Weekly PC: Tom O'Brien

RALEIGH, NC -- Head coach Tom O'Brien met with the media on Monday afternoon to discuss the Pack's upcoming game against Wake Forest.

Tom O'Brien

Thoughts after watching game film:
"Certainly liked some of the things we saw on defense. Unfortunately, we let a little bit get away there in the third quarter when that was the time to make a stand. We caused a fumble there but we gave up too many long plays. The kickers for the most part, we survived and got them through a game.

"Offensively, after the first half we settled down a little bit. We ran the ball much better in the second half which we had to do. [Liberty] had come in to confuse us which was probably a good plan looking at especially the people at the perimeter in the passing game. The positive is that they didn't confuse us. Mike [Glennon] did a nice job. He took a hit, got up. It didn't bother him. When things weren't going his way he didn't panic one way or another and came back. We came away with the victory, which was a key looking at college football this past weekend, some of the things that went on. You have to be happy with the victory."

Did you see what happened on Mike Glennon's fumble?
"I couldn't see it from the end zone camera and/or the sideline camera. We blew the protection, it was a corner blitz. They hadn't shown it but we practice against it all the time. It's just one of those things you get ready to practice for. I couldn't see how the ball came out when he went down. He got popped from behind."

On forcing seven turnovers:
"Certainly, we talked about that a lot. It was a point of emphasis coming into the football season and that's one thing that we've worked on and harped on for the last three years. Confidence and experience helps those kids in the secondary. They recognize things a lot quicker, they are breaking faster on the ball. They get too fast sometimes, David [Amerson] bit on the slant and then the slant-and-go play got him but then he came back and made two interceptions. We want them to be aggressive out there."

On Curtis Underwood's performance:
"There were some creases. We just change up some of what we were doing from the first half to the second half. It comes down to the fact that you've got an experienced staff that kind of figures out what we're doing and says 'OK, this is what we have to go to' and 'this is how we're going to get the game under control' and that's what we did."

How did the offensive line grade out?
"They graded out much better after the first quarter. I don't think they played well at all in the first quarter. This is not an excuse, but you go from blocking a four-down line to a three-down line and it causes communication problems. Our communication wasn't good for a while. Once we started communicating better up front a lot of guys weren't running free and we were putting hats on people."

Would you prefer to have more time to prepare for your first conference game?
"I'd like to be like the Big Ten and play your four out-of-conference games and go into conference once you play all your non-conference but this is the way the schedule breaks so we have to go to it. And, for the fifth time, have to go on the road for an opener."

Thoughts on Wake Forest:
"It's all the same guys. They've got a redshirt freshman playing corner but the best player is a sophomore. They've got eight starters returning on defense. They are only playing two sophomores and the redshirt freshman so they are all fourth and fifth-year guys on defense. It's the same thing on offense, I think they have two sophomores on offense.

"It's another Wake Forest type of team that has a lot of redshirt juniors and seniors and a lot of guys that have been in the system and played. That's when Jim [Grobe] feels he's got a better team when he's got guys that have come through the system."

How much more do you expect from Mike Glennon this week?
"You expect everyone to get better. It's where you make the biggest strides. As I said, we saw a lot of different things on defense. It's good to play against somebody else, it's good to see different systems. The defense saw option football, they saw the zone read, basically that offense is a wildcat offense with a quarterback that can throw.

"When they played Ball State a year ago he had the ball 55 out of 66 times, by the way Ball State beat Indiana this year, so who knows what's going on in college football?

"He had 67 plays, he touched the ball 61 times Saturday night. It was in his hands."

How did D.J. Green look in his first game at linebacker?
"I think he played as well as can be expected. He did, as Jon Tenuta said, what he was asked to do and he did a good job and got better. He got beat on the little square out early, second time they throw it he intercepts it. Second time they run the sprint he's out there underneath it.

"To be able to recognize it and go play it is a pretty good step for a [sophomore]. That's a real positive for us and the defense."


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