Virginia Tech football coach Justin Fuente talks Boston College: ACC Teleconference

Justin FuenteJUSTIN FUENTE: We’re looking forward to the challenge. We have got a really good football team coming into our place in Boston College. Coach Addazio has done a fantastic job there. They have got depth and experience across the board on both sides of the ball. Playing really well in all three phases of the game, as evident by their victory last week, and we’ve got a lot of work to do to be ready for this team rolling into Lane Stadium.

Q. When you look at them defensively, they lead the league in sacks and interceptions, what’s made them so dynamic in those categories?
JUSTIN FUENTE: They are able to get pressure with four. You know, their defensive ends are very good players. Not to say their inside guys aren’t good, as well, but majority of their pressure comes from the ends, and they are very aggressive in the back end, guys that have got confidence or playing with confidence and have done a good job defending plays. That, combined with, they have a very good pressure package. You know, they are good against the run, which puts teams behind the chains. Puts them in passing situations, and then when they pin their ears back, you know, they are pretty devastating at times.

Q. On the flipside, how would you evaluate the way your offensive line has played and when you talk about offensive inconsistency, how much of it starts with that group up front?
JUSTIN FUENTE: Well, I think it’s shared across all the position groups. When you go back and just look at last week, you can literally go from position group to position group and both praise and admonish execution levels. You know, at times it looks very good across the board and at times, it’s been shared from all position groups.

Q. You mentioned how good BC is against the run. Through your first four and a half games, you guys were very effective defending the run and then the last two and a half games, not so much. Has it been injuries there or just the opponent? What has been your assessment of what’s happened the last two and a half games?
JUSTIN FUENTE: Yeah, I would say it’s probably a mixture of the three in terms of inconsistent play, being a little bit thin at some places, and then, you know, obviously we played a team that almost exclusively runs the ball last week. I think it would be, you know, the opponents. I think teams are doing a good job against us.

We’ve had some poor execution at times, and then we’ve had some — been a little thin in a couple spots.

Q. Going back to your last season at Memphis, you guys recruited Darryl Henderson there. I know he didn’t play for you in that final year, but what do you remember about recruiting him, and what kind of stuck out with him coming from Mississippi?
JUSTIN FUENTE: We loved him. He was a very productive back coming out of high school. Played for a great program in the State of Mississippi. He was very quiet, very quiet. And trying to get him comfortable with us and us comfortable with him was the biggest challenge in recruiting.

It’s been a real pleasure to see him prosper, not just on the field, but I’ve heard so many great things about kind of his social growth and how he’s doing in school, how the people over in the academic center enjoy having him. I think he was like the — you know, the Student Athlete of the Month one month.

You know, it’s been really cool, not just to see him have success but to see him blossom into a young man. Because when we recruited him, like I said, he was so extremely quiet and trying to earn his trust, you know, it took some time. Just been really happy to see him have success.

Q. What’s your assessment of the Coastal at this point? Seems like it’s very even and anybody can beat anybody.
JUSTIN FUENTE: Yeah, I would say that’s pretty accurate. I mean, obviously there’s a lot of inner division games, or a lot of Coastal Division games to be played amongst us to kind of hash the whole thing out. I just, you know, it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

I have felt like — I’ve kind of felt like it’s been like this a little bit the last couple years, or my short time being here, but maybe it’s even more so that way this year.

Q. Your assessment of Georgia Tech’s defensive end, number 94?
JUSTIN FUENTE: Oh, I think he’s a fantastic football player, I really do. We have a tremendous amount of respect for him heading into the football game. Probably even more respect for him after the game. Active. Plays hard. He’s got some athleticism, strength. Fine, fine football player.

Q. Is there any chance at this point of Josh Jackson playing this season, or is it fair to say that he’s been shut down and is kind of working towards getting back next year?
JUSTIN FUENTE: Well, I guess what I would say is it’s probably too early to know. I wouldn’t say he’s shut it down by any means. I mean, he’s still trying to rehab and do all those sorts of things. I mean, if it were to ever happen this season, I mean, it’s certainly not in the next couple weeks, I guess I would say.

Not totally out of the realm of possibility. I’m certainly not being coy with it. It’s still a little ways away, if it can happen.

Q. AJ Dillon, you probably saw him up there in Chestnut Hill. What type of running back is he and what do you have to do to control him?
JUSTIN FUENTE: Well, he certainly looked good last week versus Miami. He’s a big, powerful back that has been highly productive. They do a great job getting him the football and then having numerous plays off of that in terms of their nakeds and play-actions and boot plays and trick plays. He’s a lot quicker than you want him to be at that size when you watch him play and you watch him make movements in small spaces. He’s a very talented player.

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