Down 20-0 in the first quarter to Duke Saturday, Virginia Tech was all but left for dead. The season appeared over, not to mention making a comeback in the coastal division of the ACC.
But like a switch being flipped, the Hokies rebounded and came back with resilience, thumping the Blue Devils afterward for a 41-20 win. But this weekend's opponent, Clemson is as dangerous as they come, with an explosive offense that should present plenty of challenges for Virginia Tech.
Coach Frank Beamer reflected on a few areas against Duke and talked about what lies ahead on today's weekly ACC teleconference. Below is the transcript, followed by the audio link.
Beamer: What a talented football team Clemson is, and I think very, very well coached, and got a lot of weapons on offense and got good athletes on defense, and just an excellent football team. Going down there, it's a challenge for us, we haven't played as well as we need to on the road, so that's another challenge for us. We are going to have to play really well to hang in there.
In your mind and your experience, having the extra week coming off the bye, how big of an advantage is that and how do teams use that?
Beamer: Well, I think it's big. I think any time you can get extra rest and get people healthy, you get extra time to prepare, that's big. To me that's the two biggest things.
Beamer: It's going well. We are fortunate to have Michael Via, who has played center in games, a senior, a guy that has been around here quite a bit. And (Matt Arkema is getting some snaps in there at center also. So, it's going well.
You've got two Virginia quarterbacks facing off this week in Tajh Boyd and Logan Thomas this week and looking at the stats there are six quarterbacks from Virginia who have started in the ACC this year, what is it about this state that's produced a lot of high-level quarterbacks and guys who are able to start in the ACC?
Beamer: I tell you it's just a run of good quarterbacks, and Boyd, I think he's playing outstanding. I think he's running the ball well, runs tough, running the offense well, throwing the ball and getting all those playmakers involved. So we have really been impressed with how he's leading that football team.
I know that Tajh is from the Tidewater area and you guys have had several quarterbacks-Tyrod Taylor and Michael Vick from that area. You talked about how the guys in that area look up to the older guys; do you notice a culture in that area of quarterbacks that come out of that region?
Beamer: It's just an area where there have been some great quarterbacks and it's really pretty phenomenal that as many quarterbacks in the State of Virginia are playing, at the college level, so no question, I just think it's a run of them right now
Clemson is going to honor Daniel Rodríguez for military appreciation day this weekend; what were your impressions of him dealing with him, and are you impressed that he was able to reach his goal of playing college football?
Beamer: Yeah, we had conversations and we told him -- he knew exactly what he had to do to get admitted to Virginia Tech. I'm glad to see; he's a deserving guy, served his country, very impressive and so I'm glad to see him reach his goals.
Last Saturday your true freshman running back, J.C. Coleman, gave your team a big spark on offense. Can you talk about his development this year and the skill set he brings to your offense and what other first-year players are having a significant impact on your team this year?
Beamer: J.C., I think every week is a learning experience. I think when you're a true freshman playing, it's just new things every week, but I think he's handled it well. He's a mature guy and a very smart guy, and I think he's handled it well and he's gotten a little bit better each and every week.
After that, you know, Demitri Knowles is a redshirt freshman, he's a guy that's played in there quite a bit more. All of our backups in the secondary are freshmen and are redshirt freshmen. Those have probably been the biggest ones right there. And our kickers are freshmen. A couple of them are freshmen.