giving the offense a big advantage. Vince Lombardi said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” The most important part of the equation, though, is moving the chains and getting more plays. Without a quarterback, running a no-huddle offense just gets your punt team on the field faster.

While Junior Pete Thomas is listed as the favorite to start at quarterback for the Pack, I have a sneaky suspicion Arkansas transfer Brandon Mitchell may prove to be the guy. At Northern Illinois, Doeren’s offense had a strong running game (238 yds per game) led by Heisman hopeful Jordan Lynch. Last season, Lynch rushed for 1,815 yards. That’s 371 yards more than NC State had as a team. Mitchell is a big, fast athlete that played wide out last season for the Razorbacks. If he can run as well as throw in this offense, the Pack is going to have an explosive offense. Sophomore running back Shadrach Thornton will find open lanes and safeties more concerned with the quarterback than stopping the tailback.

The Pack has some experience at wide receiver with Quintin Peyton, Rashard Smith and Bryan Underwood. But that experience was part of a team that led the world in dropped passes. Some teams go an entire season with 12 drops. State had that many in one game against UNC. Doeren’s first recruiting class is bringing in six freshman receivers. The biggest recruit of the 6-pack right now appears to be Bra’ Lon Cherry, who has a leg up after graduating early and going through spring practice.

The Defense – Being faster on offense means more plays in a football game – for not only the offense, but the defense as well. New Defensive Coordinator Dave Huxtable says he’s ready for that challenge. NC State will play 8 teams this season that will employ the same type of offense as the Pack. The spring and fall camps will be great opportunities for Huxtable to prepare the defense for what they’re going to see the majority of the season.

The defensive front has the most experience and depth of any position for NC State this season. T.Y. McGill, Thomas Teal, Art Norman and Darryl Cato-Bishop should be able to put enough pressure on quarterbacks to speed up throws on the Pack's inexperienced secondary. A defensive back's best friend is a defense that hits the quarterback.

The defense will have some level of success this season if D.J. Green can make plays. Two years ago, before he was suspended by the NCAA for a failed PED test, Green was beginning to make big plays in his transition to linebacker. For the entire year last season, he was kept out of games only to be able to service the offense on the scout team. Green is a playmaker. This is his last opportunity as he wasn’t allowed to red-shirt last season. He will be the heart of the defense this season.

Overall – How successful is NC State going to be this football season? I have to ask. What is your level of success? 8-9 wins? The Pack has had a lot of success the past couple of years at home. And with 8 home games to go with a soft non-conference schedule, NC State could go .500 in league play and still pick up 8 wins. 8-4 would be a big year for the Pack. Especially, for those that see the 2013 season as a “rebuilding year.”
 

26 Comments

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  • Got Peart Jul 30, 9:41 a.m.

    "I must apologize for my post. I normally do not succumb to trolling or bashing anyone's... View More

    — Posted by ssi

    Agreed! This State fan can't stand unc, and while some fans do seem obsessed about unc's failure (I for one just find it amusing), I'd much rather see a State story focus on State, unc story focus on unc, and let's talk about sports!

    I give my friends a hard time about unc's education - but I know it's a quality education just as any college education is. Some people take this all way too seriosuly.

    I think Coach D breathes life into a program that TOB had let dwindle. I'm not used to seeing empty seats at CF (at least until after half time), but that's been the case. I wasn't getting excited for games - because I knew what I'd see. Now - I can't wait! I don't expect much this year, but I'm excited for the future, and following the team, the program, recruiting,is fun again!

    sorry - unc fans - I couldn't care less about what you guys do - you'll get away with it anyway :)

    i just hope everyone comes though without major injuries - I don't care who you play for - I hate seeing guys get hurt.

    1Pack1Goal!

  • olivechapel1000 Jul 29, 12:01 p.m.

    Not so much as rebuilding as a transistion year. TOB time had come due to more lack of progress. Amato as well, he got things going but feel off at the end, 3-9. But Amato with the help of Rivers, got NC State into at least some sort of spot light.

  • ssi Jul 29, 11:52 a.m.

    "I must apologize for my post. I normally do not succumb to trolling or bashing anyone's education because I would not want some of the comments that posters leave on here if the shoe were on the other foot (ie, State getting caught in situations like UNC has the past few years).

    With that said, I do get extremely tired of UNC fans thinking that all State fans only care about beating UNC and nothing else. I for one am a State fan who sees Carolina as a rival and enjoys beating them, but I am also a State fan who wants to see my program succeed and bring home ACC and maybe one day wayyyyy down the road National titles in any sport.

    It not only makes our University stronger but also makes the Conference stronger when any ACC team brings back titles. Yow realized TOB could only take State so far and decided it was time to bring in someone new and exciting. Doeren gives the Pack a breath of fresh air and a boost of enthusiasm that was lacking under TOB's tenure. He has a long way to go to build this team up but he appears to be on the right track. The conference is only going to get tougher with the likes of Louisville and partial member Notre Dame entering in the coming years and hopefully Doeren can revive the Pack and take them to the next level! I look forward to the upcoming season and hope Coach Doeren can lead us back to another bowl game and victory! GO PACK!!"

    Very well said! This forum needs more folks interested in talking about sports rather than just bashing each other. This "I'm better than you, nya nya nya" stuff gets very old, no matter what school you support. Maybe there should be a children's wing associated with this blog.

  • Barely Jul 29, 11:31 a.m.

    State could easily have a 9 win season, and maybe make it out with 11 wins (a lot of wishful thinking). The only teams we will probably lose to are Clemson and FSU. But Statebeat the bajeebus out of Clemson a couple of years ago. An easy schedule for a new coach can do wonders for a program and confidence.

  • InTheNo Jul 29, 10:13 a.m.

    There is NO way State will ever compete with Carolina in anything, football, basketball etc. etc. etc. as long as Swofford is in control of the ACC and UNC is immune from ANY punishment for a LONG, LONG list of infractions which SHOULD include an OBVIOUS 'lack of control' over the athletes, the systematic ath. dept cheating, the paid cars, parking etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

    Debbie Yow recognizes this and she is speaking out and actually addressing this issue (officating, scheduling, etc. etc. etc.) rather than pretending that it doesn't exist.

    So, Carolina, somebody has moved the fan and I'm so glad to see this complete implusion of your athletic department. It's been a long time coming. You are a bunch of cowardly cheaters.

  • olivechapel1000 Jul 29, 8:15 a.m.

    Hopefully Deoren can continue his level at his previous school.

  • Gunnstigator Jul 29, 7:53 a.m.

    Yes, all of us over in Raleigh just care about beating the Heels...give me a break. Yes, beating... View More

    — Posted by IBleedRedandWhite

    No offense, but NCSU will never win an ACC or a NCAA title for that matter in your own stadium. ... View More

    — Posted by rduguyhere

    Yes, take the statement literally...

    Most would have interpreted that as an ACC Title banner/sign... View More

    — Posted by IBleedRedandWhite

    I must apologize for my post. I normally do not succumb to trolling or bashing anyone's... View More

    — Posted by IBleedRedandWhite

    Good to see you back here, IBleed. You are a rational and fair poster. Just as you are sick of Heels fans saying all State fans care about is beating Carolina, Carolina fans are sick of hearing about cheating, and how a diploma from UNC is worthless, which couldn't be farther from the truth.

    As for TOB, I thought he was a good hire after the antics of Amato. My opinion quickly changed when he publically criticized his team and his sideline demeanor left a lot to be desired. I'm impressed with what I've seen of Doeren. His upbeat personality will win over players and fans, and will help recruiting. Building a successful football program is hard work, but it should also be fun, something TOB didn't seem to realize.

    I agree that winning is good for the school, and also the conference. Let's hope for a great season for our respective schools and the ACC.

  • TWAL Jul 29, 5:59 a.m.

    Beating Carolina is great! But the Pack fans hate loosing close games aginst teams that are less talented. Hopefully this coach will have the complete package. We don't want to be ranked until the games are played, and the team has proven themselves, basketball proved that. Go Doeren lead them well and go to war with the ACC!

  • IBleedRedandWhite Jul 28, 11:22 p.m.

    He may very well be competitive, but how good will Doeren be when the fanbase only cares about... View More

    — Posted by hi_i_am_wade

    Yes, all of us over in Raleigh just care about beating the Heels...give me a break. Yes, beating... View More

    — Posted by IBleedRedandWhite

    No offense, but NCSU will never win an ACC or a NCAA title for that matter in your own stadium. ... View More

    — Posted by rduguyhere

    Yes, take the statement literally...

    Most would have interpreted that as an ACC Title banner/sign... View More

    — Posted by IBleedRedandWhite

    I must apologize for my post. I normally do not succumb to trolling or bashing anyone's education because I would not want some of the comments that posters leave on here if the shoe were on the other foot (ie, State getting caught in situations like UNC has the past few years).

    With that said, I do get extremely tired of UNC fans thinking that all State fans only care about beating UNC and nothing else. I for one am a State fan who sees Carolina as a rival and enjoys beating them, but I am also a State fan who wants to see my program succeed and bring home ACC and maybe one day wayyyyy down the road National titles in any sport.

    It not only makes our University stronger but also makes the Conference stronger when any ACC team brings back titles. Yow realized TOB could only take State so far and decided it was time to bring in someone new and exciting. Doeren gives the Pack a breath of fresh air and a boost of enthusiasm that was lacking under TOB's tenure. He has a long way to go to build this team up but he appears to be on the right track. The conference is only going to get tougher with the likes of Louisville and partial member Notre Dame entering in the coming years and hopefully Doeren can revive the Pack and take them to the next level! I look forward to the upcoming season and hope Coach Doeren can lead us back to another bowl game and victory! GO PACK!!

  • IBleedRedandWhite Jul 28, 10:03 p.m.

    OK - that was flat out funny!

    Smack aside, Doeren seems like a good guy who will work his tail... View More

    — Posted by Gunnstigator

    He may very well be competitive, but how good will Doeren be when the fanbase only cares about... View More

    — Posted by hi_i_am_wade

    Yes, all of us over in Raleigh just care about beating the Heels...give me a break. Yes, beating... View More

    — Posted by IBleedRedandWhite

    No offense, but NCSU will never win an ACC or a NCAA title for that matter in your own stadium. ... View More

    — Posted by rduguyhere

    Yes, take the statement literally...

    Most would have interpreted that as an ACC Title banner/sign up in the stadium...

    Sorry you needed clarification...guess that's what happens when you don't have to attend class over in Chapel Hill and still get that "A."

More...

 

 

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