Press Conference: Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer
COACH BEAMER: Well, it’s the Big Ten versus the ACC. We want to represent our conference well. Coach Hazell there I think has done a tremendous job. This is the second year, I believe on the job. Came from Kent State. Had great success there, and you can see they are a good football team. They are organized. They play hard. Good and sound. Got our hands full. You’ve got to go out there and beat them. They are not a team that’s going to give you a lot or make a lot of mistakes themselves it seems like. They have had a couple turnovers, but you get impressed with the quarterback, big, ole guy, about 6-5, 240. He’s bigger than some of our linemen. But he can hum it and their running backs, they run hard. The Macks kid is a leading rusher as well as averaging about 96 yards a game. I think this is a good football team, a really tremendous challenge for us.
Q. A couple of the coaches mentioned that Isaiah Ford has really gotten himself in great physical shape. He had considered walking on with basketball. How important was the off-season with Isaiah to get into shape?
COACH BEAMER: Well, I think Isaiah, he made that choice when I recruited him, when he recruited him. We recruited him with the idea that he’s going to have the opportunity to play basketball, also. He’s a pretty good basketball player. I think I told you guys, he’s one of the few that I’ve ever recruited — I’ve had a lot of discussions with guys about playing both football and another sport. But Isaiah I think had a legitimate shot to probably play basketball, play the other sports. But I think he realized that his future long-term was football, and he’s got a future. I mean, the way he can run, the way he’s got good size, great hands, very smart guy. So I think he’s really improved. Made a terrific catch the other day, and he’s done it all preseason. He’s been a very reliable wide receiver for us. So I think he’s going to continue to get better and better.
Q. And can you address what you’re doing at place kicker?
COACH BEAMER: I like competition. Joey (Slye) is going to be our kicker. He has been that last year. He’s got a record. He’s been a little inconsistent but he’s working hard to get it back right now. I do like competition, and (Michael) Santamaria I think is a very good kicker, also. But at the end of the day, Joey is going to be our kicker this week, and you know, we plan to go that route.
Q. In the spirit of you saying that you like competition, Brenden Motley and Dwayne Lawson both got out there in your last game. Fans obviously made some mention that they like Lawson out there. What can you say about the competition between the two?
COACH BEAMER: Well, Brenden is our quarterback and I think Lawson’s got a tremendous future, very athletic. Got to improve his throwing, more accurate, Lawson. But I think as I said the other day, I think it gets back a lot to mechanics, and as he improves that, I think his accuracy will improve a great deal. But Motley to me, he can throw the ball. He’s a good runner and he gives you something when the ball is in his hands and he’s running, a big, ole guy, 6-4. I like Brenden Motley. I like what he’s all about. I like his smarts. He’s kind of one of those guys that does whatever he needs to. I mentioned this earlier, but I think his senior year, Championship Game, blocked a kick and made about 13 tackles and did his thing at quarterback. Whatever’s needed, he kind of doesn’t get real excited about it, kind of calm head and go get it done. Kind of like that.
Q. What can you say about his ability to come in and be somebody for you right away, like you said, there’s so many things you like about him. When you look at the film, how is he learning on the fly and how quickly is he learning your offense and what he needs?
COACH BEAMER: Well, I think one thing is he’s good at — we’ve taken a freshmen, even if they are red-shirting, we take them to games with us and they are learning and signaling and going through games and going through half-time adjustments and I think that’s a great thing for a quarterback. I think that’s helping him right now. And then the other thing I think is a guy that has the right temperament to be your quarterback. No situation is too big. He’s ready for it: Give me the opportunity and watch me go, and that’s kind of the way he is.
Q. Early season, it’s hard to get a game on teams because it all depends on competition. You played the No. 1 team in the country and an FCS team. Do you have a good feel for where you are at this point after that?
COACH BEAMER: I think we do. I think when you play a good team like Ohio State, the best team in the country, unanimously, I think you find out a lot about your own football team. And then I thought we were a better football team last week against a really good Furman team. I was impressed with them. I was impressed with how they looked. They looked like a good football team. They played like a good football team. And I think the end result was, we were better last week. So you know, I think we’ll find out a lot going on the road against, really, I think a team that’s improving quickly. I think they have got a lot of positive things going for them right now, and you know, it’s going to be a real challenge for us is to go in there and try to get a win.
Q. Talk about Purdue quarterback Austin Appleby. What do you see on film from him that you like?
COACH BEAMER: Big, strong, throws the ball very easily. Flicks it, can hum it. He gets it there. He’s a threat running. The big guys, kind of like Motley. Big guy and they can run it. I think he does a nice job for them.
Q. Talking about Purdue, Coach Hazell is a very good coach, came from Kent State. What do you see on his background and what do you expect to see on Saturday with Purdue?
COACH BEAMER: Well, I just look at his team now, and I’m sort of familiar with his success
at Kent State. But you can see this team right here is moving towards being a really good football team, and that’s not surprising. I think his history would say, hey, that’s what’s going to happen. You know, they play well. They play hard. They play well. They are organized. You don’t see like a lot of confusion, mistakes. You see a very well-organized football team, and that’s what you would expect I think.
Q. Talking about (Michael) Brewer, I know he had a separated shoulder against Ohio State. How is he doing and how is his preparation coming back?
COACH BEAMER: He’s doing great. Michael, he’s such a part of this football team and so well thought of, and has put so much into this season, and being the quarterback, you really feel for him. But he’s made out of the right stuff. The family, they have got the right values and they instilled them in him and he’s been out there every day helping where he could. He was in the press box in the game Saturday. He’s all for Virginia Tech and all for doing what he can to help Virginia Tech win. We are eager to get him back. We just want him to be well and be ready to go. We are just fortunate that we have a guy like Brenden Motley in my opinion that can step in and has had the time on the sidelines; at least if not in the game, he’s had time on the sidelines to learn, and he’s smart enough where he can take those experiences and I think help him out there on the field.
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