NC State coach Tom O'Brien met with the media for the final time before Saturday's tilt with rival North Carolina. A full transcript of what the coach had to say after practice is below:
Where do you guys stand right now, as far as mentally and getting ready to play this game?
I think they're ready to play the game. These kids understand how important this game is and they understand the position they're in - if they continue to win, they control their destiny. Each and every week keeps getting bigger and larger, there's none bigger than when you get the opportunity to play your rival.
Is there any extra pressure having won five in a row and the players are going to classes with everybody saying, 'you own these guys?'
No, I think there's pressure anytime you play your rival. Each and every year is different because the dynamics of the teams change every year. Hopefully we've done a good job with them that they realize that this is their team, this is their year and this is their chance to make a statement one way or another.
How active were you in the 'Our State' campaign?
It was done by marketing. I think I've spoken through the years about being the State University. I just follow what I'm told to do.
It seemed like a direct response to something that was said last year before this game?
I don't know that.
You're saying that wasn't your idea, you just participated?
I just participated. I'm a good soldier. Actually, I am a good Marine.
You think it's your state?
Yeah, absolutely. We're the State University. I concur.
Any guest speakers today?
No. Coach [Andy] McCollum always had the Carolina game, and coach [Jon] Tenuta assumed Mac's responsibility.