NC State

Lack of timeouts hurt NC State’s late comeback

N.C. State ran out of time and timeouts during its comeback attempt in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s 30-18 loss at Louisville.

Coach Dave Doeren said it was his fault the Cardinals got the ball back, with a 23-18 lead, with 2 minutes and 21 seconds left and no way for the Wolfpack to stop the clock.

“Obviously, that’s on me,” Doeren said.

Doeren called two straight timeouts at 5:13 in the fourth quarter with Louisville facing third and 17 from the N.C. State 28-yard line.

“We didn’t have the right defense in the game,” Doeren said. “I didn’t want to give them a big play.”

Doeren said he made an adjustment expecting a Louisville running play after the first timeout but then didn’t like how his team lined up after the initial timeout. Then he decided to use his last timeout.

“I communicated something I wanted and it didn’t get communicated the right way,” Doeren said. “I didn’t want to be in that defense.”

N.C. State stopped running back L.J. Scott for no gain on the third-down play and held Louisville to a field goal, which gave the Cardinals a 23-12 lead.

N.C. State scored on its next possession. Without any timeouts left, Doeren elected to go for an onside kick after Jacoby Brissett’s 21-yard touchdown pass to tight end David J. Grinnage with 2:21 left.

N.C. State missed the 2-point play but trailed 23-18 after Grinnage’s touchdown. Louisville recovered the onside kick. The Wolfpack defense stopped Louisville running back Michael Dyer on the first two running attempts of the subsequent series, both plays for a loss, but then Dyer busted a 46-yard touchdown run through the left side of the defense to seal the win.

On the first series of the second half, Doeren used his first timeout to set up a punt protection. The Cardinals were close to getting to punter Will Baumann in the first half, picking up a roughing the kicker penalty in the process, and Doeren said he didn’t want to risk a protection issue.

“It just didn’t look like our guys were ready for what they lined up in and I didn’t want to get a punt blocked,” Doeren said.

Note: N.C. State senior receiver NaQuan Brown had to be carted off the field with 31 seconds left in the game. The initial report is Brown suffered a compound fracture to his left leg. Brown, a walk-on from Charlotte, recorded his first career reception for five yards in the second half.

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