Male Athlete of the Week: Jim O’Brien
Taking the place of injured running back senior Matt Glenn, junior Jim O’Brien started Saturday, Sept. 12th’s Washington University football game at Westminster College. Through the course of the game, O’Brien recorded a career-high 143 yards on the ground, including a touchdown.
His tremendous play not only earned the Bears their first win of the season, but also earned him Student Life’s Male Athlete of the Week.
Starting the season, you really weren’t expecting Matt Glenn to be out with a knee injury. Coming into that game, what was your mindset, knowing you would be starting?
Jim O’Brien: Having Matt there is just a huge bonus for everybody. Especially just because we’re so opposite in our [running] styles that it keeps defense on us in terms of how they can defend against us. That being said…I had a whole week to think about it and prepare, probably realizing that I would get a bigger chunk of the carries.
What are you going to remember most from that game?
JO’B: That drive near the end, right after they scored their tying touchdown. Just going into that drive, realizing that ‘it’s this drive, it’s us, it’s our offense, we can’t rely on the defense or anybody else…everybody is counting on us to win the game’. With such an immediate goal and accomplishing it was just a great feeling.
What impact did your play do for the rest of your teammates?
J’OB: Having that run-game going puts a lot of trust in [the team]. It does a lot of things that people don’t realize. Even a couple-of-yards gain here or there makes it a lot easier [for the quarterback] to throw, runs the clock so the defense isn’t [playing] as much…it just does a lot of things that are important to winning.
You ran for 143 yards, your career-high. How did you do that?
JO’B: After the game or during the game, I never really thought about it. I was pretty clueless about how many yards [I had gotten]. Just going into every drive…every play and thinking about how much you can help out the most on that individual play. You don’t really think about totals. It was definitely, stats-wise, the best game I’ve had, but…everyone was playing well, so it wasn’t too surprising.
Going into this weekend, against Wittenberg University, are you looking to set another personal game-high yardage?
JO’B: Definitely I’ll try. It’ll be a tough one against Wittenberg…after beating them last year, I’m sure they’re pretty fired up to get us back on our home turf. Hopefully we can just keep rolling from last week, especially on offense…and that that game last week wasn’t [our] pinnacle.
The Bears take on Wittenberg University on Saturday, Sept. 19, at home. Kickoff at Francis Field is set for 1p.m.