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NC State Football

Tony Gibson: "It's Going to be a Hostile Environment"

August 30, 2022

NC State defensive coordinator Tony Gibson met with the media following Tuesday morning's practice leading up to the Wolfpack's season opener versus East Carolina.

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

“Obviously, Holton [Ahlers] is a very smart player. He runs the offense really well, distributes the ball really well, and is a threat running the ball. The biggest worry as a defensive coach in the first game is always live tackling for 70, 80, 90 plays. That’s always a concern because when you scrimmage, the ones and twos maybe get 30-40 plays, so that’s always worrisome.”

“I’ve been with Derrek [Pitts] since he was 18 years old, so he’s a lot more mature right now than he’s ever been. He came back for a reason. We’re looking forward to watching him play and be a leader back in that secondary for us.”

“They always say, from week one to week two, that’s your biggest jump. This first week, hopefully we’ll learn from mistakes. It’s going to be a hostile environment. They’re going to run a fast pace and tempo sometimes, so we’ve got to make sure we get our calls in and the guys execute.”

“It’s all right now. It’s that next step: communication, making sure we’re all lined up, and making sure we’re all on the same page. We shouldn’t have many mental mistakes with these guys, but they’re 18-to-22-year-old males, so anything can happen.”

“They’re a great football team. We broke them down in the summer. We did another breakdown for game week, and we’re preparing for them. They’ve got some skill guys. Their quarterback and tailback are really good. They’ve got a veteran offensive line with three starters back. They do a great job. They can throw the ball. They can run the ball. It’s very scary.”

“[Savion Jackson] has had a great offseason. He’s playing fast right now. I love where he’s at. I love where his mind’s at. He’s just got to go out, execute, play with a lot of juice and energy, and be able to show up and make plays for us.”

“We’re going to play three or four corners, but [Pitts] has confidence. He’s played a lot of football. He understands the scheme. His motivation is to come back and win games. That’s his number one motivation. He’s a big team guy."

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