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December 21, 2012
NC State interim coach Dana Bible didn't normally have to watch film of the Wolfpack's opponents on offense.
The offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach mainly concentrated on breaking down defenses. The switch in roles for the Music City Bowl against Vanderbilt on Dec. 31 definitely means some new responsibilities for Bible, including other key game-day decisions.
"I've seen a little bit just so that I can have some insight on what they are doing," Bible said. "They are coached well and challenging that they are multiple with the different combinations that they throw at you. That's new for me that I have to study that side also."
Trick plays, going for it on fourth down a few times more than normal or sneaking in a player on offense or defense that plays on the opposite side of the ball could also be part of any interim coaches' play book.
"It could be an opportunity to expand a little bit and throw in a wrinkle or two," Bible said. "That is all part of a month of preparation. We'll all have to watch the game to see how it plays out.
"We'll give ourselves the best chance to be successful, but lets not get crazy."
Bible will match wits with Vanderbilt defensive coordinator Bob Shoop, who was part of former NCSU coach Tom O'Brien's staff at Boston College as secondary coach from 1999-2002, along with Bible and defensive line coach Keith Willis. Shoop's brother is former Chicago Bears and North Carolina offensive coordinator John Shoop.
"Both of us have history with each other," Bible said. "Defensively, they are an attacking-style defense. They get after you and change it up. There is a mix that you have to deal with. They are playing with a lot of confidence and are coached well."
Vanderbilt is expected to start five seniors and six juniors on defense.
"You can tell in their play that they are a salty group," Bible said.
O'Brien lost his first bowl game, and then went 8-1 over the next nine, and that doesn't include the year the Eagles went on to win after he took the NC State job in 2006. Bible was part of BC's interim staff in the 25-24 victory over Navy in the Meinecke Car Care Bowl. Another of the losses came with the Wolfpack in 2008 after star quarterback Russell Wilson hurt his knee.
The blueprint for bowl success is known, but emotions will likely be running high for the Wolfpack players.
"We expect to go down there and be successful," Bible said. "That's how we've trained and how we've practiced. We've worked our way through what has been a month, and now we are in the next stage, the final stage.
"It's easy to make the sell to your players that this is the way to prepare."
NC State will have three practices in Nashville and then a walk-through.
"This is a chance to see how far we've come and where we are at the end of the season," said Bible on opening up against Tennessee and finishing with Vanderbilt, both from the SEC. "We know where we were after playing against Tennessee. In a season, there can be a lot of growth."
N.C. State NEWS