Nov. 27, 2010
COLLEGE PARK, MD. - Postgame quotes following Maryland's 38-31 win over NC State.
Maryland Head Coach Ralph Friedgen
"Well, just another day at the office. I'm really proud of our players who hung in there. We got off to a slow start. Then we got going offensively and were able to take the lead, and then have an extended lead. Then we tried to keep it as close as we could to keep the TV ratings up. But, I thought you saw an excellent performance tonight from Danny O'Brien and Torrey Smith. I was really impressed with the poise and accuracy which [O'Brien] had tonight. It was one of the better performances I've seen by a quarterback. I was very impressed with him.
N.C. State is a very good team. They've got a lot of players, a lot of talent. [Russell] Wilson is always tough. We were good up front. [We] struggled running the ball tonight, but I thought we did a pretty job of pass protecting. Any time we throw the ball 47 times and they had two sacks; that's not bad with a line that hasn't been playing together a whole lot."
On the breakthrough performances:
"I thought we made some really big plays, Torrey [Smith] obviously. The throw on [the East] end zone, the one where Danny [O'Brien] was running left - throwing to your left is harder because the ball drifts - and then Torrey made an unbelievable play. Not only did Torrey make a great catch, but he got his foot down. The throw to me was just an unbelievable throw. I'm there as a coach going `Wow.' I was like a fan. I was just kind of excited. I was just like whoa, that was big time right there. And then the throw [O'Brien] made on the fade route was right where he had to throw it, and Torrey made a great over the shoulder catch on it. Of course, the last one [O'Brien] threw it up in the air and Torrey went and got it. I told some of our coaches in the box that he overthrew it and that's what you do when you've got a guy that can run; you let him go get it, and he got it. So I see this kid [O'Brien] growing and learning fast. If he keeps his head on straight and keeps working hard I think he could be something special."
On the game as a whole:
"I thought [we] played a pretty good game. This is not an easy team to defend. [Russell Wilson] keeps keeping the play alive, he can get out of things, and he can run. Some of our faster guys had trouble catching him. And then in the kicking game we missed a field goal. And the onside kick, we need to be more aggressive; we need to get that one. We kind of waited. All in all, I'm very proud and pleased to be part of this team. I thought our coaches did an unbelievable job. I'm very happy for them and I'm really happy for our players. Hopefully we'll start getting some respect. I told them this week that you're not going to find many 8-4 teams in the country, especially where we came from. We never seem, even when we're doing well, to beat someone; well we beat somebody. And hopefully we're going to get to a bowl, the best bowl we feel we can possibly get to, and I think we should be a pretty attractive to a bowl. The story we had, and the way our kids play with attitude and enthusiasm. I'm hoping that people will recognize that and be very interested in us."
On the seniors:
"The 16 seniors we have, it's obvious the ones who play, the Wujciaks, the Motens, LaQuan Williams, the Adrian Cannons, the Emani Lees. Emani Lee, what he does on special team for us. But we've got some other guys on the scout team that are seniors, and Paul Lariviere, I awarded him the American flag to carry out because of how he plays. He's a fullback for us and he played offensive line the whole year on the scout team. You talk about a guy who's unselfish. It was the best scout team we've ever had. They came out and worked every day. It was one of the reasons we developed into a better team, one of the big ones. And along with that was that our two-deep was really encouraging each other to do better. I've been on teams where that wasn't always the case. It's been a good bunch. I don't think I've ever enjoyed a bunch of kids, as a whole, as much as this bunch."
Offensive Coordinator James Franklin
On the underneath routes being open in the first half:
"Torrey (Smith) has been able to make big plays all year long, and we saw early on that he was kind of hot, so we wanted to feed the hot hands. They're a good defense, we weren't able to run the ball consistently enough, so at some point you just have to go with what's working."
On Danny O'Brien's game:
"Obviously, he played really well, I hadn't seen the stats until just now 33 for 47 with 4 touchdowns, I'd say that's pretty good. I know that there are areas that we can improve, but for a redshirt freshman to put up those kind of numbers in a huge game at home, I think he played extremely well, and I'm excited for the rest of this year and his future."
Senior Wide Receiver Torrey Smith
On what NC State did to try and contain him:
"They played cover 2 a little bit, which basically means they had a safety help over, but otherwise they really didn't do too much. When we set up our formations we knew we were going to have man-to-man coverage, and Coach Franklin too advantage of it, so it was just a great overall game for us."
On getting motivated for the game despite not being eligible for the ACC championship:
"I mean, we were playing for another opportunity for a [bowl] game, so if you can't get up for that, then why are you even playing the sport? We had a lot of motivation, it was senior night, the seniors' last game. We love being around each other and we definitely play for each other. So it's another win and another opportunity to see where we land in this bowl race."
On being on point with quarterback Danny O'Brien:
"You know, Danny's a great quarterback, I have the easy job just to get open and make it happen once I get the ball. Danny was just following his reads."
Senior Linebacker Alex Wujciak
On the feeling of winning tonight:
"It feels good. We beat a ranked team here and we got them out of the championship. Just being a senior and going out with these guys, it's a great way to end our year."
On if this win will help get the respect the team is looking for:
"Yeah I think so. Obviously, we've lost a few games. I just think it was a hell of a turn around this year from a team that was 2-10 to a team that's 8-4."
NC State Head Coach Tom O'Brien
"It was a tough day for us. I think we competed hard and played hard; we just didn't make a play when we needed to. I give a lot of credit to Maryland because they made the plays when they needed to. We just couldn't get over the hump today. I'm proud of this team, to start out where we did this year and win eight games and five conference games is something that hasn't been done at NC State in a long time. It shows their commitment and what they have done. We look forward to the opportunity to play in a bowl game. It gives us a chance to get back on the field. It's a great opportunity for our program especially with all of the young kids that we have. To be able to coach them and get the extra practices for the bowl game is great. Wherever we go we will have a good time and hopefully get our ninth win. "
On the missed opportunities:
"It's surprising, we put our defense in some awful situations in the second quarter and they hung in there. Maybe we put them in too many bad situations. You turn the ball over, make mistakes, don't catch the ball especially in the end zone and it makes a difference."
On defending the deep ball to Torrey Smith:
"He just ran by us in one-on-one coverage. They did it three times and the one time was the one to win the game."
On Maryland going for it on fourth down:
"It sure looked like [we stopped them] from where we were and we were right on the chains. It was the call and it was confirmed, so I guess it wasn't a stop. We thought we had him stopped, but my opinion doesn't count."
On the feeling in the locker room:
"They feel really crushed. I don't think they have comprehended what a great year they really had. To come and get to this point when you look at eight wins or nine wins, when you look at our school it hasn't been done too many times. It's a good start; now we can be better. I told the seniors we are going to find a way to win our ninth game. We have set the bar and we are going to do better next year, and that's the goal for our guys coming back. It's what we are going to work for once we get to bowl practices. We are going to get the young guys ready for the future and a good team ready for a bowl game."
On the missed opportunity to play in the ACC Championship Game:
"I don't look at it as a lost opportunity. We lose by six or by one or by seven; a loss is a loss. We were so close but an inch doesn't matter. We have to make up a lot of ground, which we are going to do."
On ending the ACC season with a loss:
"We had all of those chances and guys that usually take advantage of those chances didn't make the plays today. It's just a tough way to end a heck of a season and what could have been a chance to keep going. But it didn't turn out the way we would have liked."
NC State Players
Quarterback Russell Wilson
On the disappointment of the loss:
"It's a big disappointment for us because we've been working all year for it. We fought hard and had the opportunity to win at the end, but came up short."
On the surprise element of the game:
"We played hard. I think that the offense did well and the defense did well. They made a couple more plays here and there than us. But that's football; you win some you lose some."
On dropped passes:
"We just need to concentrate a little bit more. You miss some throws, you drop some balls, it happens. You got to keep playing, keep fighting and keep focusing in."
On the season:
"In terms of our season we had high expectations. I think a lot of people didn't think we would have done as well as we have. But we thought that we could do a little bit better. Right now we just need to get ready for the next bowl game. It'll be a great one, I'm sure it will be."
Tight End George Bryan
On mistakes made:
"When you make too many mistakes, it's something that happens. We just need to get ready for the bowl game and try not to repeat those mistakes again."
On the dropped pass in the end zone:
"Well I got turned around a little bit and I should've caught the ball and I didn't. I feel horrible that I didn't catch that ball."
On the loss:
"I main focus was to win the ACC Championship. I guess this loss is kind of overshadowed but our guys will pick themselves back up and get ready for our bowl game."
On being a more consistent team:
"I think we need to come in with a better mindset. There are teams that do it well. We need to come in together, not make mistakes and come together as one big unit."
Defensive Tackle J.R. Sweezy
On the night's loss:
"Obviously we're real disappointed. We've been preparing all week and we just didn't execute. This was Maryland, they had a great ball team."
On an early 14-0 lead in the first quarter:
"Maybe we got a little over confident, I'm not really sure. We needed to keep playing, and that got us in the end."