The Wolfpacker

May 2013 Wolfpacker

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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■ pack perspective Spring Game Gives Glimpses Of Football's Exciting New Style By Tim Peeler C State athletics director Debbie Yow said at the end of last football season that "being mediocre is boring." It was her explanation for why she was looking for a fresh start with the NC State football program. She immediately went out and hired one of the freshest, most exciting faces rising in the ranks of college football coaches, Dave Doeren, who had proven in his two years at Northern Illinois that he and his program were anything but boring. Doeren and his staff of assistants spent all of their time throughout the spring molding their new team into a product that would impress their new bosses — Yow and the rabidly devoted NC State fan base. And that was on display during the annual Kay Yow Spring Game, a festival of football that drew some 27,500 fans to Carter-Finley Stadium, the largest crowd of any of the state's schools. Doeren was the first to admit after the spring game that it was an incomplete picture of what his team will be like in the fall. The defense, which is similar to the old 3-4 defense run by the previous staff, is probably ahead of the offense, but still needs more experience and depth heading into the season. The offense is in need of a quarterback among its six new starters. Colorado State transfer Pete Thomas came out of spring as the frontrunner in Doeren's eyes, simply because, as a former starter at a BSC school, he has more experience under center. And Doeren's fast break offense — which had 131 snaps on both sides of the ball in just 60 minutes of action — will need for its signal-caller to limit his mistakes. The new coach has the receivers he needs to be effective in the offense, especially if redshirt senior Rashard Smith can become the bigplay receiver he was in the spring game. Doeren's looking for an offensive leader who won't hurt the team's chances by making unforced errors and can capitalize, within the offense's fast-paced structure, on other teams' weaknesses. Thomas believes he knows what to expect, though he also knows there will be more asked of the next starting quarterback in the fall. The coach has also laid out his biggest expectations, which are for his quarterback to be accurate, efficient and careful. The biggest cause for concern from the spring exhibition was the number of offensive fumbles, which could be due to the lack of depth at N Head coach Dave Doeren has brought a fast-paced offensive system to the Wolfpack. photo by ken martin running back or to bad exchanges with the quarterback. It is something that has to be eliminated in the fall. "The worst thing you can do at that position is hurt the offense," Doeren said. In truth, spring games are supposed to be a first taste of what's to come. Doeren spent his time learning not only his new team, but also his new campus, his new fans and his new expectations. The remainder of this spring and summer, he will get a closer look at the fans when he attends Wolfpack Club Caravans all over the Southeast. He believes he has a good handle on what's happening inside the Murphy Center. "I can tell our guys want to win," Doeren said in wrapping up the spring. "They want to be great, and there are a lot of things that we've got to continue to stress and continue to improve. But we're a young football team, particularly on offense. "There are a lot of gains that were made and a lot more that will need to continue over the summer months." Doeren knows that his new team lost a lot of talent from last year's squad, especially after seeing former quarterback Mike Glennon go to the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, cornerback David Amerson go to the Washington Redskins and safety Earl Wolff to the Philadelphia Eagles. But he also knows that he has talent on the horizon he has not yet seen, a recruiting class that is full of speed at receiver and at running back. What Doeren and his team showed at the close of spring was really just a skeleton of what Wolfpack fans will see this fall, while the new staff's version of a speed offense develops with a full complement of players. "We feel like we got a lot of good things accomplished," Doeren said. "The guys know what the expectations are from our coaches. They can get better at those things. We didn't put a ton on them in the spring. "We put in a lot, but there's still a lot left to go." And Doeren also knows the expectations as he goes about his second turn of building a successful program: Fast-tempo offenses are generally neither mediocre nor boring. ■ You may contact Tim Peeler at 78  ■  the wolfpacker 78.Pack Perspective.indd 78 4/30/13 4:43 PM

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