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It's been over 48 hours since Virginia Tech fell to Cincinnati 27-24 Saturday at FedEx Field.
The Hokies struggled early offensively, but got rolling late. For the defense, it held tough early, but had trouble in the second half against the Bearcats' spread defense.
Think Virginia Tech's players and coaches aren't frustrated by losing on a deep touchdown pass by Cincinnati with 13 seconds left? Defensive coordinator Bud Foster sure is.
After today's practice, it was no question to him what the problem was. The Hokies just didn't execute for the whole game. He also scoffed at a question on whether or not he thought his defenders could do so.
"You think?" Foster responded. "Is that an open-ended or loaded question? I mean, what the f---? You don't think we're gonna plan on executing right there? We'd been doing it all day."
Foster also placed blame on the media for building up the defense in the pre-season, as well as suggesting that junior cornerback Antone Exum is to blame for the loss. Exum was whistled for four penalties, but it wasn't because he didn't play his hardest.
"I said we had a chance to be a good defense," Foster said. "That's what I said at the beginning of the year, that we had a chance. We've got a whole new secondary. Right now, I'd say Kyshoen Jarrett has played very well. I think Bonner's improved. You guys talking about, I don't care who was at the boundary corner this weekend, they'd attack that. We played a lot of man and that's a short side of the field. I don't care, you could've put DeAngelo Hall over there and they would have done the same thing. It's just their offense. I thought the kid you're talking to right there (Exum) played his nuts off, when it's all said and done. You can quote me on that s--- too. Ok, he played his a-- off, he fought his a-- off. There's a couple of things he'd like to have back, he just said it."
With junior cornerback Kyle Fuller also banged up a little during the game, freshman Donaldven Manning was thrust on to the field. He did well, but still gave up some big plays. Foster said Manning has to do a better job overall.
"He's been practicing," Foster said. "He's been practicing all week. He's been practicing number two. You're a play away from being the guy. It's unfortunate on his part. He's gotta take another step. We're just kind of in a bind right there from a depth standpoint."
With that depth, Foster said junior Detrick Bonner, the Hokies' starting free safety, will also be taking reps at cornerback.
At linebacker, Foster commended junior Jack Tyler and senior Bruce Taylor for their play. Tyler finished with 11 tackles, while Taylor had seven.
"He and Bruce Taylor had monster games, both of them," Foster said. "They were both playing at a high level, playing extremely well. We need everybody doing that right now, on both sides of the ball. We need everybody playing that way."
Because of that level of play, Foster said he isn't sure how much junior Tariq Edwards will factor in. Edwards still isn't fully healthy after a second surgery for a stress fracture.
"It's gonna be hard to get him fit in," Foster said. "The other guys are playing at such a high level, if you can't be full speed, especially who we're getting ready to play and how we're gonna have to play, I don't think we're helping ourselves."
Execution for the duration of the game is clearly in Foster's mind how Virginia Tech has to improve. But the Hokies will be seeing more spread offenses in the coming weeks, including North Carolina Saturday.
"They're gonna be similar to what we've seen the last few weeks to be honest with you," Foster said. "But, they do it I think at a faster pace, from what I'm understanding. It's hard to see it on film. The film doesn't do it justice. I know the first time we played East Carolina a couple of years ago and they came from the Texas Tech stuff, video doesn't do it justice how quickly they go because it cuts it off. It's not continuous. But that's the one thing we'll have to adjust to be and be ready for is that up-tempo."
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