O'Brien: "Film Doesn't Lie"

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Tom O'Brien met the media Monday to discuss the Wolfpack's 44-37 loss to Miami and Saturday's home game against No. 3-ranked Florida State.

Tom O'Brien

"Florida State is a year older, and they're better. They are tops in total defense, tops in total defense. The two ends are special guys, they lead in tackles for loss and sacks. Like everybody else, when you play this defense you have two big 300-pounders inside that take care of the middle. The linebackers run free. They have seven starters back, 10 of them are juniors or seniors. The only sophomore is the field corner, who can cover anybody. They are exceptional on defense."

"We're a little different than Clemson on offense, actually we're a lot different than Clemson. But that is the game we use in our breakdown, certainly."

"I don't know that, because you're only talking about the evidence of five games. They've built their reputation over years of being a top five or top 10 team, but they've kind of fallen on tough times the last couple of years. It certainly looks like the trajectory is heading back in that direction, but until you do things year after year after year, that's when you get to that elite status."

"I don't think so, I don't think our guys feel that was about anybody, nor should they. To go back to the Miami game, we lost the game. There isn't anybody in that locker room, all due respect to Miami, that thinks we got beat. We lost, and we have to figure out a way to beat ourselves before we get a chance to win against a good football team. That's the focus of us this week is getting better individually and getting better as a football team."

"We did some really good things on offense (at Miami), except when you turn the ball over in the scoring zone like we did a couple times. To comeback the way we did and tie the game up and not come away with the victory was a tough pill to swallow. Certainly defensively there are some things we have to get corrected. We have nobody to blame but ourselves."

"In that game you could pick 10 plays that could be the play of the game, but that (offside penalty on Miami's field goal attempt) certainly didn't help matters at all."

"(David Amerson's psyche) is a work in progress. He's going to be challenged Saturday. This is a team whose receivers top to bottom are as deep as anyone we play. Tennessee had two guys, FSU has 6-8 guys that can run and catch the football. It's going to be a great challenge for him, he's gotten away a lot from fundamentals, it's been stressed the last couple of weeks, but if it doesn't hit home after last Saturday it's not going to hit home."

"Film doesn't lie. Mike Reed spent some time with (David Amerson) and I intend to sometime this week. It's a question of fundamentals, he's not reading the fundamentals he's trying to make plays, trying to make every play instead of doing his job. If he does his job and 10 other guys do his job then we win the football game."

"Florida State's defense has great speed, and we saw that last year. We hadn't played speed like that until we got to them last year, thank goodness we saw some speed and guys that could come off the edge with speed. We're better suited to play them, but the problem is we're starting our fifth different offensive line in six games. We only have one starter in the spot we want him in. We have to be able to protect the quarterback and we have to be able to throw the ball."

"Joe Thuney and Cameron Fordham both played and went at right guard and center. We're going to have to continue that because I don't think either of those two are going to be able to play a whole game against these guys. Wentz is going to have to play both, that's the situation we're in."

"There is no definitive answer on (Zach Allen's injury) other than that he is not going to be ready this week. I don't know what the injury is. I don't know if it's out for the year or four weeks or two weeks. It's obvious he won't be playing this week. He and Andrew Wallace both got rolled up from behind, those are tough injuries to take. We'll see where it is, I think they aren't going to do anything because of the swelling until Friday."

"We have nobody to blame but ourselves in losing to Tennessee and Miami. We feel that we lost them. I don't think anybody in this building thinks we've beaten by anybody other than ourselves. That's what is frustrating at this point, to make those 8 pre-snap penalties that we did on Saturday. We've been so good the last couple of years of being the least penalized team in the conference. To come away with as many penalties as we did Saturday, and then once again to be out of position and have the ball thrown over your head for a second week. The positives, we rushed the ball pretty good against a defense that had given up rushing yards when they played a true 11-man offense. The quarterback ran against them in the two other games."

"Certainly the Clemson game, they were a top-10 team. That's the challenge and that's the great part of coaching, being around kids and making sure they get focused. Sometimes here we lost our focus but I think we'll be focused on Saturday night with this team coming in."

"(Not having experienced linebackers) makes a difference, especially in the blitz game. We could't get Stephen Morris on the ground, there was more than one occasion where we're free one on one and couldn't get him on the ground. We don't have the level of linebackers we've had the last two years, but how can they be, they're all first-year guys. Until they get better and improve to that level, we have to struggle to get to the quarterback. They are still learning the position."

"The first thing we have to do with (EJ Manuel) is try to keep him in the pocket. Manuel got out of the pocket last year and we missed him with six guys, he kind of ran over us. He looks a lot like Donovan McNabb did to me when I first went to Boston College. A big kid that could run, beat you with his legs and throw the ball. He's a good pocket passer but he's much more dangerous when he gets on the perimeter, unlike Morris who would get out of the pocket and want to throw it first. With Manuel, it's probably 50-50 whether he's going to throw it or pull it down."

"Chris Thompson didn't play against us last year, he's special too. They just keep rotating guys. It's a different breed of cat than we've been playing, so it's going to be a big challenge for the defense. They'll be excited, we're at home, we get great vibes from the crowd, it's a great place to play. It will be a great Saturday night, so they will play as much a part for us…the 12th man will have a lot to do with this one."

"You get (mistakes) turned around if it's important to the team, because they have to do it. We have evidence that we don't make mistakes like that, so it has to come down to them and how important are the little things. The inflection of a quarterback has nothing to do with a defense going offside, they key the football. The offense hears the snap count, it's that easy. That's just not paying attention not what you're supposed to be doing."

"We didn't practice yesterday because the heat and coming off a game like that is so draining. Every edge we can get speed wise against FSU we're going to have to take advantage of. We spent a good three hours in meetings yesterday talking about a lot of different things."

"Nothing on (Mustafa Greene) at this point. I will tell you when I have something, I promise you that. And I am a man of my word."

"(Rob Crisp) went out and tried to do some things on Tuesday and couldn't move on Wednesday, so he's back to where we were. It's always the case, you try it and see where you wake up the next morning."

"I don't know if we put (C.J. Wilson) on the depth chart, but yeah, he's in the rotation."

"For all the questions we have against the offensive line, you have to pretty good back-to-back rushing days, two kids that back-to-back rush for 100 yards, so that is always a benchmark. Whether we can continue to be at the 200 number, I don't know, but hopefully we can get to the 150 mark consistently the rest of the year."

"I think it was good for Shadrach Thornton to go in a place like that, a brand name team like that and athletes like that. It was a learning experience. He acquitted himself well with the exception of the one fumble. As only Shadrach can do, he came up and promised me he wouldn't fumble again."

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