Opening Statement from head coach Frank Beamer: I think what I said after the game was pretty accurate. I thought our offensive line hung in there and I think Trey Edmunds is going to be a special player. We’ve got to pick it up around Logan and get some consistency. I feel like it’s coming. I feel like it’s a possibility. Defensively, we played one of the best games we’ve ever played. I thought we were very physical. We were flying to the ball. We were tackling some really good backs and some really explosive wide receivers.
We went out yesterday [Sunday] with special teams and spent some extra time on kickoff return, kickoff coverage and punt coverage. We’re going to make a few changes there personnel-wise and make sure we have our best possible lineup on the field.
If you look at Western Carolina, they are playing a lot of young guys just like we are. It’s going to be a young ball game here this weekend. They run the option offense and they have two quarterbacks that are very athletic and that’s a concern. They run it different ways so there is some concern there. It’s one of those games where we have to get Virginia Tech better. That’s what you always try to do early in the year. Regardless of who you’re playing, you’ve got to make improvements from game one to game two and that’s what is going to be our priority right now.
How many of the incompletions were actual incompletions from Logan Thomas and how many drops did you see?
I’d rather not get into particulars. We need to be more consistent in catching the football. We’re going to work hard this week throwing a lot of balls. The guys have done it before. We’ve seen those guys be positive players so we just have to get back to being a positive player now.
Were you happy with the way Logan threw the ball and was it more on the receivers?
Yeah, for the most part. Even on the interception we had poor spacing and ran a poor route, which caused the interception. In the game we thought they fooled us, but really it was just our team not executing, lining up correctly and not running the correct route at the proper depth. Overall, I thought Logan did a good job. We’re going to work on his read progression but overall Logan did okay.
Is there any concern with putting veterans on special teams in an injury risk situation?
You start out and you want to get guys that you feel can get it done. If you can take a veteran guy off of the field, you’d like to do that. Those plays, as we found out the other night, can be such explosive plays. I’ve always said that if you make good plays on special teams that it is the quickest way to win a football game and if you don’t make those plays it’s the quickest way to lose a football game. We need to get our best people out there.
Do you worry about Logan’s confidence because of the drops he suffered and what happened last year when he seemed depressed because his supporting cast wasn’t performing up to par?
I think Logan is a realistic guy. He understands what he did well and what he didn’t do well. He’ll be better next week. We just have to help him out in a better fashion.
Will Joel Caleb be back and apart of the game plan this week?
Yes. We’re hoping that he and J.C. will both be back.
How important is it to get depth behind Trey and is Joel still the guy you’re looking at for the big body option?
Well we’re going to let them all compete in there. Honestly, I thought [Chris] Mangus did well when he went in the other night. He fought hard and he’s a speedy guy. I thought he did okay when he got in the other night. I was impressed with how hard he ran.
Were you happy with the workload you gave Trey and with having a few guys back how much do you change up how many carries or touches you give Trey?
We’ll see. Trey handled it fine. I think when you have a good back you have to make sure you get him into the flow of the game. Most of the time we’ve been good when we’ve had two guys that have gotten the majority of the work. I think that way they stay in the flow of the game and stay rested and fresh. We will see how it goes this week and we will see how we practice this week.
Thoughts on the defensive line’s play during the game?
I thought we played exceptionally well up front. I thought we were very physical and flew to the football. A couple times we did miss that first tackle but here comes two, three or four more guys. That’s the way you like to watch it on film, a bunch of blurs headed for the football. I thought we did a great job of that.
Assess the plays of your tackles Gibson and McLaughlin.
I thought they did very well. It was the first game for both of them. We gave up one sack and that was late in the game but other than that I thought we hung in there. I thought they played physical. In the run game, I see us getting better each and every week and I thought that was a good start for our offensive line.
When you were watching film on special teams was there one thing that was systemic?
On the kickoff return, we had some broken tackles and several missed tackles. We were out of position. So it is just a matter of doing it correctly. Then on the punt return, we had a couple of guys too wide with their lanes. Our lane distribution was not correct and it caused a hole in our coverage. We gave it extra work yesterday.