In Doeren's first year, the Wolfpack went 3-9 and lost all eight ACC of their games — their first winless league season since 1959.
"Any time you go through what we did, I call it walking hot coals," Doeren said. "It's hard on you, it scares you and I think we had a great offseason. ... A lot of guys got mentally tougher."
And now they're counting on Brissett, who has two years of eligibility left, to lead the turnaround.
"You've got a responsibility to the team through the whole summer," Brissett said. "And you've just got to make sure that every day when you step into the stadium and outside, everybody knows why you're the guy and make sure you carry yourself the right way."
Brissett made up for his only real mistake — Germaine Pratt picked off his deep throw with 1:09 left — by hitting a wide-open Underwood for a 36-yard scoring pass to make it 24-0 with 19 seconds remaining.
They hooked up again on the first play of the fourth quarter, with Brissett hitting him in stride down the right sideline to put Red up by 31.
Underwood finished with three catches for 112 yards while freshman Bo Hines had 10 receptions for 132 yards.
Hines' 60-yard catch-and-run to the 5 set up Creecy's 1-yard scoring run on Red's second possession. Creecy made it 14-0 on its next offensive series by running 14 yards up the middle for a TD.
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