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NC State Football

Tony Gibson: "We Can't Just Stay Simple"

September 15, 2022

NC State defensive coordinator Tony Gibson met with the media after practice to discuss the upcoming matchup against Texas Tech's high-powered offense.

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

On Texas Tech’s offense...
Over 500 yards a game, quarterback is athletic, can run. They have big receivers, tailbacks run hard. So they're going to be a challenge for us, they're going to test everything we have.

Does it look like the offense that Kittley ran at Western Kentucky?
Yeah, it's the same stuff.

He's been in the air raid family for a long time. He was under Kliff and all those guys at Texas Tech as a GA, so he does a really nice job.

What are some of the points of emphasis to the team when you're facing a quarterback that can run like he can?
Keep him in the pocket, that's the main goal, and so that's the key for us is to be able to contain him in our pass rush, not get out of our lanes, don't lose contain, and that's how they ended up beating Houston -- Houston couldn't contain him, and he got out on them a few times.

What's the main challenge the defense has against an Air Raid offense?
Everything, they have good players. Their quarterback distributes the ball very well. Again, their run game is good. They use a lot of up tempo to try to get you on your heels, so we have to do a great job and be able to get lined up and not blow calls and coverages. We can't just stay simple and stay in the same calls the whole night because if they do, they'll pick us apart.

Did you get the sense the guys are excited to face a challenge like this because you guys got a great defense, and a lot of people think your defense is great. Are they looking forward to this challenge?
Yeah, they're looking forward because it's the next opportunity, and we have a quality opponent. Again, there's a team averaging over 50 points a game, 500 yards a game, so our guys are up for it, and we had the best Tuesday practice since I've been here we had today.

Why do you think that was, coach? What do you think?
Oh, I just think that obviously watching their film it got our attention. Again, a great opponent at night, at home, going to be a great atmosphere, looking forward to it.

How unusual is it? Even though it went to double overtime, 103 plays.
Yeah, it was actually... it was 109.

What would be be your... 109?
109 plays.

What would be your target? What do you normally try to hold teams to?
Shit, 40. No, it depends with these teams. They're going to go as fast as they can and run a lot of plays. So I was a defense coordinator in the Big 12 for five years, so it was every week, it was that.

Houston did a heck of a job, they held them to 20 points at the end of regulation with a hundred plays. So, you talk points per play, that's pretty good, and we have to do the same thing. We have to try to limit the big plays and get them off the field.

We got to be really good on third down, that's our goal.

Does it help that you guys are a deep team, or deep defense too?
Yeah, it helps a lot this week. We're going to have to play a lot of guys, we're looking anywhere from 22 to 25 guys are going to have to play and rotate them in and out.

When you say that they had three interceptions, they gave up five sacks, four to one player. Anything that you can glean from that?
Yeah, hopefully they won't throw the ball so dang quick, that's been our issue, everybody's getting rid of the ball so fast against us right now. If that's in their game plan and they're not going to hold the ball, then obviously we're going to defend it and try to break down on the ball, make tackles, and keep them behind the sticks, that's our goal.

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