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September 4, 2013Sign-up for HokieHaven.com Wireless Text Alerts sent right to your cell phone!
The season-opener didn't end well for Virginia Tech, with a 35-10 loss to Alabama in the Chick-fil-a Kickoff. The Hokies are now getting ready for their home-opener, which should go much better, against FCS Western Carolina.
Coach Frank Beamer talked about getting back on track Saturday, plus a few injury updates on this week's ACC Media Teleconference. Below is the transcript, followed by the audio link.
Beamer: Yeah, I think that's important to Virginia Tech right now is that we make progress. I think playing a team like Alabama, you find out exactly where you are. We found out some things we certainly need to correct. Particularly in college football, you have a chance to improve the most I think from week one to week two. Week one is the first time you play against other people. You've been beating up your own guys all the time. That's our challenge this week, is to come out and be a better football team. We're working hard. We practiced well yesterday. We will have another great practice today to get ready for Western Carolina.
Coach, coming off Alabama, a big-time opponent, are you worried about your guys sleeping or being less amped about playing Western Carolina?
Beamer: Well, we really practiced well yesterday. I think our football team understands that right now we need to get Virginia Tech better. We certainly respect every opponent, prepare for every opponent. Regardless of who the opponent is this week, I think the real emphasis is do things better as a football team. There's a lot of areas we can do things a lot better. That's our challenge.
One thing that stood out in the Alabama game was dropped passes by the receivers. Is that something that is more of a mental problem or something you can work on physically? What are the receivers doing to try to keep their hands on the ball?
Beamer: We're getting extra work after practice. All those guys that dropped balls, I've seen them catch tough balls, make some tough catches. If you can do it one time, you can do it every time. That's how we think. I expect us to be better as a group this week.
Frank, playing against Alabama in the opener, is that good for your program, good for college football? Is it a matter of the pros outweighing the cons?
Beamer: I think it really is. I think when you look at it, when you play a team that is as good in every area as Alabama is, you find out exactly where your football team is. Sometimes when you play a lesser opponent, things slide a little bit for a few weeks, then you get down the road against an important conference game, all of a sudden something shows up. I thought it was a plus. We had a chance actually to play another opponent. ESPN offered for us to play another team. We said no, we wanted to stay with Alabama. I think for our fans' sake, that's the team they like to play. For our kids' sake, they like the challenge of playing the No. 1 team in the country. I think from an overall standpoint, we know more about our football team right now than we would if we'd beaten someone 50-0. I think we know more about our football team.
Who was the other team?
Beamer: Well, I won't get into all the specifics. Last spring we had a chance to play another team. ESPN came and said we could play another team. They were going to get somebody else to play Alabama.
I know you will release the injury report tomorrow, but if you can get J.C. Coleman back, is he healthy enough to go the whole series or do you mix him in a little bit?
Beamer: I think today is an important practice for J.C. He's back, but exactly how far back he is, I think we need to see yet. He did some things very well yesterday. But today, let's see exactly where he is.
Is this the kind of game against a team like Western Carolina to see what you've got in a Joel Caleb?
Beamer: Our first priority is to win the football game. We're going to play the best people we got. Wherever Joel fits into the rotation, that's where he'll show up. We're going to get our best people in there and play who we got.
Frank, you guys held Alabama to just 97 yards of total offense in the first half. Just the overall picture of how the defense played, how much better was it than the final score indicated?
Beamer: Well, I thought we really played well. One of our better defensive games around here. We really flew to the football. We really tackled well against some really quality people. The running backs, the wide receivers, really played extremely well. Very aggressive, played well. I think, really, if we had executed a little bit better offensively we would have been happy. The offensive line did a good job in this game, in protection. I thought they were aggressive in the run game against a really, really good defense. So I think we've got work to do. But I'm hoping we can be a really good football team.
CLICK HERE to listen to Beamer on the ACC teleconference: COACH FRANK BEAMER ACC TELECONFERENCE WEEK 2
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