TELECONFERENCE: Tom O'Brien

NC State head coach Tom O'Brien fielded questions from the media today on his weekly teleconference. He discussed The Citadel and his team with the reporters.

Opening Statement:
The Citadel is coming in. They've started off great this year. They've beaten two top 10 teams in their division, Georgia Southern and Appalachia State at Appalachia State last weekend. Triple option team that certainly presents a lot of problems to any defense when you have to get ready for it in one week. Offense is centered around Dupree, their quarterback, who makes the thing go. He's a very quick, fast guy that does a great job with the option. It'll be a big challenge for our defense and our football team this week, but look forward to a great night here. It's military appreciation night, and we'll see how we can slow the option down.

Is their option similar to Georgia Tech's in any way?
Yeah, it's very similar to what Georgia Tech does from what we've seen on tape. Everyone has got their own peculiar little wrinkle here or there, but the base of the offense is run the way that Georgia Tech's base offense is run.

Having played them in the past, will that be of much help?
Well, I think it certainly will be, having at least the last couple years. Actually we played Wofford I think my first year or second year here that runs that same offense. We spent a lot of time working on Georgia Tech here the last two years. Obviously we were successful the first year we played them, not so successful our second. But hopefully there's been a little bit of carryover getting ready to play this football team, Citadel.

What are you looking at to improve offensively on the team in the weeks ahead? What areas do you think your offense can improve upon?
Well, we certainly can get better in our pass protection, keeping our quarterback clean and making sure we're at the right spot so that we can get the football off. We gave up too many sacks two weeks ago at Connecticut, got a little bit better last week, but certainly that's a work in progress.

And on the defensive side, is there any particular area that you want to see some changes this week?
Well, you know, the big change has to be defending the option. You have to-- you go back to doing things that schematically working to defend the option is going to have a lot different than what we've done the last three weeks. It's all about reading your assignments and following your assignment to the ball and being disciplined. They believe that if they run 30 triple options that you can't be disciplined whether you're the dive guy, the quarterback or the pitch guy, that you can't be disciplined enough for those 30 snaps so they can make plays and sooner or later the ball is going to go flying over your head.

Three games into the season do you have any-- is there anybody that you've really seen starting to emerge for your team?
I don't think so right now. I think we're still-- the guys that have played seem to be a little bit ahead of the guys that haven't played. I think some of the guys that haven't played are making progress. But we're still a work in progress.


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