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September 7, 2011

Q&A: Tom O'Brien pleased with Glennon's play

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NC State coach Tom O'Brien held his weekly teleconference Wednesday, and broke down the play of redshirt junior quarterback Mike Glennon, his thoughts on Thursday night games, and how the Wolfpack responded in the second half of last Saturday's 43-21 victory over Liberty.

Below is the transcript of O'Brien's teleconference in preparation for Saturday's game at Wake Forest:

Opening statement:

"It's a big early season game for both football teams. It's tough to play a conference game this early in the year. We have to go on the road and play a very dangerous Wake Forest team. They have eight starters back on defense, and those kids played their hearts out the other night [losing 36-29 to Syracuse in OT]. Certainly, on offense, they've become a big-play offense with [quarterback Tanner] Price pushing the ball down the field. A lot of things that we have to be concerned with as we head to Winston-Salem on Saturday."

How is to see Curtis Underwood, Jr., take advantage of his opportunity last Saturday?

"It was certainly good for us and I'm certainly happy for Curtis. We always preach that when you get your opportunity, you better step up and do something with it. He was in a situation last year, and as always in this game, things can change quickly with Mustafa [Greene] going down in spring practice. He asked to come back and be part of the team, and we said, 'Certainly, c'mon back.' Hopefully, he can keep it up for us because we are going to need him."

Any updates on personnel or injuries?

"None until Thursday after practice."

What do you remember about the 30-24 loss at Wake Forest in 2009?

"It was kind of a shootout. It went back and forth a lot. They made a play at the end. [Quarterback Riley] Skinner had a great game against us. At the end, our last shot, we threw an interception in the end zone when we had a shot. It was a back and forth game. It was kind of similar to what we are seeing nowadays, this game isn't going to be over until the last horn blows."

Have you been able to pinpoint why NC State has struggled down there?

"Generally, this is true all the time, the team that plays best, wins. Certainly, they played the best the two times we were down there. They beat us when they were there, and I assume that is the case all the time."

What were you most pleased with in week one and what do you want to improve upon for Saturday?

"The play of the defense. When you turn the ball over seven times, and it's the second time in school history, and it's a bunch of those young guys who were true freshman and are now true juniors and sophomores. We only have three seniors playing on defense. For them to turn the ball over seven times and score on defense is good. To score on special teams is good.

"The slow start on offense, we as coaches have to take a little bit of responsibility there. Once we got together at halftime and explained to the kids what needs to be done, we played much better in the second half."

What do you think of the short turnaround week like you will have playing on a Thursday against Cincinnati on Sept. 22?

"I've never been a fan of the short week. I think it puts too much stress on your team, especially if you to travel before the game and then travel to the game that night. On the flip side, the exposure is definitely worth it. Thursday night is still a big night in college football. It has been a great night here in Raleigh because our fans have been tremendous. They show up and have a lot of enthusiasm. It puts our program and University in a good light when we play at home on a Thursday night."

After watching the tape, how would you assess quarterback Mike Glennon's performance last Saturday?

"For a first time starting - he hasn't started in four years. If you put a check list together of what you expect a quarterback to do, the first thing you want to see, you don't want to get him hit, but if he gets hit, is he going to get back up and play the game and not be affected. Unfortunately, we got him hit. We got him clobbered. He got back up and played. We want to see him move in the pocket and buy some time. He was able to do that. You want to see if there is nothing there, can he make a good choice, which he did. He pulled the ball down and took off, and ran for a first down. He was a little quicker than people thought he was. You go back and look at his mechanics and go back and look at his reads. Is he throwing to the right person and is he throwing on time? I think all those things, he checked off and did it in the first game. The exciting thing was that after the game, [offensive coordinator] Dana [Bible] told me he was all smiles. He hadn't played a whole game since the state championship in high school. He was all excited. He knew there were some things that he would have to do better and learn from. He has a great attitude and a great amount of talent. He'll continue to get better as we go along."


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