By: Trey Walker
On Friday afternoon, NC State will head to Chapel Hill to play the Tar Heels in the final game of the regular season. However, this is more than just a game. No matter how reluctant Carolina fans are to embracing the Wolfpack as true rivals, they must recognize that this matchup means something now.
North Carolina will be seeking vengeance. In the last meeting between the two teams in Chapel Hill, the Wolfpack used a strong 3 touchdown performance from QB Jacoby Brissett to breeze past Carolina, 35-7.
Senior Tar Heel Guard, Jon Heck expressed how much that game hurt in an interview with Inside Carolina.
“Nobody has forgotten two years ago and that was a nightmare for us and a terrible feeling,” Heck said. “Looking back when they came in and destroyed us, that’s one of the worst feelings I’ve had in my life.
Its this feeling that the Heels hope to never feel again.
On the flip side, NC State has plenty to play for. With a win they can: ruin any possibility for UNC to reach the ACC title game, and become bowl eligible for the third time under Dave Doeren. This brings us to my main point….. The Doeren Dilemma.
So State fans, lets face it. Getting rid of Tom O’Brien was a COLOSSAL mistake. TOB owned UNC, losing to the Heels only 1 time in his final season(5-1 overall). He also coached State to 4 bowl games, and pulled an impressive upset in the 2010 Russell Athletic Bowl against a strong West Virginia team, ranked 22nd nationally at the time. That team finished with a 9-4 record, the second highest win total in school history. O’Brien was let go by Debbie Yow after the 2012 season, claiming that she was unimpressed with recruiting.
Since Dave Doeren has taken over the program, little improvement has taken effect. Many say that he has made the program worse.
Community Viewpoints: Luke Brizzolara
A junior at Broughton High School, Luke has been apart of the Pack since day one. He has seen the ups and downs of the program, and has developed a strong opinion on Dave Doeren’s performance as head coach, and how important Friday’s game is.
Q: Will Doeren’s future at NCSU be determined in this last game of the regular season?
LB: We need to be super competitive and continue to show we have the ability to go up against a top-25 team. If we get blown again, our games against FSU and Clemson won’t save him, as we have consistently underperformed against inferior or equal opponents. If we don’t win against Carolina, I don’t see a scenario in which we keep him. Too many seasons have been sub-par with Dave. This will be the nail in the coffin if he loses and fails to make a bowl game.
As head coach, Doeren maintains a 23-26 overall record at State, and has never broken gotten his team ranked in the top 25 at any point. His bowl record is 1-1, the win coming against a mediocre Central Florida team. The statistics show that Doeren is no where close to as good as O’Brien was.
If NCSU doesn’t pull out a victory against UNC, it will be the second time (2/4 seasons) that a Doeren Wolfpack will be ineligible for bowl play.
Bottom Line: Cut ’em loose