Boston College coach Frank Spaziani has loved to compete against his friend and former boss Tom O'Brien of NC State, who coached the Eagles until departing after the 2006 season.
Spaziani answered several questions about his team and NC State on Wednesday during the ACC coaches teleconference. BC (2-9, 1-6 ACC) plays at NC State (6-5, 3-4 ACC) at 3 p.m. Saturday on ESPN3.com.
Below is a transcript of what Spaziani said:
"Well, as Mike said, we're traveling down there Thanksgiving week down to Wolfpack country, and it's a good football team, and it's been a tough venue for us to play in over the years. We're certainly going to have our hands full with a well-coached, very talented football team.
One of the guys obviously to be competitive this Saturday you have to control a little bit is Mike Glennon. He's leading the league in passing. What problems does he present, and as a guy that's seen your fair share of quarterbacks to defend, is he unique in any way?
"Well, yeah, he's very talented. I think he's unique in that he's about 6-5 1/2, 6-6. He's tall, rangy, understands the offense, and I forget what kinds of records he has, but for being a starter for only two years, he's well on the learning curve. He's going to pose some problems, and he's got a lot of weapons. He's got a lot of weapons.
"Once again, it's a good system, he's very talented, and everything I know about the young man is that he's very dedicated to being a big league quarterback. We've got our hands full with him."
He has thrown some interceptions this year. Is that basically because, my own uninformed opinion, there are times when pressure bothers him a little bit? Is that something that neutralizes - not neutralizes but helps in this situation, or is there something else?
"Well, you know, there's a lot of reasons for interceptions, and I haven't gotten the feeling that he's - that's an Achilles heel with him. Now, once again, pressure
bothers everybody. But some of his interceptions have been at particular times in the game where maybe they had to force something. But that's not his issue. He's a big league quarterback."
I know you've still got your last game of the season to play. When you sort of look at the season as a whole, what do you make out of this season, and what are the things that didn't go the way you would have liked, and if you could have changed this or that - I don't know if you've reflected on the season as a whole much to this point or not.
"Well, you know, I'd like to get into - that's a little premature for me to reflect. Obviously, I've got some thoughts on it and stuff, but it's - I don't think this is the time for me to discuss it and sound like - whatever. We're trying to focus on NC State, and that's what we've got to do.
"One thing we haven't been able to do sometimes is focus as well as we need to focus, and for me to get into that discussion would be the pot calling the kettle black."
What are the things on your side that you need to do well against NC State to have a chance to win on the road there?
"Well, they've been a very good home team, obviously. First of all, we've got to protect our quarterback. I think they lead the league in sacks. They do a very good job in that aspect of it. We're certainly going to need to run the ball a little bit to help ourselves protect.
"Then offensively, we've got our hands full. I mean, we have our hands full. We have - they're talented and they're well coached and they've got a great scheme, and they move the ball on everybody."
Having coached with Tom O'Brien all those years, do you kind of know what he's thinking, or is that too long ago?
"I know never what anybody is thinking, okay? Once again, Tom is a very good football coach and he's a smart football coach. He'll have a good game plan for us. And I haven't the slightest idea, other than what we normally do with opponents; there's no insight because of my relationship with him."
The record doesn't really reflect it, you've only won one of your last four, but you had an overtime game against Virginia Tech which is obviously fairly impressive, and you played Notre Dame closer in the last month than almost anybody else. Is that a sign that this team really has made a stride in the last month? Obviously you'd love to have gotten a couple wins out of that. Has this team improved down the stretch?
"I'm going to need you to go to one of our alumni meetings and talk to them. You know, once again, it's wins and losses, and if you don't win, you're not making progress.
Our kids are young and they're working, and we've had some guys come back from some injuries, and we've made progress, but we're still coming up short. So you take solace in that you're making progress, but it's still not good enough, and that's where we're at."