NC State head coach Dave Doeren announced at his weekly press conference on Monday that the Wolfpack will be without the services of two key starters for the remainder of the 2021 season.
The most notable of the pair is senior middle linebacker Isaiah Moore, who was considered to be a candidate for ACC Defensive Player of the Year. Moore — who for the last two seasons has worn the No. 1 jersey that NC State awards to its most vocal leader — currently ranks second on the team in tackles and has made 22 stops at or behind the line of scrimmage.
Moore suffered a knee injury in the first half of NC State’s loss to Miami last Saturday. He attempted to return to the field but could only play two snaps before being forced to return to the sidelines. Doeren said his injury will require surgery.
“Isaiah Moore is out for the season,” Doeren said Monday. “That, to me, was the biggest loss of the season. My heart breaks for Isaiah.”
Before the Miami game, NC State defensive coordinator Tony Gibson gushed over Moore and the role he’s played in the Wolfpack defense’s success so far this season.
“He’s obviously the heartbeat of our defense and playing extremely well right now,” Gibson said. “He’s very active — made some big plays in the backfield against the run and pass. He sees the game so well. He understands what he’s getting, concepts and schemes. He prepares the right way. He knows what’s coming a lot of the time just from his film study.”
Doeren also announced on Monday that offensive guard Chandler Zavala will also miss the remainder of the season. Zavala has been sidelined for NC State’s last two games with an injury that, like Moore’s, will require surgery.
The news on Monday was just the latest in a slew of seemingly never-ending significant injury announcements for NC State in 2021. In addition to Moore and Zavala, the Pack has also lost preseason All-ACC First Team linebacker Payton Wilson, starting defensive tackle C.J. Clark and starting safety Cyrus Fagan for the season due to injuries.
Louisville and NC State will kickoff from Raleigh at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. ACC Network will have the television coverage.