Photo Courtesy of photo1nc on SFN Flickr stream
Tom O’Brien is nothing if not steady, apparently to a fault sometimes. During his entire tenure at NC State, he has blamed his players for failing to execute – even in a win – and stood by his coaches. Thursday, he was back at it:
“Mike’s been part of this before,” O’Brien said on Thursday. “He built a heck of a defense at Kentucky before he came here, a place where they had a long tradition of not going to bowl games, and winning. He came to us as one of the top defensive coordinators in the country at turning the football over.”You know, sometimes it’s not the coach, sometimes it’s the arrows in his quiver that need to improve.
That heckuva Kentucky defense O’Brien described? An objective examination finds that it was, well, not so good: its best ranking was 66th in country, followed by rankings of 102, 103 and 118. That’s not very good folks, and it is quite frankly disingenuous for Tom O’Brien to describe it as a good one. So yeah, apparently, Archer has been a part of several bad defenses. Connecting the dots, it would not appear that he has improved them, either.
On the other hand, Archer’s defense was able to create turnovers at Kentucky. So, as Kentucky’s offense improved (Andre Woodson), the turnovers created by the defense helped to feed the machine. To replicate the ‘success’ that the Kentucky model created, Dana Bible is going to be need to figure out how to improve the Wolfpack offense. Can you imagine asking Coach O’Brien about that?
And as for adapting the game plan to his personnel? Forget it.
Going forward, we’re going to stay with the plan,” said O’Brien. “The worst thing you can do is start changing the thing every year. I mean, that’s absolutely the worst thing to do. Consistency is important. Continuity is important, and that’s what we’re going to provide.”
Let’s hope not – continuity is the last things NC State fans want to see tomorrow. The Wolfpack is on a three game skid in which their defense has been non-existant at best. The Wolfpack have given up 131 points to middle-of-the-ACC teams, and have allowed record-setting passing yardage by Duke followed by record-setting rushing yardage by Boston College. In fact, the last three teams who played NC State had a player awarded ACC Player of the Week honors.
This week, the Pack will face Christian Ponder and the potent Florida State offense. Our community is currently voting 65% to 35% that FSU will cover the 9.5 point Vegas spread. (By the way, our community vote has nailed the last two votes/games – Duke and Boston College) Jimbo Fisher and Bobby Bowden must be celebrating knowing that the Wolfpack D is not only awful but also that O’Brien and his coaches are planning nothing new to shore it up.