Q&A with Tommy Sharpe

The Tigers' starting center talks with CUTigers.com about today's game against N.C. State and how the Tigers prepared for the Wolfpack during the short week. "This week everything comes at you fast and you just have to ready to take it all in and focus squarely on the opponent," said Sharpe.

What's this week been like for you since you only have a few days to prepare?
Sharpe: Well, the big thing this week is that you don't have a lot of time to focus on individual technique, but then again by this time of year, that's something you should have down anyways. This week everything comes at you fast and you just have to ready to take it all in and focus squarely on the opponent. You have be ready for all the looks you are going to get from their defense.

As an offensive lineman, does it make you want to block a little longer now that Yusef Kelly is back in the mix since he's a guy that come in there and move the pile?
Sharpe: Well, we want to block for whoever is back there. Whether it's Duane or Kyle or Yusef, we want to block for whoever is back there at all times. That's our job. Its been great having Yusef back because he brings another dimension to our offense. You love to see a 230 pound back dragging people down the field.

Tommy, this is something we've asked this of all the players this week. Does playing on national television affect anything you do on gameday? Is it something that crosses your mind in the least bit.
Sharpe: For me, not at all. I mean, I don't notice the difference when we play on television. It has no effect on me whatsoever. People try to say that we don't play well on television, but all that is really is coincidence. If anything, it's because we've historically played the best teams on national television. That has as much to do with it as anything.

Does the fact that you guys take the field so early help you considering the momentum you built from the Virginia game?
Sharpe: (laughing) Well we carried a whole truckload of momentum coming back from Georgia Tech and look what happened up at Maryland- we didn't come away with the win. I don't really think those kinds of things are that big of a factor for us. We just have to execute if we plan on winning the game, that's what it boils down to.

What did N.C. State do last year that seemed to keep you guys off balanced throughout the game?
Sharpe: Last year, I think they came out with a great game plan and just executed it to perfection. Those guys were on a roll and it just seemed like everything they were doing was right and everything we were doing was wrong. It was just one of those nights I guess. I think we are much more prepared this year for anything they throw at us.

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