RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Did North Carolina State take its foot off the gas in its 44-41 loss to No. 11 Miami Friday? The Wolfpack owned a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter, but the Hurricanes scored 13 unanswered to eek out the win.
“The same plays we were getting yardage on in the first half and the third quarter stopped working,” said N.C. State head coach Dave Doeren.
Everything seemed to be working for N.C. State leading up to that fateful final 15 minutes. The Wolfpack held the lead for much of the contest. But, with the game on the line, their offensive could muster just six yards in the final stanza. Meanwhile, Miami got rolling, racking up 213 yards late in the game.
“I think they just outplayed us,” Doeren said of the fourth quarter. “You’ve got to give them credit. We weren’t making the same type of blocks and line of scrimmage movement we saw in the first half and 3rd quarter when we were efficient running the ball.
“You can go back and second guess what you were doing, but Tim (Beck) was calling plays that worked well for him earlier in the game when we scored on six of the seven possessions.”
One thing that was definitely missing late in the game was crowd noise. On a normal night game at Carter-Finley Stadium, Wolfpack fans would have been going crazy. The few fans that were there did the best they could.
“Our home field advantage in a night game is as good as anybody’s in the country,” Doeren said. “It could have helped our energy on defense and it probably would have hurt them offensively with cadence.
“They changed a lot of plays at the line of scrimmage in that game that would have been challenging for them to do.”
Doeren offered no excuses. He admitted the Canes won fair and square. Still, there can be no denying Carter-Finley Stadium when full is a huge advantage.
“There’s a lot of things, as a home team, we’re losing out on with COVID-19 part of this,” Doeren said. “Both teams have the same thing it’s just part of the deal.”
Maybe things will be different Saturday night when the N.C. State once again plays under the lights at home versus Florida State. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
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