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As if things couldn't get any more difficult for the NC State football team coming of a 44-10 beatdown at the hands of No. 22 Wake Forest last Saturday, the reeling Wolfpack must now find a way to deal with undefeated national champion Clemson.

At least the game is at home, on homecoming no less (who's idea was it to schedule the Tigers for homecoming, anyway?).

Despite his team being a 31-point underdog with a lengthy injury list that looks a lot like its opening week depth chart, Doeren isn't ready to concede anything.

“As everyone knows, we’re injured, we’re young and we’re going through some challenges and what that is," he said. "But I love a challenge and I love when my back’s against the wall. I know this, our guys aren’t going to flinch. They’re going to fight and we’re going to fight as a program to get better. I think the biggest thing, for us, it’s not who we play. It’s what we do to get better every day and how we play ... That's going to be, for the next four week,s what you hear me talk about."

Here's what else Doeren talked about at his regular weekly press conference Monday:

“We’re looking forward to playing a home game. It’s been a month since we’ve been back in Carter-Finley and we’re excited for homecoming, night game opportunity against a tremendous football team. It’s what you play for, to play against such a good team, such a well-coached team. To get to do it at home in a night environment’s been awesome to have those types of games. I know we’ll have a tremendous crowd. I’m excited just to get back on the grass with the guys.”

"This week the challenge is obviously a great one, playing a team that's done what Clemson has done. I can go through their statistics, but you all know where they're at. They do a really good job on both sides of the football. They're well-coached. They've got good players. So we've just got to go out there and be the best that we can be with what we do. And it's really fundamentals. It's executing 11 guys at the same time."

"It's a great week to be back home, because it's been an interesting schedule only having two games in October, with only one of them being a home game. It was weird having that setup. Now it's nice to at least get in a rhythm and be able to put together some consecutive weeks of football."

Doeren said he is sticking with Devin Leary as his starting quarterback, though he stopped short of saying he'd stay with the strong-armed redshirt freshman -- who struggled mightily against Wake Forest -- for the remainder of the season: 

"The thing you like, other than how well he can throw a football, is just how competitive, how into it, how coachable (he is) -- the conversations that you're able to have. The mistakes he makes are going to happen. You don't want them to happen, but it was his first start."

"He made some really good throws. I thought he had a great corner ball throw to Cary (Angeline) on the sideline. He missed an easy out route throw, which he's hit a thousand times in practice. I think (Wake) did a good job sitting on some routes, which probably made him a little bit nervous on some throws. He's just got to learn how to get through that. 

"I think that game is going to be a huge piece for him to grow from. But I just like how he comes to work every day. I like how when you're talking to him he gives you feedback, he's not ever in a panic. There's a lot of things to be excited about. ... He's going to grow a lot from that game. He's going to get another team that wants to blitz every snap this week, so another opportunity."

As for his QB plans beyond Clemson, Doeren said:

"I can't give you a 100 percent on anything in life right now. I would love to say he's going to grow and get better and better and better, and I hope that happens for him. I do. He's worked himself in the place that he's at for a reason and he's our starting quarterback right now. I look forward to helping him get better."

All three players that left Saturday's game at Wake Forest -- running backs Zonovan Knigh and Trent Pennix, and linebacker Isaiah Moore -- are listed on this week's depth chart. Asked if that means all will be available and ready to play against Clemson, Doeren was noncommital.

Regardless of who is in the lineup Saturday, the Wolfpack is going to have its hands full against Clemson -- a team Doeren characterized as having no weaknesses:

"They're really good. They're experienced, they've got great players, they're well-coached, they've got staff continuity, all those things. And their kids know how to win. I also know that anything can happen on a Saturday. That's why you put the ball down and play. We've got nothing to lose in this football game -- just go play as hard as we can, be better than we were the week before, finish plays better than we did the week before. Anything can happen. That's got to be our mindset. Each week just try to find a way to be better."