Miami took advantage of a VERY sloppy Virginia Tech team last night at home. Miami itself was pretty all over the place, but in crunch time, when it mattered most, they put together a couple of outstanding drives to ice the game. Overall it was your typical ACC game: sloppy on both sides, and finally someone decided that they wanted to win, and they did.
But, as they say, a win is a win is a win, and we will definitely take it. The Coastal division is Miami's at the moment, and for them to win it they are going to need to win out against Virginia and Duke. Well, they can win it other ways, but they are pretty convoluted. Basically, Duke needs to lose to Clemson tomorrow AND Georgia Tech on the 17th, and Miami needs to beat Virginia. If VT loses to FSU next Thursday night, that would certainly help, although it isn't necessary if the Canes handle their business.
Now, on to the quotes!!
First up, Coach Frank Beamer:
I don’t fault our effort. I do fault our execution. For whatever reason, we’re having trouble putting it together.
When you play a team game, everybody’s got to be together. We’re a little bit off here and a little bit off there,
and the end result is you don’t do things to win a football game. We had good preparation, I think our players
and coaches put a lot of effort into this thing, and we just didn’t do the things to win a football game. I give Miami credit. They have talented kids, they’re doing a good job with those guys, and they beat us.
When asked about Logan Thomas' performance:
I think he’s kind of like the rest of the team. I thought he played tough as heck, and put in the effort, and had three plays he’d like to have back. And that could probably be said by just about everybody on our football team. You don’t get them back, though. You’ve got to make them when you have the chance.
On what the team's motivation will be after their ACC Championship hopes are gone, as well as the 10-wins-a-year streak:
I think the greatest thing you can play for, when it’s all said and done, is pride. When it looks tough, you really see what people are made out of, and things are really tough right now. We’ve probably got the best team in the ACC coming next Thursday, and a tough loss. So things are tough. But pride and trying to get to a bowl game. We’ve still got that to play for.
VT, playing for pride. Just....wow. Beamer was asked about what he thought about using pride as motivation:
I’ve always said there’s a thin line between being okay and not okay. I think sometimes you just assume you should win 10 games and that should happen. But it doesn’t just happen. You get in there with some inexperienced players at times but this late in the season that’s certainly no excuse either. Just not quite clicking. It’s a team game and we’re just not quite clicking. I think everyone’s trying as hard as they can, but it’s very frustrating, very disappointing. I know our fans are disappointed and I’m disappointed because we’re disappointing them. But we’re trying to get this thing right. You’ve got to just keep hanging in there and it’s going to turn around.
Beamer Ball™ struggled last night, and Beamer was asked about his thoughts on the VT special teams:
We spend a lot of time on that, but it’s pretty simple: the punters catch the ball, and you kick it. When you’ve got
a lane in a kickoff coverage, you stay in that lane. It’s pretty simple, and we spend a lot of time on that. You just
execute. Our football team, if you just think about it, you just execute.
I think all of us take responsibility for this. I think everybody in our room takes responsibility. Again, to me, it’s one of those things that meant a lot to everybody here. We’re trying hard, it’s just a little bit here and a little bit there. And when you play a team game, everybody’s got to be together and you get that momentum and all of a sudden it starts rolling, and we never did that. We fumbled the ball at the one-yard line when it’s a one-score game.
We were going to go for two. I don’t want to take anything away from Miami, but we gave them great field
position twice. And then a long run. So you really feel that if you get the game tied up, you’ve got the momentum. It just didn’t happen.
Now on to some Hokie player's quotes. First up, CB Antone Exum was asked about staying motivated:
Pride. We still have three games left, we need to win two games to make it to a bowl game. We haven’t not made it to a bowl game in forever here at Tech. We have to make sure that doesn’t happen. But like I said pride and heart nobody wants to go out losing, nobody wants to lay down for anybody. We’re not going to lay down for anybody. We are going to give it our best shot play our hearts out. I know I am.
I still just can't wrap my head around this whole pride thing for them. It doesn't fit.
Next up was LB Jack Tyler, answering a question about whether or not it was frustrating to get defensive stops and then have the offense do nothing:
It’s frustrating but at the same time it’s nothing we can’t handle on defense, it’s out of our hand. We just have to do what we have to do and that’s make stops. Giving up 30 points isn’t going to win a game either.
He was then asked about how badly he wants to knock off FSU next week:
That would be huge. That will at least put some of this losing in the back of our heads, so we can move on, move forward, try to get a winning streak going and try to get into a bowl game.
Virginia Tech Hokies: Just playin for a bowl game, bro.
Now we get to Prince Coach Al Golden, Esquire, being asked about the team's performance:
I'm excited. I feel like we healed up, I feel like we grew up. Holding them to 12 points is significant without Denzel [Perryman], without Deon [Bush], I think some other guys stepped up. I'm real proud of their effort and the fact that a lot of the young guys are not young anymore. They had a good look, they prepared well, we had good practices. I felt good coming into the game, and the kids responded.
He was then specifically asked about the defensive performance:
We held them to 12, and we gave up about a 75-yarder - it looked like he started here and ended up in Coral
Gables. It was just one of those deals. Our MIKE linebacker was matching around and he fell down and it just
opened up. I'm real proud of how resilient they were. We weren't great on third down on either side early in
the game, but we ended up getting another takeaway down there on the goal line. There were a lot of guys who stepped up and really did a nice job for us when they got an opportunity today.
Golden was asked about being in first place in the Coastal Division:
It's critical. I know everybody wants us to be national champions yesterday and get back to the BCS games and all that, but the reality of it is that the pathway through that is the Coastal. It's almost like we have to re-educate our team that that's how you get there. You get there by getting to Charlotte, and then you have a 50-percent chance of going to a BCS game. That's what we have to do, we have to educate our team, because our fanbase doesn't really understand that right now. They look at the Notre Dame game and it's all in or bust. This game coming up against Virginia is critical. It's truly critical for us. We have to get focused, get right, and get back to work.
Deon's been struggling with some stingers. We'll evaluate him, but I think the best thing to do was to shut him
down. It was on fire for him. There was some pain. Denzel just wasn't quite right. We'll put him back in a boot, and hopefully in nine days he'll be ready in Charlottesville.
Finally, he was asked about the expectations inside the locker room:
We're trying to learn a process and get better. We've been focused on the Coastal. That's what our focus is right now. I'm glad I'm coaching at a place where the expectations are high. At the end of the day, When you can meet the expectations of your fanbase, you're going to be in a great spot. We're going to keep doing it. We just need a little bit of patience because of how young we are. We're growing up. Guys are fighting hard, they're working, they're getting better. I'm excited. A lot of guys stepped up today that hadn't - Curtis Porter, Jalen Grimble, Tracy Howard early in the game, [Rayshawn] Jenkins in his coverage. I can go on and on. Guys stepped up, and guys that are going to be here for a long time, and I'm excited about that.
A few of the Hurricane players answered some questions as well, first up was WR Rashawn Scott, asked about his big third down catch:
It wasn’t even my position. I was just out there running around. We had Phillip go deep, and Hurns go deep, and I just happened to be open in the flats. We talked about it on the sideline and someone needing to step up before the game gets out of hand, and it just happened to present itself like that.
He was just out there, running around. LET THAT SINK IN.
He was then asked about the Coastal division and how it feels to control their own destiny:
It feels great that we can control it and nothing can really stop it but ourselves. It gets us going. Another good game next week will just push us farther ahead. We have to go out this week and practice better than we did this week.
The next player up was QB Stephen Morris. He was first asked about how the bye week helped him and the team:
The bye week helped a lot of things. It obviously helped my ankle, it helped a lot of people who were injured. Mentally it just helped me focus, take a step back and look at what’s important in life.
He then offered his thoughts on leading the Coastal:
Ever since we moved into the ACC no [Miami] team has won the ACC or the Coastal Division. Our focus is winning this game, winning the ACC Coastal and going into the championship. I take it really personal. We do it for the seniors who have never won a championship, and who have never been able to call themselves champions.
EDITORS NOTE: To all of you who are looking at Golden's 11-10 overall record with Miami, consider what Morris just said. The Canes have never won the Coastal, let alone the ACC, and in his second year Golden has them in a position to do just that. So hush.
Duke Johnson stepped up next, and was immediately asked about his health:
This is the healthiest I’ve been all year. I’ve been taking treatments for the past month, month and a half and I’m feeling 100 percent now.
Duke is 100% healthy, which means Virginia and Duke (the school), you all are on notice.
He was asked about what the feeling was in the locker room:
We’re excited just to come out and be in the driver seat of the Coastal, but we know we can’t let up because we still have more games to win.
All business, that kid. Love it.
Ladarius Gunter finishes up the player quotes with an explanation of his interception:
They did exactly what we watched on film. The coaches just told me to look at number one to come off a wheel route and the play was right there for me to make.
On to Virginia, Canes fans.