O'Brien Talks Clemson

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Tom O'Brien met with the media to discuss the upcoming game against Clemson.

Tom O'Brien

Impact on Recruiting:
I think certainly we have. I can't make any comments one way or another because of it, but there has been a lot more interest shown.

We're going to have to be road warriors obviously. It's a tough challenge, but it's what we've got to do."

"Nate Irving is fine. [Laughing] There's no injury reports until Thursday. Nice try."

"When you lose a dozen guys like we did two years ago, we were fortunate that we got them back for the last month of the season, and it certainly made a difference for our football team."

"Last year we lost so many guys we had to play with walk-ons and freshmen so we never got to be any good because had no depth. What happens is the more you play, the tired you get, the more susceptible you are to injury."

"That's why, as we came into this year, we just asked to give us a normal year please. Just give us a chance."

"We didn't know how strong physically [Irving] would be coming into the year... once we established the fact that he was fine, he was going to play, this was his last year and we're going to ride him to the end. He's going to play until his tongue hangs out, and that's pretty much what we've done with him."

"He's responded... the fact that he's only started 20 games in five years. His aspirations of the next level, he's got to play."

"Other than the interception, we put the ball in the endzone. [The redzone offense] was very productive. I think we still have to do it again each and every week. It's going to be a great challenge to get it done down in Death Valley."

"There's a lot on the line, and this is a big football game. Certainly each and every week they get bigger but that's the exciting thing. It's neat to be in this situation and to be playing for the things we're playing for right now."

"We can only control the message in this building."

"Our offensive gameplan is to do whatever we have to and get the ball in the endzone, and possess the ball and make first downs. Each and every week it changes."

"Certainly Mustafa Greene gave us a big lift there in the third quarter, and... we came off the ball better than we have all season."

"I think he's grown because he has experience now. He hit the wall there prior to the break, which a lot of freshmen do, but I think he's one of the guys who does listen and used the break to his advantage. He came back, looked maybe even a little quicker than he did before, and I think that's a product of playing faster when you have confidence."

"The game wasn't too big for him on Thursday night, which is good."

"We have to use three tailbacks. I think that has been good for us the first seven or eight games of the year and we will continue to use them."

"[Clemson] or Virginia Tech. Other than our crowd... those are the three best venues to play in, in our conference. Florida State got that way, but they weren't that way the last time we were there."

"That's what makes it fun. Kids like to play in that atmosphere and be a part of that excitement. It's a good opportunity for us."

"I think [Earl Wolff] played better than he has in the past. I think he took a step forward, especially against a quality opponent. He made some plays that I think we had to make that maybe in the Virginia Tech game he wasn't able to make... saved some situations for us. Hopefully that's a confidence-builder for him as we go forward."

"He can take off anytime he wants."

"They have a lot of talent. They are a big, powerful football team and a lot of the same guys we played last year are still playing."

"I think [Kyle Parker] has good leadership, and I think the kids believe in him... he's smart, he's a leader, and they believe in him."

"They have a lot of playmakers on defense. That front four is really explosive. No. 2 makes a ton of plays for them in the secondary. The kid that was a leading tackler last year, Gilchrist, at safety is now playing corner for them."

"They have a lot of athletes up front and they put a lot of pressure on you, especially at the line of scrimmage."

"Talking with some of the scouts that come through there they project [Da'Quan Bowers] as maybe the No. 1 guy taken in the draft. I think that says a lot about his ability to get off the edge and rush the passer. It's another week, we faced two pretty good guys that were sack leaders at Florida State last week and we're going to face a better guy this week in Death Valley."

"He's going to win some, just like Florida State won some. That's what you do when you play good football teams. You just have to find a way to make one more play than they do."


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