Preparation Has Been Exceptional

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Defensive coordinator Mike Archer met with the media this week to discuss NC State's season-ending meeting with Atlantic Division foe Maryland.

What types of challenges does Maryland's defense present?
Well, obviously the quarterback last year, Danny O'Brien, had the best game of his career against us. But the kid they are playing (C.J. Brown) is very talented, I know because I looked at him when we were recruiting him. Probably a little bit better athlete (than O'Brien), he extends plays which has helped their offense. They want to run the football, they've got good people outside, they are averaging 381 yards a game. The turnovers obviously have hurt them but they've got a lot of ability. You put the Clemson film on and they scored 45 points against them. Doesn't take long to figure out that they can beat you.

Is C.J. Brown the best athlete you've seen at quarterback this season?
Yeah, he's probably close. I have a short-term memory, I'm getting senile. He's got a very good arm, he can make all the throws and the thing that is most impressive is that he keeps plays alive when things break down. They've only given up 15 sacks, which is I think third in the league in fewest sacks. That's impressive when you look at their record and it's because he keeps plays alive.

What got things going so well against Clemson Saturday?
Our guys were ready to play, I thought we had a good week of practice and they understood formation wise what Clemson was going to do and went out and did it. You never know with 19 and 19 year old kids. When they leave our facility they are playing video games, it's that way everywhere.

Is your unit playing as well as it has since you've been here?
I don't know, last year's was pretty good. This year, obviously, once we figured out who we were and who was going to be here and who wasn't we were able to practice guys. This is something that we hoped would happen. Players and (position) coaches should get the credit, because we just call defenses. We could call man on the moon and if they execute it then it will work and that's what the players have done. Our preparation the last month has been exceptional, understanding what people do. You can sense it in practice and then they go out and do it.

Coach O'Brien said this is what he envisioned the unit would look like. Is that kind of what you mean?
Yeah, some of the parts are missing, we wish we had Jeff Rieskamp, but that's football. You deal with it. The players get credit for dealing with the adversity and the uncertainty. There were times we didn't know we were going to practice. During the open date we realized who we are, this is who we're going to have, now let's get them better. That's a credit to the kids and the coaches.

Do you have to try and keep Maryland's running back and quarterback inside?
Oh yeah, particularly Meggett with the screens. He's hard to see, he's 5'8", 210. He can bounce off people, then you see Brown, he's running boots and extending plays.


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