RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — N.C. State’s 21-point road loss at Virginia Tech three weeks ago had Wolfpack fans howling.
“I think there’s a lot of people out there that get off on being negative on social media,” said N.C. State head coach Dave Doeren. “That’s just fuel for the fire for our guys and that’s how we take it.”
The Pack (3-1, 3-1 in the ACC) has since won two straight on the road, and as you might imagine the mood in West Raleigh has taken on a different tone.
“Yeh we definitely have to address it,” Doeren said of the outside negativity. “We’re going to play our butt off for our family, for each other, and for the people that constantly support us. The people that don’t, that’s the way it goes.”
Doeren and the N.C. State program has been both blessed and cursed for having the Triangle’s most rabid fan base.
“We’ve got to really look hard at ourselves and the people that love us,” explained Doeren. “We don’t play the game for comments on Twitter, we play the game for our families, we play the game because we want to be successful in life, we play the game because we love our brothers.”
Still, Doeren admits, it’s not easy for athletes to shut out what others are saying about them.
“As you all know, every young person has a phone in their hand a lot so it’s hard for them to ignore it,” said Doeren. “It’s a skill set that sometimes they don’t learn until they get a loss on their record. And then they learn quickly there’s a lot of fickle people.”
Doeren knows those same people that were down on the Wolfpack three weeks ago, may now be first in line to give a pat on the back.
“We talked about it yesterday (Sunday),” said Doeren. “You focus on how did you get the results. You got them by getting beat and realizing you better practice the right way to get a win and you did and then repeated it.
“We need to stay process-oriented and block the distractions and focus on the things that are giving you the results, not the things that are creating distractions.”
If the Wolfpack can do that on Saturday, there’s a good chance the current pats on the back will keep on coming.
N.C. State hosts Duke (1-4,1-4 in the ACC) on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 3:30 on RSN.
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