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Week 8: The search for a new hope for a quest for a search for a new hope

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

If there's one thing Dave Doeren has had to develop quickly since making the move to Raleigh, it's an ability to find the little positives to hold onto for dear life during long periods of negative results. Nothing he did was going to halt State's sad march through conference play in 2013, but the key is in the tryin'.

Here we are now in a similar spot, the hope-o-meter having dipped from a pretty good place not long ago down into the dusty, unkempt portion of the psyche. In other words, we have reached the "team has good energy in practice" stage of the season.

To their credit, Doeren said his players haven't lost hope. The suspensions, related to a BB gun incident, are disappointing, but a lesson learned, he said. On the practice field, the energy and focus has been as strong as ever.

"We're practicing well," Doeren said. "Guys had great energy. They're good. The suspensions were guys being immature away from here, but that doesn't correlate with how they've been practicing."

Hey, man, if that there is what we got, then that is what we got.

Unfortunately the results this weekend are not likely to improve the overall situation, but maybe State's being a significant underdog is actually ... a blessing? Like maybe they'll be able to better shrug off a loss since everybody expected it, and instead put a more positive spin on whatever decent things they did during the game, then come out against Syracuse after the bye like new men? Right? Guys? Hello? Where'd everyone go?

That could be how the hope is reclaimed, couldn't it? Ugh, listen to me, I'm delirious. The dudes on the football team aren't the only ones who could use a bye week right about now.