O'Brien: "We're In A Playoff"

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

Tom O'Brien

"We raised over 3,000 toys, which was a record."

"It was a great day for Toys For Tots and a great day for the Wolfpack Nation. We thank the Clemson people. Coach Swinney gave me a check before the game to give."

"We played very well. That's the best we played. They decided that they were going to win the football game. They were not going to lose. We were getting to a point on defense where we were getting better and better."

"The quarterback never saw speed like he saw at Florida State. It takes something to get used to that type of speed... he was back on his heels. It's all a part of quarterback evolution, you have to get back off your heels and on your toes. We did a better job protecting him. He was up on his toes, and when he is like that he can throw the football."

"We scored on six straight possessions. We didn't miss. The defense got us the ball... to score six straight times against that football team is a pretty good effort offensively."

"That's what we'll be working on all week... as I said to them, very seldom in life do you get a second chance, but they've earned the second chance."

"If they are going to go touch the hot stove and burn themselves again, that's their deal. We're in a playoff right now. You either win or you go home."

"I think there is always teams in a conference that gives other teams problems. I go back to being at Virginia and losing 29 years in a row to Clemson."

"I would think we probably ought to play Wake Forest at the end. If Duke and Carolina are going to play we probably should play Wake."

"The trap they fell into at BC was the BC team they watched on tape wasn't the BC team they played. They can't let that happen this week, Maryland has won two games and just because they've lost six or seven in a row, that doesn't mean that team will be the one they play on Saturday."

"On defense, #72, Vellano, he's a really... he's the kind of guy I would like to coach. He reminds us of Chris Hovan, a kid that we had at BC... a real tough, hard-nosed guy that can play the game."

"The Hartsfield kid from over here at Southeast Raleigh is the best player at linebacker."

"Offensively, Meggett is averaging over five yards a carry and he's been a tough guy for us to play against. Brown, the quarterback is averaging eight yards a carry. He's a dynamic guy. He almost single-handily beat Clemson himself a couple of weeks ago."

"We have great fans, and they are a part of the refuse to lose. That atmosphere on Saturday was as good as it gets. We have to repeat that, and they have to repeat that too."

"I know it's after Thanksgiving. They can all go shopping Friday and show up on Saturday at 12:30 with all their new stuff on. Let's get ready to go. We need them."

"Two weeks ago he had a burner and he wasn't as effective at BC. Certainly [Art Norman] feels better about himself now. Between he and Cato-Bishop, we've got one guy now. They ended up with 4.5 sacks at that position last week. He only played 29 plays, which was about, as a redshirt freshman at his size... he's more effective playing that number of plays."

"I think the defense is using those two kids wisely, and if they continue to be like that we've got a pretty good player at that position."

"I try not to rank disappointments. It was a very disappointing game. You had the opportunity to get to the ACC Championship game, and we fought every week."

"Hopefully being at home will be much better for us this year. Last year we were on the road three of the last four games. This year we're home three of the four. We spent three of the four weeks on the road when we came out of the break."

"When you go to bowls and have a good time, they want to go back."

"It's a great thing for us right now to be playing for."

"I'm about 50-50 [on bowls], but right now I like the bowls."

"We'll go Thursday afternoon and then we'll take them out to the Angus Barn for dinner, which they enjoy. They do a great job out there."

"It's just the team. Wives can go. No girlfriends."

"Five weeks ago, who knew where we were going to be? I'm thankful we have something to play for... I'm thankful for this team being able to have the opportunity to do this... I like the looks on their faces when they win. You enjoy success."

"Sterling Lucas is trying to come back so he does not want to walk, and Taylor Gentry is going to walk. He's going to try to petition for a sixth year but it's a very long, long, long shot."

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