N.C. State had a big, nationally televised game on ABC last October with Clemson.
When the second half started, the stands weren’t as full as they were when the game started. ABC’s Ed Cunningham called N.C. State fans out for spending too much time in the parking lot at halftime tailgating.
N.C. State coach Dave Doeren would like to avoid a repeat on Saturday with ABC set to broadcast the Wolfpack’s home game with Notre Dame.
The fourth-year coach sent out an email to Wolfpack Club members earlier this week, urging the fans to be in their seats for “all four” quarters.
“I know how important tailgating is at State,” Doeren wrote in the email. “I also know how important building this program is to you all. Please help our team and our recruiting environment this week by being in your seats for the start of both halves!”
I know how important tailgating is at State. I also know how important building this program is to you all. Please help our team and our recruiting environment this week by being in your seats for the start of both halves!
NC State coach Dave Doeren in statement to fans
N.C. State has long held a policy of allowing fans to go back to the parking lot at the half. The “pass out” policy came under fire from Doeren after his first game, a 40-14 win over Louisiana Tech on Aug. 31, 2013.
“The passion that our fan base has, we need them to be in the seats in the third and fourth quarter to be a great team,” Doeren said two days after the Louisiana Tech game.
“You win big games in the third and fourth quarter. It’s great to start fast with a big crowd but it’s better to finish with one. That's an advantage that we need to gain.”
Doeren hasn’t said much on the topic, even after Cunningham’s criticism last year, since the public relations hit he took from those comments.
In every home game since the Louisiana Tech game in 2013, Doeren has opened each press conference by thanking the fans – regardless of how many return for the start of the second half.
Notre Dame’s visit on Saturday is arguably N.C. State’s biggest home game, against a nonconference opponent, since Ohio State visited in 2004.
Hurricane Matthew, and Duke’s win at Notre Dame on Sept. 24, have taken some of the hype out of this game. Still, it’s the 50th anniversary of the first game at Carter-Finley Stadium, and Notre Dame’s inclusion on the home schedule was one of the main reasons a school-record 36,000 season tickets were sold.
Joe Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio
Full transcript of Doeren’s email:
Dear Wolfpack Fans,
This is Coach Doeren. As we prepare to celebrate 50 great years at Carter-Finley Stadium this weekend vs. ND I wanted to ask a favor for our program. There is nothing better than playing in front of a sold out crazy loud crowd in our stadium. It’s hard on our opponent. It energizes our team and impresses our recruits. We will have over 100 top recruits at this game.
We need you all to be fired up and present for all 4Q’s! I know how important tailgating is at State. I also know how important building this program is to you all. Please help our team and our recruiting environment this week by being in your seats for the start of both halves! Thanks so much for all you do for us!