Virginia Tech is coming off another loss, but another chance for some redemption. The Hokies host Florida State, ranked No. 10 in the BCS standings, the biggest chance all year to show just how good they are.
Coach Frank Beamer reflected on the season, Florida State and talked about what lies ahead on today's weekly ACC teleconference. Below is the transcript, followed by the audio link.
Beamer: They (Florida State) are eighth ranked and probably deserve to be higher. This is a fantastic football team, a very talented football team, a very hard playing football team, athletic. So they have our utmost respect, that's for sure.
Considering you came into the year replacing four starters up front on the offense and then you lost the one guy you had back, how would you rate the offensive line's ability to compete this year in the face of all of that?
Beamer: I think they continue to get better. The other part there is Wang has been in and out so much. He's having a hard time keeping him in there too. So that offensive line, that is the one place that you want people, continuity, and we just haven't been able to keep that week-in and week-out.
Have they been good enough for to you win games or has it been a major problem?
Beamer: No, no, I think they have had their moments. Just like I've been talking. I think our running backs are young, and sometimes they look young but they played enough games now that that really shouldn't be the issue. I think we've been spotty at the wide receiver position made some catches, haven't made some catches. So I think the inconsistency is a little bit here and a little bit there on our offense.
As you look at Florida State's defensive front, what do you see there in that match-up?
Beamer: There are not many teams that can just rush four and get constant pressure on the quarterback. They're one team that can. Then they're extremely fast at linebacker and extremely quick in the secondary. So they earned that number one defense in the country. They play that way.
Is there a tradeoff with potentially hosting perspective student-athletes on a visit and losing that experience for them?
Beamer: Well, I think there's good and bad in all situations. There is a lot of excitement about Thursday night games here in Blacksburg and over the years. If you can play, and you're the only game on, and one or two games at the most. So if you can play well, I think it's an advantage for your program.
Once the game is out of the way, is that an added benefit for you guys to get your coaches out on the road early for Friday and Saturday games to evaluate talent and meet with kids that are interested in your program?
Beamer: Well, yeah. You pick up a couple of days that's being back-to-back Thursday night games. You get a couple of extra days in the beginning of it and get a couple of extra days in the end of it. I think extra day's rest for your players and recruiting for your coaches, I mean, that's big right now.
I guess as a tribute to your program that you guys haven't been in this position in ages. You have a losing record in November. Is there any kind of difficulty from a mental aspect of keeping the positive vibe that you usually have this time of year or has that been difficult?
Beamer: No, I think our practices have been good. I feel like we've got good talent. We just haven't played well as a football team consistently. I don't think it's lack of trying. I just think it's something here, something there, and it keeps -- the other side of it. We've been on the other side of it a bunch of times where you get some momentum and you made one good play and here you make another good play and you make another good play. So we've been on the other side of that too.
You mentioned earlier some of the inconsistency at receiver. Do you think that's been the biggest problem with the dropoff statistically from Logan Thomas this year that he hasn't been as accurate? His interceptions are up. Is that dealing with a new set of receivers that haven't been as efficient as the guys you lost?
Beamer: Well, I think it goes back to your offense. You've got four new starters and now five new starters. The guy that was very depended on a lot, Andrew Miller, had a season-ending injury. So I think that affects you. The running backs in the running game, that affects how your quarterback can play and how you can call plays and not get into 2nd and 10 and get a big pass-rush. Then receivers, being consistent and catching the ball and being where you need to be and so forth; I think all of those things kind of go into it.
There is just a lot of new people around Logan. But as far as his toughness, as far as his dedication to winning, as far as his ability, that's not in question.
How has your recruiting footprint changed over the years? How's the geography where you find it's changed?
Beamer: Yeah, since we became members of the ACC, we basically recruit within six hours of Blacksburg. I think there are a lot of good players within that area and the family, mom and dad come on visits most of the time. I like the family visiting Virginia Tech, and then they can come back and watch them play without too much trouble. I think there are a lot of advantages in being able to basically recruit. Now if it's a special situation or whatever, we'll go further. You know, six hours, and of course that includes a lot of the teams that we play, a lot of the area that makes it a good situation too.
Do you think this power shift we've seen from the Midwest and Northeast and South and West, first national titles and all those sorts of things, is that going to continue or is it kind of a cycle deal where it will revert back?
Beamer: Say that again?
We see a lot of national titles in the South and the West. We see the balance power shift from Northeast, Midwest to the southeast, west. Do you think that continues? Or is it a trend in a cycle over time?
Beamer: Well, I think the Southeastern Conference is always going to be strong. I think all of us are competing like heck to come to that level and be competitive at that level.