O'Brien: 'This Will be Old School Football'

RALEIGH, N.C. -- At today's press conference, NC State head coach Tom O'Brien discussed the upcoming game against Pittsburgh with the media.

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    Tom O'Brien

    "No. 28, Lewis is actually a true freshman. I guess he went to school in January so he went through spring practice. He's quick, he's small and he hides behind them."

    "They are top three in rushing offense and rushing defense in their conference, and actually top three in scoring offense and scoring defense in their conference."

    "The thing more worrisome for us is they are No. 1 in not giving up sacks and No. 1 in sacking people in their conference."

    "They play very solid on defense and are committed to running the football... they knock you back off the line of scrimmage and do a great job with their playaction passing from there."

    "We haven't seen an offensive line like this one. They've got pro prospects up there, guys who have played three or four years. They've got a ton of experience and are committed to running."

    "The thing that has not been good for us is this will be our fourth-starting offensive line and fourth-starting secondary in four games because of injuries, sickness or whatever. We really haven't got the continuity at the two most important positions on our team, especially the last two weeks."

    "The only thing we have gained is we've got some young guys in the football game which is down the road stuff, but for getting better as a football team... when you're with your fourth different offensive line and fourth different secondary that's not a good situation to be in."

    "I don't remember any injuries since I've been here like this."

    "Williams is back and he'll be playing left guard which is where he started the first game and ended up at left tackle. Wallace is at left tackle so the left side of the line is different for the fourth game."

    "Rashard Smith with the ankle, that's another change we have to do in the secondary."

    "I think [Andrew Wallace] did a really good job. We started him at tackle in preseason camp and moved him to guard because of the situation when we set up... when Vermiglio went down we moved him back to left tackle because we needed a backup at left tackle. He did a nice job. We think he's a nice prospect and a good player but he's still a redshirt freshman."

    "Now you've got two redshirt freshmen playing against a veteran defensive line. Their two ends had I think 13 sacks between them last year."

    "They are the top of their league in rushing defense. Especially when you shut out teams like Navy you ought to be the best their is. We've got to work hard to run the football and they lead in sacks so we've got to work hard to pass the football too."

    "[Crawford] practiced last week."

    "We think [Camden Wentz] did an excellent job in preseason camp... he's ready to go and he's the center backup. He played the position. He grew up in high school being the center. He's a smart kid and understands all the calls. He doesn't make a mistake at all. He knows where to go and he has good athletic skills. He was a lacrosse player in high school. He's got good feet and good balance."

    "11 different guys caught balls last week so a lot of different guys got into things on offense."

    "That's pretty good. You saw him on crutches... I told the trainer no more crutches on the sidelines. I can't play my little games here [laughing]."

    "[DeAndre Morgan] came back last week. Actually didn't practice with the varsity until Thursday. We put him on the scout team the first two days to make sure he got a lot of reps and work through his area."

    "Each and every week is a challenge. His thing, I'd say would be a consistency thing from his play last year."

    "[Donald Bowens] is not really back to where he was, but he's the same thing. He's just starting off again and hadn't played football in a long time. You could see the instincts there, but as he said, Tuesday was his first real practice that he wore shoulder pads... after he woke up Wednesday morning he was awfully sore. He's just getting back into football shape. That was the first time he's been tackled or hit. We wanted to get him out there and get him in a situation where he would make a catch and get tackled... certainly hopeful he'll get better from here on out and help us."

    "It's pretty amazing seeing where he missed some games last year and did this with probably about 12 games. He has a real good understanding of what we want to do right now... it hasn't been because he's afraid to throw the ball. I think he's much better this year with his decision making process."

    "He gets rid of the ball fast. That's all part of the coaching. Coach Bible does a great job with him. He's got pretty good decision making, and when he knows where he wants to go with the ball he gets rid of it fast so that's good for us."

    "I think Ray Michel has done an excellent job in the middle... I think Audie Cole and Dwayne Maddox are still in development stages."

    "[Brandan Bishop] looks like a freshman but he has ability... he's football smart and school smart. He doesn't make mistakes... he gets lined up and seems to tackle well. That's what we want out of that position."

    "We have to play a great football game. That's what we have to aim for. Certainly could use a victory heading into ACC play. It's going to be like sixty minutes of middle drill with their offense and defense. Hard-fought, slug-it-out, hit them in the mouth type of game. This will be old school football."

    "It's the smash-mouth, line up in the I with two backs and run the football... it's the same thing with their defense. They try to line up and knock you back."

    "It's not this spread the field and play touch football stuff."

    "[Brian Slay] is the next guy in the defensive line that is going to have to play. To get him in the game sooner rather than later and get him some experience. With our history here he's going to play a lot of football."

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