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Tom O'Brien Meets The BIG EAST Press




Oct. 30, 2000

CHESTNUT HIL, Mass. - Boston College head football coach Tom O'Brien

BIG EAST Teleconference

October 30, 2000

Can you give us talk about this weekend's game against Rutgers and the upcoming game against Temple.

"Well, we're very happy we won against Rutgers. We started off very positively on Saturday. We lost our concentration near the end of the first half. We dropped the punt, the snap on a punt and then fumbled the ball inexcusably at the end of the half to let Rutgers get back in the game. What I thought was very important was we came out in the third quarter and reestablished ourselves, played with some emotion, and went down the football field and scored a couple of times to take control back in that football game. We're happy with that victory.

"We look forward to Temple. Temple is as improved as any team in this conference. Bobby Wallace has done a great job. They have a really good tailback and they are very sound in what they do on offense and defensively they get after you, they can run. Looks like everybody in that defense can run. We look forward to the challenge with Temple coming to town on Saturday."

Can you talk about Sean Guthrie. Seems like, with all the injuries you've had to deal with up front, he's been kind of a stalwart for you.

"He has. As I've said, coming into the season, he and (Antonio) Garay were the two most experienced linemen and they were going to have to pick up the slack. As you well know, we've lost Garay for the year, but Sean has gone about his business and has gotten better each and every game. He played exceptionally well early in the year and couple of times, but this is as well as he's played this past Saturday against Rutgers."

Has he emerged this season, with Garay's absence, with more of a leadership role up there?

"Well, I would like to think that, but Sean is kind of a quiet guy. I think he tries to go about doing it with his actions. He's not a real 'rah-rah' type of guy. I think he is to that front. When you look, he's got four freshmen playing the two tackle spots inside of him. For most of the year, he's had another freshman playing the end opposite. He's the only guy with experience in that front group that plays when they're out there."

The game you have been referring to where he had that great game, was that Virginia Tech? He seemed to really get after it then?

"Yes."

What was it about that game? It seems like he flipped a switch, or something.

"I don't know. I wish I could get him to do it every week. That's my job I guess."

Last night, you mentioned some of the adversity that some of the veterans on this team had experienced, going back four years. With the final home game on the line for these guys, can you talk about what it took for them to overcome that whole situation?

"Well, I hope it will be a very emotional game for our football team. We talked a lot about it last year. Some of those kids that hung in there and had to go through the gambling situation after that Thursday night game, but even worse is the thought of Tim Hasselbeck and Ryan Burch and Ramon Johnson and all those kids sitting in a meeting - and here they are redshirting, they're not even playing - and think what's going on here. But they all hung in there. They stuck with the program. They helped build this thing back to where they went to a bowl last year. They have the opportunity to have a winning season. At the same time, you have guys like Paul Zukauskas who have come to school as part of our first recruiting class and who easily could have gone somewhere else with all the stigma that went with the gambling problems here, so I think that if there's going to be a special moment for those guys. I'm not worried about how they're going to play, but I want to make sure all those freshmen and redshirt freshmen understand how important this football game is to all those guys and that they do everything they can to help us win this game."

I guess any of those guys could have gone somewhere else.

"They could have all transferred and all had three years of eligibility. That first recruiting class we had, none of them had to come to school here."

Can you talk about William Green and Cedric Washington and how they complement each other in the backfield?

"Well, they've done an excellent job. They're excellent friends. They understand that we need both tailback to be efficient the way we run the football. I think they've both come to recognize the fact that, after the carry the ball eight or nine times in a row, that hey need to rest. And it's nice to know that we have another quality tailback coming in to run the football. Ced is not as big as William. He's more shifty, just as fast with great hands. William is a powerful running back that has great acceleration and great speed who can also catch the ball. So, they're a good complement. I've always needed two tailbacks to play the way I've played offense and those two guys are two quality back to have in this program."

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