Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Q&A with N.C. State's Mike Archer

Excerpts from a Q&A with N.C. State defensive coordinator Mike Archer. The Wolfpack defense held South Carolina to one scoring drive of 14 yards in a 7-3 loss in the Sept. 3 opener.

Q: Coming off of Thursday's game, you've got to be happy with a lot of things that happened. How do you balance that with trying not to let them get too high?

A: All you've got to do is look at the film. Granted, we held them to seven points. But there were two turnovers. We had one and we gave up a touchdown. We created a turnover and they held us to a field goal. That's the difference in the game. We talk to our guys all the time about, we're going to be in games like that, we have to outplay our opponents' defense. We didn't do it. We had too many missed tackles, too many missed assignments. There are a lot of things we can get corrected. There were some performances that weren't good enough in our opinion. If we're satisfied with that, we aren't going to be any good. It's really easy to keep (humble). All they have to do is watch the film with us and listen to the comments and understand if they want to get where they want to get and be where they want to be, that's not good enough.

Q: How is the linebacker position with Dwayne Maddox and Terrell Manning shaping up?

A: Dwayne played more plays. Dwayne did a really nice job. First time out of the box, I think he's improved. We got Terrell in there, I think, for 15 plays. We've got to get him in there more. We only played 64 plays. I thought our rotations were good. We kept people fresh in the game. It was obvious in the fourth quarter, we didn't cramp up like we did last year. Now it wasn't as hot as it was last year. I think our rotations were good. We do have some depth at certain positions, which is going to enable us to play a lot of people, which is going to create position competition. That's the beauty of it all. If you don't play as well as someone that's behind you, someone's going to replace you.

Q: What do you like about what C.J. (Wilson) did at cornerback?

A: C.J. out of the box did some good things. You worry when you put a guy out there for the first time in front of the TV cameras. I thought he did a good job. I thought Rashard Smith did a good job as a true freshman, C.J. as a redshirt freshman. They both were good. They weren't good enough. There's things we have to get corrected on everybody's part. Not just their part. On everybody's part.

Q: Earl Wolff is a guy who showed up with seven tackles the other day and kind of came out of nowhere it looks like.

A: He's had a good camp. He's a very aggressive guy. He's a guy that when he came in there, he filled it up in the running game. It was a running game. They came in with the idea they were going to try to run the football. That's why we tried to get him in the game. He was in 15 plays. He had seven tackles. That's a pretty good activity ratio. That's what we're looking for. And he's going to play more. We've got to get him in the game more. He's earned that opportunity. Again, that's position competition. He's going to push Clem (Johnson). He's going to push Justin (Byers). And if they don't do it, we'll move him ahead of them.

Q: What's the key this week?

A: The key is, we have to understand what Murray State is going to try to do. It's hard to look at last week's film. It's a 66-10 game. They didn't get in a lot of formations and really didn't do a lot. We have to look at last year's tape and understand they're going to try to spread us out and attack us on the perimeter. Which, we've got to do a good job on the perimeter, and we've got to shut their running game down.

Ken Tysiac