O'Brien: "It Starts With Me"

NC State head coach Tom O'Brien met with the media following the 44-37 loss to Miami.

Thought process at the end of the game:
Once we got the football we tried to see if we could make something happen. You can't just kick the field goal and get the ball across midfield without taking a shot.

We had an opportunity at the end and it got intercepted. At the end of the day if you contain the quarterback they can't win the game.

On communication problems:
No, there's not. We have to be much better at secondary. The first thing is we have to contain the quarterback. That's where it all starts, because when he gets out of the pocket and runs around, coverage breaks down, which we have to do a better job at coverage.

It starts with the pass rush, getting the quarterback, keeping him locked in from there and not out running around. They probably had five big balls today.

Do you take a lot of pride in the penalties and the turnovers?
When we lose it's on me. When we don't do our job it starts with me. It's the same guys doing the same thing over and over again.

The penalties – it's not your usual thing. Was it something about the cadence with Morris?
It's not with the cadence. You can make one mistake, but you can't make five and continue to make the same mistake over and over again. And, once again, that's on me. You've got to get it right.

You made a million errors but still found a way to tie the game and had a chance to win.
Yes, and on the road against a good football team. It's hard for me to be positive about anything after the way we finished, but we fought back.

The first half was almost Tennessee déjà vu all over again. It was the same score, a comedy of errors. We fought, came back, started playing really good and got back in the game. And then we almost got over it. Snap the ball fast on an extra point and miss the extra point, and we're up by one.

In 38 years I haven't seen a football team make this many mistakes and that comes back to me. That's me.

To what extent was this game about bad plays and which team could survive their own mistakes as much as it was about the other team making mistakes.
It's usually about two teams that are trying to find their identity and can't seem to quite find it. They got ahead, they went on the road and won two games. It's just to their credit.

We've gone on the road and only won one game. We've got to find a way to go on the road and win, find a way to win football games. It was hot and humid, we knew that. We tried to play a lot of people to keep from cramping and tiring out.

Especially at the end of the game when it comes down to the end zone and we had a chance, but we couldn't run their quarterback down. We just couldn't get there. It's like we were running in sand.

How hard is this game to swallow, knowing you made as many mistakes as they made plays?
It's awful to swallow. And on top of that we have to get ready for Florida State. So hopefully that'll catch their attention and catch the coaches' attentions.

We're going to have to circle the wagons, find out who's healthy and put a football team together and go play a good game next Saturday night.

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