<
>

NC State coach Tom O'Brien candid with QBs

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

The blunt honesty of NC State coach Tom O'Brien might not always be what his players want to hear, but there's no question they're going to get the truth from this guy.

O'Brien didn't dance around his quarterback competition this summer, and he's not two-stepping around it now. When he tried to cut his options from five to two last month, one of the first to go was Harrison Beck.

"As we went through preseason camp, I told him he wasn't in our plans at this point and if he had any indication that he wanted to transfer or anything we would certainly help him," O'Brien said. "But as a one-time transfer, he couldn't transfer again out of here which actually proved a stroke of luck for us that he was available."

It sure did. Beck came off the bench this past weekend to replace Daniel Evans and threw for 246 yards and two touchdowns.

"It certainly meant a lot for him and it meant a lot for our football team," O'Brien said. "We needed the jolt he gave us at that point.

"When (Russell) Wilson went in, we're trying to redshirt (Mike) Glennon and Evans was ineffective at six or seven three-and-outs, and it was time to make a change and Harrison came in and did a wonderful job for us."

(Again with that honesty ...)

Beck has been more reliable as a bench player than he has a starter. In the four games he's come off the bench, Beck has thrown for 525 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. In his four starts, he has 624 yards, eight interceptions and no touchdowns.

"He's the backup right now," O'Brien said. "The one thing that happened Saturday night is between Evans and Beck. We decided that Beck would now be the backup. Wilson is going to be the starter and hopefully we can get back to where we were in the second quarter, moving the ball against South Carolina."

There's no telling, though, how Russell Wilson will fare against Clemson in his first game back since suffering a severe concussion in the season opener against South Carolina. He was just 1-of-5 passing for 12 yards with seven yards rushing in his collegiate debut before he got hurt.

Even though he was cleared to play against William & Mary, Wilson was in on just one special teams play as the holder on an extra point.

"Russell is still pretty much an unknown quantity," O'Brien said. "This almost going to be like the season opener for him. We'll see how it goes and hopefully he can perform to the level we think he can."

And that's pretty good. Honestly.