OPENING STATEMENT: I always say we are doing this thing together. A couple things were apparent Saturday night. Number one, a tremendous number of fans were there at Ohio State. We had a bunch of folks who were loud, and we appreciate those folks. Then, back here, after we win the ball game there was a downtown celebration. A lot of our students – I don’t know how many people, but a bunch – were there to greet our bus. Truly everybody was a part of this win.
Another thing I need to point out, there has been a lot of talk about Michael Brewer – and there should be; he’s played tremendous – but I really feel like we have two quarterbacks who are really good: Mark Leal and, like I said, Michael Brewer. He has a team attitude, being ready to play when needed. The other night there were a couple times where it looked like he might be needed when Brewer took a couple of shots. We really feel good about our situation there at quarterback. We’ve got Mark sitting there and Motley’s back now, so we’ve got to get him in the fold, too.
Another thing, on the injured front, Sean Huelskamp tore his knee up. He’s getting it looked at today. I’m afraid it’s going to be messed up. He’s a walk-on kid, but he is coming along. He’ll be back. He’s got some time left. He did a great job covering kickoffs up there. He was going to be really a key guy, particularly on the special teams, so we’re going to miss him.
Having said that, I talked to the team, and we always talk about – during a game – if it’s a good play, forget it; if it’s a bad play, forget it. You don’t want to get ahead of yourself but focus on the next play. I think that’s really important for us as a football team right now. We had a great win – like I said – against a national team. Our kids played great. Our coaches coached great. We enjoyed the win. We celebrated. Now we need to get that out of our mind and get on east carolina because they are a dangerous football team. Anyone who can throw the football the way these guys can throw it are dangerous.
The quarterback and their wide receivers have skill. I think they are a little better running the football right now. I think they’re offensive line has improved. They’ve got four guys at tailback. They just run them in there and keep them fresh.
Defensively, they’ve got a couple guys in the middle you can’t move. They are big and strong and tough. They play flexible defenses. This is a really good football team. They punted one time against South Carolina. We need to get our minds on East Carolina, and we win.
Q: DOES BEATING OHIO STATE IN THE SECOND WEEK CHANGE THE ATTITUDE OF THE TEAM GOING FORWARD AT ALL? I think we’re more confident. You know you played a good, talented football team and won, but their quarterback is out. I think you build confidence over it, but still this is a new week and a new team. We have to put our focus to that team.
Q. IT SEEMED LIKE BUD WENT TO A THROWBACK DEFENSIVE ALIGNMENT MOVE TO SLOW OHIO STATE DOWN. WHEN DID HE COME TO YOU WITH THAT AND DECIDE THAT’S WHAT YOU WANTED TO DO? We talked about it sometime ago. It was a great game plan. They hit us on a couple of deep balls and we got them on a couple. We put the free safety back their, and they’re hoping they can beat us again, and we get a couple of interceptions. It was a little bit of a cat and mouse deal, but the main thing is that we put pressure on the quarterback. We kept pressuring a quarterback who hasn’t played that much, and it worked very well. It all comes back to coaching, and it goes back to kids performing cause there’s some complicated deals going on there. Guys executed the defense very well. Chase Williams was very good about adding on and coming when he needs to. It took the execution of our players to get it done too.
Q. THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF TALK ABOUT THE RESURGENCE OF THE VIRGINIA TECH PROGRAM. I KNOW AS A COACH YOU WANT TO DOWNPLAY THAT AND SAY YOU NEED TO FOCUS ON THE NEXT OPPONENT, BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT. YOU WANT THE REST OF THE COUNTRY TALKING ABOUT YOUR PROGRAM SO THAT YOU’VE ESTABLISHED THAT YOU ARE WHERE YOU WANT TO BE OR AT LEAST ARE GETTING TO WHERE YOU WANT TO BE. Oh, absolutely. You always want people saying good things about your program and feeling positive. You want people to give some more money to build that indoor facility. We didn’t get quite as many wins as we wanted recently, but it wasn’t because we were out and out awful the last couple of years. We’ve got more playmakers around our quarterback right now and that helps. This season is far from over. You feel good now, but we’re only getting ready to play game three. Let’s see how we feel at the end of the year. We’ve got a lot of work to do until then.
Q. BREWER TOOK SOME BIG SHOTS SATURDAY. ESPECIALLY WITH IT BEING THE BEGINNING OF THE SEASON, IS THERE ANYTHING YOU ARE TELLING HIM SO THAT HE MIGHT AVOID SOME OF THAT PRESSURE? I think he knows. He knows when to take a shot to get a first down, when you need to go for it, when you need to get down or get out of bounds. I think he’s got it pretty well figured out. A couple times he threw the other night and knew he was going to get hit and still threw accurately. That takes some stuff right there. We like that about him.
Q. IS TREY EDMUNDS READY TO RUN THE BALL FOR YOU YET? I think he’s on his way back. He made a couple of nice plays on special teams the other night. We’re going to keep looking at him at practice this week. Now, is he back all the way? I’m not sure about that. He’s working hard at it that’s for sure.
Q. IS KALVIN CLINE CLOSE TO GETTING BACK TO PLAY? He’s doubtful to play this week.
Q. IS THIS AS DIVERSE A SET OF TIGHT ENDS AS YOU’VE HAD HERE? I’ve said all along, the toughness these guys have to get in there and block is great. They are athletic. They can get out wide into space. I think it really gives you some flexibility. Malleck is a guy who is really important to our team offensively, and then Bucky brings a lot to the offense. He has the ability to run and catch the ball. Those are two really critical guys to our offensive team that we didn’t have last year.
Q. HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO SCORE WHEN YOU’RE IN THE RED ZONE AND WITH EFFICIENCY? There’s no question, if you don’t score, you don’t get the points, but it’s a confidence thing for you too. I feel good about Slye’s ability. We tried a long field goal and barely missed it – just hit it wrong. Offensively, we have bigger backs. In one run the other night we needed the guy to break a tackle and keep on surging, and he did. We’ve got some people who help us in the red zone too.
Q. WE SAW KENDALL COME OFF THE FIELD NEAR THE END, HOW IS HE DOING PHYSICALLY? I think he’s ok. What tremendous plays he had – like three or four. He’s a vital part of our defense. We can take him and block down a guy and feel ok about it. It really allows some flexibility in our defense. He’s a player for sure.
Q. YOU’VE HAD SUCCESS AGAINST [ECU QB SHANE] CARDEN THE LAST FEW YEARS. WHAT HAVE YOU GUYS DONE TO MAKE LIFE DIFFICULT FOR HIM? The other side of it is, he’s a year older. They’ll go back and study the tape. I read our team all the things that he’s accomplished and is getting ready to accomplish this year. It took about eight minutes to get through all the stuff to our football team. He’s an accomplished guy who is in a system that is perfect for him. They have a better running game, and that really helps him. That really adds to their offensive team right there. We’ve got to get after him.
Q. CAN YOU GIVE ME AN UPDATE ON COREY MARSHALL? We’re still waiting to hear the official word, but hopefully he’s ok. Between he and Dadi Nicolas, when we’ve got them both in inside, talk about some athletic guys. They are running down a speed-option pitch on the sideline. You’re talking about a couple guys who can make a big difference in there.