Steve Smith was one of the best wide receivers in the NFL during much of his career, but he was just as well known for being someone not to be messed with.
But fellow slight-finder and NC State head coach Dave Doeren did not like what Smith had to say as a guest picker on ESPN’s College GameDay when he – along with the rest of the panel – picked Clemson to win.
So after NC State beat Clemson for the second straight season and got its best win of the year, Doeren wanted to let Smith know.
“Tell Steve Smith this ain’t a basketball school,” Doeren said to wrap up his postgame on-field interview. “He can kiss my ass.”
— Brad Crawford (@BCrawford247) October 28, 2023
NC State got the upset win over Clemson, so it was quite the walk-off line from Doeren, even if the game was on the CW instead of ESPN and Smith was merely the guest picker so he wouldn’t have likely been in the studio.
What he seemed to be responding to was Smith’s comment after picking Clemson: “But NC State, unfortunately, they’re waiting for basketball to start.”
Steve Smith Sr. earlier on College GameDay:
"Clemson has been struggling. They're not the Clemson that we've loved over the years. But NC State, unfortunately, they're waiting for basketball to start." pic.twitter.com/wIFyev8gxx
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) October 28, 2023
It’s unclear whether Smith meant to imply they were a basketball school specifically or if he meant that the fans had given up on the football season, but either way, Doeren understandably did not care for it.
Smith remains one of the more beloved former Carolina Panthers in the team’s history and has shown even recently he’snot afraid to get into a war of words, so it was certainly bold of Doeren to take a shot at him.
But Doeren had defended his team fiercely leading up to his Smith call-out in that same interview, getting choked up as he said that he wished others believed in them as much as he did.
NC State’s men’s basketball team has made the NCAA Tournament once in the last five seasons and has not won a conference title since 1987. But the Wolfpack women under Wes Moore are a power, reaching the Sweet 16 or better in four of the last five NCAA Tournaments.