AUDIO: O'Brien Talks UCONN

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

Tom O'Brien

"I think we played with great energy and played with great effort. I think the move of Mattes to guard in the offensive line seemed to be something we could build on and something that looks like it's going to work out."

"We had two backs both rush for 4.8 yards per carry and when you combine them they had over 100 yards rushing. Those are all positives that we can take out of it."

"The turnovers on offense still came down to the story of the game. You can't play a team like Tennessee, make that many mistakes and expect to win a football game."

"I think we'll still play three backs. If one guy gets less time than the others, that will be decided this week as we go along in practice."

"[Mustafa Greene] is not back to where he was, but certainly he showed signs that he could be the type of back that could be very effective for us all year."

"[UCONN] is a very senior football team. They have seven senior starting on defense."

"There is a lot of experience on the football team. I know Paul from his days when he was at Syracuse."

"The guys up there coaching are really good coaches. This is as sound an offense and defense as we'll play this year in terms of technique and guys being lined up and being in the right spots and knowing their jobs."

"I have great respect for the coaching staff up there. I know they have a lot of guys that played in a BCS game. They've got some experience, and they aren't going to be intimidated by North Carolina State coming up to Hartford, Connecticut."

"I didn't [visit Duke wideout Blair Holliday] to talk about it."

"The thing that I did learn is a NC State cheerleader saved him."

"We didn't get to him as much, but he got rid of the ball awful fast a couple of times. The ball was out, incomplete passes. He wasn't going to take a sack on us."

"Guys were coming free, but he just got rid of the football."

"No, we still have to be a pressure football team."

"We haven't changed our philosophy on football at all."

"[Sterling Lucas] was a warrior out there. It was a tough night to get lined up. That was a real partisan Tennessee crowd and there was a lot of noise when they were on the field."

"I think Andrew [Wallace] did what we expected him to do in that position. He will be better because it's the first time he's been out there and played in a game."

"The middle of the front was much better. There wasn't as much push-back or pressure in Mike's face as there was a year ago."

"I think [Bryan Underwood] was rusty and ran out of gas. We probably played him too much... he can't play without practicing. We needed his legs and some of the things we thought he could do for us. He certainly has to play better for us to be successful out there."

"The quarterback has to have amnesia, just like Amerson does."

"He's coordinating the defense, but it looks like a pro-style defense... they are a 4-3 defense but they will go to 3-down like we do in passing situations."

"I think [Juston Burris] was a little tentative. I think he got a little scared when they ran by Amerson early. He wasn't going to get run by. I think he can be more aggressive than he was, but he tackled. I think that's the one thing that stood out. He didn't miss anybody. They may have caught the ball but he got them down. He made a good play on the post to 11 when they threw it up one time."

"I think it was a good start for him. Playing against those receivers, we may see them once or twice more this year... skill-level like we saw on Friday night."

"The NCAA came back Friday, and [C.J. Wilson] will be suspended for the first four games of the year," said O'Brien. "That's where it stands. That came about on Friday.

"I know why it is. The situation is, he graduated in January and he didn't pass six hours in the spring semester. He thought he could get by... he put himself in a hole, he had some family issues, and thought he could save himself and he didn't, so he didn't miss the six hours passed."

"But, he passed 12 hours in the summer with a 3.4 and was a graduate," O'Brien added. "The NCAA said we'll give you the four games instead of a year suspension. Which, because of the fact he was a graduate and had extenuating circumstances during the semester and came back and demonstrated to them he would be serious going forward by passing 12 hours in summer school with a 3.4, they gave him a four-game suspension.

"He allowed me to say that, or I wouldn't have said it."

"In one game I think he managed their offense fine. They didn't ask him to do a lot."

"They also play a lot of man. They can cover."

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