Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Coach's "swagger" pumps up USF defense

RALEIGH, N.C. — It wasn't critical comments from N.C. State coach Tom O'Brien that got the USF defense fired up for Saturday's game. It was the response defensive coordinator Wally Burnham made.

"Once he fired back, the whole defense fired back," LB Tyrone McKenzie said after USF's 41-10 victory. "You know we're going to back him up. … When you have a coach like that, who has that swagger like that, you can't help but play with swagger."

Two weeks ago, O'Brien said USF wasn't one of the programs he consulted in the offseason about how to contain the spread offense because of its 56-21 Sun Bowl loss to Oregon last season. "That was the spread that they were defending," he said. "If they're the gurus, we'd better go somewhere else."

In responding last week, Burnham said, "I forget what bowl game they were in. That's all I've got to say." N.C. State was 5-7 last season and didn't go to a bowl.

Burnham said he thought his players would be motivated by O'Brien's comments and didn't mind letting them take the slight personally. "We'll take anything that helps us," he said.

RANKINGS: USF is No. 10 in both major polls. It moved up three spots in the Associated Press rankings and four in the USA Today coaches poll, in which it's tied with Georgia. USF is 12th in the first Harris Poll, which is used in calculating the BCS standings.

Mompremier update: LB Brouce Mompremier, who injured his neck against Florida International two weeks ago, took his first steps toward returning, running in his jersey and shorts with the linebackers at Sunday's practice.

Times correspondent Joe Rienzi contributed to this report.

Coach's "swagger" pumps up USF defense 09/28/08 [Last modified: Sunday, October 5, 2008 12:55am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. NFL Week 3: What we learned


    Take the knee … well, not NOW

     1. Photo of Roger Mooney for Times Sports.
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Sunday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Chris Archer's primary problem Sunday, as in much of September, was a lack of slider command. When he can't throw it where he wants, and doesn't have the confidence in the changeup to throw it often, he can't win with just his fastball.

  3. Somehow, Rays' Chris Archer remains just shy of being an ace

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Chris Archer had another bad game Sunday.

    Chris Archer is sputtering to the finish line, his rough start on Sunday his fourth in his past five in which he hasn’t gotten past four innings.
  4. Bradenton high school senior Chasten Whitfield inspires young anglers


    MADEIRA BEACH — The kids lined up single file, snow cones in hand, a procession of sweaty, excited grade schoolers watching Chasten Whitfield throw a cast net.

    Whitfield, a senior at Bradenton Manatee, demonstrates how to throw a cast net at the FishKids tournament in Madeira Beach. She also taught knot tying.
  5. Wreck helps Kyle Busch take control of Monster Cup's ISM 300

    Auto racing

    LOUDON, N.H. — Kyle Busch saw little but billowing white smoke that engulfed the track and blinded enough drivers that it caused a tremendous wreck that notably altered the race running order.

    Kyle Busch celebrates with a burnout after his third victory of the season that earns a berth in the second round of NASCAR’s playoffs. He also has some fun with Loudon the Lobster.