O'Brien Concerned With Bearcat Offense

NC State head coach Tom O'Brien fielded questions today from the media during his weekly ACC teleconference.

Opening Statement:
It's been a short week. We've prepared as well as we can to go play Cincinnati tomorrow night. Look forward to the opportunity to be on national TV and play a much improved Cincinnati football team. They're very explosive on offense. Looks like they have 10 starters back on defense. It's the same team we played here last year in Raleigh.

Syracuse and Pitt are joining the ACC sometime. Between now and then they're continuing to play their Big East opponents. Take me through your last year or two at Boston College, how that was as essentially a lame duck member of a league.
It wasn't fun, I can promise you that. The first day that it was announced, we had to go play Syracuse, if you remember. That was the night our plane was broke. We got in at 4:00 in the morning, played at noon. They were throwing dollar bills at us as we were exiting the stadium.

From that point, everybody in the Big East got together and did their best to make sure that we didn't win a football game in the Big East. It was everybody against BC in those days. There's two of them. It's not going to be an easy ride, especially on the road. They chose their path just as we at Boston College chose our path.

Tom, last 10 years there's been a building boom all over the country. Your facilities are some of the better ones. How important are the bricks and mortar facilities to a program and outside of wins and losses is there a way to measure the returns on the investment?
It shows a commitment to the program. It's an outward, visible sign that we're committed to play football at the highest level. I think that's what facilities show. I think certainly our building, a lot of kids that are not from this area, never been around, the kids from outlying states, they're wowed by the facilities. That gives you an opportunity, a hook that maybe somebody doesn't have.

I'm not sure how it can be measured in wins or losses other than you're a winning program or you're not.

When you look at Cincinnati's offense on film, what are the challenges they pose for your defense?
They have a great running back in Pead. I don't know what he's averaging, 200 yards a game or whatever. He's averaging a lot of rushing yards. He's a strong, powerful guy who took it all the way down the boundary for 65 yards on the second time he carried it against Tennessee.

Collaros is in his second year, leading the Big East in passing efficiency. If he gets out of the pocket, he's more dangerous than he is if he's in the pocket throwing the football. They have speed on the outside in the perimeter. Basically the center is the only new guy we didn't play last year.

There's a lot of experience on that football team offensively.

I know you're focused on your team and Cincinnati, but the last couple years the ACC struggled to get the national respect it thinks it deserves. Last weekend was a huge weekend for the league with some big wins. Your game on Thursday night on national TV against a solid Big East team, how important is it to continue the momentum and build the idea that the ACC, in a national perception, is right there at the top?
I think it's important anytime you have the opportunity to play another BCS conference school. I think for anybody in our conference, those are things that we have to make strides in that direction.

Certainly being on national TV is a good thing. Certainly we want to win, first of all, for us and this football team. Secondly, it can't hurt our conference if we go play well tomorrow night.

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