North Carolina State coach Dave Doeren discusses Eric Dungey, close losses and kicking problems

first_imgNorth Carolina State head coach Dave Doeren spoke on the Atlantic Coast Conference coaches teleconference Wednesday ahead of the Wolf Pack’s game against Syracuse on Saturday. N.C. State (4-5, 1-4 Atlantic Coast) will head to the Carrier Dome for a 12:30 p.m. kickoff against the Orange (4-5, 2-3).Here are three things Doeren said.He’s assuming Eric Dungey will playSyracuse starting quarterback Eric Dungey was knocked out of the Orange’s 54-0 loss to then-No. 3 Clemson after a high hit left Dungey unable to lift his head at first. The quarterback needed support walking to the locker room. Dungey exited the game in the first quarter and did not return, only coming back to the sideline later in street clothes.SU head coach Dino Babers has been tight-lipped about Dungey’s status, saying only that he’s still going through testing as of Wednesday. Orange linebacker Zaire Franklin and receiver Amba Etta-Tawo said the quarterback practiced Tuesday.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We’re assuming he’s going to play until they say he’s not,” Doeren said. “Even if we were pretending the other two guys were gonna play, there’s not enough film to know what’s gonna be different.”Austin Wilson replaced Dungey for most of the game, throwing for 116 yards, two interceptions and no scores. Zack Mahoney, who was the only quarterback besides Dungey to appear this year prior to the game, completed 1-of-4 passes in the fourth quarter. Wilson has played in just eight games during his three-year SU playing career. Mahoney started the four games last season that Dungey missed with injury, but that was under a different system. This season, Mahoney has appeared in garbage time of games throwing just 13 passes in his seven appearances.“You just got to go in there and plan on seeing Dungey and defending all the things that he’s been able to do,” Doeren said. “If somebody else comes in, like in any game, and things change, we’ll have to make adjustments.”‘The dam’s gonna break’N.C. State’s season has been marred by close losses and blown games. The Wolfpack lost to East Carolina, No. 3 Clemson, Boston College and then-No. 19 Florida State all by one score.Most recently, the Wolfpack led Florida State for most of the game before giving up the game-winning touchdown with three minutes left. Shawn Boone dropped a sure interception the play earlier that would’ve prevented the score and given N.C. State the ball. Against Clemson, N.C. State was a 33-yard field goal away from winning the game, but Kyle Bambard missed to wide right to send the game into overtime.“None of things that happened in our games were intentions,” Doeren said. “No one intended to miss a field goal or drop an interception or line up the wrong way. It just comes down to detail.Doeren said that he’s seen his team make progress in coming closer to closing out games, though he said there are no moral victories. He added “the dam’s gonna break” in turns of the team turning the corner.“You have to understand that you’re being tested and you’ve got one of two options. You can fight harder or you can give into it and we’re choosing to fight harder. I think that’s the only thing that we can do.“We’re getting closer. There is progress. There just isn’t pleasure yet.”Connor Haskins will start at place kickerThe Wolfpack has bounced between Bambard and Connor Haskins as its starting place kicker this season. Haskins will be the one to get the nod for the SU game, Doeren said. Bambard will be the kickoff specialist.Prior to the Florida State game last week, Haskins hadn’t started since the second week of the season when he missed 44- and 42-yard field goals in the first quarter of a three-point loss to East Carolina. Bambard took over that game and has been the starter since.But Bambard has had his own struggles. He missed three field goals in the loss to Clemson, including the one that would have won the game with no time left.“After the Clemson game, I told (Bambard) I’d give him another opportunity, that I wasn’t going to just turn on him,” Doeren said, “but if he struggled again that I’d have to go back to Connor.”Bambard didn’t attempt a field goal for the two games following Clemson but then missed his only chance against Florida State last game. Haskins came in and hit both of his field goals.“I told Connor the same thing,” Doeren said. “That he’s gonna get another chance and when his opportunity came to get his helmet on and make a kick and he did that.”Syracuse is having its own kicker problem. Cole Murphy has missed seven of his last nine attempts. Head coach Dino Babers has pledged his support for Murphy, though, and said the team will stick with him as the kicker. Comments Published on November 9, 2016 at 3:10 pm Contact Jon: jrmettus@syr.edu | @jmettus Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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