NC State faces Old Dominion, moves on from ECU loss
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) A loss forced North Carolina State to re-evaluate itself. One of the Wolfpack's key conclusions: They can't afford another one this week.
N.C. State looks to move on from its loss at East Carolina on Saturday night when Old Dominion visits.
The Wolfpack (1-1) are coming off a mistake-filled 33-30 loss to the Pirates in which they allowed 445 total yards, let them complete more than 75 percent of their passes and flubbed a series of special-teams plays.
''We watched that, we corrected that and we're going to turn everything we have over to ODU,'' coach Dave Doeren said. ''I'm not going to sit around and dwell on the past. We've got 10 (games) in front of me and I'm going to do everything I can to help our players and coaches learn from it, have a 1-0 mentality and make up for it as the season goes on. That's the only thing that we can do around here.''
The Monarchs (1-1) were equally frustrated during their 31-7 loss at Appalachian State , though they allowed only 97 total yards in the second half. They'll play at Carter-Finley Stadium for the second time in three years, and will play the Wolfpack for the third straight year after losing the first two meetings by a combined 84-48.
''This team can handle going on the road,'' Old Dominion coach Bobby Wilder said. ''Obviously, the results (have) got to be better but they can handle the atmosphere. They'll handle the environment this weekend. … They love it, they're up for the challenge. They know we're going to be huge underdogs going into this game but they're excited to play.''
Some things to know about the Old Dominion-N.C. State game:
WOLFPACK OFFENSE: N.C. State certainly showed its new offense can move the ball, with QB Ryan Finley throwing for 254 yards and a touchdown last week. The Wolfpack have gained at least 500 total yards in both games with new coordinator Eli Drinkwitz. Old Dominion could test them, only allowing 361.5 total yards per game.
PLAYMAKERS: It's no secret N.C. State wants to get the ball to RB Matt Dayes and FB Jaylen Samuels. Dayes ranks third in the Atlantic Coast Conference with 241 yards rushing while Samuels has four touchdowns this season – three rushing, one receiving. That's made Finley's transition to the Wolfpack that much easier. ''A guy makes plays like that, you've got to get him the ball as much as you can,'' Finley said of Samuels.
LAYING DOWN THE LAWRY: Old Dominion RB Ray Lawry has rushed for 100 yards in both games, including a 119-yard effort against Appalachian State, and has breakaway speed once he gets through the line . He should provide a strong test for an N.C. State defense that is giving up 105 yards per game on the ground.
ODU VS. POWER FIVE: Since the Monarchs restarted their program in 2009, they have yet to beat a team from a power conference and are 0-6 against teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference. They've come close, though, losing by nine points at Pittsburgh in 2013 and by 12 in their previous visit to N.C. State. ''They basically know, we don't have anything to lose, we're not expected to win,'' Wilder said. ''But what I want our guys thinking … is `Let's go make history, let's go do something special.'''
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