Jimbo Fisher, Frank Beamer discuss Florida State - Virginia Tech

Streeter Lecka
COACH BEAMER: They (Florida State) are 8th ranked and probably deserve to be higher. This is a fantastic football team, a very talented football team, a very hard-playing football team, athletic. So they have our utmost respect, that's for sure.

Q. Considering you came into the year replacing four starters up front on the offense and then you lost the one guy you had back, how would you rate the offensive line's ability to compete this year in the face of all of that?

COACH BEAMER: I think they continue to get better. The other part there is Wang has been in and out so much. He's having a hard time keeping him in there too. So that offensive line, that is the one place that you want people, continuity, and we just haven't been able to keep that week-in and week-out.

Q. Have they been good enough for to you win games or has it been a major problem?

COACH BEAMER: No, no, I think they have had their moments. Just like I've been talking. I think our running backs are young, and sometimes they look young but they played enough games now that that really shouldn't be the issue. I think we've been spotty at the wide receiver position made some catches, haven't made some catches. So I think the inconsistency is a little bit here and a little bit there on our offense.

Q. As you look at Florida State's defensive front, what do you see there in that match-up?

COACH BEAMER: There are not many teams that can just rush four and get constant pressure on the quarterback. They're one team that can. Then they're extremely fast at linebacker and extremely quick in the secondary. So they earned that number one defense in the country. They play that way.

Q. Is there a tradeoff with potentially hosting perspective student-athletes on a visit and losing that experience for them?

COACH BEAMER: Well, I think there's good and bad in all situations. There is a lot of excitement about Thursday night games here in Blacksburg and over the years. If you can play, and you're the only game on, and one or two games at the most. So if you can play well, I think it's an advantage for your program.

Q. Once the game is out of the way, is that an added benefit for you guys to get your coaches out on the road early for Friday and Saturday games to evaluate talent and meet with kids that are interested in your program?

COACH BEAMER: Well, yeah. You pick up a couple of days that's being back-to-back Thursday night games. You get a couple of extra days in the beginning of it and get a couple of extra days in the end of it. I think extra day's rest for your players and recruiting for your coaches, I mean, that's big right now.

Q. I guess as a tribute to your program that you guys haven't been in this position in ages. You have a losing record in November. Is there any kind of difficulty from a mental aspect of keeping the positive vibe that you usually have this time of year or has that been difficult?

COACH BEAMER: No, I think our practices have been good. I feel like we've got good talent. We just haven't played well as a football team consistently. I don't think it's lack of trying. I just think it's something here, something there, and it keeps -- the other side of it. We've been on the other side of it a bunch of times where you get some momentum and you made one good play and here you make another good play and you make another good play. So we've been on the other side of that too.

Q. You mentioned earlier some of the inconsistency at receiver. Do you think that's been the biggest problem with the dropoff statistically from Logan Thomas this year that he hasn't been as accurate. His interceptions are up. Is that dealing with a new set of receivers that haven't been as efficient as the guys you lost?

COACH BEAMER: Well, I think it goes back to your offense. You've got four new starters and now five new starters. The guy that was very depended on a lot, Andrew Miller, had a season-ending injury. So I think that affects you. The running backs in the running game, that affects how your quarterback can play and how you can call plays and not get into 2nd and 10 and get a big pass-rush. Then receivers, being consistent and catching the ball and being where you need to be and so forth; I think all of those things kind of go into it. There is just a lot of new people around Logan. But as far as his toughness, as far as his dedication to winning, as far as his ability, that's not in question.

Q. How has your recruiting footprint changed over the years? How's the geography where you find it's changed?

COACH BEAMER: Yeah, since we became members of the ACC, we basically recruit within six hours of Blacksburg. I think there are a lot of good players within that area and the family mom and dad come on visits most of the time. I like the family visiting Virginia Tech, and then they can come back and watch them play without too much trouble. I think there are a lot of advantages in being able to basically recruit. Now if it's a special situation or whatever, we'll go further. You know, six hours, and of course that includes a lot of the teams that we play, a lot of the area that makes it a good situation too.

Q. Do you think this power shift we've seen from the Midwest and Northeast and South and West, first national titles and all those sorts of things, is that going to continue or is it kind of a cycle deal where it will revert back?

COACH BEAMER: Say that again?

Q. We see a lot of national titles in the South and the West. We see the balance power shift from Northeast, Midwest to the Southeast, west. Do you think that continues. Or is it a trend in a cycle over time?

COACH BEAMER: Well, I think the Southeastern Conference is always going to be strong. I think all of us are competing like heck to come to that level and be competitive at that level.

Jimbo Fisher

COACH FISHER: Enjoyed our off week. As far as that, had great preparation this week, good practices. Looking forward to going up to Blacksburg. We'll have a heck of a challenge. As we know, a Thursday night game, they always play well. Frank always has his guys ready to play. They have a great team. Excited. They're very athletic on all three phases. We'll have to be on our A-game and have a heck of a challenge tomorrow night. So we're looking forward to it.

Q. They've had to rebuild their offensive line coming into the year. They've had to shuffle guys because of injuries. What do you see from the play of the five guys they've been using most on that offensive line?

COACH FISHER: They play hard. They're well coached. They play physical. They'll butt you in the mouth. They've done a nice job, and they've moved the ball all year. So those guys have done a very nice job.

Q. You mentioned the fact that they've been able to generate yards. They've struggled to generate points. When you watch them, what do you see preventing them from scoring?

COACH FISHER: Well, sometimes they can be -- the other team makes a great play or you have one miss cue in the red zone, and it can set you back. It's hard. Every team has that factor, but they are very explosive. I can't put my finger on why. I know what's being coached there, but they are very explosive and are capable of scoring a lot of points.

Q. Virginia Tech's been one of the ACC's consistent winners, but they've struggled this year. Are you surprised by where they are right now in the standings?

COACH FISHER: For a Virginia Tech team not to be at the top, yeah, it does surprise you because they've been there so consistently. It shows injuries, attrition, things can happen in a season. They're still the same coaches and have the same players. They'll still be doing pretty good. But sometimes the reasons for winning and losing are very small, and sometimes the breaks don't go your way.

Q. Just in terms of playing out-of-state, the only time I think you've done that this year was the NC State game. How important is it as a program to win on the road in order to be successful?

COACH FISHER: I mean, we win on the road. Going to Miami is just as tough as going to N.C. State or anywhere else. Whether it's in the state and the competition you play, South Florida's got a great team. It's important to win all the time, at home and on the road. If you want to be a great team, you have to win on the road.

Q. Everyone knows how tough Virginia Tech is to play against on Thursday night, especially at home. What do you feel your team needs to do to secure a win tomorrow night in Lane Stadium?

COACH FISHER: We have to play great, sound, fundamental football. We have to be consistent from the opening snap to the last snap. They're not going to give you anything. You have to earn everything you get. Play consistent in all three phases, play physical, and be able to sustain the surge of energy in the stadium and everything that goes on with playing on the road. We'll have to be very consistent.

Q. I want to ask about Vince Williams. He's played for you in and out over the last couple of years. Can you talk about Vince as a player and a student and what he brings to you guys defensively?

COACH FISHER: One thing, he's already got his degree. He's already graduated. Vince is a great leader. He has great passion for the game. Loves playing, he's very physical. Affects his teammates and brings energy to practice from the guys that aren't there, and he's making them get up and have that energy. Very pleased with him, very blessed to have coached him, and he's a great young man.

Q. Also, Vince's younger brother as well plays for you. Vince said that he's kind of the opposite as his brother. I don't know if you could talk about that?

COACH FISHER: Yeah, he's more outgoing. He's quieter at times. Carlos is a social butterfly. He's always talking to everybody and being around everybody. But they're both great young men. They are different. One's more outgoing than the other, definitely.

Q. The ten-year anniversary of the Devery Henderson catch at Kentucky is coming up?

COACH FISHER: I got you. The Bluegrass Miracle.

Q. What do you remember about that, and particularly the call? Was there any disagreement on the call going in?

COACH FISHER: No, there wasn't. We had practiced that play, dash right, 93 Berlin. I can remember it to today. The thing that was ironic on that is we were backed up inside our pass, hit a pass to Michael Clayton, hit a square and we had one time out left. Hit a 25-yard pass to Michael Clayton. He got on the ground, and we spread it out on the last play. It was almost an amazement. You saw the ball thrown. The tip happened, and when it hit and I was in the press box, and when it went up in the air, he said, oh, Lord, he's got a chance to hit it, and he did it. I mean, Devery could fly. What happened on the play, the receivers got intertwined and Michael switched places and got to be the jump ball guy, tipped and made an adjustment on the run. Devery got it and once he gets down field, it was gone. I sat there in amazement it was one of those ironic and iconic times in your career. You couldn't believe you just saw what happened. It was a great team, a great player, and great guys executed that play.

Q. Clayton was the original intended receiver?

COACH FISHER: Well, we're going to get a jump ball guy. They all got bumped off, and Clayton realized that. So he made the tip on the play, and then Devery got in behind and caught the tip on the long run. We'd do that because guys would reroute you as we go down field on that. As a play, we work that play constantly. It was something we've worked on in practice every Thursday forever and ever and ever, and it came through.

Q. Have you ever used that play in a game since?

COACH FISHER: Oh, yeah. I have since. Hopefully not too many because that's when you're behind a bunch when you get in that situation. But it's something we have in our arsenal and still do.

Q. Has it worked since those days? Has it worked for you at Florida State in a game for you?

COACH FISHER: No, in practice it has. We hit it in practice. We hit it the other day in practice, as a matter of fact. We'll keep working that situation.
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