FOOTBALL: NC State – Bronco Mendenhall Post Game

FOOTBALL: NC State – Bronco Mendenhall Post Game
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[MUSIC PLAYING] OK. Yeah, congratulations to
NC State and coach Doeren. I think they earned
the victory today. We played well enough
to make it interesting, but not well enough
to win the game. Our inability to run
the ball consistently and their surprising ability
to run the ball, those two things were the backstory of I
think what led to the outcome as it was. I was encouraged
when it was 27-14. We had the ball down there
and went for it on fourth. I thought we got a
great chance, now, to finish this game out and
possibly pull off a comeback. But again, just not consistent
enough to make that play. I really was impressed
with Bryce Perkins’ effort and competitive spirit and
ability and effectiveness. He did a really nice job
of keeping drives alive, keeping the ball moving. And I would say the
same, as a bright spot, with Tavares Kelly emerging
and making some plays today at probably a higher level. I’m really encouraged
by AJ’s onside kick. That was executed exactly
right in a critical moment. So that was one instance
where our execution matched the situation at a
really high level. There just simply wasn’t enough
of those plays to win the game. Defensively, again, really
surprised about their ability to run the football. Some of the same things that
appeared in the Indiana game in terms of assignment,
consistency. The loss of Jordan
Mack certainly did affect the outcome. The loss of Brett
Nelson certainly did affect the outcome. But that doesn’t
excuse the outcome. And so, the
consistency of the run fits, to me, allowed
the ball to be moved more than it needed to be. The next story will be
third down, their ability to play really
well on third down. Those two things kind
of allowed the game to yield the points that
it did for their offense. So yeah, I’ll take questions. Let’s go Jeff, then
Doug, then Mike. Did you think you’d be
able to get more pressure on [INAUDIBLE] did you need
to get more pressure to have a chance in this game? Yeah, so it’s a
combination, right, of pressure and coverage. And so, we knew the statistics,
which, number of sacks going into this game, and
number of sacks the entire year last year. And so, it’s not an accident. We kind of pride ourselves
on being able to hit the quarterback, and we didn’t. And so, their protection
and the ability to throw and catch the football,
or throw with incompletes and have us pass interfere,
not defend cleanly, it’s basically the same result. So they threw and caught
and protected on third down better than we rushed
and covered and executed, and that hasn’t happened for– didn’t seem like
that for a long time in terms of a team having
that much success consistently on third down, which I
attribute to their protection, their quarterback, and
their receiver play. And so, those three areas in
that setting on third down made it– we did not play well, nor
did we execute well enough to get off the field
frequently enough. Doug. You haven’t mentioned the
final minute of the first half. How much of a turning
point was that? Yeah, let’s see if
I can remember it. So what I do remember is the
interception that we threw, which led to the last
play being a field goal. And somewhere in
there was the spot that was called the first down
on the quarterback fumble. So yeah– You sent your offense out
there, it looked like. I was told by the
official that it wasn’t going to be a first
down, that we had stopped them. So once I was told that,
then we sent our offense out, and then they
changed their mind. In terms of the ineffectiveness
of the run game for you, and I know it’s fresh,
but was it offensive line, was it Julian’s decision? Sure. What did you see there? No. It’s the offensive front
versus their defensive front. Similar things
manifested in Indiana. This defensive front was better. And so, we’re getting
a clearer idea of what that looks like now
against the better opponents up front, what that
match-up looks like, which is going to have to frame
what we do and how we do it. Is it a surprise. Was it a little bit of fool’s
gold, how they played earlier? I would say that
we were realistic, but certainly disappointed
of our result. We’re just getting
a clearer idea of where our matchups,
where our execution, where those areas really are. And each game we play
gives us more feedback. And again, it was just enough
to kind of make it intriguing there for a minute, but not
good enough to take it over. Dave, then Ron, then Brad. Bronco, you mentioned how
surprising their ability to run the football was. Yeah. Number 20, perhaps
the biggest surprise, just because he’d been fighting
some injuries [INAUDIBLE]?? Man, I’m not even really sure. No discredit to him, I’m not
sure it mattered who it was. It was just when I
stand and watch from– I position myself back, and
I can see the inconsistencies right in front of my eyes. And so, I’ll give him credit
for running the ball well, but our execution, it doesn’t
look like a flat wall, meaning every gap handled. We’re inconsistent. And we saw it, again, once
this year early in Indiana. Kind of got– it
did get dressed, and then I saw it again
today, surprisingly so. And thought it was
fixed, but it wasn’t. And then just real quick, you
mentioned [INAUDIBLE] absence. What was his– Concussion. Coach, we saw in Indiana,
we saw some in Ohio, but the DBs just aren’t
getting the 50/50 balls. [INAUDIBLE] waiting
for an attack. Is that an effort thing,
is that technique? What is that? No, I’m not sure
there is one thing. But there’s enough
pass interferences, there’s enough balls
caught by receivers. I couldn’t tell you the
exact percentage right now. But those balls, in
the ACC especially, and to have the success
we need to and want, yeah, everyone has to make
plays within their assignment and within their technique. And that is within their
assignment and technique. They have to win those matchups. And what do you
lose when you don’t have Jordan Mack out there? Well, we lose experience,
we lose leadership, we lose consistency,
and we lose production. Again, none of that
explains, or none of that is OK in terms of still
not being assignment sound. And so, I believe Rob Snyder
played well, and Zane. So they’re growing and
learning and doing a nice job. It’s not just that position,
but every one of the positions influences. We have a lot of
just fundamental work to do in a game like
this, an ACC game, on the road for our execution
to hold and be solid enough to give us a chance
right to the very end. And we were kind of
right there at the end, but not close enough. Brad, then Mike, then Jeff. Coach, how important is
this bye week for you guys? What will be your plan? You guys are obviously
pretty banged up. What sort of plans do you
have this coming week? Yeah, a couple of things. Recovery, certainly any player
we can get back will help. Analysis, getting rid of
dead plays, dead calls. And that means yield. Even though we do it each week,
what players and/or what calls are not yielding that can be
eliminated to be wasted plays during a game, where we might
think the concept is great. [INAUDIBLE] one more time
and we’ll make it work. There are some of those
that just have to go away. And some of those, we
have some tough decisions to make in terms of
shaping our identity. So recovery, analysis,
and practice. So we have a lot of work to do. You praised your
defensive assistants for calling the game last week. Were you guys happy
with the calls today, and is that something
you re-evaluate? I’ll re-evaluate, as I do,
every part of the program, not only after every practice. I watch every play of every
practice of every player, and feedback goes out to
my entire organization. Same thing happens after games. Yeah, what was good a week ago
can not be good the next week, and it wasn’t. And so, we did not play
good enough defense today to win the game, and that’s
just kind of matter of fact. When a team puts
as much emphasis on not letting Bryce
run as State did today, were there other things
open that the offense wasn’t able to capitalize
on because of that? So I think you saw quite a
few possession throws, just throwing and catching with it,
just kind of methodically– eight yards, five
yards, seven yards. And there was a
few shots downfield that were longer
plays that we actually threw and caught pretty well. It was really anything
that was in the range in between of longer
than possession, and not enough
protection to be a shot. Those plays were dead plays. More importantly, our core
run game was ineffective, and that changes everything. Coach, you were talking
about being assignment sound. On the last touchdown
that Finley threw, it was pretty good coverage, and
he threw it to a spot where– Back shoulder. Back shoulder, where only
[INAUDIBLE] the receiver is going to catch the ball. Is there anything you can do
about a guy who can do that? So we practiced– so extra
time and extra volume on just that, what we
call back shoulder. And so, when you’re
covering a player, it can be kind of
over the shoulder, it can be back shoulder. And you really have to be
skilled at the last second to assess where that ball is
when you’re a defensive back. So Rob Snyder was in great
position on the tight end if you remember that throw,
and he kind of bobbled it, and he’s taller and longer,
and made a better play than us. And the play against Bryce– I think it was Bryce, yeah? Yeah. It’s hard to be in
better position, and it’s hard to have
a better guy on him. Their player in
that case executed at a higher level
than ours, and really had not much to
do with the call. That’s just kind
of where we are, where there’s one, two, three,
I don’t know, a handful of plays that we have to make
to come on the road and win a game like this. And there’s plenty of
other stuff behind, but really, it still
comes down to there’s a handful of those plays, and
we didn’t make enough of them.

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