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September 18, 2013

Beamer ACC Teleconference: Marshall

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A defensive stand proved to be the difference for Virginia Tech in escaping East Carolina with a win last weekend. It's back home for the Hokies against another big offense in Marshall.

Coach Frank Beamer talked about the task Saturday, plus injury and status updates on this week's ACC Media Teleconference. Below is the transcript, followed by the audio link.

Beamer: Really impressive football team in Marshall. Leads their league in several offensive categories, several defensive categories. Very complete football team. Good in the kicking game. Very impressive. I thought we played a really good football team last week, and I think overall this team is better. We understand that we're going to have to play better ourselves to have success against this team. Yeah, it's another really good test and one that -- we understand they're an extremely good football team.

I wanted to ask you, Brent Benedict, the move there to put him at right tackle, why did you guys make that move, and what has he done well and what have you seen from him?

Beamer: Well, he's a tough guy, and we're just trying to find some -- the most consistent guys on the offensive line. I think the fact that Alston Smith is there in the guard position, and we've got great hope for him just from a talent level and a learning level. This guy was ahead of the curve. So trying to get our best people on there and create competition in our offensive line because I really do believe when there's competition and you're competing for playing time, everyone gets better.

And Torrian Gray said last night that Antone Exum won't play against Georgia Tech. Is that your understanding, and kind of what's the outlook there?

Beamer: Yeah, he's going to get checked again soon, and I think we'll know more after that. I'm worried about Marshall and who's going to play against Marshall right now.

I know J.C. Coleman is still kind of getting back to being full health, but is he close, and since he reaggravated his injury a couple weeks ago, does that change how you get him back in? Are you more cautious?

Beamer: Yeah, he's close. He's not there. I worry about the amount of time he's going to have to get back in there and make sure he's got his assignments down. He was a little rusty on a couple plays yesterday when he was in there. Not only physically, I think, but mentally he's behind a little bit right now.

And with Chris Mangus and Joel Caleb, those two guys, are you comfortable throwing to them a little more and putting them outside a little more?

Beamer: Yeah, I think they serve a purpose there, and certainly I think both of them have ability and both of them can catch the ball well. Yeah, I think trying to take advantage of that is a good thing.

I just wanted to ask you about the
confidence of Cody Journell right now, just kind of what the past couple of days have been like for him at practice and how much you've talked to him to help kind of get him back on track.


Beamer: Yeah, we've talked a couple times, and he's been excellent in practice. I mean, he had a great day of kicking yesterday, had a great day of kicking Sunday. You know, he's a guy that he's done it long enough and he went back and looked at the video from Sunday, and he understands what he's doing, how he's doing it and when something is not quite right. He's a good kicker. He's a solid, really good kicker, and most times the flight is the very same, and most of the time they're close to the middle of the goalposts, so that's kind of what you look for.

And from what I read, just from his comments to the local reporters there, he's saying that it was more mechanical than it was mental. Is there something specific there?

Beamer: Well, I think it started out mechanical and then maybe -- I can't speak for him, but you know, maybe got to be a little bit of a mental thing. But I think his plant foot was a concern early and then that caused a hoodwink, and then after that you're trying to correct and you leave it out there to the right and then you come back and then you're thinking about it a little bit. But I can't speak totally for him, but the one thing I can say is we're totally confident in his abilities.

The three teams you've played this year, what does Marshall look like in those three teams, or any teams in the ACC that remind you of Marshall?

Beamer: Well, any team that's explosive, runs a lot of plays, plays tough defense, gets after it good in the kicking game, that's a team that would remind me of Marshall. The thing last week is that the turnovers got them. I think any time you give up a touchdown on your kickoff return, that's a big turnaround in the game, and it still was close at the end. I mean, after all the turnovers they still had a chance to beat a really good Ohio football team. They've got our full attention here this week.

Just talk about the USA Conference. Is it like an up-and-coming conference just like the old Big East, or what do you think?

Beamer: Well, I think it's a good conference. It's got a lot of good teams, and I know there's some moving around going, and that's kind of the way college football is right now. But no, I think that is certainly a good league and good schools and good football programs.

I know you don't like records and all that stuff, but what does it mean winning the game on Saturday getting a 700th win for the school?

Beamer: Well, getting a win is really critical, and I think any time you get involved with a school that's got a lot of wins, 700 is a lot of wins, so there have been a lot of good coaches, a lot of good players through here.

You've got a true freshman corner, Brandon Facyson, with three interceptions so far. Some true freshmen will get picked on. He seems to be responding to the challenge so far.

Beamer: He is. You know, I put he and Kendall Fuller. Both of them are freshmen, both of them are tall. Both of them are bright guys, very smart. Both of them have very good football instincts, which I think you certainly need back there in the secondary. We feel good about both those kids. Facyson, he's had a couple of tipped balls that he got, but he's been in the right place, made good breaks on one or two of the interceptions. Yeah, very impressive. To come in there and play corner and you're kind of out there on the aisle a little bit and I think the way they've done it, it's been very impressive.

When is the last time you can remember starting -- do they both start, first of all?

Beamer: Well, they're both part of the package. One of them will start and then the other one is a part of a package.

Do you remember having a secondary quite that young before with two key guys in there both freshmen?

Beamer: Yeah, not really. But I've never had a starting offensive tackle, left tackle, either, that's a freshman. So we've experienced some new things here. I forget how many -- I think we played 10 true freshmen here this year and 37 different guys playing for the first time. There are some unique things going on. We're really a very young football team. Now, the good part of it is these young guys are really talented, I think, for the most part. There's good days ahead, but just trying to get to the good days, that's what we're working on right now.

CLICK HERE to listen to Beamer on the ACC teleconference: COACH FRANK BEAMER ACC TELECONFERENCE WEEK 4




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