Monday, October 12, 2009

O'Brien discusses defense, penalties and more

In addition to addressing the Wolfpack's defensive woes, N.C. State coach Tom O'Brien talked about special teams, Toney Baker, Nate Irving and penalties during his news conference Monday.

Here are excerpts:

On N.C. State's defense: "The problem we’ve had from the start is not being able to get people on the ground, poor tackling. That’s repetition that we continue to do at practice and then on the field, they have to get the guy down on the ground."

On the Wolfpack's special teams play against Duke: "We kickoff covered better. I think we punted the ball well. Obviously kickoff return got us a big one. We’ve still got to keep working on the punt return game because every time T.J. (Graham) gets the ball in his hands he’s a threat to go. We’ve got to keep working hard in those areas, but we made progress in those areas. That ball that hit (Justin) Byers, it’s a right-footed kicker that the ball went left and he’s running away and the ball went left and hits him right in the square of the back. That’s one where you think, ‘It’s not our night.’ But we were still fighting. We couldn’t get back in it at that point."

On running back Toney Baker: "He’s getting more and more confidence, and I think that’s a product of, he is having success. He’s worked extremely hard to get to where he is. He looks almost now like he’s the back he was in August 2007, running the football and powering through cuts and running away from people. Hopefully, knock on wood, he’s totally back to where he was."

On whether the defense is missing injured linebacker Nate Irving: "Missing Nate always was a major difficulty, but we knew from the start and we had to adjust and try to make plans to play without him. You can say what you want. We don’t have him, so we can’t worry about it. But it’s certainly a big loss."

On N.C. State's penalty-free performance: "I don’t know if I’ve ever had a game without a penalty. I’m taking it as a positive that we’re paying attention and getting things done. But then, nothing was called on Saturday night, so I don’t know if that was any good, one way or another."


Anonymous said...

Kudos to Duke for throwing 50 times and getting 0 holding calls...unbelievable. What an effort or pathetic officiating crew

Tarheel Paul said...

All ACC football officials are pathetic. If Ron Cherry is the best you have then you have nothing.

Anonymous said...

There were officials at the game....really?

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Duke for completing 80% of its passes (40 for 50). Unbelievable.