O'Brien: 'These Games are Important'

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- NC State head coach Tom O'Brien met with the media following the Wolfpack's win over North Carolina.

Tom O'Brien

"Our kids really took the challenge today. I think it was a great effort on our part, especially to beat a team like North Carolina who has all those great athletes running around out there so well coached and everything. We have steadily gotten better, once we've gotten the little guys healthy and back on the field. We played really good against a great football team."

"We've gotten better week in and week out and once again, we held an opponent under 100 rushing yards, which I think is key. We probably had our best rush day of the year with 187 yards. That's a heck of a day, so obviously our line, whether it be offense or defense, must have done something well out there today."

"We don't have a lot of seniors. I think Anthony Hill and Andre Brown have carried the load for the offensive guys, and I think Willie Young and Nate (Irving) and some of those guys on defense have done a great job providing leadership for us. Obviously the turnovers early were huge for us and gave us great field position."

"What it speaks to is we're the best football program in the state, without question. We are the state university and we expect to be here. There's no other way to put it. These games are important to us and we're going to take them all serious. Especially if they are state rivals."

"It's huge. I think they have one or two chances to get their hands on the ball. I think Russell (wilson) was hit one time, and I think they had a hand on it, and there was another tipped ball. Certianly, the offensive scheme, you have to give Dana Bible a lot of credit, coming up with a scheme that would be us or nobody. Our kids did a good job of getting our hands on the ball and catching them when we could. Anytime you get six turnovers to zero, you should win a football game, that's pretty standard."

"We missed field goal, we missed one scoring opportunity, and then right before the half, I couldn't exactly see what happened but I think Spencer probably had his hands on the ball in the endzone, which could have been another score. Our kids are into playing the way I like kids to play. They're playing hard and they just keep playing and they play physical and they're tough. The better we get, then the better a football team we're going to be."

"Curtis hasn't lived up to the expectations of a NC State football player so he's no longer a part of the program."

"[Russell Wilson] made an incredible play. The one in front of us that he made on third down to Gentry... I don't know. That was a magic act. He keeps making plays like that which is certainly positive for us and very demoralizing for the defense."

"Anytime you go 97 yards... you just don't do that. The percentages of doing that are very low, but that's the way we are structured right now. That's what we do. We kind of grind it out, find a way to make a big play here or there. We've got one more week."

"As I told the team, we didn't come this far to stop. Last year this team stopped after they beat North Carolina and thought that the season was over. That's what we've got to guard against this week... we haven't done all this work to get to this position."

"I think he made plays.. I think there are things today that we certainly have to get better and he has to get better at... he continues to get better. He really gives you that extra dimension."

"It's certainly going to help now. It's a situation that we have to make a lot of ground up especially here from past history. Our guys are working hard to recruit the state. We know that kids grow up and want to come to school here and kids grow up and want to come to school in Raleigh. We've got to fight for the guys in the middle and get the guys we want to get."

"Everybody at halftime was telling him he was going to make a play... it's a credit to him that he kept his chin up and kept swinging in there. It's great that Dana [Bible] gave him the opportunity and Russell gave him the opportunity to make a catch."

"We knew coming in that the schedule was going to be tough. We knew that we were short bodies and we had to stay healthy. We had to move two defensive linemen to the offensive line and their development has helped tremendously."

"We actually changed defenses in the spring and we're just growing into this defense. We're learning how to play it... basically we started all over again and we couldn't take the injuries. It hasn't stopped. We lose Shea McKeen last week and probably lost Clem Johnson today. He came in and he's playing great. He goes down with an ankle sprain. I don't know if we'll get him next week."

"The kids... they keep playing. Someone else comes in and fights."

"I think it's more important to look forward and see what we can accomplish."

"I think Dana Bible does a great job. He had a good plan. I think we kept them off-balance. We do multiple things with a lot of different people in the football game."

"They are pushing each other, and that's good."

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