Q. On East Carolina
COACH BEAMER: Anytime you get ready to play East Carolina, you better get ready to play. The last three games have been real tight. They came here last year and it didn’t turn out so well. I have a lot of respect for the program. They’re a tough team to beat. We want to make sure our football team understands that, and they do. The ones who’ve played against them, you don’t have to convince them. They have a good program. They do a good job. They’ll play us well.
Q. On the penalties at Purdue
COACH BEAMER: Yesterday we went through each one of them during our team meeting and got an explanation why they occurred. You look at penalties and say, ‘why did it happen?’ and if it’s not a good reason why it happened, then it shouldn’t have happened. That’s what I hope came out of our deal yesterday. It’s not like us. There’s no question. It’s yards we have to make up. Hopefully after yesterday, we’re better. We’ll find out next week.
Q. On whether he’s considering bringing officials to practice
COACH BEAMER: No, we haven’t [brought officials to practice]. That’s a possibility. I hadn’t thought about that part of it, never really done that. We have smart guys. When smart guys see it on the video, I don’t think you’ll see it happen again. I’m banking on that one right there. The worst pressure is peer pressure. When figure out what happened, why did it happen, and what are the consequences of what happens, I think that’s the best teaching. We’ve called a guy out, did an up- down for every penalty yard of the penalty. We’ve done a lot of stuff. But I think this is the best thing. Again, I’m going to be surprised if we’re anywhere near the number we’ve had so far.”
Q. On East Carolina last year vs. this year
COACH BEAMER: The look about the same to me. They have a couple of receivers that look like the ones from last year, playing well. [Davon] Grayson is 6-2. I remember looking out there last year and thinking ‘man, those guys are big and fast.’ They still look the same from that standpoint. [Blake] Kemp throws left-handed. They have their whole offensive line back there. Dangerous team. Anytime you have your offensive line back, so that part is solid, and you have the possibility to throw the ball, those guys are good enough. We better get ready to play.
Q. On the benefits of the ongoing VT-East Carolina series for both schools
COACH BEAMER: They’re a quality program. I have great respect for the coach. I think we’re close enough that they bring people here, we take people there – that part of it’s good. Scheduling as not as easy as let’s go schedule so-and-so. So-and-so has to want to play Virginia Tech. When you find two teams that it’s beneficial in some ways for us and in some way for them, then I think you try to get as many games as you can. I think that’s what Jim Weaver did. To me, it has a lot of pluses. The minus for us is they’re just a tough team to beat. They way they’ve been able to do things, the way they threw the ball last year, the way they can this year. It makes it a dangerous team. They’re running back [Chris] Hairston, he’s a 6-foot 205 guy – he’s a tough runner. They have people who can play the game.
Q. Despite the outcome and losing QB Michael Brewer to injury on the positives of opening with Ohio State
COACH BEAMER: I said before the game with Ohio State and I’ll say it now, I think that’s a good way to start the year. I think our preparation was better. I think our team overall is better. If you have flaws, you see them quickly. There are things we need to get better at doing. I think it’s good. That was a good way to start. I don’t like the loss but I think we’re a better team now because we played them.
Q. On Greg Stroman going in the wrong direction on a couple punt returns
COACH BEAMER: Sarcastically: No [Greg Stroman running the wrong way] doesn’t concern me. I like our punt returns going that way [laughing]. I believe this: you’re going to see him return a lot of punts before he leaves here. I think number one, it’s the hardest thing to do in football. People barreling down on you, catching the ball, may get hit quickly, if not you have to dodge somebody. I think it’s a tough thing to do. The guy that wants to do it, that guy is a luxury. Right now, Kendall Fuller is the other guy we’ll have back there some this week. He and Stroman like to do it (return punts). We have to do a better job of getting them going. What happening is football right now is you get all these formations and they’re trying to get headhunters down there, three headhunters, four headhunters, and it’s just hard to get them blocked up in space. You’re better off trying to block kicks because they’ve taken people from protection and have them out there as headhunters. I think in the end we’ll see how the whole year works out, but people how keep splitting out. I hope we become better at blocking kicks.”