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No, they didn't forget about those quotes ...



As you can imagine, there were some things said in the newspapers this week that motivated USF's defense to play at a high level Saturday against N.C. State.

But it wasn't the comments from Wolfpack coach Tom O'Brien that got the Bulls fired up. It was the response that defensive coordinator Wally Burnham was confident enough to make Tuesday, inspiring his defensive players to back up his words on the field.

"We didn't really take it to heart until we saw Coach Burnham say that comment," linebacker Tyrone McKenzie said. "Once he fired back, the whole defense fired back. You know we're going to back him up. He's our coach, he's our leader in war. Whatever he says, we live by. I loved it. When you have a coach like that, that has that swagger like that, you can't help but play with swagger."

Burnham said he thought his players would be motivated by O'Brien's comments and didn't mind letting them take the slight personally.

"There's no doubt, they took it personal (to suggest) that our defense wasn't any good, those kinds of things. We let them take it personal," Burnham said. "We'll take anything that helps us. We're not greedy."

Safety Nate Allen said players naturally came to Burnham's defense, wanting to make a statement on the field to match the one made on the bulletin boards.

"We've got Coach Burnham's back, and when our coach says something like that, we're going to back him up," Allen said. "It gets us excited, puts a fire in us to see our coach talking like that."

[Last modified: Thursday, May 27, 2010 12:57pm]


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