O'Brien: 'It Was a Huge Play'

NC State head coach Tom O'Brien fielded questions from the media today during his weekly teleconference. O'Brien talked about the upcoming game against Virginia Tech, C.J. Spiller, the bowl system, and much more.

Opening Statement:
We've started practice to head to Virginia Tech and play against a very good football team. Ryan Williams is having a great year and Tyrod Taylor. They still play great defense and special teams. We look forward to the opportunity of playing on Saturday.

The Coaches Poll, the final ballot was going to be anonymous, but that was overturned and is going to be made public again. Do you prefer either way and why?
I don't think it was ever voted upon to be anonymous. I think that was the recommendation of the group.. I think they had Gallup come in and study it and that was part of their recommendation, but as head coaches I don't think we ever voted not to release the final poll.

When I had the opportunity to vote and was asked to vote I thought we should release our final poll.

Why do you think it's important to have that final poll released?
It's very difficult, even through probably the middle of October, to find out who is who and what's important, but if the coaches trophy goes to the two teams that are in the championship game I think it's important that you have a say in the vote.

I don't know how important releasing 10-through-whatever is, except that it's important to the schools you vote for, but I think it's most important the coaches trophy goes to the winner of our national championship game.

The ACC put out a note saying they missed on the Clemson fumble during the game. Obviously it can't help you now, but how frustrating is it for them to admit that after the fact?
I don't think it's frustrating for them to admit it. I think it's the right thing to do... for them to admit the error was made and hopefully from it a similar error will not be made.

It's crucial... for us at that point in the football game, it's the middle of the third quarter, a 24-14 game. It was a situation that, with all the young kids and inexperience we have on defense, those kids are fighting for their life. We come out of the locker room knowing we're going to get the football, and we go down the field and score. We talked about doing that. We talked about the defense getting a stop and getting the ball back for us, which they did, but they really didn't do because we wasn't given that opportunity.

It was a huge play in the game and devastating for this football team. I hope someone learns from it and it doesn't happen again.

When you look at film on Virginia Tech, what do you see from Cody Grimm?
He's a great player. We knew about him at Boston College and had an interest in recruiting him, obviously he wanted to stay in the state of Virginia. He's just a great football player.

He kinds of reminds me way back when of Chet Moeller who we had at Navy in those days. He never takes a false first-step, he's always headed in the right direction. He's got great instincts, and he's a great tackler. They play him a lot in pass defense. He's kind of like a nickel back, rover, or linebacker. He gets to play in a lot of different situations and has really done a great job for them.

You've seen a lot of C.J. Spiller. He's so versatile. How do you defensively plan to limit him?
You certainly try but no one has succeeded at this point. We certainly didn't last Saturday. As an offensive staff they do a great job of creating different pictures and moving him around and getting him in spots where they can get him the football. It's a credit to them that they've done that with their offensive football team.

When he gets the ball in his hands, he's very dangerous. You've got to create many two-on-one situations against him, which we weren't able to do, because when he gets you one-on-one he's going to win 90% of the time.

With the bowl system, do you think head-to-head results should play more of a role in how teams are selected than how many tickets you sale or how fancy your name is?
I think they are. I think what's happening with bowl selection, you see the ACC put that rule in, No. 1 the one-game rule, I think that has caused the Gator Bowl to leave our bowl lineup.

That bowl is more concerned with selling tickets maybe more than who you have to get in your football game which is a function of the bowl business I believe.

If you beat two teams head-to-head and they get picked over you...
If your records are the same, you're talking about two 5-3 teams, and you beat a team, that's going to get you in the championship game and should get you into the bowl game.

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