O'Brien: Irving, Wilson Out for USF

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Tom O'Brien discusses the upcoming game against South Florida with the media. The big news released was that quarterback Russell Wilson and linebacker Nate Irving will not play against USF.

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    Tom O'Brien

    Nate Irving and Russell Wilson aren't on the depth chart. Can you bring us up-to-date on what is going on?
    They are both injured, and they won't play.

    Is that just this week?
    Indefinite. I have no idea how long it is going to be.

    Does Russell's have anything to do with his concussion?
    I don't have to discuss the injury until Thursday so I'm not going to say anything.

    How do you deal with it in terms of having your team deal with the injuries?
    We've been dealing with it all year. That's the amazing thing about the win on Saturday. What a tremendous job this coaching staff has done and these kids have done.

    You've got nine or ten starters not playing on this football team and it has consistently been that way. When you look at the schedule we've played, it's amazing that we've played the way we have.

    It puts it all into perspective what a great victory it was, to come out and be able to play and finish the game against East Carolina... great credit to the coaching staff and great credit to the kids that are hanging in there and healthy enough to play for us.

    We certainly don't want to be in our fifth game of the year with our third starting quarterback, but that is where we are. We have to button our chinstraps, hitch up our britches, go to work, and get ready for South Florida.

    Can you talk about how Dwayne Maddox played and is coming along?
    He played as a freshman would play. He got in there and did some nice things. There are some things that we certainly have to get corrected. That will be the emphasis this week. He has to step up now, he's the guy.

    He's been in games. He's played in all the games. I think all of those things help, but he's certainly not Nate Irving.

    Thoughts on playing against the read/option that South Florida throws at you.
    You lose Alan-Michael Cash the week before and then you lose Nate so your top two players on defense are gone. For the other guys, it is an opportunity to step up and play.

    This offense is #19 in the country in total offense and they are led by probably the most versatile quarterback in the country... he's third or fourth in career rushing, third or fourth in career rushing attempts... if he scores four touchdowns he's got their record for touchdowns so hopefully we don't let them set any records here.

    Their defense is even better... 12th in the country.

    How good is the Selvie kid?
    He's excellent... their other end is excellent... they've got two guys coming off the edge who are really special rushers.

    Thoughts on offensive line play:
    The offensive line did a much better job this week. Our pass protection was a lot better... we were in better position. Russell had guys not in his face all the time, was able to see and throw and when we got outmatched he was able to make guys miss and find guys to throw to.

    How important is it to have a couple of guys you can count on at quarterback?
    The quarterback position has always been the most important position on offense. I don't think it's unusual a quarterback gets hurt... all positions you need backups and they've got to be ready to play. I've just never seen a situation like this, at least at our school or where I've coached, that you're in your third quarterback the fifth week of the season.

    Who is the third quarterback?
    [We] don't have one at this present moment. We'll be working on that this week.

    How do you keep the team from thinking there will be other injuries... do you have a fear of players playing tentative?
    I don't think so. That is one thing that is my job, to make sure that doesn't happen. Maybe they are going to stop believing me when I tell them it's going to end somewhere because it certainly hasn't yet.

    How concerned are you with losing the momentum you gained Saturday with your offense?
    Not at all. We're goign to get Harrison and it's his opportunity. We're going to see what he's made out of. He can certainly help this football team and this is his chance to do it. He's going to have to get it done this week for this team.

    Can you talk about his assets? You mentioned he can sit back there in the shotgun and throw it around.
    He can wing it around. We just have to tell him that we're wearing the red jerseys on Saturday night and we'll be in good shape.

    Thoughts on Jamelle Eugene's conditioning:
    Jamelle's not ready to play yet. He can't be ready to play after sitting out a month and practicing three days. He's still working his way back into shape... to be the Jamelle we saw a year ago and it might take a week or two... [Eugene and Brown] are certainly weapons and certainly assets we have to use.

    How big a step has Jarvis Williams taken?
    If there was one guy who worked really hard through preseason camp and really showed strides, it was Jarvis. He was probably our most consistent guy.

    It came at the right time for us. Russell put the ball high, he went up and got it, came down, made a nice catch there at the end of the game.

    He's a young guy too. They are just growing up. Hopefully this will boost him up and get him to play even better this week, and we are going to need guys to step up against this defense.


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