Notebook: O'Brien Looks to Future

CHESTNUT HILL, Ma. – Tom O'Brien insisted it was just another game. He prepared, he coached and … for the second straight game, the Pack came up short.

Meanwhile, one of his players, Ernest Jones, was sorry the players couldn't deliver a victory for the coach and his former BC assistants when State visited BC.

"First and foremost on behalf of the players of NC State, I would like to apologize to the fans, alumni, and especially the coaches," Jones said after the 37-17 loss dropped the Wolfpack to 0-2 under O'Brien. "I feel that we let them down once again. We did not play to our full potential once again."

But O'Brien and his staff knew what they were getting into yesterday. Forget the hoopla, they were playing a better football team – one that was playing at home and looking to avenge last year's terrible loss in Raleigh.

For O'Brien, the day began like all other road games, with him walking around the field, checking wind patterns and conditions. He heard boos from the students and had fun with them, waving his arms as he entered the tunnel after the game.

"That was, ‘hey, see ya – I'll be back. I'll see you in three years," O'Brien said with a laugh.

Obviously, he meant he'll see them in TWO years, when the Wolfpack returns to The Heights. By then, O'Brien hopes to have this NC State thing really up and running.

"It was a football game," he said of the contest. "It wasn't as one-year move. It wasn't a one-game move. It was a five- to 10-year move.

"We got pretty beat up today but there's going to be better days and we're going to be a much better football team and we're going to be a heck of a football program. It's up to me and these coaches to get these kids going the right way, so … I started off in pretty bad shape when I got here, too (4-7 each of his first two years), so, we'll see where it goes."

Where it goes first is Wofford next week – what should be O'Brien's first win as the NC State coach. He said he got off to a rough start at BC, and while he was 4-7 each of his first two years, he did follow a loss in his debut with two victories in 1997.

There's work to be done.

O'Brien exchanged embraces with some of his former players.

"It was nice to see him again," said linebacker Jolonn Dunbar, who helped beat his former coach with a 14-yard interception return for the touchdown that gave BC the lead for good . "It was nice to see all of (the coaches) again."

Said quarterback Matt Ryan: "It was good to see Coach O'Brien and some of the staff. I send my best and hope they win some games down the line."

He changed quarterbacks during his first game and said after his second he has a decision to make. He's like to go with Harrison Beck again but you never know.

…The Wolfpack played after having lost tight end Anthony Hill and running back Tony Baker for the year and without defensive tackle DeMario Pressley (knee) and DT Alan-Michael Cash (his dad's funeral) and both were missed.

…After Nathan Franklin struggled and actually fumbled the ball away after first dropping the snap, Bradley Pierson made the last two punts and looked good.

…James Martin was credited for being State's leading tackler in the game, with seven.

…With kickoffs now coming from the 30, Steven Hauschka recorded his first touchback of the season.


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