By Ashley Denny.
CHARLOTTE, NC- Virginia Tech’s Head Coach Frank Beamer has become a regular here at the ACC Championship game however according to him; this year’s been more of a grind as to making their way to Charlotte.
“This has been a grind this year, gone through some injuries, a new quarterback that’s come along very fast,” Beamer said. “We’ve had to work a little bit this year, we understand the talent that we’re playing against and understand that it’s a well coached football team, and we’ve already seen that. I have great respect for Clemson and how they do things, I think it’s the making of a fantastic football game.”
Beamer hopes that with a sold out crowd for tomorrow evening’s matchup that both teams can do the Championship justice and do it right.
During the Hokies first meeting with Clemson, Virginia Tech gave up 4 sacks and since then they’ve only given up six, has the offensive line improved or is this improvement due to the maturation of quarterback Logan Thomas?
“The situation too, you don’t want to get in third and long, a couple of those sacks came at the end of the ball game and they were pinning their ears back, you don’t want to get into that kind of situation against these guys,” Beamer said. “But our offensive line, we’ve got experience in there, it’s a good group of kids and they want to be good and protect the quarterback. They’ve improved and so has Logan, he’s learned from situations, gets rid of the ball, so I think it’s a combination of the offensive line and Logan’s improvement.”
Beamer and Virginia Tech have become regulars at the ACC Championship; does the past experience pay off in tomorrow’s contest?
“I think experience always matters but you’ve got a very talented football team that you’re going against, a team that has struggled a little bit during the end here, but I know this when you have talent like they have, they’re one or two plays away from getting their momentum back. It’s one game, what’s on the field means more than who has experience and who doesn’t.”
How have the Hokies changed since their last meeting with Clemson when the Tigers’ beat them soundly 23-3?
“I think we’re a better offensive team, and then you can’t turn the ball over which we did a few times in that first Clemson game,” Beamer said. “I think our quarterback has gotten better with experience which is big, I also hope that we will kick the ball better with our punting in that first ball game, we gave up some field position, that’s a key part in this game field position and that goes back to our kicking game.”
We were informed by Commissioner Swofford earlier today that Charlotte will be the location for both the 2012 and 2013 ACC Championship and Beamer couldn’t be happier.
“I don’t think there’s any question that this is the place for it,” Beamer said. “It’s central for the ACC as far as location of teams. The sell outs are important as it is the Championship game and continues to sell out here in Charlotte. To me it’s a great stadium and for Clemson and Virginia Tech they’ll both bring a lot of people and they’ve done a great job of getting support from the community as well.”
Beamer was also asked about Clemson’s struggles over the month of November and what he’s seen on film.
“Clemson there’s a thin line, such a thin line between momentum and getting over a hump and not, and they’ve just got on the other side of that thin line and once you’ve gotten rolling the wrong way it’s hard to get back but like I said earlier when you’ve got talent on your football team like they do, offensively, defensively and kicking wise you get into a game, things get rolling. We experienced it first hand, we came into a game here against Florida State and they had been struggling down the stretch but when they got out on the field against us that night, we had a lot of penalties, they got us pretty good. We got it first hand, what happened in the past is in the past and you have to play this one ball game with everything you’ve got. They’ve put a lot into this game and we need to do the same thing.”