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October 23, 2013

Beamer ACC Teleconference: Duke

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As Virginia Tech has won six in a row, its rankings have also risen. The Hokies now sit at No. 14 in the BCS standings, but can they keep their momentum going Saturday against Duke?

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

Beamer: The more I watch them I'm more impressed with this Duke football team. They're right in the thick of this coastal side, the championship over there. They've got some excellent folks. No. 3, (Jamison) Crowder, what a good player he is. (Anthony) Boone, their quarterback, is playing for them. (Brandon) Connette, he's a tough guy. They get after you on defense, don't make many mistakes. They're usually in position. This is a big Coastal game. We really have watched the improvement of Duke over the years. Coach (David) Cutcliffe has done a great job in making this program a contender on the coastal side.

You talked about on the off week focusing in on the run game. We talked to the kids yesterday. They said one of the things was maybe scaling back some of the complicated parts of some of the pre-snap motion. What are you looking at in that regard with the run game?

Beamer: Yeah, I think you always got to be careful of your mind tying up your feet. There's a lot of parts getting used to. I see us making progress in that. It certainly can help you 'cause you're trying to get them out of place, get them responsibility-wise confused. But you certainly don't want to be confused yourself. It's a thin line right there. Yeah, I think we're getting better at it all the time. But I think we have to make sure we're not doing enough that our minds are tying up our feet.

Looking at Duke, how important is it not to give up the big pass plays against this offense?

Beamer: Yeah, no question. They got us a couple times last year. The Crowder kid, he made a bunch of catches, one give them their first touchdown. They hit some long ones on us last year. That's, no question, a key part of the game. They have personnel to do it. Boone has a strong, strong arm. They got good personnel catching the ball. I think four offensive linemen are back. They've got the experience factor in there. Like I said, I'm getting more and more impressed. I started out impressed and am getting more impressed as the week goes on.

Sounds like Antone (Exum), there's no final decision yet, but it sounds like this might be a week where he returns. With the other guys in the secondary, what do you have to do to keep the chemistry going with a new player coming into the mix? Do you have to say anything to (Brandon) Facyson or Kendall Fuller because Antone is going to take some of their playing time?

Beamer: No. The way I see it, we just added depth. We couldn't be more pleased with the way Facyson has played, the way Kendall has played. That secondary has been very, very good. I think now we have a little more depth, can rest each other a little bit. That's the way we look at it.

When you watched Antone in practice, can you sense the couple weeks he's taken here since being cleared being beneficial for him?

Beamer: Yeah, I think he's much better. He got out there on a headhunter yesterday, had to get his hands on him and run with him. He looked like the old Antone, I thought. I think he's much better at this point in time.

Defending the two-quarterback system they use, (Brandon) Connette was at one point just a short-yardage guy wildcat, but he hit Virginia for a big pass play, thrown for 300 yards in the game. Can you talk about the problems they present that they use the multiple system? Does it change things?

Beamer: The way I see it, they got a good one in there either way they go. Connette, I think he's got excellent toughness, big old guy. But Boone is the same way. My response would be either way they go, they got a good quarterback in the game.

When Connette is in, though, he has been a third-and-one, fourth-and-one kind of guy. Do you defend it differently?

Beamer: Again, I think you defend the whole deal. I think he's more likely to run. The naked last week was a big, big play in that ballgame. That sets up those kind of plays if you're not careful over there on defense.

Last year when you played them, they got out to a 20-0 lead. You scored then 41 points. Last week they scored the last 35 points. Is there any momentum or carryover? Did you get a momentum from that kind of finish last year? Is it something maybe they can expect this year?

Beamer: Yeah, I think anytime you come back, when your back's to the wall, your team comes back and responds, I think that's a confidence-builder. They've been through two weeks of that, played exceptionally well in the second half of two ball games in a row. I'm sure that's a confidence-builder for them. I think last year when we were able to come back like that, it helped us take another step.

Talk about Duke's offense. What have you seen in the video?

Beamer: I see an offense that's very explosive, that know what they're doing, got a plan. They can throw the ball and can run the ball. Those are the most dangerous offenses, in my opinion. One plays off the other. There's a reason they're averaging 36 points, about 460 total yards a game. They're very good.

Talk about your season so far. You're bowl-eligible. You want to get to Charlotte, but what does that mean right now if the season ended?

Beamer: We've been pleased with this football team. We've never played as many young guys as we're playing this year, freshmen, redshirt freshmen, guys that haven't been in games before. There's a lot of new guys. I think there's a lot of good talent. I feel like we're getting better each and every ballgame. We have to take another step here because we have a really good football team coming in here. I've been pleased. We practiced well. We practice against each other, offense against defense, a lot. That's been very beneficial. I've been pleased with the football team, but we're only halfway through the season. Your thoughts about your football team is what happens on the whole season.

CLICK HERE to listen to Beamer on the ACC teleconference: COACH FRANK BEAMER ACC TELECONFERENCE WEEK 9


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