The Linebackers Speak Out

OSU linebackers A.J. Hawk and Mike D'Andrea met with the media and discussed the win over Marshall, what they expect from N.C. State this weekend and their first road trip of the year. Click here for more.

We had a chance Tuesday to talk with OSU linebackers A.J. Hawk and Mike D'Andrea. They reflected on the win over Marshall and looked ahead to the game this Saturday at N.C. State (3:30 p.m., ABC regional telecast).

Here were their comments:

A.J. Hawk

* On N.C. State having an extra week to prepare -- "I just think it gives you more time to feel comfortable with another team's plays. It gives you more time to work on it."

* On Marshall sustaining drives against OSU -- "We didn't do too well last week. The biggest thing is we try and forget the last play and come back for the next one. Last week, we gave up a 17-play drive that lasted nine minutes or something. We stopped them and made them try a field goal at the end. That gives us more motivation to come out next week and make sure it doesn't happen again."

* On the challenge of playing on the road -- "Obviously, it's great playing at home in front of our great fans. But I kind of enjoy being on the road. The guys on your sideline is all you have on the road. We travel pretty well, but it's mostly a hostile environment for us. It's fun as a player to go out there and see what it's like.

"You have to trust each other and cheer each other on. I think it brings a team together. If you're playing well at an away game, you realize you need each other."

* On piping in noise during practice -- "We do that every Thursday – no matter if it's away or home. We have music during practice to try and simulate crowd noise. We do that, but it's impossible to simulate the crowd noise of an away game."

* On not forcing any turnovers yet this season -- "We've been talking about it a lot. But I think if we keep doing what we're doing, turnovers will come."

* On N.C. State running back T.A. McLendon -- "With a great running back like him, he should be the rock of your offense and you should let him do what he does best. He gets a lot of yards and he runs hard."

* On last year's 44-38, triple OT win over the Wolfpack -- "We've had a lot of close games here, but that was one of the closest. It has to be. That's the only triple overtime game I've ever played in. Everybody was tired on both sides of the ball. It was a fun game to play in. I'm sure it was a great game to watch because everybody was going all out."

Mike D'Andrea

* On what he looks for from N.C. State -- "We expect them to do a lot of trick plays and a lot of motion. That's what they did last year. They like to do a lot of things to get the defense running around."

* On McLendon -- "I'm sure he will play. I'm sure he will be ready, and we just have to be prepared for him."

* On the lack of turnovers -- "Today, we worked a lot on stripping the ball. The first guy makes the tackle and holds them up and the second guy works on stripping it. We're also running around trying to get interceptions. We know they're going to come."

* On what he remembers of last year's game -- "I remember stopping them on the 1-yard line. They spread us out and did a lot of motion. We have to adjust to it. Whatever worked for them last year is probably what they'll go back to.

"They've got some very good athletes. Obviously, they lost Philip Rivers. But they have guys with a lot of experience back. We can't take them lightly."

* On McLendon -- "He's 5-11, 215 and he's real powerful for his size and he's quick, too. He and (Maurice) Clarett were two of the best backs coming out of high school last year."

* On Jay Davis, NCSU's first-year starting quarterback -- "We need to get him out of his rhythm and knock that confidence out of him as quickly as we can."

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