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October 24, 2012

ACC Teleconference: VT Bye Week

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The bye week couldn't come at a better time as the Hokies are coming off yet another loss, this one 38-17 at Clemson. It's a week or regrouping and recharging before traveling to Miami Nov. 1 (Thursday) for a primetime, nationally televised game that could ultimately decide if Virginia Tech salvages the remainder of the season or stays in a rut.

Even coach Frank Beamer is off, at least from today's ACC teleconference, with other matters to attend to. He left Billy Hite, assistant to the head coach, in his place for the teleconference. Below is the transcript, followed by the audio link.

Hite: Obviously we had a disappointing loss at Clemson, and we got back Monday morning. We ended up showing our players the film at 6:45 in the morning. Then in the afternoon, we had a team meeting, and then we showed our special team videos to our players. Coach Beamer decided to give our kids a few days off. So we didn't practice on Monday. We did not practice Tuesday. We're not practicing today. He wanted them to get away from football for a couple days, get their minds right. Anybody that's banged up a little bit, take care of their bodies, but try to heal up a little bit and get ready to go into a crucial part of our season. We'll go back to practice on Thursday, and try to get ready for Miami.

Your background is so much with running backs and all of that. I wanted to ask you about quarterback play. Some of the numbers we're seeing this year are not very ACC like, there have been huge passing numbers up and down the league. Is this where it's going? I know college football is putting up a ton of yards everywhere, but is this where the league's going? Is it getting to be a pass-happy league, do you think?

Hite: Well, I think the game dictates what's going on. We'd like to be running the football more than we have so far this season. But we've gotten behind a couple times, and obviously couldn't get into the running game playing catch-up football. Now some of the other teams, I think you watch the West Virginias and people like that there are throwing it all the time, and I think everybody is working on their passing game a lot right now. It's the quickest way to score. They're trying to get the ball into the end zone, and people are throwing the ball a lot and scoring a lot of points.

One general question is how unusual is it do you think to have a 4-4 Virginia Tech team facing a 4-4 Miami team?

Hite: Well, we're not used to being 4-4, I can tell you right now. We're the only
team in the country that's won 10 or more games the last eight years in a row. It has really been a tough time for us this year.

The thing that is amazing about it, our kids
are still really playing hard. They're practicing hard. They're doing things the right way. We just haven't won some games that we were in that we had a chance to win. So it's been really tough. I can tell you right now watching Miami from where they were at the beginning of the year to where they are right now, they have really improved. I think it will be a heck of a contest next Thursday night.

Miami, obviously both teams are having some problems rushing, but Miami's rushing defense is 117th in the nation out of 120 teams. Do you feel that you guys could take advantage of that a little bit?

Hite: Well, we have young running backs right now, and I think that's the biggest difference is the inexperience that our running backs do have. The more reps they get, the better they're going to be. I watched a bunch of film on Miami defensively, and I think they're a very good football team. I really do. But we're going to have to be able to run the football to win that game, no question about it.

In what way do you think Miami is a good football team defensively?

Hite: Up front they're young, but I think it's the improvement that they've made since the opening ballgame to right now. I think their linebackers are good, and they've got the typical Miami defense with the team speed. I mean, those guys can fly around. They're physical. They'll hit you, and I really do think they're good.

Coach, I wanted to ask you about Duke Johnson and the threat he presents. I think he's the leading pressing rusher in the
league and kick return guy. How dangerous is
he? How much of a focus on defense does there have to be?

Hite: Well, that's the thing. Coach (Bud) Foster does such a great job with our
defense. I'm sure he'll have a plan put together. They've been back in there the last two days looking at film and trying to figure out a way to stop him. I think, again, they're a talented team, and offensively also, again, they have great skill kids, and we've just got to make sure we're ready to play and go out and play like Virginia Tech's capable of playing.

I know you mentioned you guys having off for a few days, and Miami's doing the exact same thing. How does that help a team?

Hite: I think it's really good to get away from it, especially when things aren't going the way you want them to right now. just get away from it, work on your school work, get your mind off of football. Take the three days off, enjoy yourself a little bit to get ready to come back to work on Thursday and prepare for Miami. I think the coaching staff needed this also. I think it's good to get away for a couple of days. Even though we have been meeting, you're back home with your families at night time, and you're not here for a 15 or 16-hour day. I think it's coming
at the right time for us.

This has nothing to do with that. But the weather, I should have checked, but I don't know how the weather has been there. Are there any -- I mean, it is still several days
away. But any concerns about that? What's it
like going into the heat or humidity?

Hite:That's always a tough thing. We'll make sure that our kids are hydrated.
They'll start drinking water and the Gatorade two or three days before we even arrive down there to make sure they stay hydrated. Our trainers do a great job on that. But believe it or not, we're at 75 right now too. Now we don't have a lot of humidity and there is a chance that the weather is supposed to change Monday and get down into the mid 50s, low 60s but until that time, we're going to be 75 or 80. So the weather is beautiful here right now.

Great. So it will be a piece of cake?

Hite: Not when you get in that humidity down there.

CLICK HERE To listen to Hite on the teleconference: BILLY HITE ACC TELECONFERENCE WEEK 9


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