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NC State Football

Tony Gibson: "We're Going to Have Our Hands Full"

October 11, 2023

NC State defensive coordinator Tony Gibson met with the media ahead of the Wolfpack's upcoming matchup with No. 17 Duke.

NOTE: Click on the video in the player above to watch Gibson’s interview.

On preparing for two quarterbacks…

Obviously, Riley [Leonard] is a very talented runner. He keeps plays alive. He’s a big kid. He can hurt you in a lot of different ways. [Henry Belin, IV] can throw it, obviously. Going off the film we do have on him, he's a very good thrower. I don't know how much quarterback run game they'll do with him, but we're prepared for it, and we'll see how it goes.

On limiting Marshall’s run offense...

I think our run defense has been pretty good the last few weeks. We still have to be able to contain quarterbacks in the run game [by] adding an extra hat in. When you do that, then you weaken your coverage, obviously, a little bit, and then you give up some passing yards. Always, our first goal is to stop the run, control the pass, try to get in situations where we can eat the quarterback up a little bit, and have some fun.

On the rotation on the defensive line…

It just keeps them fresh. I think that’s showing up, especially on the stat line. We’re leading the league right now in sacks. Our guys are doing a great job up there, being disruptive and keeping them fresh. We’ve got a good rotation going.

On the second-string defensive linemen…

All our guys, we want to play hard. Red [Hibbler] has a knack for getting a quarterback, so he's a special pass rusher, and he does a great job and draws a lot of attention when he does come into the game. We’re very proud of his progression where he's at, and obviously we feel like his best football is still ahead of him.

On Devan Boykin

He's a quarterback back there in the secondary. He’s a coach’s son. He understands our scheme very well, and he's played a lot of positions. He's a great communicator, and that helps anytime that you have some new guys going in. Having that kind of leader back then really helps us.

On having Boykin returning from injury with Rakeim Ashford out for the rest of the season…

Yeah, it's big. Again, Boykin brings a lot of a lot of experience and a lot of knowledge for what we do and how we do it. He's a guy that's played in big games and made big plays. Anytime you have that type of guy back there, it really helps us.

On the rivalry with Duke…

We know it's a big game. Obviously, it's an in-state game, so it's very important to our program. We've only played Duke in one time that I've been here, and that was the COVID year. I don't understand why we don't play every year, but that's way above my pay grade. Whatever they put on the schedule, we prepare for and get ready for. Duke's up next. The kids know us, and we know them. A lot of these kids have played together played against each other in high school. They’ve got a great coaching staff, and Coach [Mike] Elko and his staff have done a great job, so we're going to have our hands full Saturday night.

On Duke’s experienced offensive line…

They're very good up front. Obviously, [Graham Barton] gets high praise, and he deserves it. They're good across the whole front, and they're older guys. Their scheme fits what they do and who they are, and they execute. Again, we're going to have our hands full Saturday night.

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