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NC State Football

Tony Gibson: "We Have To Be Really Good In Coverage"

November 25, 2022

NC State defensive coordinator Tony Gibson met with the media ahead of the Wolfpack's upcoming matchup versus North Carolina.

NOTE: Click the video above to watch the interview.

Coach Doeren was talking yesterday about this being a similar challenge to Wake Forest, facing the Wake Forest offense. How similar or dissimilar is it?
Well, obviously two good quarterbacks. They're similar. Obviously, I think that they run the Maye kid a little more. He's got designed runs; he's rushed for about 700 yards plus this year. So he is, obviously, he's a factor with his feet. I think their backs are really good.

They're similar. Their wideouts. Carolina plays more than what Wake played, but they can run. Josh Downs is a matchup issue. So yeah, obviously, we got our work cut out for us. They do a tremendous job of scoring points, moving the ball, so we got to play our best.

How do you try and compensate for that mismatch of Josh Downs? What do you really work on in practice to try and fix that?
Well, we have to be really good in coverage. It's hard to play him man all
the time. You're going to have to do some different things with him in zone covers. Try to get hands on him.

In man, make sure we got help for him, for our guy covering him one on one. So just a mixture of different things that we're going to do to him.

What's impressed you most about Maye and watching the video of him?
Just his poise. His arm strength, his poise in the pocket. He doesn't get rattled. People send the house at him and he'll stand in there and make a throw or just outrun them. So he's well ahead of his age right now. It looks like the guy's been playing for four or five years at this level.

How do you feel like the defense graded at against Louisville?
Not bad. We got it into the fourth quarter and gave up a couple field goals. I think nine points at that point. One could have been prevented. We had a penalty that we shouldn't have had, that led to a field goal. But again, the kids came out and played hard.

Did we play perfect? No. But I thought that we gave ourselves a chance. Got it to the fourth quarter, one possession game, and we had some things go wrong on both sides.

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