NC State hopes better leadership means more wins
North Carolina State figures it's found a few more leaders this year.
The Wolfpack hope they lead them to more wins.
It's finally game week again for N.C. State, which has spent the past nine months putting all those losses during coach Dave Doeren's miserable first season in the past.
All that matters now is getting ready for a Georgia Southern team making its FBS debut this weekend.
Defensive tackle T.Y. McGill said Monday that he's "not saying we didn't have good leaders" in 2013 but "we had a new coaching staff and guys didn't know which way to go."
After last year's 3-9 finish, Doeren said "the best way to get a taste out of your mouth is to go out and play."
N.C. State lost all eight of its Atlantic Coast Conference games during its first winless league season since 1959. The Wolfpack enter this season on an eight-game losing streak and nearly 11 full months have passed since their last win — a 48-14 victory over Central Michigan on Sept. 28.
"It all goes back to leadership," McGill said. "I'm not saying the group of guys we had last year didn't have as much passion for the game, because if I said that, I'd be lying. The passion and the willingness to play the game is the same. Our leaders stepped up this year, demanding more of ourselves and our teammates, and that's the difference."
The Wolfpack say an example has come from their third transfer quarterback in two years: Jacoby Brissett, formerly of Florida.
Saturday's visit from Georgia Southern marks his first game action since 2012, when he was beaten out by Jeff Driskell, and Brissett joked that he would "just make sure I don't mess up the first snap."
Doeren is eager to see what his quarterback — and the rest of his teammates — have retained from the offseason.
There weren't any surprises on the depth chart Doeren released Monday. The established names in key spots are featured prominently, and now it's time for them to prove they aren't that same group that stumbled down the stretch in 2013.
"The first game, a lot depends on what your kids know about your system and how they can adapt on the fly to things you can't show them," Doeren said. "I think you'll see two teams that both have a chip on their shoulder. I know our team does, for sure. ... It's been a while since we've finished a game and felt good about the end result, and all the work you do is about the end result."
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