"I can't be concerned with that, I gotta be concerned with coaching the football team," O'Brien said after his Wolfpack was blown out, 52-20, by his old team, Boston College, here yesterday.
"I knew this was going to be a process and it certainly is going to be a process," he said. "We're going to be a good football team, just … sooner rather than later would be good but we're not going to take any shortcuts, we're going to do it the right way and build a strong foundation so that when this thing turns that we're going to win for a long time and win a lot of games."
For now, the Pack has lost three straight heading into the bye week -- before visiting Florida State for another tough game.
NC State has allowed 101 points in losses to Duke and BC, 162 in the last four games. Yesterday's 52 points by BC were the most by a State opponent since Florida State amassed 58 in 2000.
Sophomore running back Montel Harris, who ran for a BC freshmen-record 900 yards last year, romped for a 264 yards and five touchdowns, both school marks, yesterday -- against a State defense that had allowed a TOTAL of 377 in six games coming in.
"Nobody tried to run the ball against us," O'Brien said. "We did a good job against Pitt but Wake Forest and Duke didn't try to rush it at all. We just got out of whack tonight. We just didn't fit right and we didn't tackle."
That was a common theme in a game that saw O'Brien fall to 0-3 against his old team, a program he turned around after gambling scandal that preceded his arrival.
Things didn't start out too poorly yesterday for the Pack (3-4, 0-3 in the ACC) on this chilly late afternoon in New England.
Harris' 70-yard Bazooka run and ensuing 2-yard run into the end zone made it 7-0, but Russell Wilson took State right back down the field -- 73 yards, the big play a 30-yarder to Darrell Davis down to the BC. Wilson took it in himself and the game was tied.
Not for long.
David Shinskie, the 25–year-old true freshman quarterback who had thrown for just four yards in a dreadful loss at Virginia Tech last week, threw a ball down the right sideline to Colin Larmond Jr., locked in a duel with Rashard Smith. The 6-3 Larmond out-jumped the 5-11 Smith, caught the ball and, as Smith fell out of bounds, ran the rest of the way for a 59-yard score and BC was ahead to stay.
State had two chances to get even or go ahead but had to settle for field goals on both tries, killing any chance at momentum.
It was 24-13 at the half and the Eagles came out and ran a long drive to start the second half and the rout was on. They brought the Bazooka back out later, O'Brien and his players saying they had practiced it, but just didn't execute properly.
Meanwhile, the Pack continued to make mistake after mistake, dropping passes, missing tackles and assignments.
Wilson, given all kinds of time for most of the game, finished 23-for-40 for 243 yards, a touchdown and interception. But he also threw as few passes that could have been picked off. Mike Glennon relieved and was 8-for-15 for 72 yards and a pick.
"We certainly have a lot of work to do," said O'Brien. We're not a very good football team right now. Hopefully, we can put ourselves together in this open week and … there are a lot of things we've got to look at. And hopefully we can make some progress.
"We've got a lot to play for. Nobody is giving up."
When the game ended, O'Brien wished his old pal, BC coach Frank Spaziani, well and immediately started thinking about making his own team better.