Redshirt junior defensive tackle J.R. Sweezy generally has an idea before the game starts if he is going to have a good day. He knew before kickoff last Saturday against Clemson was going to be a big afternoon for him.
"It all starts in the whole warm-up deal," Sweezy said. "You can pretty much going to tell if you are going to have a good game or not right then and there. I felt good. I felt good a lot of games. This game though I really excelled."
Sweezy was credited with a career-high 10 tackles, including seven solo hits, in the 14-13 loss. He also had four tackles for losses and a pair of sacks, pressured the quarterback twice and was credited with a forced fumble.
For his effort, Sweezy was named the co-Defensive Lineman Performer of the Week with Louisiana-Monroe's Ken Dorsey by College Football Performance Awards.
"It's a great honor, but I am not going to let it get to my head," Sweezy said. "I'm going to practice the same, prepare the same, keep doing what I am doing."
NC State will need Sweezy to keep up his strong performances to have a shot at reaching the ACC title game. Over his last four games Sweezy has 22 tackles, including seven for losses and three sacks, four quarterback hurries, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
The Pack still controls their own destiny in the Atlantic Division after both Florida State and Maryland suffered defeats Saturday. That helped NC State get over the sting of losing at Clemson.
"Coach says Sunday, when we walk out of the tunnel, it's over with," Sweezy said. "That's what we do. We've focused on Wake Forest ever since.
"It's big because it gave us a second breath, a second wind. We were the same place where we were last week. We got control of our own destiny, so take advantage of it this week."
Sweezy admits that he never will pull for UNC, but their upset of Florida State Saturday helped the Pack. Sweezy said that the events that transpired last weekend have taught the Wolfpack a valuable lesson.
"We got to come out full force, lay it on the table, play like there is no tomorrow because if we lose there is no tomorrow," Sweezy noted. "We'd have to rely on somebody else again. It's not as good feeling relying on somebody else."