NC State running back Matt Dayes missed the majority of his team’s blowout loss to Louisville on Saturday, but not because he suffered a significant injury. Dayes was cleared to return after enduring a helmet-to-helmet hit early in the second quarter but did not play again, as the Wolfpack were already well behind.
That was a smart move by the coaching staff, because Dayes simply was not going to make an ounce of difference in the outcome of this game. There was no reason to risk further injury—especially with a kid who’d taken a shot to the head—when the majority of the rest of the contest amounted to garbage time.
It was a disappointing performance for Dayes and the NC State offense, but sometimes you have to grit your teeth and take the long view, and both Dayes and State still have a lot that they can accomplish over the final five regular season games.