Dave Doeren mentioned Monday that the team has a relatively new tradition of awarding bottles of maple syrup to players who register a pancake block during a game. Doeren said his staff gave out more than a dozen bottles to players following the Wake Forest win. That’s a pretty solid start for the kids up front.
You discussed on ACC Network this morning that you hand out bottles of syrup as rewards for pancake blocks. Who’s idea was it and how many did you give out?
“We started doing that maybe two years ago. I guess we kept a good secret here for two years but it’s something the O-Line takes a lot of pride in. They sign the bottles and put them up on a shelf in the room.
“It’s just kind of a way to reward, what we talk about here. We talk about being tough, we talk about winning the line of scrimmage and playing physical. So it’s a way to reward that.
“Not a lot, as you know, do linemen get love. So it’s a way for us in our Sunday meetings after a win to give those guys that love and the whole team goes nuts about it. We’re incorporating tight ends, backs, wideouts, whoever is involved in those blocks, gets that love from the staff and from their teammates. It’s just something that we take pride in here is finishing blocks that way.
NC State guard Ickey Ekwonu earned five bottles, for plays like this one:
Good morning. NC State's LG Ikem Ekwonu (No. 79) made you some pancakes for breakfast. pic.twitter.com/XjmWly4mPS— Richard Johnson (@RJ_Writes) September 20, 2020
LARGE MAN SMASH. (Not surprisingly, Ickey is an ACC Player of the Week.)
It was really encouraging to watch State do such a consistently strong job controlling the line of scrimmage, and if the Pack can keep that up, the offense will be fine, whether it’s Bailey Hockman or Devin Leary at quarterback.