N.C. State QB: If We Execute, We'll Beat Clemson

"It’s not really about Clemson," Ryan Finley said. "It’s about us."

Tiki and Tierney
October 10, 2018 - 7:25 pm

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There are only a handful of unbeaten teams remaining in college football, and N.C. State is one of them. The No. 20 Wolfpack are 5-0 heading into next week’s game at Clemson.

“We’re excited,” N.C. State quarterback Ryan Finley said on Tiki and Tierney. “We’re obviously happy to be 5-0 but definitely looking forward to Clemson. I think as a team we’re just getting better week by week, and I think that’s all you can ask for. We’re excited. We’re enjoying our bye week right now, but we’re excited to get going on Clemson.”

Last year, N.C. State faced Clemson one week after playing then-No. 9 Notre Dame in South Bend. It was a brutal two-game stretch. The Wolfpack lost both games, including 38-31 against Clemson.

Finley hopes this year is different.

“I think the bye week has allowed us to do some different things,” Finley said. “But Clemson is Clemson. We’re going to prepare for them like any other football team on our schedule. We’re going to watch film on them and see their weaknesses, and we kind of have a philosophy, and I personally do: It’s not really about Clemson. It’s about us. It’s about us executing what we do and what we do well, just doing that at a high level. If we do that, we’re going to beat them. It’s an exciting opportunity to have the bye week before these guys.”

If you’re surprised by N.C. State’s 5-0 start, you shouldn’t be. The Wolfpack went 9-4 last year and were ranked as high as 14th in the AP Poll. They lost seven players to the NFL Draft, including fifth overall pick Bradley Chubb, but they haven’t skipped a beat.

That’s a credit to head coach Dave Doeren, who is 36-21 since 2014.

“I think it’s exciting,” Finley said. “It’s exciting to turn on the TV on Sundays and watch how many guys played for the Wolfpack and represent N.C. State. For us current players, that’s something that we don’t take lightly. The guys that came before us, we just kind of talk about leaving the place better than you found it, and that’s kind of what we’re doing. Some exciting things have happened at State in the last four or five years, and I’m blessed to be a part of it.”

N.C. State squares off with No. 4 Clemson (6-0) on Oct. 20. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. ET.