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NC State Football

Daniel Joseph: "We've Got To Rise To The Occasion"

September 24, 2021

This week will be a first for NC State defensive end Daniel Joseph in his lengthy college career: his first game against Clemson. Joseph will look to help NC State’s defense lead the way to a win over the Tigers for the first time since 2011.

Joseph spoke to the media ahead of Saturday’s game, and here’s a full breakdown of everything he had to say: 

What can you guys do to get pressure on the quarterback against Clemson? 

Discipline and focus, honestly. I think this week we’ve just been honing in on our ability to stay disciplined within our scheme, stay with what we do best and stay focused on what we know we’re capable of doing. In terms of their offensive scheme and what they’ve shown on film, you guys have seen it too, so I don’t need to speak on it much other than that we’re staying true to who we are as a defense. 

If you look at the rankings, you guys are right there with Clemson’s defense. How much pride do you guys take in that? 

I just take pride in how well we come out and play every single week, and that we can play to our standard. I think we know we’re capable of being an elite defense, and I think if we hold ourselves to that standard rather than looking at the numbers, for our situation, that’s just simply playing the elite football that we know we’re capable of doing, and we want to do that day in and day out. The numbers will come with it as long as we stay true to whatever we know, which is that we’re a hard, tough-nosed defense. 

What would it mean for you guys to outplay them on Saturday? 

In all honesty, for me, being an older guy, it would mean that we’re doing our job. Our job is to be elite. But when the ball’s put down come this Saturday, that’s our goal at the end of the day. What it means would mean that we’re onto our next opponent after that. 

What are you looking forward to about playing Clemson for the first time? 

I think the best thing I’m looking forward to is just seeing our fans react to a big stage. I think with having football removed for so long and not being able to have that environment of a true, elite top team, having that type of environment for me personally is something that I’m going to enjoy. I think just for who they are as a team and program, it just means that we’ve got to rise to the occasion. We have to know what we’re capable of doing and show the world who we are as a program. And, once again, to continue to brand our style of play on defense, I think that we know who we are and have that identity on defense. We want to show the world that. I think this stage is one of the best places to do it. 

Is there a particular amount of juice coming into this game? 

Y’all can’t ask me that, because my mentality is to approach every week the same. I think if we stay true to our preparation and our discipline, keep harping on that … I think if you prepare the right way and make sure you’re ready, you don’t ever rise to the occasion. You always fall back on your level of training. For us, that’s what we plan on doing this Saturday. I think we’ve trained tremendously hard, and we still continue that day in and day out. At the end of the day, we know that’s what’s going to carry us, not just the occasion, the spotlights, having the fans around us. It all helps and it’s all wonderful, but at the end of the day, we’ve got to make sure that we prepare as best as we know we’re capable of doing.


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