Pack learned its lesson in early season loss to Mississippi State

ACC Football

North Carolina State linebacker Payton Wilson (11) is seen during the second half of an NCAA college football game against South Florida in Raleigh, N.C., Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – N.C. State pounded a good Boston College squad on Saturday with 33-7 in Chestnut Hill. It was the Pack’s first road game in a month and State passed with flying colors.

In the second week of the season, the Wolfpack fell flat with a 24-7 loss in Starkville, Mississippi. The lessons learned from that defeat may have helped the Pack on Saturday.

“It was a great teachable moment,” said N.C. State head coach Dave Doeren. “I thought our guys took it to heart, they owned it and we got better from it.”

“Not that I ever want to lose a game but I’m thankful we lost that game the way we did that early in the season because it has helped us.”

Since that loss to the Bulldogs, the Pack has ripped off four straight wins and is climbing in the Associated Press Top 25 football poll. The Pack checks in at #18, the second highest-ranked team in the ACC trailing only #16 Wake Forest.

While being recognized is nice, Doeren says all that fancy stuff does not fuel his team.

“We’re not into all that,” stressed Doeren. “Do we take pride in trying to prove people wrong? Yeh, we do but we’re not going to talk about accolades and things like that.”

The Pack has six regular-season games left. Three at home and three on the road. Through the years N.C. State has gotten used to playing the underdog role. Now, the Pack may have to learn how to win from the driver’s seat.

N.C. State could be favored in all of its remaining games.

“The message will be pretty clear,” Doeren said. “What got us here is doing things this way and it doesn’t matter where they put us, underdog or no we’ve got to keep playing the same way.

“We’ve just got to take it one game at a time and at the end of the year our body of work will have the respect it deserves and hopefully we can keep doing what we’ve been doing and playing one week at a time.”

That mentality continues this week as the Wolfpack heads to Coral Gables for an Atlantic Division matchup with Miami. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.

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