OPENING STATEMENT: This is the start of the conference season and it has tremendous importance to us. Pitt is always a tough team, tough players, well coached and they’ve changed staffs with similar results, similar toughness and you know what kind of game you’ve got when you play Pittsburgh. You’ve got to get ready for that kind of game.
Q. On the targeting penalty on Sean Huelskamp
COACH BEAMER: I’m not going to get into officiating. Always within a game, there’s a little of this and a little of that. Again, I said afterwards officiating didn’t beat us, it didn’t help us in some situations. We still had a chance to win the football game so I’m not going to get into that.
Q. On possibly getting LB Andrew Motuapuaka back this week
COACH BEAMER: I’m hopeful. [Sean] Huelskamp he’ll have to sit out the first half I believe so hopefully Motuapuaka can be back. Lydon did a good job. He got in there and he’s been on some special teams. Solid guy, solid player, smart so we’ve got a lot of confidence in Lydon also so we’ll see.
Q. On Beamer crossing paths with Pittsburgh head coach Pat Narduzzi
COACH BEAMER: You know I coached against [Pat Narduzzi’s} dad at Youngstown. No, I haven’t. I know of him and I know a little about him but we haven’t crossed paths.
Q. On Narduzzi being a defensive-minded coach
COACH BEAMER: I think Pitt has always played good defense. To me, it’s Michigan State, well coached and he’s been with that group. I don’t think coaching is going to be an issue for those guys, they’ll be well coached. Tough and well coached.
Q. On running quarterbacks posing an issue for Tech’s defense
COACH BEAMER: Part of it the other day is we didn’t tackle [ECU QB James Summers]. You count the missed tackles against him and he had something to do with that, he’s a talented kid. Anytime a quarterback can run, our quarterback got some tremendous yardage the other day. Anytime your quarterback can run that adds another element to the game, it’s another guy you’ve got to account for. I love playing with those quarterbacks that can run. That’s just the way it is when they can run, they’ve got a chance to get some yardage and our guy got some yardage.
Q. On the status of CB Kendall Fuller for this week
COACH BEAMER: We’ll see where [Kendall] Fuller is at. I would think it’d be doubtful that he’s back. [Greg] Stroman’s got good talent, he just got in there and got him lined up a couple of times and he kind of got on a roll and couldn’t get off of it there for a while. He’s a good player and part of being a defensive back is you’ve got to forget that last play and he’s got the ability to do that. He needs to come out and have a good week of practice.
Q. On non-conference games helping prepare the team for its ACC schedule
COACH BEAMER: I hope we’ve learned. I hope we get better. We better make a lot of progress this week. We’ve played some good teams, East Carolina was a really good team and played well against us and deserved the win. I think when you’re playing good people like that you’ve got a chance to get better, you’ve got a chance to learn from it. You go into every year and you want to win them all. If you win them all, you’ve got a chance to win the national championship. If you don’t win all of your non-conference games, you’ve got a chance to get the best bowl possible depending on what you do in the conference. Now it’s conference time and we’ve got the (Fiesta or Chic-Fil-A) Bowl out there and you’ve got to win the conference championship to get there. Every game is an important game from what bowls are interested in you. To me, all the games are important and we should’ve learned from things that happened in these nonconference games and playing a team like East Carolina, a really good football team, got to learn from them.
Q. On clarifying his comments on non-conference games following the ECU game
COACH BEAMER: I think anyone that knows the business knows that the conference games are what’s important. Like I said, I’ll go right back to when you win your non-conference games you’ve got a chance to win the national championship. If you don’t, each win puts you in a better position for a bowl game. When you’re starting conference, now, if you win that you’re going to the (Fiesta or Chic-Fil-A) Bowl. Every win in conference puts you in a better position. I think anybody who understands the business understands exactly what I was saying. That’s not to say non-conference games aren’t important. If you’ve got visions of going to the national championship or visions of going to important bowl games every one of those games are certainly important, too. Hopefully we’ve learned something from playing those games.
Q. On A.J. Hughes’ miraculous punt on a bad snap
COACH BEAMER: I think [A.J. Hughes] just reacted. He did a heckuva job. AJ’s a really athletic guy and I think a talented guy and an athletic guy. It was a tremendous play. For a while there I was wanting him to kick it out of the end zone, then ‘oh my goodness, what’s going to happen?’ then I said, ‘Good play! Nice job!’ Went through about five different deals on that one.