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Virginia Tech football coach Justin Fuente talks Georgia Tech: ACC Teleconference

Justin FuenteTHE MODERATOR: We are now joined by Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente.

Coach, please give us an opening statement and then we’ll take questions.

JUSTIN FUENTE: We’re looking forward to being back home for Thursday night football. We’ve had a good week of prep. We have a heck of a challenge in front of us.

Q. Most of the guys on this roster, at least in the starting role, haven’t beaten Georgia Tech. Do you address that with them? Do you notice players in your career press when they have a team they’re getting near the end of their career and haven’t notched a win against?
JUSTIN FUENTE: Well, I haven’t noticed guys pressing when they haven’t had success against a team historically. I think our guys all know we haven’t won the last two meetings versus these guys. They’re well aware of that.

Q. Does it drive at all in practice, something that coaches use to prod them during the week or not something you get into?
JUSTIN FUENTE: No, I don’t think those are the best motivational tools personally. I mean, we certainly are conscious of it. We are not ignoring it. We own it, understand it.

I think we have other motivations other than just that.

Q. Ricky Walker mentioned the open date gave him a chance to get healthy. What have you seen from his play? How much are you expecting from him Thursday night?
JUSTIN FUENTE: Well, I’ve been pleased with him since the day I’ve been here. He’s always given us great effort. He’s a tough young man. I think he, along with several other people, welcomed the bye week as a chance to get to feeling better.

That’s kind of a product of where we are in the season. Everybody feels like that. Taking a little time to get feeling better for the stretch run is what Ricky and several of our other guys have done.

Q. How difficult is it to play a Georgia Tech team that does a lot of option? How difficult is it during the week to get to your players that it’s a totally different offense?
JUSTIN FUENTE: Well, it’s certainly different than every other week during the season. It’s difficult to simulate. Your calls and your preparation is totally different. You have to do a great job with you’re scout team. The kids have to do a great job understanding their assignments, keeping their eyes in the right place, taking correct steps.

It’s like playing a totally different style that you don’t see on a weekly basis.

Q. Does it throw your timing off next week when you have to go back to a team that does not do an option?
JUSTIN FUENTE: I don’t think so. I don’t know that it affects the next week’s preparation. The thing you hope is you play all those cut blocks, you hope you’re healthy enough, not banged up too bad that you can get your guys ready to play the next week.

I don’t know that it hinders your preparation from a schematic standpoint for the next week.

THE MODERATOR: Coach, thank you.

JUSTIN FUENTE: Thank you.