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November 27, 2013

Beamer ACC Teleconference: UVA

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It's been nine straight wins for Virginia Tech against Virginia. But can the Hokies make it 10 and keep the Commonwealth Cup for yet another year?

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

Beamer: Playing, of course, the in-state rival this week. I think a very dangerous, talented football team. You want to talk about the defense and how well they've played at times, had some injuries here and there, and taken them out of their rhythm, but I agree totally. I think they're impressive. And then they've really got some good playmakers on offense, two quarterbacks that I think give you something different to prepare for, and so this is a -- I think it's a tough game for us and one that we've got to go in well prepared ourselves.

I want to ask you, you had such high expectations for Kendall Fuller and Brandon Facyson coming in this year, but are you at all surprised or maybe impressed is a better word with how consistent they've been for you?

Beamer: Yeah, I've used the word impressed. Two guys that have really just -- very mature for their age, year in school, very smart. The game makes sense to both of them. They both just played exceptionally well for us.

It's turned out to be I imagine pretty important because of the injuries to Exum and Fuller. You couldn't foresee that, but did you expect them to play as big a role as they did somewhere?

Beamer: Well, they kind of were forced into that. Like you said, we've had some injuries there. When you talk about Kyle and Exum, that's two guys that you're counting on very heavily to do big things this year, and both of them ended up hurt. And so they were forced into it, but they didn't blink an eye. They stepped right up and took charge.

I know we've asked you about it earlier in the week, but now you've had a few days to think about it a little bit more. Are you still set with Kristensen at kicker?

Beamer: Yeah, I think we are. I think the most consistent kicker we've got, and right now Branthover will probably kick our long field goals if the ball is outside the 25, but I think anything inside the 25 we'll go with Kristensen and feel good about it. I'll tell you, before this came around, Bruce Garnes was always out there with me, we'd go in the stadium for about the first three or four periods, and Bruce and I talk quite a bit about how consistent -- what a good kicker Kristensen is. He got his opportunity a little bit before we were planning on it, but I think he gets good height on the ball, his flight is very consistent, so, you know, I think he's looking forward to it, and I'm looking forward to seeing him.

And just with the struggles you guys have had just on the coverage teams, Miami had those two returns that you guys had fumbles on, Maryland has a punt return, have you guys done any changes or has there been any tinkering with those coverages?

Beamer: Well, I hope we can get a clipping call, and if we do, I don't think Maryland has a punt return if they don't clip us in the back.

I was wondering, you've gone against Jon Tenuta's defense, a couple of his different defensive styles. Can you talk about game planning against an attacking style like that?

Beamer: Yeah, he makes you work, and you don't get a good breath the whole week. He kind of scares you where pressure is coming from, who, what, when, where. You know, he makes you coach the week you're getting ready to play him.

I just wanted to ask you about the division title race and the fact that you guys are in it, in your own hands if Duke loses to North Carolina and they play right before you guys. Will you listen to the final score or pass that around?

Beamer: No. You know, we said going into this game, we talked a little bit about that or talked about what we could do and what could happen if so and so did so and so before our last ballgame, and I came into our team meeting on the day after that game and said, look, the only thing we're going to talk about and think about is Virginia, and that's the only thing we can control, and whatever else happens, happens. I think if you can keep your mind on what you can control and not have it all over the place, you're probably better off. That's going to be our approach to this thing is not worry about anybody else, worry about ourselves and how we're getting ready -- how we're going to play against Virginia.

One of the oldest clichés in sports, just throw the record book out the window, they've lost eight straight games but it's a rivalry game, obviously. Clichés are clichés because they sometimes apply. Does that apply this week?

Beamer: Yeah, they've got some people back healthy. You look at their stats, and I mean, they scare you. And they should, because I think sometimes when you get some injuries going, it's hard to get into a rhythm. Because they're getting a lot of those people back, we know exactly what kind of football game we're going to be involved in here on Saturday, and we've got to make sure our kids understand that, too.

Just curious, is it kind of strange to prepare for a team that's having maybe its best defensive player entering the game only for the third quarter with Harris? How much do you take that into account, the fact that he's going to be playing --

Beamer: Well, they're going to be missing a good player the first half, I can tell you that. But they've got very capable people back there, and I think that's just part of the game. We've got to try to attack whoever is back there and do what we do.

CLICK HERE to listen to Beamer on the ACC teleconference: COACH FRANK BEAMER ACC TELECONFERENCE WEEK 14


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