NC State junior left tackle R.J. Mattes talks with Pack Pride about the upcoming game against Wake Forest.
How do you think the offensive line played against Liberty?
In the first half we missed a few assignments. There were a couple of plays where they didn’t really beat us we beat ourselves a few times. We watched the film, and we were disappointed in our first half performance.
It looked like you guys played much better in the second half.
In the second half we came out and tried to run the ball. Curt [Underwood] got over 100 yards which is good for the offensive line because we hadn’t had that happen in a while. Once we figured out our assignments and figured out who to block we went to smash-mouth football and picked it up.
Did you make any major changes?
We knew we were bigger and stronger and could play smash-mouth with them. We found out our assignments and started moving the line of scrimmage.
We gave Curt the ball and he did what he can do.
Did Liberty come out and surprise you guys with what they were running?
We knew they would have an odd-defense, slant a lot, twist a lot, that kind of stuff. I think there were first-game jitters, nerves, and once we got those out we were good.
We schedule opponents to get jitters out before the conference games. Liberty was a great team, great opponent, but we have that game out the way and now it is time for Wake Forest.
Thoughts on Wake's defense:
They are similar to Liberty in terms of scheme, but they are all over the place. They like to slant, and they run an odd defense. Their nose guard is a really good player so we’ve got to watch out for him. He has a high-motor... he uses his hands really well.
We have our hands full this week trying to pick up the blitzes they have.
There has been talk about how long it has been since NC State won at Wake Forest. Do you guys talk about that?
It's just another road game. I’ve heard people say we haven’t won there in 10 years, but we’ve got to focus on this year's Wake Forest and play our best game.
If we play our best game no one can beat us.
What is the biggest priority for the offensive line going into the Wake Forest game?
We’ve got to focus on all three defensive linemen. We’ve got to punch holes because they are a slant-and-angle type of group.
They aren’t going to play you head up, they like to slant gaps so we’ve got to make sure we punch holes in the gaps.