RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The North Carolina State bye week could not have come at a better time for the Wolfpack. Despite losing their last outing at Syracuse, getting some time off was much more important than trying to get rid of the bad taste of a loss.
“It was a great time,” said NC State head coach Dave Doeren of the timing of the bye week. “That’s the longest I’ve gone since I’ve been here without a bye, going that many weeks straight.”
“Even if Devin [injured quarterback Devin Leary] was playing it would have been a good time for us to have a bye,” Doeren added.
The week off gave some key players a chance to mend some bumps and bruises but more importantly, it gave the offense more time to adjust. The Pack now knows they’ll play the rest of the way without starting quarterback Devin Leary.
Charleston Southern transfer Jack Chambers now takes control of the offense, an attack that will be different, but not drastically different than the one Leary ran.
“We’re not going to run the triple-option,” laughed Doeren. “But we do have a quarterback that can do some things [with his legs] and we want to utilize that and still feed our receivers, running backs and tight ends.
“I think Jack has a lot of poise. He’s calm, he’s competed in a lot of settings in his career, nothing is too big for him that way, he doesn’t get rattled and I think that’s good for the guys to see.”
The loss to Syracuse all but dashed the Pack’s hopes for an ACC championship. This veteran squad came into the season aiming to beat Clemson, win the league title and possibly play for a national title.
“I think you have to reasses each week of the season,” Doeren explained. “What do you have left and how can you achieve the greatest things that you can?
“For us, we’re 5-2 with five games left and three of those are home games,” he said. “There’s a lot to play for and we’re focusing on that. If you spend your time on what we could have done you’re not going to get anything out of what is left.”