As someone with a propensity of not knowing when to shut up until it’s too late, I feel qualified to offer this advice to coach Dave Doeren: Shut up. Please.
Doeren’s post game press conferences in recent weeks have held as much, if not more, entertainment value than the football team’s performance itself. “Entertainment,” of course, if you get off on watching a guy stick his foot in his mouth repeatedly.
The latest batch of postgame presser stumbles came after the BC loss. It started off promising enough:
“We’re going to do it the right way,” Doeren said. “We are. We’re not going to cut corners. I’m going to keep my head up. I’m going to keep working my butt off. I’m going to stay positive with our football team. We have a lot of games in front of us. It’s frustrating to lose three in a row. I know I haven’t won an ACC game. I hear it way more than anybody, trust me. I want to get the monkey off my back. It takes time.”
Ok, I feel you. Oh, there’s more?
“It’s a challenge, every day, building this program,” Doeren said. “It’s going to take time. We all want microwaved results, me included. I know our fans do. I get it. Two years in a row I haven’t had an ACC player on the preseason list. Two years. It’s going to take me time.”
Uh oh. Ok. Bail out Dave. That red button? It’s the eject button. Hit it. Hit it. Just reach out and press it. Oh Jesus, you’re still talking…
“At Kansas, we had a bunch of freshmen playing on defense and four years later that defense was No. 1 in the nation. It takes time to build it. I just didn’t inherit a cabinet stocked with redshirt seniors. I didn’t get that.“
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This tweet from ESPN made the rounds yesterday:
— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) September 25, 2014
I can vividly recall each and every one of those five wins–I managed to be there for four of them–so I figured I’d share with you my personal ranking for each of these upsets.
#5: 2002. No. 14 FSU 7, State 17
State had beaten FSU the year before to hand the Noles their first home ACC loss, so it seemed natural to expect FSU would come to Raleigh for blood. The Pack was reeling going into the game. Losses to Georgia Tech, Maryland and UVa had spoiled a 9-0 start and sunk the Pack’s ACC title and BCS game chances. Nevertheless, State showed up in its final regular season game and shut down Adrian McPherson and crew, limiting them to just seven points. McPherson would later get in hot water for betting on games in which he played, leading to some speculation that perhaps the dominating performance of the Wolfpack defense wasn’t all their doing.
Nevertheless, the win set the table for State’s memorable Gator Bowl win a few weeks later.
#4: 2006. No 17 FSU 20, State 24
The 2006 season might’ve been one of the strangest in recent Wolfpack history. It was Chuck Amato’s final year at his alma mater and came to a bitter conclusion. The team finished 3-9 and suffered one of the worst collapses you’ll ever see as a season unfolds.
And yet for all its pain, there were two remarkable finishes we’ll never forget that rank among the best moments in State football history. Daniel Evans, son of Johnny Evans, was a serviceable quarterback with an underpowered arm and limited size. But he carved a place for himself into State history in back to back weeks during his sophomore season. In week four in his first start, he led a final-minute comeback against soon-to-be-Amato’s-replacement Tom O’Brien and #20 Boston College with an amazing pass to John Dunlap in the back corner of the endzone:
A week later, he repeated the script: defeating FSU with a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter in the back corner of the endzone–his third of the game–to John Dunlap again:
The story of Daniel Evans added an element to this upset that’s tough to beat, but I still think the next three games edge it out.