It was a frustrating defeat for Dave Doeren and his plucky NC State squad. The Wolfpack had dominated the nation's top team early, getting up 24-7 over the Seminoles in the first quarter.
But reality crashed in when Florida State rallied to outscore them 49 to 17 for the rest of the game.
Another potential upset over their ACC-rival, squandered.
So Doeren decided to blow a little steam after the game, blaming Florida State players for faking injuries in an attempt to slow down NC State's fast-paced offense.
"It's a re-occuring thing," Doeren said Monday. "It's not just Florida State where it's happening. There's nothing the officials can do about it. It's not a rule in college football. But I think it's unsportsmanlike, personally."
This isn't the first time the coach felt like opponents were fibbing. After NC State's opening win against Georgia Southern, Doeren said that multiple defensive players "kept falling down to stop our drives," according to the Associated Press.
But this time, Doeren wasn't complaining about a virtually unknown, small-time Division I team. This time he was talking about the defending national champs, which led to a whole mini-controversy erupting this week.
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'I guess there were no fake injuries'
Florida State's Jimbo Fisher responded to the fake-injury claims, saying that the Wolfpack coach should stick to watching over his own team.
"Well, I accuse him of not knowing what he's talking about," Fisher told reporters. "They're not fake injuries. No one faked injuries, and we wouldn't do that. We'll coach Florida Stte, and he can coach North Carolina State."
NC State's offense depends on its frantic pace, relying on quick passes from the spread. Florida transfer Jacoby Brissett threw for 359 yards and three touchdowns despite losing 56-41. Doeren argued that the offense's early success convinced Florida State to start flopping.
"We went fast in the first quarter," Doeren said. "I guess there were no fake injuries."
But by Wednesday, NC State's coach was singing a different tune.
'I have apologized'
Doeren apologized over Twitter for the accusations and said that he had respect for the national championship-winning coach.
"I have apologized to Jimbo Fisher & want to apologize to his staff, players & FSU fans for my comments that took away from a tremendous football game," Doeren said. "It was a great college football game with tremendous plays made by both teams. That is where the focus should be."
Many coaches criticize players when they mouth off or provide bulletin-board material, but what happens when a coach has to eat his own words?
After spending a season complaining about team's faking injuries, perhaps it's time for Doeren to accept the fact that running a fast-packed spread attack will leave some players grounded. Account for it, and move on.
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