NC State Head Coach Tom O'Brien
“This was a great win. It’s a great win for this football team. Kids in that locker room and even coaches on this coaching staff have never lost to North Carolina. But all we did today was tie the record (five straight wins over North Carolina). Next year, we get to go try and set it.”
On the play of the defense:
“Coming off of the way we played last week to play this way is a great credit to our coaching staff, kids and our fans. It was great preparation all around. Our fans were great today. But, as I told our guys, be humble in victory. Just smile, wear your red, and everyone will know.”
On stopping North Carolina’s ground game:
“We knew that was going to be key. We had to stop their tailback (Giovani Bernard) and their running game. We also got to their quarterback (Bryn Renner). I think we hit him more than we’ve gotten to a quarterback all season. We did a great job of keeping pressure on him and getting to him.”
On the win:
“It’s a great win, but there is still a lot to accomplish. We can celebrate tonight, but we need to move on after that and focus on getting ready for Boston College. But, we get an extra hour tonight to celebrate.”
North Carolina Head Coach Everett Withers
I want to give NC State a bunch of credit. We didn’t help ourselves, we helped them a bunch. With our offense, I do have to give them a bunch of credit. I thought they were efficient on defense causes us to have a bunch of three and outs. We didn’t make enough plays on offense to make it a game. We got a week off, got a chance to go back to work this week to get better to try to correct some of the things that happened today and hopefully we will be better against Virginia Tech on Thursday night.
We felt like we wanted to get the most efficient punter on the field. Every day in practice, it’s a competition. If a guy doesn’t play well, then we play the best guy in there. That’s for every position.
He (Bryn Renner) obviously had some today. There was some things, I guess we can talk about half time, we tested him out twice for concussion symptoms at half time felt like he was okay. Then we went out there and he went to one series, just didn’t feel like he was 100 percent, so we pulled him.
They tested him twice and he passed both tests and he went out in the first series and he developed more symptoms out there, this is a game. I’m not going to stick one out there and get him hurt.
When you’re dealing with 18-22 year olds, you don’t know what you’re going to get sometimes. It bothers me awful a lot to lose any game. I think in this state, this is a big game in this state. This is supposed to be a rivalry and it supposed to eat at you. It supposed to get to you when you lose it and you’re supposed to remember it and get better and come back the next year and do something about it. Any defeat bothers me.
I felt like we tried to play harder. I don’t think it had to do anything with intensity, emotions. It was about X’s and O’s and not blocking them and not tacking them and not doing those things.
NC State Postgame Notes
Pack Seniors Perfect vs. Heels: Even the Wolfpack’s fifth-year seniors have no idea what it feels like to lose to the rival Tar Heels. State has now won five in a row over UNC and is 5-0 with Tom O’Brien as head coach.
The winning streak by the Wolfpack ties as the longest in the 101-year history of the series. Dick Sheridan led his State teams to victories over the Tar Heels five straight times from 1988-1992.
Defense Pitches Shutout: NC State earned its first shutout since the final contest of the 2005 season, a 14-0 win over South Florida in the Meineke Car Care Bowl, and the first under head coach Tom O’Brien. The shutout is also the first at home since the opener in 2004 (42-0 over Richmond), and the first in ACC play since 2001 (Virginia, 24-0).
The Pack shutout North Carolina for the first time since 1960 (3-0), and for the sixth time in 101 matchups.
Taking Away the Run: For the second straight year, the NC State defense held the Tar Heels rushing game in check. In last year’s win, North Carolina posted -7 yards rushing for the game. This year, that total increased for UNC, but only to 3 yards. The Pack’s previsous low for rushing yards by an opponent this season was 101 against Wake Forest.
Pack Gets Picks: NC State continued to have an eye for balls thrown by the opposition today, as the Pack recorded three interceptions on the day (NCSU came into the game ranked second nationally with 16 picks). Earl Wolff, David Amerson and Darryl Cato-Bishop all picked off passes. The Pack has now pulled in 19 interceptions in 2011, the most since 19 in 1998.
Amerson Second in ACC History: With his ninth interception of the season, sophomore David Amerson moved into a tie for second-place in ACC history in that category, tying 2010 national leader Jayron Hosley of Virginia Tech. Amerson is just two shy of tying the single-season league mark set by UNC’s Dre Bly in 1996, when he had 11 picks.
With his interception today, Amerson broke the school record for most INTs in a season that was set by Art Rooney in both 1937 and 1938.
Pack Scores in First: For the first time since the Central Michigan game on October 8, the Wolfpack got on the board in the first quarter today. NC State was held scoreless in the opening frame in the win at Virginia and the loss at Florida State. It also marked the first time this season the Wolfpack had scored in the first quarter versus an ACC opponent.
Graham Gets No Chance: Senior T.J.Graham lacked only 76 yards to set the ACC career kickoff return record heading into today’s game. After UNC won the toss and deferred to the second half, Graham tallied a 21-yard return. That would end up being his only chance of the game to set the record.
Graham now boasts 2,929 yards and lacks just 54 yards of breaking the league mark set by Torrey Smith of Maryland, who had 123 returns for 2,983 yards from 2008-10.
Baumann Pins ‘Em Deep: Freshman punter Wil Baumann might have been the most valuable performer in today’s Wolfpack win. Baumann punted seven times for a 37.9 average, but pinned the Tar Heels inside their own 10 yardline four times.
It’s a Rush: James Washington went over the century mark for the third time this season, finishing with 110 rushing yards. That mark is the most 100-yard rushing games for a Pack RB since Jamelle Eugene also had three in 2007.