NC State

NC State starts to refocus after latest loss

N.C. State quarterback Jacoby Brissett runs during the first half of the Wolfpack's game against Virginia Tech at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg.
N.C. State quarterback Jacoby Brissett runs during the first half of the Wolfpack's game against Virginia Tech at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg. ehyman@newsobserver.com

Jacoby Brissett wanted to address his teammates Friday night immediately after N.C. State’s 28-13 loss to Virginia Tech.

N.C. State coach Dave Doeren let his senior quarterback have the floor.

“We have a lot of season ahead of us,” Brissett said he told his dejected Wolfpack teammates.

“We’ve just got to understand what we’re trying to do and just (go) out there with nothing to hold back, and everything else will take care of itself.”

N.C. State (4-2, 0-2 ACC) gets the week off after its second straight conference loss to clear its mind and refocus on the rest of the season. The Wolfpack gets some needed time to fix what’s wrong before an Oct. 24 trip to Wake Forest.

The Wolfpack started strong against Virginia Tech last Friday, jumping out to a 10-0 lead, but it couldn’t sustain its momentum from the first quarter.

Virginia Tech scored 21 points in the second quarter to take control.

“Their response was good in the second quarter and ours wasn’t,” Doeren said.

Penalties, coverage breakdowns and an inability to throw the ball down field cost N.C. State against the Hokies.

N.C. State was flagged nine times for 81 yards, both season highs. Virginia Tech quarterback Brenden Motley carved up the secondary for 102 of his 158 yards, in the second quarter. All three of his touchdown passes went to receiver Isaiah Ford.

On offense, the Wolfpack had more success running the ball, with 157 yards on the ground, than it did in its ACC opener.

Junior running back Matt Dayes (66 yards) and Brissett (39) found some room on the edges on option plays. But Brissett couldn’t get into any kind of rhythm throwing the ball.

In a statistical quirk, Dayes led the team with three catches for 0 yards. Receiver Jumichael Ramos made a nice play on an 8-yard touchdown catch early in the second quarter but only had one other catch the rest of the game.

Brissett finished 12 of 25 for 113 yards. He was sacked four times, often holding the ball too long, and threw his first interception of the season in the fourth quarter.

Brissett said he can do better than what he has shown in the first two ACC games.

“I don’t think I played that well,” Brissett said. “If I make more plays, everything else will take care of itself with the team.”

Doeren said one focus of the bye week will be to get Brissett back on track.

“I’m glad we have a bye week,” Doeren said, “and we can sit down and go through everything and try to make some good fixes.”

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