NC State looks to ‘regroup’ after loss to Virginia Tech, Doeren says

ACC Football

Virginia Tech’s Tré Turner is tackled by North Carolina State’s Tyler Baker-Williams (13) during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Blacksburg, Va. (Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times via AP, Pool)

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WNCN) — Home-standing Virginia Tech was missing 23 players and four assistant coaches but still had enough to beat N.C. State 45 to 24 late Saturday night.

The Hokies were playing their first game of the year while the Wolfpack came in riding high after a win a week ago over rival Wake Forest.

“Virginia Tech deserves a lot of credit they were the most physical team tonight,” said N.C. State Head Coach Dave Doeren.

The Hokies rushed for 314 yards and three scores after jumping out to a quick 17-0 lead.

“I just think we came out slow,” said Pack junior linebacker Isaiah Moore. “Kudos to them for starting fast — we have to do a better job.”

A week after lighting up Wake Forest, N.C. State quarterback Bailey Hockman struggled against the
blitzing Hokies defense. Late in the first half he had just one completion for four yards prompting
Doeren to make a change behind center midway through the third quarter.

“I just felt like we needed a spark, to see what Devin (Leary) could do,” explained Doeren. “He led us on two scoring drives, did some good things and also did some things he’s got to learn from.”

Leary won the starting job but then missed nearly three weeks during preseason camp due to contact tracing, forcing Hockman into the lineup. Leary was 12 of 16 for 165 yards and a touchdown against the Hokies.

A scary moment for the Wolfpack came in the third quarter when safety Khalid Martin collided with teammate Tyler Baker-Williams.

Martin remained on the Lane Stadium turf for 15 minutes before being taken to a local hospital. Martin was released on Sunday with no “radiographic abnormalities.”

Leary and the Wolfpack will try to bounce back Saturday when they travel to Pittsburgh for a noon

“You know it’s a loss but not the end of the season,” Doeren said. “We’re one and one and need to go
back and regroup.”

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