Virginia Tech and Tennessee's offensive and defensive coordinators met with the media today including Tech's Bud Foster and Bryan Stinespring. Two more players talked with the media as well. Find out what they had to say inside.
Bud Foster - Defensive Coordinator
On the Chick-fil-A Bowl:
"I would like to reiterate what a great bowl atmosphere we're having right here. Gary Stokan and his staff do a tremendous job. We're in our 17th straight bowl, but this is as good of a bowl situation that you're going to go to, and we're extremely proud to be representing the ACC in this contest."
"This is a tremendous opportunity for us, a tremendous challenge against a quality SEC opponent. We have a tremendous amount of respect for the University of Tennessee and their program. We've got our hands full from a defensive standpoint. This is one of the better offensive lines we've faced this year along with one of the better tailbacks in college football (in Montario Hardesty). We've got a tremendous challenge ahead of us."
On the layoff between games affecting the defense:
"It's about getting our timing back. Defensively, the timing comes into your explosion and tackling. That's probably what suffers the most with time off. We really went right away back into the fundamentals and basics. We tackled right away. We did all phases of the tackling aspect to keep our timing down. On defense, timing is that explosive point."
Bryan Stinespring - Offensive Coordinator
On the Chick-fil-A Bowl:
"I'd like to thank the Chick-fil-A Bowl. What an awesome experience it is here. They do a terrific job not just for us as a program to make our team and coaching staff feel welcome, but our families also. It is just a great experience to be here and be a part of such an outstanding bowl and to face a team like Tennessee. I think our fans are excited about it. I know Tennessee's fans are excited about it. The regional relationship we have and the fact it has been a while since we've played on the field brings a lot of excitement to this ballgame."
On facing an SEC defense:
"It's kind of nice to end the season the way you started (after opening against Alabama). I'm proud of this offense. We've faced maybe six or seven teams ranked in the top 25 in total defense and we've gotten better as the year has gone on. To be able to watch a group grow up and start making big plays and developing the way they have, that excites you as a football coach. When you're better at the end of the year than you are at the beginning, it excited you. Tennessee is another tough, physical, fast defense. And we'll have to go out there and play well."
On facing Tennessee defensive back Eric Berry:
"Tennessee does a great job of getting their playmakers in position to make great plays. We've asked Tennessee to put a little red light on top of Eric and they haven't gotten back to us whether they were going to do that. If you start focusing a lot on one element, you don't start taking care of all the elements. Certainly we need to be aware of where he is and try to account for him as well as we can, but the thing about defenses is we eventually have to snap it and they don't have to show their hand quite as quick as we do."
Danny Coale - Wide Receiver
On Monte Kiffin's Tampa 2 defensive scheme:
"They do play some Tampa 2 and it is a fast, physical defense. Fortunately for us, Coach Foster will run a Tampa 2 also, so we've gotten some practice at that. There's no easy practice against a Coach Foster team, so we get that aggressiveness and competition every day."
On maintaining rhythm in the passing game following the time off:
"It's been 30 days and we've been at work during those 30 days to keep that timing. In a game situation, you'll really tell. From a confidence standpoint, I don't think we've lost a step."
Nekos Brown - Defensive End
On the Hokies' defense:
"We want to be on the field first. We take pride in that to set the tone for the team and the game. That's what we focus on. We all take pride as a big senior group. We've been together a long time and it all has to do with how you want to be remembered. Us not giving up a point in the second half just goes along with getting to our potential."
On Tennessee's tight ends:
"I think the tight ends really help their pro-style offense. They come from the side and make crack-back blocks. They really make their offense go. Sometimes you forget about a tight end until late in the game and that's what they do - hit (opponents) late. I think they have a really good scheme."
Monte Kiffin - Defensive Coordinator
On the Chick-fil-A Bowl experience:
"They've done a great job with the Bowl here. It's been a great place for a tremendous Bowl. The hotel has been great. They want you to have a great time. The people have done a great job here."
On Virginia Tech:
"The more tape I watch of Virginia Tech, they keep getting better - especially towards the end of the year they really got good. It's a great challenge for us. (They are) a great offensive football team and we're going to really have to be at the top of our game. I can't say enough about their staff. Do you know how hard it is to win 10 games? They do it every year it seems. (Quarterback) Tyrod Taylor has really come a long way. He's really a seasoned veteran quarterback. He's a leader out there now. He's very confident in what he does."
On his early advice for his son, Volunteers head coach Lane Kiffin:
"When Lane took the job, I told him I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is you're the head coach at the University of Tennessee. The bad news is have your checked your schedule kid, cause it's a tough schedule."
Jim Chaney - Offensive Coordinator
On pre-Bowl practice thus far:
"I think things are looking great. It seems like it has (taken) about a decade to get to this football game, so we've had a lot of practice time. It seems like we've ran one play 30 times. If we screw that up in a game, I'm going to be awfully upset. It's time to play the football game. As the week has progressed, their focus is where we need it to be. Today we had a really good practice. We're pleased with the progress we've made and we're ready to go."
On the Bowl Week experience:
"It really hasn't changed a lot. We try to maintain the flow of a regular work week. Our fun part as coaches is practice. We call it 'yard time'. We get out of prison and get to have some fun. Last night's Bowl function (the Georgia Power Football Feud) was a good time to cut loose and have a little fun. You've got to stop and smell the roses. Once in a while you have to relax and have some fun."
On the Virginia Tech defense:
"The defense fits all of the formations. That's what's unique to them - they don't have to change their defensive personnel. They have the right people on the field. We'll try to do some things to create some mismatches but I believe we've seen everything that's going to take place. It's still going to get down to execution. It's going to get down to players making plays."
Montario Hardesty - Running Back
On potential Bowl Week distractions:
"I feel as the week has gone on, we have gotten more focused. We were a little rusty (early on). A lot of guys have visited Atlanta - it's not far from Knoxville. I don't think that's going to be much of a distraction. Come game time, we will be ready."
On chasing Tennessee's single-season rushing record:
"The only reason I know about it is because everybody is telling me about it. (Breaking the record) would be nice to do. If I can do that and get a win, that would be fine. My main goal is to go out there and get a win for the University of Tennessee. To play in my last game with a win in the Chick-fil-A Bowl - that's the big thing for me."
Chris Walker - Defensive End
On the delay between the team's last game and the Chick-fil-A Bowl:
"Like both coaches said, it's been a long time for us. We're pretty restless and we really want to play this game. You can see by the way we practiced today that everybody is starting to buckle down. We had a really good practice today. As the week has gone on, we've tightened down."
On defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin:
"When we found out he was getting the job, the guys were really excited because we followed what he did in the NFL. He got it done on a high level. We were really excited to let it loose. It's cool to see how some of the guys that we have match up with some of the guys that they (Tampa Bay) had and match up with what they did."