Teleconference: Trestman Talks Football

NC State offensive coordinator Marc Trestman fielded questions today during his weekly teleconference and here is a sampler of what he had to say.

Had you had a chance to figure out why UNC was able to pressure Jay Davis?
I did. I could break it down individually, but the first sack of the game they brought a stunt that we hadn't seen, and We just missed picking it up and Jay got hit there. We made the correction on the next third down. As you saw, Toney Baker got that huge gain on the crossing route, so that was a real positive sign. I'm just trying to give you an overview so I don't make a mistake on it.

So the first one was really a new blitz, and we just had a technical miss by one of our players.

We had a breakdown, a mental error by one. It wasn't a physical breakdown, but a mental error by a guy who was in the game and not one of our starters at the time.

I had one that I thought Jay could have moved around a little bit and gotten out of the pocket. I thought the protection was sufficient enough, and I thought he had stayed in there a little too long on one.

We had two that were physical breakdowns, not structural or schematic breakdowns.

Had you had a chance to look at any Georgia Tech tape and do you have a sense of what Jon Tenuta does to make him a successful defensive coordinator?
[I watched tape] just briefly over today. They are very multiple in their defense. They play both four down and three down. They are bringing people from all over the place, and he's very sound structurally. There is a lot of diversity to what they do.

You've mentioned taking what the defense offered. What was North Carolina doing to make you pass the ball more than run?
It wasn't what North Carolina was doing to us, it was what we were doing to North Carolina. If you break it down, we went three and out on our first series. Then the next series we had 10 plays... in those 10 plays, we fumbled a snap, and we got lucky because they had 12 guys on the field. The unlucky part of it was we had a shot play on that would've scored because we had exactly the right play called.

Then we had two false starts, so we are dealing with 1st and 15, 1st and 20, and 2nd and 15. And when you do that it is pretty hard to run the ball in those situations so you are going to lose [running plays].

Then we had a play that took us into the redzone. We ran it, and threw it twice down there with plays that we felt should've scored. Then we come back in the next series and we scored on the first play, the run to Toney [Baker].

Then we come back for two consecutive series... we throw a lateral pass on the second play of one series. We fumbled and backed up on another series, and we go three and out because we had a penalty on first down that made it 2nd and 17 from the minus 20-yard line.

So, when you are running six series and in those six series you are sitting with two and out, two and out, three and out because of the penalty. Then on the seventh series you are backed up again on the minus five, and you call a run that's not successful, you are in a position you are not able to run the ball. Then pretty soon you are in a two-minute drill and the half is over.

It wasn't so much, as I said, what UNC did to us, it's what we did to ourselves to stop ourselves from having the kind of attack against them that we would have liked in the first half.

In the future, would you like to get Toney Baker more carries?
I think there is a difference between carries and touches. I think we got to get him the touches he needs to be able to have enough opportunities to make the plays he is capable of making.

Can you assess the play of Jay Davis in the North Carolina game and through three games this season?
Yea, I think Jay played two of his better games, and I think he would readily admit it, I thought he played very, very well against Virginia Tech and against Eastern Kentucky. I thought he had two very good games. I think there are probably a half a dozen plays that Jay would want to have back in the UNC game that he'd look back on. I think that's where it goes with Jay.

I think he played certainly acceptably in this game, but I don't think Jay played as well as he knows he is capable of playing. I think I would describe it that way.

Overall, I think the biggest thing offensively that happened in this last game is we lost opportunities with the football. We had two backed up situations... we had a lateral pass we were two and out. We were two and out when we fumbled the snap, and I know Jay is sick about it. We didn't come up with points at the end of the second quarter.

Those are things we look back on as an offense and say, "boy, wish we had more opportunities not only to throw it but to run it and make plays."

We lost those opportunities in the first half, primarily.

How would you grade the offensive line's performance against North Carolina?
I think I would say that we certainly didn't play as well in the North Carolina game, and I am talking about our first group, as we did our first two games. I think we made some adjustments and corrections after the first drive... I think that showed up. We did some very good things, and like I said, if you look at it objectively Jay took a few more shots in this game than he had taken in the first two games.

Was that because he held on the ball too long or were they just getting pressure on him?
They got on some edges and got some shots, and we had a couple of mental errors that we normally don't have that they got some free shots on him.

That's something that is going to happen periodically. I would say that we didn't play as well as we feel we could have played in the UNC game.

Do you have the depth you need on the offensive line?
We've got guys... Herndon has missed practice time, Newby has missed practice time, Derek Morris has missed practice time. I am probably missing another guy along the way, I think I am missing one more.

We have had a lot guys miss practice because they have been dinged up. Until you get a line that is fully healthy, McKeon has been down, Mike [Barry] has done a heck of a job of getting these kids ready to play. It's not easy when they are not there working on a daily basis. That will continue to be the biggest challenge for us, is to develop the continuity and communication necessary for us to develop as an offensive line.

What did you see to decide on using Manny Lawson and Mario Williams on offense for one play?
We worked on it in the spring. We knew we had real good matchups there. We thought we had a shot just to change the course of the game a little bit by putting them out there. We had practice the play a bunch. I know that Jay, if he had done it again, he would have probably worked [Mario's] side because [Mario] was singled covered out there by the corner. Jay chose the other side of the formation, and there was a little more rolled-up, outside-technique by the corner there which made it a little more difficult for him to hit Manny. We had practiced the play a bunch and made the decision that we were going to throw it out there. There is no regrets in that.

So it didn't have anything to do with your wide receivers?
No it isn't... not at all. Like I said, we had put it in there. Actually we had it in for the Virginia Tech game, and never got a chance to use it. We have been practicing it, and when we practice something we to put it out there and make sure we use it. So, we took a shot at that time.

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