On Friday, the Wolfpack will board eight buses (10 players per bus) and head to Blacksburg, Virginia for Saturday’s game against Virginia Tech. On one of those buses will be the quarterbacks — Bailey Hockman, who jumped into the starting role against Wake Forest last weekend, and Devin Leary included.
Leary was available last weekend against the Demon Deacons, but didn’t play. Doeren wanted to evaluate both players in practice to see how things progressed. When the depth charts for the contest against the Hokies were released, Hockman was still the No. 1 guy, ahead of Leary. But will we see Leary at all Saturday night?
“Both quarterbacks had a good week of practice,” Doeren said on Thursday. “We’re excited for both of them. I think the game is going to play out the way it’s going to play out. They are both ready to play. I’m pleased with how they both prepared this week.”
Hockman threw for 191 yards in the 45-42 win over Wake Forest last weekend. He also rushed for a touchdown.
Doeren knows that each guy needs to be prepared.
“We’re going to need both of them,” Doeren said. “We’re one injury/COVID test away from having a different player at every position. We need our quarterbacks to be elite.”
How to watch
Saturday’s game will be broadcast on the ACC Network at 8 PM.
As of Friday afternoon, Virginia Tech is a 7-point favorite, according to espn.com. The over/under is 56.5.
Since the Hokies joined the ACC in 2004, they have played the Wolfpack five times. Virginia Tech has won four of those games.
In its opener against Wake Forest, N.C. State’s defense came up with six sacks. That currently ranks No. 2 in the nation.
Virginia Tech is ranked No. 20 nationally. The Wolfpack have not defeated a ranked team on the road since 2017, when they won at No.11 Florida State.
N.C. State has not won in Blacksburg since 2004, defeating the Hokies, 17-16.
Saturday’s game will be a homecoming for two current N.C. State coaches. Current N.C. State cornerbacks coach Brian Mitchell held the same position for the Hokies from 2016-19. Wolfpack defensive line coach Charley Wiles was at Virginia Tech for 24 seasons.
The Wolfpack offensive linemen are awarded bottles of syrup for pancake blocks from the previous game. Joe Sculthorpe said it’s a good way to honor lineman since they don’t get stats. “It’s a great thing, I really do like it,” Sculthorpe said. “Whenever we get to have pancakes or knockdowns, it gets the team excited and it’s a great feeling. It’s definitely fun coming to the offensive line room seeing our shelf filled with bottles of syrup from the last couple of years.”