Dave Doeren – Head coach – N.C. State
“As far as the game goes, James Madison is a good football team. We knew they would be. Our red zone defense was exceptional. They found a way to stop them. I thought our stamina in the fourth quarter with the drive we put together at the end on offense was critical. Jacobi Meyers had an incredible game and Ryan [Finley] had a 300-yard passing game. I thought Reggie [Gallaspy] ran hard but I didn’t think our run game was as good as it will be in time. We’re missing some parts right now, particularly at tight end.
“A lot of guys played today, and it was good to get them out there. I thought Thayer Thomas didn’t play like a freshman at all. He had a nice punt return and great touchdown. There was some really good stuff and will be great film for us to watch. I was impressed with James Madison. Their staff does a great job, their players are classy, and they play hard. They’re going to have a good season.”
Mike Houston – Head coach – James Madison
“Hats off to N.C. State for a great win today. Obviously, they are exactly what we thought they were. They are one of the top teams in the ACC this year and have one of the top quarterbacks in the country. They did a great job of making the plays when they had to, and we made some critical errors that prevented us from being able to get the win in what would have been a big victory for us today.”
Ryan Finley – Quarterback – N.C. State
“I think we’ve got to get better in a lot of different areas. It was good to get out with a win and it’s exciting to start off 1-0 – that’s our goal.
“Heck of a catch (on C.J. Riley’s TD). Just gave him a shot up there. He’s a tall guy and he went up and got it. That was fun to see him get in the end zone. It was an exciting play for him. Jakobi really played his heart out today. He came down with some really, really tough grabs. He says to just put it in his area code, and I think he means it. Just give Jakobi a chance and he’s going to come down with it. He played really well today.”
Thayer Thomas – Wide receiver – N.C. State
“I was just trying to make some plays out there today. I know I put in a lot of work in the offseason to be prepared for this moment. As soon as I got on the field everything felt normal and everything slowed down for me. I felt pretty comfortable out there.
“It felt like a dream (scoring the first touchdown). As soon as I scored it didn’t really feel real but then everything sort of sunk in and I got to play a little bit more and felt comfortable out there. It felt like a dream and just blessed to have that opportunity…In my heart, I want to be that guy (who scores the first touchdown). I don’t know if I would have thought it would be me, but I was prepared for the moment and I went out there and made the play.”
Peter Koutroumpis: 401-323-8960, @pksport