It didn’t take long for the North Carolina State and South Florida matchup to make headlines.
N.C. State coach Tom O’Brien said Monday he wouldn’t seek advice from USF’s defense for stopping the spread offense.
“Did you watch them against Oregon?” he said about USF’s 56-21 defeat in last year’s Brut Sun Bowl. “Go look at that game. That was the spread they were defending. I’m not saying anything about USF’s defense, but if they’re the gurus, we’d better go somewhere else.”
At Tuesday’s weekly press conference, USF defensive coordinator Wally Burnham responded to O’Brien’s criticism.
“He’s right. We aren’t gurus,” he said. “But we try to handle things professionally and not say anything about anybody else’s coaching staff. The other thing, I forget what bowl game they were in — I can’t quite remember. So that’s all I have to say.”
A welcome visitor
Senior linebacker Brouce Mompremier was released from the hospital Sunday after suffering a neck injury in the FIU game. He is out indefinitely, but attended Tuesday’s practice from the sidelines. Leavitt said his presence provided an emotional lift for the team.
“It was great to have Brouce back,” he said. “He’s inspirational, even if he’s not playing. We had good energy at practice today.”
Defensive tackles Terrell McClain and Aaron Harris, defensive end George Selvie, safety Carlton Williams and cornerback Tyller Roberts were held out of drills because of injuries Tuesday. Despite these losses, senior linebacker Tyrone McKenzie said there are players ready to fill any vacancies.
“We have a lot of players ready to step up,” he said. “We have a lot of guys who are ready to step in if the others can’t go. I’m confident in the guys that are practicing all week, and since they are practicing all week, they deserve to have that starting spot.”
Junior quarterback Matt Grothe said Saturday’s game is big for the Big East Conference.
“We need to make a statement,” he said. “It’s against an ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) team. Everyone is saying the Big East is down this year. We need to go out, play well and do what I know we can do.”