O'Brien: Pack Must Play Better

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

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    Tom O'Brien

    "It doesn't really say anything. It's after four games and one month of the season. If we're there after 12 games then I think it will say a lot about our defense. We know we have a big challenge this week defending the Demon Deacons. We'll see how it goes this week."

    "The front four, front eight actually, has stayed healthy. The same thing with the linebackers. We've got a lot of them playing time through the first four games which has helped. Certainly the secondary is still an area of concern for us a work in progress. As long as they stay healthy and keep playing as hard as they are playing, it's going to give us a chance to be a pretty good defensive team."

    "It's over 20 [missed tackles] again. Of course seven were on one play so... I think under 10 [is acceptable]. Five a game, an average would be pretty good. We couldn't get Dickerson down on the sideline over there. I think the whole team had a shot at him, but we were hustling to the ball. That helps. We were able to get him down eventually."

    "It's a big road trip two hours down the road but at least we're going. It's not on an airplane. That's good."

    "[Russell Wilson] had a winning grade. We grade to 100%. He wasn't above 90%, I can tell you that. We talk about having winning performances and he was certainly one of the guys that gave us a winning performance on Saturday."

    "He's almost got to be perfect [to finish over 90%]... He played as well as he's played this year. That was by far his best effort."

    "He was the focal point of everything. The 4th and 14 was probably the play that turned the game around for us and that was just Russell being Russell."

    "I think he's played that way as he's gone. We ran into a pretty good defense the first game of the year. Still he gave us a chance to win the game by throwing the ball three times, catchable balls, there at the end. I don't think he hasn't played to his potential. I think he is getting better. This certainly was his best effort and that's judged because we were playing a BCS conference team that is a pretty dang good football team. We'll find out how good as the season goes on."

    "They are lining up in a wishbone look, some of the Paul Johnson bone look... back in the I."

    "[Riley Skinner] being a fourth-year quarterback, he's probably the most mature quarterback in this conference by a long stretch right now so he's able to handle those things. They are leading the conference in total offense I think."

    "We have to play the way we play. Right now we're a little more of a throwing football team than we've been in the past. We're more of a spread the field to get guys on the field. With [Donald] Bowens back, and hopefully [Owen] Spencer will be back at practice this week, one of the strengths of our offense is the quarterback and wide receivers. So we have to get them in the football game."

    "The more the backs get healthy and the more we get better upfront, which we are improving on the offensive line... maybe we'll be able to run the football a little more."

    "I think [the offensive line was] much better."

    "When I took a timeout I asked and they didn't tell me. [The clock] wasn't supposed to start. It was an incomplete pass so the clock was stopped. We had a procedure penalty so the game clock never started. It was a deadball so the clock is not supposed to start. At the timeout you would have hoped they would have corrected it when asked or the replay crew would have done something because a timing error is a correctable mistake."

    "We talked to him Saturday night. Jim Bridge is my contact with Doug Rhodes and I told him after the game I wanted him to call and get an explanation of why it happened. He said it shouldn't have happened but what good does it do me now?"

    "As bad as we played and as many mistakes as we made, we still won a football game... that isn't going to work this week. There's a lot of things we have to correct heading to Winston-Salem this week. We'll see if we can get them corrected and have a chance to win."

    "[Ted Larsen] gets hyper sometimes, he gets excited. The blitz was coming and he just let it go. That's inexperience on his part... in those situations you've got to [soften] it even more. As I said, roll it back, I don't care. The guy plays second base. He can pick the ball up and play... he threw one over Glennon's head which is hard to do."

    "There are no few Saturdays... I think people are coaching. There's a lot better coaches out there. Guys used to just have talent, roll the ball out there, and win."

    "It's hard for me to see where [the punt formation penalties] is. I guess I can't say that because it would be criticizing the officials, but I don't understand why that was called."

    "They have two kids inside that are back from last year. Big guys, make a lot of plays. Ghee's back in the secondary. They've got a lot of new kids it seems like. They replaced Curry with a former wide receiver who is a 4.5 guy. I think I read a comment where Jim said they are as fast as they've ever been on defense... it's the Wake Forest defense. It hasn't changed. They are going to stem and move up front... do things to try and confuse you. All those things they do a good job of."

    "We weren't a real crisp organization."

    "We're going to find out here once we get in the ACC. That's where we start this weekend in Winston-Salem."


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