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N.C. State: Just win, baby

Virginia Tech at N.C. State: Oct. 2

Talk about the pressure being on. Tom O’Brien left Boston College for supposedly greener pastures within the ACC at North Carolina State.

Recruiting is supposed to be easier at a state school like N.C. State than at a private school like BC. Not to mention that Boston is tucked up in the far corner of the ACC footprint outside the main recruiting hotbeds in the Mid-Atlantic and Florida, while State is literally right on Tobacco Road.

It’s eating at O’Brien that he’s won 16 games in three seasons at State all the while losing ground to the program he left behind at Boston College, which played in ACC championship games in 2007 and 2008 and was in contention for a title-game berth in 2009.

“We have to win. That shows progress. And that’s what we haven’t been able to do,” O’Brien said of the state of his program heading into 2010.

“We’ve got to win, have a winning season and go to a bowl game,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien has perhaps the top quarterback in the ACC to build around in Russell Wilson, who threw for 3.027 yards and 31 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2009 after being named first-team all-ACC at QB as a freshman in 2008.

The improvement will have to come on defense, where State ranked 11th in the ACC in scoring defense in 2009, giving up 31.2 points per game.

“After my first three years at BC, there’s no difference in the total number of wins. The only difference is I won four games, four games, and then eight games. And that’s a little different than five, six, five. It is what it is, but we’ve got to be able to get over that hump.”

Story by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at

augusta free press
augusta free press