Injuries mount, taking a toll on NC State heading into home stretch of football season

NC State

North Carolina State linebacker Isaiah Moore (1) is helped on the field after a play during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Miami, Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – North Carolina State lost a whole lot more than just a football game on Saturday. The Pack’s 31-30 setback at Miami was disappointing, but seeing star linebacker Isaiah Moore go down with an injury was even more crushing.

“The biggest loss of the game: Isaiah Moore is lost for the season,” head coach Dave Doeren said at his Monday press conference. “That, to me, that was the biggest loss in the game, not losing the game.”

North Carolina State’s Isaiah Moore (1) reads the play against Clemson during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

Even with the loss, the Pack still has all of its goals within sight. Win out and they’ll play in the ACC Championship game. Getting there without the heart and soul of the defense, though, will be difficult.

“My heart breaks for Isaiah,” Doeren said. “He means a lot to our program. Your heart breaks for guys like that.”

The Wolfpack has now lost four defensive starters for the remainder of the season due to injury. The offense also took a hit when it was announced that guard Chandler Zavala’s season is also over.

Zavala’s injury will test the Wolfpack’s depth along the offensive line. Meanwhile, Moore’s injury will leave a huge leadership void on defense.

“If you wanted to pull the four most vocal leaders out of our defense we just did,” Doeren said.

All-ACC First Team linebacker Payton Wilson, starting safety Cyrus Fagan, and starting defensive tackle C.J. Clark had already been lost earlier in the season.

“That makes it hard. It really does,” Doeren said. “It puts more stress on the guys around them. They’re going to have to step up and take advantage of their roles.

“The guys that have experience now have to just play a little bit better each of them to make up for that loss.”

The Wolfpack will also have the help of a Homecoming crowd on Saturday when they host Louisville at Carter-Finley Stadium. Kick off is set for 7:30 p.m.

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