“We are excited to host the Virginia Tech Hokies in Kenan Stadium and excited about them coming and playing in the Tar Pit. It’s a ‘white-out’ game so I’m sure the crowd will be excited about that. Coach [Frank] Beamer will have a team that is well prepared and they’ll play extremely hard and we know that and we’re going to have to play a great game. We’re going to have to bring our A-game.”
Do you have a good idea of where this team is and who they are given they’ve been somewhat inconsistent?
“Well, just as soon as I say that then they prove me wrong. We are becoming more consistent. Just the way we prepare. We’ve done a nice job of preparing the same way each and every week. Our energy level in practice, our focus – all of those things. Again, we’re going to try and do a great job of focusing on ourselves this week and ensure that we take care of ourselves.
Last week the emphasis was on starting fast. What is the emphasis on this week?
“It’s on ourselves. It’s just focusing on ourselves and making sure we take care of our jobs and not worrying about anything else.”
On Marquise Williams's performance against Idaho:
“Yeah he did a nice job. Every rep that we can get Marquise in those situations is good. I think he played every snap of the second half, but one when his helmet came off and he did, he did some nice things so, again, that’s learned experience for him that we will definitely need.”
What is the advantage of having a lot of depth at running back and how much did you know about A.J. Blue and Romar Morris before you took the job?
“I didn’t know much about them at all and didn’t even really coming out of spring, but in fall camp is when they really excelled and really stepped out there. We said Romar had a great camp and Blue is probably the leader of that position. He’s the most talkative, he’s the guy that’s very versatile that does a lot of things for us that helps us in a lot different areas and so he’s very valuable to what we do.
“Unfortunately, I don’t think we have enough depth there or I wish we had more depth at running back. If we did we could do a few more things.”
What is the optimal number of running backs for your offensive scheme?
“I’d love to have four. Four that could go and we could do quite a bit more things and you could do more things with Gio [Bernard] and Romar in different places.”
What comes to mind when you think of Virginia Tech?
“Two things really and not to knock anybody, but I would say early on Frank Beamer, when you wanted to find out about special teams as a coach, that’s where you went, because he made a name for himself on special teams at Virginia Tech and then Bud Foster and what he’s done with the defense there. They’ve been year in and year out consistently a great defense. You look in the national stats every year and Virginia Tech is going to be in the top-10, top-five in the country every year, so they’re always going to play great defense and now they got Logan Thomas on offense – the big guy who do a lot of things, so it will be a great test for us.”
Do you think you and coach Beamer are similar as far as your special teams philosophy?
“I don’t think I would put myself up there by Frank Beamer in any phase of the game, but I do believe in being aggressive and probably through the years of watching him and some of the things that he’s done have taken some things and have added to my philosophy, yes.”
How much of a grasp does Quinshad Davis have on the offense versus how much is he just out there playing?
“I think he’s got a pretty good feel now. You see he makes more and more plays. He’s a very talented young man and now when you ask him why he did something and he tells you on the sideline when you go back on film and you see it, that’s what happened and that’s why he did it. Some guys, they’ll tell you something and you go back and look on film and that’s not what happened, they don’t have it, but Quinshad, he really now is able to realize what is happening in the flow of the game and know what a corner and a safety are doing and how they’re playing him and so he understands the adjustments that he has to make so I think he’s getting a pretty good feel for it.”
What type of opportunity does playing Virginia Tech provide your program as you try to build it up?
“It’s a conference game and they’re coming into Kenan Stadium to play in the Tar Pit. We got to defend this place and we’re trying to build something about playing at home and what it means so we want to continue with what we’ve done and that’s very important to us as we build this program to where we want it to be.”
Do you expect the ‘white-out’ or something similar to be an annual thing?
“Yeah, I think so. I think the fans love it. I think the players get excited about it. Anytime you’re changing uniforms, anytime you’re doing anything that’s different – I mean our guys were excited about putting the flag on the side of the helmet, they really were. That just adds to it and it’s kind of the wave of the future and the way it is with players now and fans and everybody. It adds one more element to the game.”
Do you think jersey and helmet changes can be used as a recruiting tool?
“Oregon has already proved that that’s a recruiting tool and now you got Maryland with Under Armour on this side of the country trying to do the same thing so everybody is doing it. That’s why you watch Nebraska and Wisconsin the other day and you got the big ‘W’ and the big ‘N’ on the front of the jerseys and the retro, so everybody is doing it. It just adds to the game. I think it’s fun. I think the players enjoy it and I know the fans do.”
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