Home Press Conference: Virginia Tech football coach Justin Fuente

Press Conference: Virginia Tech football coach Justin Fuente


fuenteVirginia Tech football coach Justin Fuente talks with reporters at his weekly press conference.

Opening Statement: “Thanks again to Hokie Nation who turned out to the game. Looking at the video and reflecting back on it, it was pretty special to have that many fans there. I know our kids appreciated it. I certainly do. On behalf of our staff, we want to thank everyone who came out. We will certainly need them this Saturday. We get to come back home to a tough matchup with Georgia Tech, Coach (Paul) Johnson and his triple-option attack. He will really put pressure on you in all ways. It forces you to be efficient offensively with limited opportunities. Defensively you need to get good tacklers and have your eyes in the right spot and defend four downs. It will be a great team challenge and our kids will be looking forward to it.”

On if he has a reference point similar to how Georgia Tech plays: “We played Navy last year at Memphis. At TCU, we played Air Force. The triple-option attack forces you to make the most of your time on offense. I am not suggesting that it is a greater challenge on offense than on defense. I understand that part of the reason it is challenging defensively is you don’t see it every day. And Georgia Tech is very good at it. Coach Johnson and his staff have the answers. When you give them something they can certainly counterpunch. It is certainly an obstacle.”

On if the triple-option attack will change the way the VT offense is called: “I don’t know that it can change your philosophy too much. I think that there may be some small decision that you may take that into consideration. All of this is based on time and situation but it is certainly a factor. I don’t know that during the game planning throughout the week will involve a conscious decision to do anything differently. “

On if he appreciates an offense being run like that and if he incorporates any of it: “We try to incorporate it; but certainly not to this extent. I have always felt like having an element of that in your offense is advantageous. We have kept it in so far at every spot along the way. No to this extent but I think as coaches we always respect for guys who have answers. In terms of when you are talking about Coach Foster and the way we play our defense and the adjustments we make to the triple option offense or whatever it is. You need adjustments to every problem. You need to be able to fix it.

There are a lot of good offenses and defenses out there. The 50 defense is a good defense, the 4-3 is good and the 4-2-5 is good. All those things are good. It comes down to if you can make those small changes to be able to give your guys a chance. You might not always pull them off but as a coach you can make those small adjustments to give your team a chance. Georgia Tech has that ability. They have been doing it for so long that they are comfortable with the nuances they need to tweak to be successful.”

On practicing without the ball defensively to help prepare: “We have done that in the past. It helps you make sure your assignments are correct. It is very difficult, like you said, to have that guy be able to make the reads. Often times you can practice like that.”

On whether he has a sense of relief that the four-out-of-five stretch on the road is over: “No, I don’t feel any relief. We are anxious to play this week. I am happy that we won a game last week. I felt a sense of relief when that game was over with. I think it is hard to have a sense of relief when you are trying to get ready for Georgia Tech. I am happy we are playing at home. I know we have a huge challenge in front of us. The previous weeks don’t mean much, like I have said before, in terms of what we are trying to accomplish this week. I think our kids feel that. They understand the level of intensity and work load that it is going to take.”

On how the senior leaders are helping with that message: “Our entire senior class has done a great job since we walked in the door. They have listened, taken the message and then gone and spread it. Really all of those guys have done a great job. Whether it is Chuck Clark, Sam Rodgers, Woody Baron, Jon McLaughlin, Nigel Williams or Augie Conte, they have all done a great job. They are all high-character guys who want the best for Virginia Tech. They are good listeners. I have always grouped those guys together because they have all done a great job helping to steer the group.”

On coaching RB Sam Rodgers this year and whether there’s more versatility he can bring to the offense: “It is hard to describe. I have enjoyed every moment of it. I have a great appreciation and level of respect for him. He is not only an intelligent football player but very tough and can do a bunch of things. If we were different in some other spots, then we would do a bunch of other stuff with him. That is the thing. If our makeup was different then we could do other things with him and he would be able to handle it and would be very efficient at it. I really enjoy him and am very grateful for this opportunity.”

On whether he’s had a chance to look back and reflect on the year so far: “There hasn’t been much time to look back. During the bye week, we always do self-scout but other than that you just don’t have time for it. If you spend too much time on anything other than the next task at hand, it is going to catch up to you pretty quick.””



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