O'Brien: Pack Must Play Fast Against FSU

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Tom O'Brien met with the media following Thursday's practice to discuss Florida State.

Tom O'Brien

"[The team was] sluggish to start the week. We were real tired and slow on Tuesday, but I think as the week progressed we were a little better yesterday and much better today."

"The distance of the last game and the proximity of the next game has helped."

"We were just tired... it wasn't the mental aspect. It was the physical aspect of four hours in the sun, 90-degree weather in the heat, it takes so much out of you. It takes a while to get yourself back and get yourself going.

"Certainly we're going to have to play fast on Saturday night. If we're not at 100% we're going to have problems."

"The crowd can bring a lot of energy too. Whatever is lacking in the tank has to be filled up by the enthusiasm of our fans on Saturday night."

"I'm confident because the problems we've had on defense have been guys that have done it in the past. They just have to get their act together and start playing the way they are capable of playing."

"The linebackers are still growing. We knew that was going to be a problem. Coaching wise you can compensate for those things but when the other pieces around them aren't performing it's tough for them to be successful too."

"I absolutely do [think David Amerson has been distracted]. I think there are too many things going on outside. He leaves here at 11:00 in the morning and we don't see him until 6:00 tomorrow morning. With the way social media is and everything today, there are so many things going on now that weren't going on four or five years ago."

"I think he is a mature individual, but there are some things he has to get focused on and that is playing the way he can play."

"Especially against this defensive front it's going to be a great, big challenge for us especially on offense with the offensive line against arguably the best defensive line in the conference."

"I think [Thuney and Fordham] did really well. You can't have all the yards on offense that we had and not have some production from the guys up front."

"When injuries happen, guys in the heat of the game play. This will be a big challenge for them because it's been a week now and the opponent can see who they are and what they are and there are different things you can gameplan for."

"[E.J. Manuel] has the ability to pull the ball down and run... you've got to keep him in the pocket. Now, he's a good pocket-passer, but still it is better to have him in the pocket than to have him run around and have your coverage break down behind you. He can either take off... as I said last year after watching him, he's a lot like Donovan McNabb was when Donovan was at Syracuse."

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