It was an improved effort all-around for Virginia Tech against Western Carolina, but the Hokies get a different kind of test this weekend. Facing a fast-tempo, high-powered offense, Virginia Tech now has to get past its first true road test of the season in East Carolina.
Coach Frank Beamer talked about the task Saturday, plus injury and status updates on this week's ACC Media Teleconference. Below is the transcript, followed by the audio link.
Beamer: Yeah, we've got a very difficult game this weekend against a very good football team, very talented, very efficient quarterback who is finding his receivers on a regular basis. Just a really good team in every area. Defense, special teams, offense. So certainly going to be a challenge for us, and we've got to get ready to play a really good football game.
You talked about the challenge about facing their offense. How difficult is it to go against this high-paced offense, and do you think just adding pressure against their offense will try to stop that?
Beamer: Well, you've just got to be efficient yourself. You've got to be sound. You've got to be efficient. You've got to tackle well. They get the ball out in the open areas quickly, and you can't let a five yard gain turn into a 25-yard gain. But I think very fundamentally sound. They challenge you in that area. So we'll see how we respond.
D.J. Coles just had the one ball thrown his way. I think he was only in for five or six plays in the last game. Was that because of his knee? Are you trying to kind of limit his workload?
Beamer: Well, one kind of leads to the other. I think keeping him in there and each play, each rep he gets he'll be able to go full tilt is important. Our stress is that every rep that you're in there, every play that you're in there, you're full tilt. If he is, when he's like that, he's a factor and can really help his football team.
Aaron Moorehead and Logan Thomas mentioned that he seemed to practice even harder this week after not getting those opportunities. How has he responded to maybe a lesser role?
Beamer: Yeah, I think good. Again, I think physically you've got to understand that part of it with him because he does. He's got a bad knee, and with that it's been hard for him to lose the weight that you'd like to see off there. You go back on the other side, and if you're not going to ever play, there is no reason you can't go full speed on a couple plays. So that's kind of where we are. He wants to. There is no question about his desire, care for the football team, wanting to help this football team. There is no question about that. We've just got to be smart in how we use him.
Coach, what did you see with East Carolina the last couple weeks? They look like a very good offense racking up points. What did you see in video?
Beamer: Just that. Going up-and-down the field, being very efficient. I told our writers around here we can't complete 80% of our passes,and they do it in the game. It's very efficient, very good quarterback, very accurate, know what they're doing. Just very impressed with them.
How would you like traveling up to Greensboro and playing in that stadium? It looks like the final season there before they remodel it, or what is the deal with that?
Beamer: You talking about Greenville?
Yeah. Yeah, the Greenville stadium where East Carolina plays. I guess it's their final season up there. I heard coach talking about it.
Beamer: I'm not sure myself. I'm just worried about the team. I started worrying about the stadium here, I'm not sure about that.
Well, I mean playing there. What's it like playing in Greensboro?
Beamer: They've got a great atmosphere. They've got great fans. They follow them. They care about their team. I've always been impressed with the atmosphere they have in their stadium, always.
Wanted to ask you, you got Corey Marshall back yesterday, after seeing him in practice yesterday, how far away is he from game shape? Have you decided he's going to make the trip to East Carolina?
Beamer: No, we'll see how practice goes today. I'll say this. He came out, he's over on the scout team field, and really did a great job. He helped our offense get better yesterday by being very aggressive, active, as a defensive scout team member, and that's all we need. Everybody over there kind of did the same thing. I'm going to talk about it to our team today, how Corey came out there and helped make the offense better. So we'll see. With our situation, we've got a couple guys there, the second-team guys, Baron and Williams, and they've done well so we're taking it day by day. We had a discussion this morning on how we want to do that. I tell you, the guy that I was really impressed with was Alston Smith. He went over and worked as an offensive lineman and has great feet for an offensive linemen. For a first day, he picked up things well. He's a smart kid. I was really impressed with how he -- I think he's a guy that can really help this football team in an offensive guard position.
I wanted to touch on Smith. The offensive line, you seem to have found your five starters. But are you lacking that much in depth where you have to move Smith or where are you behind those five guys?
Beamer: No, we're looking for players. In my mind, Alston Smith is a player. For the first day offensive line, I thought he was exceptional. We were watching film on the offensive line last night, and we as a group were very encouraged by what he can do. He's athletic, has good feet. He's kind of a natural guy in there, so I was really encouraged by watching that.
Just real quick on Corey. Charley Wiles said it was a disciplinary action. Why was Corey away from the team?
Beamer: The thing I would say is he's back now and that's the important thing. To me, that is the only story right now is that he's back. I like the way he practiced yesterday, and our main goal here is to help people be the best they can be and get a great degree from the University and help us win championships. So Corey has the ability to do all those things.