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Tom O'Brien Meets The Press




Oct. 16, 2000

CHESNTNUT HILL, Mass. - Boston College head football coach Tom O'Brien

Sunday Teleconference

October 16, 2000

How did you guys come out of the game?

"We're a little banged up but nothing is of a serious nature. There are a couple of bruises here and there, but everybody should be ready to play and practice by Tuesday."

Cedric Washington wasn't set back?

"Well, he was sore, but no worse than he was for Saturday's game. He went out and ran around a little tonight and 48 hours from now he should be much better."

What about Utzler, he went out in the early part of the game and never returned.

"Yeah, he's fine."

What did you see on the film today that either concerned or pleased you?

"I still think that we missed way too many tackles on defense. We had a lot of opportunities to make plays that we didn't make, out of people that we need plays from if we expect to win any more games this year. Offensively, we had our hands on five footballs and dropped five footballs that could have made a difference in the game in a couple of instances. Those were the two glaring things on both sides of the ball. We played very hard and we played very physically. It was a tough game to play and we hung in there and stayed after them. The good thing was that we didn't turn the ball over. We cut our penalties down to a bare minimum and then we punted the ball extremely well, especially in the fourth quarter when we had the wind. We kept kicking them back inside their 20-yard line."

You look at the defense now and you're getting some great play in terms of passing defense, but it seems that rushing defense is another matter altogether.

"Our shoddy tackling had a lot to do with that. If we tackled better, it would help and with the option to the perimeter we got chopped and knocked down a lot. We did not do a good job assignment-wise in how we played that option half of the time it was run and there's no excuse for that because we practiced it all week long and we played option teams. I don't have any reason why we didn't do it after having practiced it better."

Is there any regret in waiting this long in letting Mike Sutphin be your kicker? He seems very steady. Is this due to something that he has developed in his game?

"I think it's something that he's developed in his game. He came back a year ago with a torn muscle and we still had Matich, and John started off well, we wanted to kick Mike off at the beginning of the year last year and we couldn't do it. Matich did both of them because he had that torn muscle in his leg, so he really didn't get into the groove a year ago until October. By the end of the year he was kicking pretty well. Now I just keep my fingers crossed hoping that he'll continue hitting the ball the way he has."

He hasn't been asked to do more than you think he's capable of, his long has been 39, and he's only had a couple over 30, but is it the kind of thing where he's developing more confidence and you would trust him in the 40's now?

"I don't know if it's a confidence thing, or if it's a question of whether I trust him, I think it's more a question of whether he has the leg to do it. I'm trusting him more the way he's kicking them now. It's just a question of leg strength and getting it there. He's kicked some 50-yarders in practice, but the wind has been a big factor here. In fact, the last two games the wind has been pretty strong, so the ball's been kicked off out of the end zone going one way, but we can't get it to the goal line going the other, so that's been a factor."

What do you think? Realistically, is 50 within his reach on a calm day?

"No, I don't think so. I think that the low 40's is good for him right now."

And dependable is something that you'll take?

"Yeah, absolutely."

Can you address this win, and what it does now? It looks as though if you beat Pittsburgh, than you have a chance to run the table in October, and that's the first time you guys have ever had a chance to do that.

"It's going to be tough going to Pittsburgh. This was a key game, there was a lot of emotion spent out there. So, we have to fill our tanks up because we know that Pittsburgh has circled us on their schedule and we're a team that they feel they have to beat. They've been off two of the last three weeks, getting ready to play both Syracuse and us, so it's going to be a tough one for us to go in there and win. If we go in there and play the way we're capable of playing, though, we'll go in there and we'll be fine."

Any update on Scott Bradley?

"No, he started to look good jogging today, which is the first time that he's gone out and gone through stretch, so maybe will get him out and jogging some this week, and if we're lucky, we'll get him next week or the week after, but he's not ready this week. We'll give both Garay and Ordway a go at it next Tuesday."

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