Redshirt junior defensive end Jeff Rieskamp turned in a solid performance during NC State's 33-27 overtime loss at East Carolina Oct. 16. He had a tackle for a loss of a yard, forced a fumble, recovered another and hurried the quarterback once.
Rieskamp though does not have any fond memories of the East Carolina game. For him, the underlying lesson from the surprise loss is very simple.
"Losing stinks," Rieskamp said. "There were a lot of lessons we learned. I think everybody individually learned something about themselves that game. I guess watching tape and everything, everybody just needs to correct their mistakes. I could have gotten off the ball better. We could have done a lot of things, but that's all behind us; we have to look forward from here."
NC State has had time to reflect on the ECU game. The Pack was on a bye this weekend, but they will return to the field Thursday night when they host No. 15 Florida State in a nationally televised game at Carter-Finley Stadium.
Rieskamp believes the team has recovered nicely during their time off.
"I think we looked good [Sunday]," Rieskamp said after practice. "I think people really took the last loss to heart, nobody want to go through that again. I feel like everybody is really working hard to keep the mistakes down.
"A couple of days off really rejuvenated us. We feel pretty good. Let all the injuries the heal."
NC State will have their hands full with Florida State. The Noles come into Raleigh riding a five-game winning streak, and they have established themselves as the top team in the ACC in the eyes of most analysts. FSU is 6-1 overall and 4-0 in the conference.
The Wolfpack defensive line will be especially challenged. The Noles rank 19th in the country in rushing yards per game at 211.7, and FSU boasts one of the most experienced offensive lines in the country. FSU also has a senior quarterback in Christian Ponder, a mobile quarterback that was touted in the preseason as a potential Heisman Trophy candidate.
"We are going to have to be explosive on the front line and really get some pressure this week, and just do our jobs and play like we know we can," Rieskamp noted. "We just have to keep our responsibilities and really just stay at home if we have to stay at home and carry the blitz if we blitz. We all faith in the system that it's going to take us on the right course."