Oct. 17, 2011
RALEIGH, N.C. - Coming off of the bye week, NC State returns to action this Saturday with a homecoming of sorts for head coach Tom O'Brien, who spent 15 years on the Virginia staff, coaching guards and centers for nine years, then serving as offensive coordinator for six seasons.
O'Brien faces one of his seven former assistant coaches who have gone on to become head coaches in Virginia's Mike London, defensive coordinator of the Boston College staff from 1997-2000.
"[London]'s a really good coach, he’s passionate, he’s really enthusiastic," said O'Brien. "Their defense is really sound. This is a big powerful football team on both sides of the ball. Nine of their 11 guys on defense are juniors and seniors. There’s a lot of experience back there. They did a great job of running the clock out last week against Georgia Tech."
Four additional members of the Wolfpack staff spent time at Virginia: Mike Archer coached linebackers in 1991-92, Jim Bridge and Don Horton each served as graduate assistants, and Jerry Petercuskie coached defensive tackles in 1995-96. Linebackers coach Jon Tenuta lettered for the Cavaliers at defensive back for three seasons and also served as a graduate assistant in 1981-82.
The Pack's connection even extends to the players, as R.J. Mattes's father, Ron, played at Virginia from 1981-84 under O'Brien. Mattes spent the 2010 season coaching the offensive line for the Cavaliers.
Kickoff for Saturday's game takes place at 3:30 p.m. in Charlottesville, Va., with coverage provided by ESPNU.