North Carolina State renews its rivalry with North Carolina at noon Saturday at Kenan Stadium.
The 4-6 Wolfpack have to win out to become bowl eligible, with the Tar Heels first, and then NCSU hosts Miami on Nov. 29.
UNC (7-3 overall) is coming off a 17-15 loss to Maryland, where the Terrapins shredded the Tar Heels' run defense.
NCSU second-year coach Tom O'Brien met with media briefly following Thursday's practice. Here is a transcript of what he said.
How important is the running game against North Carolina's defense that drops seven or eight guys?
"I don't know about dropping seven or eight guys, but obviously the running game is always important I think as far as we are concerned. It's one thing that we came here to be better at, We are certainly been better at it, probably in the last month or so, the last four, five games. We have to continue to improve upon it. It's one thing we work on every week."
So, they don't drop seven or eight guys that often?
"No, not in run situations."
How is the offense looking this week after playing so well against Wake Forest?
"They have worked awful hard. We are going to play a great defense. They are awful big in the middle and speed on the outside with great linebackers. Their secondary has certainly played well. They have created a lot of turnovers and returned interceptions for touchdowns. It could be the best defense we've played this year."
How is it preparing for either T.J. Yates or Cameron Sexton at quarterback for UNC?
"We aren't going to prepare for two. We are preparing for the North Carolina offense. Whoever they chose will execute the offense that they run. That is what we've gotten ready for, the schematically what they do on offense."
Do you know who they will start?
"No, but it doesn't matter. Whoever they start, we will have to play. As I said, we plan for their offense and what they have done in the past."