EAST HARTFORD, Conn. — NC State coach Tom O'Brien was happy to grind out a 10-7 road win over Connecticut on Saturday, but also admitted there will be plenty to go over this week from various errors.
O'Brien answered several questions following the game from Tony Haynes on his post-game radio segment.
Here is O'Brien's interview transcribed:
As a former defensive end at Navy, can you appreciate a game like this?
"This is about what it used to be when I played way back when. It was two good defenses playing against each other. Our defense out-played their defense, which is why we ended up winning. You can say what you want, but this is a heck of a win for this football team. To come up here, we knew it was going to be tough.
"We were very disappointed coming off last week. We had to fight through all that and find a way to win a football game, and they did. I think where if you win a game, you can be happy with it, but as coaches, we can find a lot of stuff that we need to get better at, and we will."
The defense took over right at the beginning with Connecticut getting good field position. How good was that?
"It was huge because of the wind. This was the toughest wind day since as we've probably had. We've never had a day like this in Raleigh, I can promise you. Only up here in New England do you get a day like this. The wind was a big advantage and they kept us in there and didn't let them move the ball.
"Certainly, we had to make a drive into the fourth quarter into the wind, and we really did a heck of a job. We were one dropped ball short of holding the ball the rest of the game."
How good were NC State's defensive tackles?
"They were very good. We didn't play them a lot last week [vs. Tennessee]. We played a lot of substitution defense. One of the things we went back and said, 'They are going to play in the game.' We changed a little bit up that way, and we'll continue to build on that package and other packages. I think we'll be better in the long run for it."
How was fullback Logan Winkles on his blocking, especially in the second quarter during the field goal drive?
"You got me on that one because I can't remember exactly. He is in there to pass protect. We were getting blitzed from all over. That is what [UConn defensive coordinator] Don Brown does. He did that at Maryland, a lot of the same stuff. They overload you and pressure you. He is in there because he is much bigger, powerful guy than the tailbacks trying to take on those big linebackers. They got 240-pound linebackers coming."
How good was UConn defensive end Trevardo Williams?
"He's good. He's comparable to the guys that we are going to face. He has a good first step, he's got power and he has speed. He ran Mike [Glennon] down from behind when he got out of the pocket. Maybe another guy isn't going to get there. Maybe Mike will be able to out-run him and get a first down. That's all good.
"Tyson Chandler did a great job for [injured] Rob Crisp [at left tackle]. He had to play most of the game, and once again, it's a win. We are happy to go home and build upon this."
Was the offense trying to manage the game in the second half?
"Yeah, but if we got one more touchdown, it would have been a different story. We actually had one where both guys were running by corners and we actually got sacked. We ran a sluggo pass, a slant and go, and we just didn't get it off. We get that one off, and it's two quick touchdowns, and then who knows what they are going to do."
Is a win a win in this case?
"Absolutely. We'll take it and we are happy to have the victory, especially a BCS school, a Big East school on the road. That is a big win for us."