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November 7, 2012Tom O'Brien is 4-6 against Wake Forest, but is 3-2 versus the Demon Deacons since he took the NC State head-coaching job in 2007.
The Wolfpack (5-4, 2-3 ACC) have lost two games in a row, including a 33-6 decision in Charlottesville to a woeful Virginia team.
O'Brien spoke with Deacons Illustrated and other members of the media about the challenge is his team will face when Wake (5-4, 3-4 ACC) visits Raleigh Saturday.
Opening statement: "We welcome Wake Forest here Saturday. It's our annual "Toys for Tots Game" that we've done here since I got here when I got here [in 2007]. We've done a great job here at NC State collecting toys for kids. The Marines will be here. General Osman will be here to take part in the coin toss. In the last five years we've raised over $200,000 for toys for children at Christmas, so that's the setting for this weekend game, and certainly a big game against Wake Forest coming up."
Coming off the UVA game this game week what's kind of the approach this week in terms of anything you want to fix on offense or improve on offense heading into this game? "Well, certainly the thing is we got to get back to fundamentals, and it's still once again the difference in our season has been the four games we lost we turned the ball over 19 times and the last two weeks we've dropped 19 balls."
"Taking care of the football and doing the things you have to do fundamentally we do those things we're successful, we win. That's the formula. That's what we have to get back to."
Was there anything about Virginia that surprised you? "No, it was a perfect role reversal game the way it was set up and the way it was going. A team that has had success like they had a year ago with their seniors and everything you could expect that type of football game out of them and certainly we were concerned coming off a really disappointing tough loss to our rival North Carolina a week ago."
"They controlled the line of scrimmage, and that was the most disturbing part for me and us as a coaching staff and the football team as they watched it. They controlled the line of scrimmage both offensively and defensively."
When you look at this Wake Forest team what are some things that stand out to you that they do well that you feel like your team really needs to focus on this week? "It's a typical Wake Forest team, a lot of redshirt seniors and juniors, a lot of experience, been in the program for a long time."
"Certainly the heart and the soul for the guys on defense is [Nikita] Whitlock in the middle, number 50, he's played for a long time, makes a lot of plays, causes a lot of disruption there."
"They're great run to the football, get after you type of guys there, and then certainly [Michael] Campanaro's back. He and [Tanner] Price they're on a different wavelength than everybody else. They know where they're going to be and what they're going to do."
"Josh Harris does a great job when he gets the ball in his hands and making things happen. They're very inventive in what they do offensively, and 3-4 allows them to do a lot of different things on defense."