O'Brien: "There Are No Positives"

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Tom O'Brien met with the media today to discuss Virginia.

Tom O'Brien

"James Washington pretty much tore everything in his knee. I feel so bad for the kid, because he came back last year and gave us a [spark]. He looked good playing in the game and something we could use, especially coming down the stretch. To get hurt like that is devastating for him and certainly it is for a lot of us."

"There are so many rules that it is tough to legislate them all. The more you add, it's like the NCAA, the more you have trouble with those kind of things. That's the type of tackle that injury happens with."

"Talking to the coaches, we didn't practice yesterday. Guys finally were starting to get angry and start taking accountability in meetings for some of the things that had been happening, which is good. That translates onto the field. This is a really important football game coming back for us. We've played the least home games of anybody in this conference. We've only been homes three times and here it is November."

"You played four tough conference games and three of them were on the road in tough situations. Even though we've lost the hammer, we haven't lost anything because we still have to play and make Florida State win 7 games. If they don't win 7 games, then we're right back there. Our key is to make sure we don't lose sight of that, come home and get an opportunity to play in front of our fans and win a football game."

"This is like role reversal from when we went there last year. They were 4-2, we were 3-3, had all kind of struggles but found a way to win there and it spurred us on. They are in the opposite situation, they've had a week off, but it's the same old, they've got the offensive line are all 6'5", 6'6", three starters back, both tackles back. Tight ends are 6'6", the fullback is 6'6", and then they have the two 5'8" backs that hide in behind them. I'm not sure what they are going to do at quarterback. It's the third defense in the conference behind FSU and Maryland, so this is a back against the wall game for both of us."

"One of the goals is to stay undefeated at home and if we want to accomplish that, we have to accomplish the goals we want to get done."

"It's all part of growing up, it's all part of leadership. That's why we work so hard trying to teach them. (The coaches) can get as angry as we want, and certainly we are, but until it comes from the team, until they learn how to take control of the team, you can't be in a championship mode. That's the difference when you take that step from being a good to great team."

"The first three years we had to change the whole culture and everything about the program. We didn't walk into a situation like I left, which I think everybody realized. The middle three years here were all about being competitive, and certainly we've shown that. Two years ago we beat two top 25 teams, last year we beat a top 10 last year and a top 5 team this year. That's all part of building it and showing that you can be a competitive program, now we have to finish this year. We need help now. Florida State goes to Virginia Tech, and strange things happen on Thursday night in Blacksburg, so there is no given in this game of football. We just have to take care of our business."

"It hurt these kids to lose to (UNC). We had a pretty good run for five years and don't know what that experience is like. Give them credit. The thing about the game now is it has the feel of being a rival game that it didn't. We've created something, maybe it's because of last year or whatever. It actually felt, to me, for the first time, that we're going to be on par with everyone else as far as this series goes. It's good for the state, it's good for us, except we have to win next year."

"When you're trying to get to that next level, you're not quite there because of injuries or holes, we have to be much more consistent on defense up front. That's where we're getting off to the bad starts. When we lost five of the front seven from last year, your whole linebacker core, and Sweezy and Kuhn in the middle. We don't have the consistency on defense that we had, sometimes we're really good and sometimes we're really bad. We have to play our techniques and be more consistent. 25-7 is like a big score for us, you just can't do it."

"We still have a lot of friends, and Charlottesville was a great place for us. We raised our kids there, and we still have a lot of friends at UVa. We've been very fortunate. We were able to coach in Annapolis, spent 10 years in Boston and lucky to be here."

"The coaches can't be a broken record and keep saying the same thing about you. You have to take some ownership. Tell me if you don't care and don't want to play, that's fine, we'll find somebody else. But it's got to be important to you. We have to get it corrected and we as coaches have to make sure it's done on the practice field. They have to take accountability for the actions and get it done on the field."

"They aren't ready to play, that's something that we've talked about and we're going to emphasize. Sometimes it's easier to do it when you're at home. That speaks to maturity and experience in a lot of places, when you're on the road."

"We don't take anybody soft and we don't care about perception. We have to deal with reality that Virginia is a talented football team. Things haven't gone their way, they've got an open week they can solve a lot of problems. They, just as we do, need a win. This could be the fifth game in a row that goes to the last 30 seconds."

"I have faith if we take one game at a time and play the best we can that you can do anything. That's what we're going to do."

"There were some things the offensive line did well, but certainly Carolina is pretty good on defense and got to us a few times. There was one sack we gave up in the third quarter that we had Asa Watson running down the boundary free. The last throw down when we had Underwood running free."

"You talk about the (drops). I thought we had eight drops, but the coaches counted 10. The coaches are harder on their players than I am. Those were big plays in the game. What that does is keeps you from staying on the field. Some of them are big plays that you catch and you run with, you stay on the field and you keep them off the field, which was important. You make some of those catches, Mike might have thrown for 600 yards."

"There are no positives when you lose to a rival."

"We do have a home field advantage. Our fans are tremendous, they show up, give us great support. This is a tough place to play in and they can make it very difficult on the opposing team. We need that help. It's fun to play here at home. It's 12:30, they are going to have to get up earlier and show up, but I'm sure they will. They haven't been here since Oct. 6."


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