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NC State Football

NC State QB Ben Finley: "I Love My Team"

November 24, 2022
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NC State quarterback Ben Finley met with the media to discuss his play and the rivalry matchup against North Carolina.

NOTE: Click the video above to watch the interview.


Have you talked to your brother since the Louisville game?
Yeah, I have. Trying to get him to fly up for this one, but hopefully he'll be there. Celebrate Thanksgiving with him, and then we'll celebrate a win.

What's he doing now?
He's in Arizona right now with his girlfriend and his dog. And they're just chilling.

What's your comfort level this week, say, as opposed to last week? Last week you didn't quite know what would happen in Louisville. Now you know you might play a lot at North Carolina. Just what's the comfort level like?
I think last week was huge, just kind of building that comfort in the pocket and just learning from some of those things on the film. And I think I'm going to be a lot more comfortable back there now. We're just playing with who we got, and I think that the best I can give is the best I can do. I'm just going to go out and do my best when my name is called. And other than that, yeah, just be comfortable.

You harking back at all to the spring when it was just you and Devin and things you were able to learn or pick up then?
Even with Devin out, he's been a tremendous help, just kind of helping me through this process and actually just helping all the quarterbacks. And so, yeah, just kind of going back to when I was just practicing with the squad in the spring and it's the same stuff. It's still working, just perfecting the craft. But yeah, I mean Devin's been a huge help to all of us in the room.

Was there some soul searching after August when, I mean basically getting relegated to the scout team, I'm sure that was not the easiest thing to hear, but what kind of pulled you through this?
I just, in the end, I love my team and I love those guys so much. So I was willing to do whatever it was to help us win. And I think the first eight to nine weeks when I was over with the scout team, I think we helped prepare them really well.

We even got guys off the scout team. I mean, it was awesome seeing, from my perspective, seeing wide receivers get bumped up to the starting two deep. And that was really cool for me to experience that and then it came my time and now I'm ready.

I don't know if it was just a rumor. Do you have aspirations of being a lawyer one day?
My sister actually just graduated from law school at Arizona State University and so I'm thinking about just taking the LSAT for giggles and then maybe studying for it, taking a class. But when the time comes, I really don't know what I want to do with my life. I really don't.

Back in September, would you have thought it possible that you'd be standing here talking to the media the week of the North Carolina game?
No, absolutely not. No.  We've had four quarterbacks playing. I don't think any team could possibly imagine that earlier in the season.

When you went back and watched the video of the Louisville game, how would you grade yourself in decision making and all the things that went into it?
I think there was definitely some things that I could have done better, but I think I just kind of went out there and just let it fly. I just wanted to go out there, pick a guy, and let it fly. Just simplify the game, go out, have fun.

I think that was important that I wasn't overthinking stuff and just going out there and doing my thing. So I'm going to try to carry that over. But I definitely need to correct some things on progressions and maybe get to my next couple reads, not hang out on the first guy. But that just comes with comfort and I think it helped a lot playing in that game.

You lost the game. Did you have fun at all?
I always have fun playing football. Sport I love.

How long have you worked on the mustache, by the way? Is that a year long thing?
Oh, I haven't shaved in 20 years. I just started getting facial hair. I think I'm hitting puberty. Yeah.

You played over at Chapel Hill a couple years ago, right?
Yep. 2020.

What do you remember just being on the field that day of playing against them over there?
I remember I was surprisingly... it was really calm for me and I think leading up to the game, bus ride over, I was nervous as hell, but then I got on the field and it was just, everything just slowed down and stopped and it was kind of a surreal moment and it was so fast.

But now the game has been slowly getting slower and slower.  The rivalry on the field... it's just football. No one's talking, guys talking crap. But it's just, at the end of the day, we're just kids playing a game and so all you can do is have fun and go out and compete and try to win.

Usually it's a tough adjustment for the speed of the game. But you going against NC State's first string defense, was that a little easier going against Louisville that you have seen the speed of the game?
Well, scout team, you're not trying to get anyone hurt, but it is still probably 70, 80%. But I do remember that first play handing off to Jordo, just seemed like the linebackers just come in a swarm. I was like, "Wow, this is real." And after that I just kind of settled down.

 
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