Charlotte, NC – Headed into the 2021 season, the NC State Wolfpack are looking to make some noise in the ACC and challenge for an ACC Championship. Though that’s something easier said than done with being in the same division as the dominant Clemson Tigers, but if there’s a season to do it, this might be the season with the Wolfpack returning over 18 starters returning.
NC State is coming off a strange 2020 season, with really no offseason because of Covid-19 and a unique schedule because of the pandemic. Not to mention, the Wolfpack lost starting quarterback Devin Leary midway through the season, but they were still able to finish with a solid 8-4 record. NC State head coach Dave Doeren spoke about the challenge of playing football last season and what he learned from it.
“I didn’t even know what virtual learning was 18 months ago,” said Doeren. “I think it did teach our staff that it doesn’t have to be a training camp to get your team ready. We can do things differently. We can adjust.”
Center Grant Gibson stated that dealing with everything last season helped the entire team become much closer and team leadership was key.
“This NC State team, this team is great,” said Gibson. “We’re close as a group. We are so tight knit. Last year really brought us all together.” With regards to leadership, “It’s great. All of us here can speak for it. There’s so many guys on this team that can lead. When you want a team to be great, that’s what you need.”
In order for NC State to challenge Clemson in the Atlantic, they are going to need to hit the ground running. They open the season with three out of conference games against South Florida, Mississippi State and Furman. In week four however, they face likely their biggest game all season, at home, against Clemson. If NC State is able to win that game, they’ll show the college football world that they are ready to challenge for and potentially win, an ACC Championship.