Dave Doeren on Pack's plan for Trevor Lawrence: Hit him, get him on his back
|Wednesday, October 17, 2018, 10:35 PM- -|
It’s not a secret that NC State head coach Doeren and the Wolfpack defensive coaches will gameplan against freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence in Saturday’s showdown with No. 3 Clemson, but he released a little more info during his Wednesday night radio show.
The Wolfpack want Lawrence on his back. A lot.
Clemson and NC State have played it close each of the last two seasons, with the Tigers running Deshaun Watson out at quarterback in a Clemson win in Death Valley two years ago and Kelly Bryant in the win in Raleigh last season.
Doeren said the Tigers aren’t calling the quarterback run with Lawrence as much as they did with Watson and Bryant.
“It’s a lot different. Every year that we have played them, the quarterback run game has been a big part of it,” Doeren said on his radio show. “It was an equalizer for them and I don’t know if they are going to break it out against us. They have run their tailbacks, and nobody has stopped them.”
The Tigers have used the running game with Travis Etienne, Tavien Feaster, Adam Choice, and Lyn-J Dixon to great effect this season, and Doeren said the plan is to play the Tigers physical – much like they did two years ago when Clemson running back Wayne Gallman was knocked out of the game.
“We have to swarm and we have to strike and have a bad attitude when we get there. We’ve done that in the past,” he said. “This is going to be a physical game and our players are excited about it. A big part of this game is going to be getting the ball for our offense.”
Doeren was asked the game plan for Lawrence, however, and he gave a snarky reply.
“Yeah, we are just going to play Cover 2 the whole game,” Doeren said. “That's it. No disguise, just gonna line up in one defense and try to take it real easy on him.”
He then turned serious and said the Wolfpack have to hit Lawrence. A lot.
“He is really impressive. He can make every throw. He has a quick release and he’s tall. He obviously has talent around him,” Doeren said. “You see how quickly the ball gets out of his hand, and when he’s sprinting out right or left, he is accurate on the run. He is an impressive young man, and he hasn’t been hit a lot. That’s the one thing – we have to get to him and try to disrupt his timing.”
That includes putting the freshman on his back.
“What do you do? You hit him. You try to get him out of rhythm, you try to make him see things he hasn't seen and you have to make plays,” Doeren said. “Rattle him a little bit. He hasn't been rattled. He has made plays and he is a good football player and he has great talent around him. But if you can just get him to question what he's looking at a little bit, give the D-line a little bit more time to get there and the blitzes a little more time to get there and get him on his back more than he wants to be on his back. All of those things add up. But that's easier said than done.”