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September 1, 2008The stars of NC State's effort against South Carolina were senior running back Andre Brown and redshirt sophomore linebacker Nate Irving. Brown finished with 101 yards rushing on 21 carries, and Irving had 10 tackles, including two for losses, and an interception.
The two talked with the media Monday afternoon.
Can you talk about the feeling after the South Carolina game?
"It was a long bus ride home. It hurt that we went out there and lost like there, not showing what we were capable of doing. I felt like, it hurt. We were ready to get in here, get back practicing and ready for William & Mary after that."
What is the mood of the team?
"We look at the tape and we know we are better than we showed, but we also going to look at William and Mary, a respectable opponent, and try to do better against them."
On the new offense:
"It was very different look, as far as running the ball it was very productive. As far as offense and passing the ball, you see the glimpses of where it will work and where we can do it. It' s just as far us taking it to the next level and everybody making plays with it."
How much of an adjustment was the new offense to learn?
"It wasn't that hard to learn it and adjust to it. It's fairly easy to pick up. It's just different. Instead of running outside the I, I am running out the gun."
How much are you going to miss Russell Wilson in that offense since he's a threat to run the ball
"We are going to miss it this week, but pretty sure Dan can go out there and run it just as strong as Russell can."
When was the last time you felt that good running?
"Its been awhile because I didn't play most of the season last year and then spring I went down. It felt good to go out there, foot felt good and everything felt good. It's just that I hoped that it was in a winning effort and not a losing effort."
How good did the offensive line run block?
I'm confident in them guys up front. They did what they had to do and we were very productive up there. I have a lot of confidence in those guys."
Is it a different offense with Evans running it?
"With Russell, he has the option to pull it back and run. Dan was just more of giving it to me. I guess with Russell in the game it's more of an option, like you said he's a threat with the running. Dan is not that mobile, but he's a good enough athlete to run it. It's going to hurt with Russell out, but I'm pretty sure Daniel is capable of doing the job do, too."
Were there two offenses being run in the preseason, one for Russell Wilson and one for the other quarterbacks?
"Everbody was doing the same thing from Glennon .
Did it tip you off then about who was going to be the quarterback or were we more concerned about that then you?
"Y'all were more concerned because everybody was repping. All four of them were repping the same and we were still doing what we needed to do as far as that offense goes. Everybody was doing it."
Do you think it's important to not only win but put in a strong performance?
"I feel this is a big game for us especially coming off that lost of last week, a very respectable opponent, a very good team, especially with the offense capable of putting up points like they do. We do feel as a offense that we are going to have to go out there and put up some point. I'm pretty sure we are going to go out there and do that.
How much does it hurt to be shut out twice in a row?
It hurt to be shut out twice, still have that bitter taste from last year in our mouth, but we're going to get it turned around. I'm pretty sure that we are determined to get it turned around. Everybody was flying around at practice the other day and wanting to be out there, wanting to do what we have to do to get a win."
New receivers, new offensive line, can the offense come together?
"Out there on the perimeter with the receivers, they are young. The offensive line, they came over from defense, they have that aggressiveness. They pick it up real good and they're just being physical up there. I guess that big audience, that should set them right now. To play in front of all those people in national television, I'm pretty confident they know what to expect from last week. This week is going to be different. They are going to go out there and make plays."
Is this the time for senior leadership?
"Yes, that's very important right now. We've got to step up and talk to these guys and make sure they know we've got their back. We're going to go out and lead this team to a good season, a winning season."
Can you talk about how difficult a weekend it was?
"We went back to the drawing board to look at the film and see what went wrong. It was kind of hard to swallow that loss, but any good team swallows it and gets ready for next week."
Were you pleased with how well the defense played for the first three quarters?
"I think the defense did a great job doing what we were told to do and making plays."
Were you guys tired in the fourth quarter?
"I don't think we were tired, I think South Carolina making big plays. It kind of took a mental toll on us."
With how well you played the first three quarters, are you more confident?
"I don't think that we can gain confidence just from the first three quarters because football is played in a four quarter game. Until we can put together four quarters then we have a lot to go, have a long way to go."
How good did the defensive line do in getting a pass rush?
"I think Alan-Michael Cash, Willie Young, and the rest of the guys on the d-line did a good job of putting pressure on the quarterback. It was a great job. It helped us get a couple of turnovers."
What is your mindset right now?
Put this loss behind us, learn from it and move on."
How about your personal performance, what were the key factors in that?
"Just being in the place I was supposed to be and doing what the coaches asked."
Have you taken it upon yourself to be a leader of the linebackers?
"I think with a guy with a lot of experience and a young group, you have to take the lead, have to show everybody what you can do, how you want to be a leader, and how you want to lead a young group."
What do you know about William & Mary?
"We're going to watch film today and see what we can, see what they are running and go over the game plan for them."
Is it important to walk off the field Saturday feeling good about yourself and making a statement?
"I think it is just to show that we are better than the loss we took Thursday. They say the biggest difference in the way you play comes between game one and game two."
Does the defensive scheme allow the linebackers to be in position to make plays?
"I think it does but you have to credit the d-line too. The quarterback was under a lot of pressure and without that pressure he wouldn't have threw those picks. You have to credit the while defense."
The ACC struggled this weekend and people are saying the league is weak, what do you think about that?
"I don't play for the league. I play for NC State. So that's all I can worry about right now."
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