Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer
This Florida State team is really, really impressive. They are athletic and very physical on both sides of the ball. They are averaging 525 yards a game, 40+ points and the quarterback has a 70-percent completion rate, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. They are running the ball extremely well and the offensive line is extremely good. They are one of the best we have seen in quite some time really.
Defensively, I think they lead the nation in total defense. They have given up an average of 12 points a game and 231 yards. They will put a lot of pressure on you with a four-man rush. They are snug up with your receivers and they are just a really, really exceptional football team. So we have our work cut out for us.
We just have to get ready to play a great football game.
Q: Obviously this season has been a disappointment for you guys, can you try and explain how you guys have fell so far from the expectations of winning the Coastal Division?
Beamer: Well we just haven’t played well enough. We have played some good teams that have played well against us and we didn’t play well enough. That’s just the bottom line.
Q: Is there anything more to it as far as players not developing as fast enough, or recruiting or coaching?
Beamer: Well again, I think everybody in our operation here could have done something better to help this football team. But the thing I am looking at is we got a tremendous football team coming in here Thursday night and is ranked and should be. They are as good as it gets in college football and that is what we put our attention to.
Q: The other night after the Miami game you mentioned playing for pride and a bowl. In your interaction with the players and you observations of them in practice, do you sense they are responding to those goals now?
Beamer: Yea, I think our practices have been good and our players have realized what a challenge we have on Thursday night and we have their attention toward that and that’s what we need to be looking at right now.
Q: I am curious to whether you talk to the defensive guys at all when the offense is struggling and is there any extra pressure on them or are they completely separate?
Beamer: We win as a football team; if it doesn’t go over well it’s as a football team. We have had some great opportunities and have had a lot of yards we just didn’t capitalize on points down at Miami. We are a football team in every sense. Defense, offense and special teams work together to win and if it is not going well, we stay as a team.
Q: Is there an extra emphasis on defense as far as getting takeaways or kind of help the offense?
Beamer: Well always your defense is concerned about takeaways. Again it is not defense, offense, it’s a football team.
Q: You have mentioned all of Florida State’s statistical dominance it looks like the only blip they have is in the second half in Raleigh, what was NC State able to do for 30 minutes looking at that tape?
Beamer: They hit a couple pass plays on them and caught them running and got the ball to people and ran a little bit. When you look at it NC State had about seven, eight or nine play in that game and the rest of them were a struggle against Florida State.
Q: A lot of the talk last week was paring down the running game. It sounded like J.C. Coleman and Tony Gregory might get most of the carries and then Michael Holmes had about an even share at Miami. Do you anticipate that going forward with Holmes still having a role in this running game?
Beamer: Well we continue to evaluate that. We try to get it in packages right now and it just so happened that Holmes’ package was called down in Miami. So we continue to look at that.
Q: What does Holmes give you that the other guys don’t in terms of that particular package?
Beamer: Well a little more size and he has got good speed. I think Tony, you see his burst out there and JC, I thought he ran really hard the other night. He jumped into holes well the other night. So I think all of them bring something to the table so that’s what makes it tough to narrow it down.
Q: What has been your message to Logan in the past few days? Have you taken him aside at all and said anything to him in particular after the Miami game?
Beamer: Well I met with him for a few minutes and my thing with him is that I appreciate his toughness very much. I don’t want him to put too much of the load on himself. I think the quarterback will be the key point but I think he has to make some plays and so forth. I think he is at that point of you just having to play your game. He is certainly playing good enough and I admire how he has played. He wants to win so badly and it hurts him when he doesn’t and that’s the kind of the guys you appreciate.
Q: With Zach McCray moving to tight end is that more of a move getting him ready for next year or do you think he can actually contribute and have an impact these last few games this season?
Beamer: I think we need to get him over there and get him going. He was in middle drill yesterday and showed some good feet for a tight end and so forth. I think that is a move that will help us next year.
Q: You guys haven’t been an underdog that often at home, how are the guys responding to that and do they seem to be motivated that you are an underdog at home?
Beamer: I haven’t brought it up. I actually didn’t know it myself. Like I don’t read during this time of the year so I wasn’t even aware of it. I don’t think it is any secret that Florida State is a tremendous football team they are just exceptional and I think our guys understand what kind of a challenge we have.
Q: Can you talk about what impresses you about E.J. Manual and they recruiting process of how hard you guys wanted him?
Beamer: Well he is a big guy that can really throw the football and is very athletic. I would say he is a great leader for that football team and is playing exceptionally well. He has good people around him and an excellent offensive line in front of him. But he is playing well. It takes all those pieces to be a dynamic offense and that is exactly what they are.
Q: Where do you think he is different from the guy you saw two years ago in the ACC Championship game? Is he better and where do you think he has improved?
Beamer: Experience is a wonderful thing. He has been around and has played a lot. He certainly knows the offense and really very good at executing the offense. He is very good at throwing and he is always a threat to run. An athletic guy.
Q: Did you guys have a shot with him when he was coming out of Virginia Beach?
Beamer: We recruited him but he chose Florida State and again you guys mentioned Tyrod Taylor. It is always a factor of who you guys have and so forth. Sometimes that intersects things. All of the quarterbacks that come out of the state of Virginia all play at a high level and we like the guy we got. I think Logan is certainly is an excellent quarterback.
Q: With the string of 10-win seasons coming to an end, I was curious to see if at all it bothers you or in your mind that is how college football goes, you can’t do it every year?
Beamer: I have said so many times Heather that there is a thin line between winning and being okay and not winning. Winning every Saturday is hard. You play a lot of people you are better than and sometimes you play a lot of people that are better than you. The way that ball bounces on Saturday is just a thin line. We got used to 10-win season and I am proud of those and I am proud that this football team. If you look at how we played the other night is wasn’t from lack of effort. Every one played hard. We just didn’t play well enough.
Q: Topic that always surrounds Florida State is that are they back. Where do you see them as to compared to those teams in the 90s?
Beamer: This one reminds you a lot of those teams. We were just talking about it today in our staff meeting that they remind you a lot of those teams. Very athletic, very tough and play very physical, they are just an exceptional football team.
Q: Logan has already thrown more interceptions than he did last season, is that a combination of things or is he just not as accurate?
Beamer: I think it is a combination of things. You can’t pin it on just one thing. When you lose your top receivers at Tech it probably affects it somewhat. When lose your running back that had a lot of yards affects it a little bit. When you lose four offensive linemen that have started almost four years affects it a little bit. And the people around you, just getting comfortable with them being where they are supposed to be. And some times its when Logan threw it bad and he will be the first one to tell you that sometimes. I don’t think it is one thing that goes into that.