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Tom O'Brien Meets The BIG EAST Press

Nov. 6, 2000

Boston College head coach Tom O'Brien

BIG EAST Teleconference

November 6, 2000

Can you give us your thought on the Temple win and your feelings on the upcoming Notre Dame game on Saturday?

"It was an excellent game for us, probably the best we've played in all phases. It was a very physical game. Temple came in here they were ready to play and our football team was ready to play. And we were fortunate enough to come away with the victory. The victory was costly in that Tim Hasselbeck will be out with a sprained knee and will not be able to play at Notre Dame. We know that going to Notre Dame is a big challenge for this football team. They are playing excellent right now - very experience defense. Looking at it, they have all juniors and seniors playing defense. They are more multiple than they've been in the past and just what you expect out of Notre Dame on offense. The big strong, physical offensive line, a great back in Jones, the freshman quarterback has done a great job with their offense so we have a tough task ahead of us and we look forward to showing up at South Bend on Saturday."

Can you talk about your final two games? It seems like a heck of a stretch to go to (Notre Dame and Miami) to finish out.

"Well, it's a tough stretch for us. One thing we have for us is that this is our eighth game in a row and that's tough on a football team anyway, we just went through a very strenuous stretch of conference games. We're very happy with our six wins. Since (Doug) Flutie left here in '84, there have only been six winning seasons here at Boston College, and only twice in that stretch have there been back-to-back winning seasons. So, it's a great accomplishment, especially for these kids who are redshirt seniors who were here for those gambling problems and those fourth-year kids who were part of my first class that came in. It was a great experience to get to our sixth win, but now we have to go to Notre Dame. They happen to have an off week before us, they're 10-0 in off weeks, it just so happens that three of our last four opponents have had off-weeks before we had to play them. So, it's a very difficult stretch for us but it's something special for our school to play Notre Dame so I know our kids will be excited going out there to play."

Miami has to play this stretch of all conference games down the stretch. At least the perception in some quarters is that Florida State might have the advantage because they're playing these conference games down the stretch. You'd think that the computers would take this whole thing into account when you're doing what some of the other teams are doing.

"Well, I hope for Miami's sake and the league's sake, that we can get a team in the Bowl Championship Series final game."

Can you fill us in on what the MRI showed on Hasselbeck's knee?

"He has a sprained knee. It's an MCL (medial collateral ligament). Whether it's two weeks, three weeks, four weeks, we don't know right yet. He still has swelling. I think we'll know better probably the Sunday before the Miami game since we have an off week. But he definitely cannot play this weekend."

The off week comes as a help for him?

" I think it helps for him. I think it's probably going to be help for all of us. It's a little bit too late right now."

Do you think he'll have to have to have another MRI at that point?

"No, it's no different than any other sprain. It's going to be a question of swelling going down, mobility, and how he feels."

Can you comment on Don Nehlen's (West Virginia's head coach) retirement announcement?

"It was shocking to me. I've really appreciated the opportunity to play his football teams. They are always tough, physical football team, similar to the way I was brought up with George Welch (at Virginia) in the way you're supposed to play the game of football. He's a past president of our coaches' association. I can't tell you how many times he makes me laugh at our coaches' meetings. He's really has a great sense of humor and a great take on college football. We opened the season, and I asked him how he could do it year after year after year, and he said he didn't know. So, maybe that's why he knows it time to get out of it."

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