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NC State Football

Cory Durden: "It's A Big Game"

October 8, 2022

NC State defensive tackle Cory Durden discusses what the Pack must do to get back on track tonight against Florida State.

NOTE: Click the video above to watch the interview.

Playing your old team, did you get that out of the way last year? Did it feel more like a normal game this year?
Yeah, it's kind of just the normal game this year. Not really... no personal vendetta or anything. I probably got that out of the way last year. Just really focusing on winning the football game.

How long did it take you to get over the loss?
24 hours. That's really just the biggest thing about college football is you can't dwell on the win or the loss. You got that Sunday, and then you got to get over it.

That's what the coaches tell you to do. Is it that easy to do, or not?
As a football player who loves the game, it's not, but with such a good stretch of football coming up, you can't sit and dwell on games that have passed.

Do you have some leaders taking you guys by the horns, saying, "Look, it's over," and being really good leaders? Could you talk about who might be doing that?
All of our captains on the team are involved. I feel like we're got very involved captains. We know what we have to do to pull the team along and lead the guys and basically just get better in practice. That's really what cost us Saturday was just our practice habits.

But your biggest goal is gone now. Where do you go from here?
It's not gone. Football... that's the way the sport works. You don't know what happens. So in our head, our goal's not gone. We're still fighting for the same goal that we opened the year with.

You guys didn't see Jordan Travis last year. You will this Saturday. How big a difference does he make?
Oh, he makes a big difference. He's a tremendous quarterback, tremendous player. He is actually one of my buds. So I'm excited to play against him.

I feel like he's definitely NFL-caliber quarterback. He makes their offense go. So it's always exciting. I feel like competition brings the best out in a lot of us. So to play a good player like him, you're going to have to play your best.

You guys text each other this week?
I checked on him when he got hurt a couple weeks ago, but that was really the last thing, just checking on him. Told him I was praying for him and stuff.

What is it about him that makes him special on the field?
Oh, it's just how explosive he is. He's explosive like a receiver, but he's that quarterback. So you don't see many people like that.

As a defensive front, how important does the focus, staying with your assignment, become when you have a guy that's that mobile?
Tremendously important because, like Coach Gibby said, I feel like he's developed his game a lot this year. He's scrambling to throw the ball, and he's tremendous outside the pocket with his arms. So it's going to be a big responsibility this week to keep our responsibility and contain him.

You guys are, as a team, partnering, and David Doeren was talking about the Hilinski Fund and the mental health, and he mentioned you as someone who was a part of that leadership group. Just what does that mean to the team, and why is that cause so important to you?
Because mental health is something... I feel like, to be the best football player that you could be, you have to be the best in every aspect of your life. So I had spots in college where my mental health wasn't where it should be, and it affected my game on the field. So trying to vocalize that to my teammates and show them how important that is.

This is going to be a big rebound game for you, for the team here, to set up the rest of your season here. Let's talk about how big this game at home here against the Seminoles.
It's a big game. They're a good team. I'm glad to see Florida State be good. I got my degree from there, but it'll be a good game, a good test for our team. It'll be a great environment, sold out, 8:00 game. And there's nothing like playing in the Carter in front of all our fans. So I feel like it'll be a good test and a good bounce back game for our team.

What do you see from their o-line?
Their o-line is better. Their o-line is really good, in my opinion. Probably one of the better fronts we've seen so far. I have respect for their o-line, so it's going to be a good game.

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