By Staff Report.
Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer spoke with the ACC media on Wednesday.
COACH BEAMER: We really have a challenge here this weekend. Your goal is to slow this offense down. I don’t think you’re going to stop it, and I don’t think you’re going to stop it. I just think you’re going to try to slow it down. They have tremendous layers and they’re executing very well. They’ve got a quarterback that’s leading them very well. But slowing it down is their objective right now. I think they can play fast-paced on offense, and if they do get the defense in there quickly, then they’ve got confidence that they’re going to do the job and they should have confidence. I think this is a defense that’s getting better all the time. It’s a real challenge for us here on Saturday.
Q. I know you’re preparing for Clemson this weekend, but I wanted to ask you about a quarterback that is no longer in your league, Russell Wilson. You’ve had some success slowing him down. One of your former coaches had a lot of success at South Carolina slowing him down a couple of years ago. How do you defend Russell Wilson effectively as a defense?
COACH BEAMER: Well, I think that’s a tough deal. He’s one of those guys that can really throw it and can really run it, and not just average throw it or average run it, really throw it, and really run it. Then I think you put him with what he’s got right now, a great running game I think that puts all the more pressure there are a lot more holes in that secondary he’s in there trying to stop the run. From everything I’ve heard, he’s a great kid. That’s what I know about him.
Q. Because he’s not real tall, is getting pressure up the middle something that you can kind of obscure his vision a little bit?
COACH BEAMER: We’ve had a couple around here that are not super tall. I think he’s kind of like a couple of those guys. Tyrod and Michael Vick, and so far I think he just kind of has a knack at finding the lane to throw in. I never — I can’t remember preparing for him at all and say, well, there is a disadvantage of being short with him. I think he just kind of finds a way of dealing with it.
Q. Coach, wonder if you could explain a couple of things? Obviously, you like your quarterback and you’ve done well recruiting quarterbacks out of that Hampton Rose, Norfolk area of Virginia. First of all, were you ever in it with Tajh Boyd? Second, can you explain the number of good quarterbacks that have come out of this area? And that goes to E.J. Manuel, and Tajh and the Vick brothers. What kind of water are those kids drinking or what are they getting fed down there to get the quarterback situation lately out of that region?
COACH BEAMER: We tried to be in it with Boyd. I’m not sure we were ever really in it, but we certainly tried. We realized in high school that he was an excellent quarterback. There was no question about that. I don’t know. I think it’s just one of those things that we’ll say this, I think the coaching in the state of Virginia is very good. I think generally speaking we have good coaching in the state, but for that many good quarterbacks and great quarterbacks to come out of that area, I think it’s just one of those things that this happens. I’ll tell you, it’s an unusual number, and they’ve all been very, very good. You go back over the years and there’s been a lot of great players that have come out of that area right there.
Q. I wondered, can it be as simple as when Michael came up, just all of a sudden a lot of kids and athletes decided they wanted to play quarterback, and the coaches may have nurtured that in that area, and it just kind of fed off — one fed off the other.
COACH BEAMER: You know, that might have had a little bit to do with it. But I think certainly there is some God-given skill that’s these kids had that allowed them to be as good of quarterbacks as they are.
Q. I wanted to ask you about David Wilson. Before this year he was obviously a great threat as a return guy, and I know he’s doing some kickoff returns now. But do you change the way you use him? The fact that you’re asking him to carry such a load as the primary ball carrier now?
COACH BEAMER: I think we’re blessed that Josh Oglesby is back there. We like Tony Gregory. He hasn’t been able to get in there very much. But Josh is a veteran guy. He’s a senior guy that’s been around. He’s done some really good tough running for us, and some very important running for us. So it’s not like David is the only guy you’ve got. You know, it’s hard to slow that guy down. He runs on — he’s full tilt just about all the time and just about all he’s doing, that’s the way his life is. I don’t think you try to slow David Wilson down much.
Q. I guess I was getting at do you spot using those guys to protect him as a running back?
COACH BEAMER: He wants to do kickoff returns. That’s his desire and we want him too. Personally I think it gives the special team plays are always momentum plays. They’re always yardage plays. Whether you start at the 20-yard line or the 30-yard line or the 35, and there is a big difference. There is a first down involved in that and so forth.
If anything, we try to spot him on offense and keep him in there with the special teams plays, because they’re open-field plays and plays that really make a difference in the ballgame.
Q. Coach, what do you think of Logan Thomas as a thrower and are there any major differences in this offense with him at quarterback versus previously?
COACH BEAMER: I think Logan’s a better thrower. I think he gets better each and every week. Last week I thought he managed the game very well and never got rattled others a smart guy that’s in control, very poised. You like him as a leader of your football team. You know, there are a few things that are a little bit different. I think he emphasized some things a little bit more, but basically we’re pretty much the same from one year to the next. But the general motto for us is we don’t change a lot.
Q. Coach Beamer, just wanted to ask you about the home field. Seems like it’s been a while since you’ve had a big, meaningful game at night at Lane Stadium. What makes that special? What makes night games at lane kind of separate that from others?
COACH BEAMER: You know, I credit our fans. They really, I think, are very knowledgeable. They feel like they help us win, and I feel like they help us win. There is no question about that. I can say this, we’re going to need all the help we can get this week. We’ve got as talented and as good, confident, playing at a high level team coming in here as I can remember. This is a — they’re really, really good.
Q. Do you think you have — do you think that that crowd, those night games, do you think that creates a true home-field advantage for you guys?
COACH BEAMER: Well, I think there is a lot of enthusiasm and encouragement going on. We need all of that that we can get.