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Ben Finley
Drake Thomas
Isaiah Moore
NC State Football

LOCKER ROOM REPORT: Wolfpack Players

December 30, 2022

No. 23 NC State's Ben Finley, Drake Thomas, and Isaiah Moore met with the media following the Wolfpack's 16-12 loss to Maryland in the 2022 Duke's Mayo Bowl Friday afternoon.

Finley completed 22 of his 48 pass attempts for 269 yards with two interceptions versus the Terrapins. Moore and Thomas led the Pack defensively with 11 total tackles each. Thomas added four tackles for a loss, one of which was a sack, while Moore had 1.5 tackles in the backfield while also tallying two quarterback hurries.

 NOTE: Click on each player’s respective thumbnail to watch each interview in the player above.

Ben Finley

“Obviously, I didn’t do what I could to win that game, but I think I’ve got a lot of things to work on in this offseason. It’s hard. As an offense, we struggled. A lot of times, we weren’t on the same page, and a lot of those times, it’s on me. I take full responsibility for that. At this point, all we can do is watch the tape and get better from it. I’m really hurting for our seniors.”

“That was a really hard part of what we went into the game with. We couldn’t run the ball, but we knew they were going to play man and play hard-nosed football. We just could not establish the run game. It’s hard to get the offense going when you can’t get the run game going.”

“We were playing behind the chains most of the game. We had bad penalties and third-and-longs, and it’s hard to call a game without your offensive coordinator.”

“I’m returning to State. I’ve got a lot of things to work on. Like I said, all we’ve got to do is go up from here. We’re going to be ready next year.”

“During the last three weeks of practice, it was a competition. I think [M.J. Morris] is dealing with his injury. I was called in to play, and I was ready. I think we were all ready, but we just couldn’t get it done."

Drake Thomas

“I would just say the love between us, the brotherhood, and the bond we had was what made it so special. It wasn’t the plays we made on the field. It was the experiences we went through together and the relationships that we’d built.”

“It’s extremely special. It’s like a dream come true. How often do you get to see what we’re doing: two brothers playing on both sides of the ball, both key players on their team? You couldn’t have written a better script from when we were little all the way up to now.”

“We fought. We fought to the very end. We didn’t give up. We didn’t quit, and I think that showed out there. The young guys have to come back, get going, and work even harder to take it to the next level.”

“I’m extremely proud. That first year, we knew what we were capable of, even though we went through those struggles. We knew we had talent. We just knew we were a really young team and just needed to develop. We built really strong bonds and relationships. These are my best friends and my brothers. It’s just been a great time with them.”

“It’s crazy how fast time goes. It feels like that 2019 season when I was a freshman was just yesterday. It does fly by.”

“They’re in good hands. There’s a lot of good, young players with some talent. There’s some veterans, and I think there’ll be a good mesh between the two.”

“I’d say thank you for the last four years. I appreciate the unwavering support, and I hope the product I put on the field was up to their standards and that it was visible that I left everything out there.”

“I think it’s tough to say because of circumstances throughout the season. I know we left it all out there. We didn’t leave any stone unturned. Every single week, we came out and executed to the best of our ability, and we played as hard as we could every single snap."

Isaiah Moore

“I think it’s the love we have for each other. We push each other every day in workouts, in practice, and whenever we’re on the field.”

“No, we didn’t do enough because we didn’t win the game. We win as a team, and we lose as a team. There are plays that we left out there on the field that we could have made, and that’s how it goes. We’re very proud of who we are as a defense. Coach [Tony Gibson], the rest of the staff, and the rest of the guys coming back are going to be even better.”

“We had a lot of ups and downs, but we fought and stayed together. ‘Harder, tougher, together’ is our mantra. That’s what we preached, and we showed that all year. I’m blessed to be a part of this team. I’m blessed to have been a part of this program and university. The guys coming back in the locker room are going to fight like hell next year.”

“[Taulia Tagovailoa] is a very athletic guy. He struggled throwing the ball early on, but he’s very mobile. He slipped out of our hands a couple of times. He’s a very good player.”

“I think it’s the family I’ve made here. My relationships I’ve built here have been a huge blessing. I just hope they know I gave my all. I’m a blessed man.”

“It’s an honor and something I don’t take for granted at all. Coach [DaveDoeren passes that to a select number of people, and for me to wear that three years in a row means a lot. The next guy to wear No. 1 has big shoes to fill.”

“Coming into the season, we wanted to be the best defense in the conference. I feel like we accomplished that. We wanted to be the best in the nation. We slipped up a couple times at that. As far as us as a group, if you watched us on tape, we flew around and gave our all every snap. People were afraid to play us at times. We feel like we made our mark."

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