O'Brien: 'We've Got to Get Better'

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Tom O'Brien discusses the upcoming game against Miami with the media.

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    Tom O'Brien

    Thoughts on Donald Bowens:
    He's been in the lineup since the first game of the year when we go to three wideouts. He had his opportunity to play in a two-wideout set more with the injury to Dunlap. He's a guy who works extremely hard on the practice field, doesn't say boo out there, has been a great special teams performer, and he just works and works and works.

    Thoughts on Jamelle Eugene:
    Every opportunity we gave him to run the ball early he did a great job.

    He's proven that to us. He's played a lot in the last three games. Each game we increased his workload more and he's conditioned and prepared himself to be able to handle that... as long as he's healthy and not too worn out he's going to be in there for us.

    General thoughts:
    We're going to find out how we play down there Saturday... it's certainly a lot better walking around this building and the locker room than coming off two losses.

    We're going to have to play even better. That's the goal, to get better each and every week.

    Thoughts on DeAndre Morgan:
    He's reacted very well. He's a kid that has worked as hard as anybody and waited his chance. When he got the opportunity he made the most of it.

    Thoughts on the play of the Morgan brothers:
    Those two guys are fun to be around, they love to play the game, and they like to practice. They've done a great job for us.

    What are your thoughts on how Boston College is doing and do you wonder if you made the right choice?
    I know I made the right choice. I don't wonder that at all. I'm happy for them. I'm happy for the kids. It's important to them. They've got all those fourth and fifth-year guys that have been around a long time. This is their year. Things are falling right for them, and they've got an opportunity to attain a lot of goals that they set for themselves. I'm really happy for the kids.

    Has this team turned the corner or do you think this team is about to turn the corner?
    I don't think we'll know that until the end of the year, but we're certainly making steps in the right direction. A lot of the things that we talked about that we had to do to be a good football team we've done for two weeks. We've one the turnover battle after two games, we're tackling much better, we're not giving up as many big plays... we haven't had the quarterback sacked much. If we can continue to do that then we'll look back and think it may have been, but there is still a lot of football left to be played.

    Is winning the turnover battle the biggest reason you've won these last two games?
    I think certainly that is it. We've created opportunities on defense for the offense, and they have taken advantage of it. That's what you do, and we haven't lost scoring opportunities as many times as we did the first half of the year by turning the ball over.

    Do you think there is some chemistry between Daniel and Donald?
    I've always said that quarterbacks throw to guys that catch the ball... if they know somebody is going to catch the ball they are more likely to throw to him. Donald's done a nice job catching the ball and that's what happens... it's only natural to go back.

    There were situations during that game where we felt we could push the ball down the field, and he was the guy in there. Owen Spencer was in there too and made a nice catch going down the field too. We had more than one guy making them.

    Thoughts on changes in the secondary during the bye week:
    The whole secondary got changed. We came in and changed the whole scheme in the secondary from what it's been in the past. We kept searching through the first six games, as we were coaching, trying to get the guys that could do the best job executing the schemes that we wanted to play.

    We've got guys in the game that are doing things the way we want them to be done. It stops the big plays, and the two safeties are the best two tacklers on our football team. They made a lot of tackles that have prevented the long runs we gave up in the first six that change field position on you.

    Thoughts on Jeremy Gray's play:
    Jeremy is a guy that is playing in the boundary and he's got to run support like they've probably never done before. He's done the best job of any corner we've had. He did a great job collisioning on Saturday in cover two, the best job we've had all year as a corner in taking receivers out of their routes.

    Thoughts on improving:
    We've got to get better. That's still the bottomline. We're not a championship football team by any stretch of the imagination. We've won two games and the fight is on to get that third win now.

    Thoughts on freshman Nate Irving's play:
    We lost him for the Wofford game, he had an ankle that game but other than that he's been out there. He's worked really hard, and he's done a great job.

    He's got a good feel for the game. He's got a good knack in pass defense too of finding zones, bodying people up... I think he's a young guy that is learning each and every week out there and he really did give us a good boost on Saturday.

    On the show the other night, we had a couple of clips of him on back-to-back-to-back plays making plays for us. I think he's a kid that is getting a little better each and every week.

    Does he have that "it" factor?
    It seems to be that, but I don't know if I'm ready to jump on board after fifty-something snaps.


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