Dave ... dude ... you had this. Despite the sloppiness. You had it. And it ran away from you.
I can't find the sympathy to salvage this result. State's front four was more than good enough to win the game, but they didn't get enough help. The bizarre juggling of the kicking game, plus some pathetic early-game play calling, plus an absurd two-point try, plus etc. etc. cost NC State a lot of points.
Doesn't really matter, though. This is where Dave Doeren died. Right here.
He is done.
His team came out predictably scared, not because they should be worried about the guys on the other side of the line, but because every football staff on the road is scared money. The playcalling and execution were exactly as you would expect, and it was an early setback that NC State could not overcome.
Dave Doeren was worried about that money, which is basically every head coach in the first quarter in the history of football. When you run scared as hell for a quarter against a decent team, there's a pretty good chance it's gonna hurt, and as much as the players tried to overcome that fucking nonsense, there was only so much they could do.
So here we are, folks.