For the second time this season, Virginia Tech's defense gave up an un-Virginia Tech-like over 500 yards of total offense in a 48-34 loss at North Carolina. The Hokies allowed the most yards by an opposing running back in school history and the first kickoff return for a touchdown since 1993.
Virginia Tech is only halfway through the season, but some major adjustments will have to be made in order to rebound.
Coach Frank Beamer reflected on a few areas against North Carolina and talked about what lies ahead on today's weekly ACC teleconference. Below is the transcript, followed by the audio link.
Beamer: I'm really impressed with this Duke football team. Very well-coached, and playing good football. Really using a couple of different quarterbacks, actually three. They do different things so that complicates things for you defensively. Then defensively they played very hard and were well-coached. So we've got our work cut out again this week.
UNC's offense, are they doing anything uniquely in style or is there success against you and others, was it just about their talent level there?
Beamer: Well, I think they've got a good plan. I don't think there is any question about that. They've got good people. 26 (Giovani Bernard) is a special back, and the receiver is big and tall and they can go get it. They've got an experienced offensive line. I think it's a combination of good planning and good people.
If you look back at your time at Virginia Tech, you had a struggle early on before you turned the program around. I was wondering how you knew when it turned and I guess the reason I'm asking is because I'm wondering if Duke has made a turn in its program as well?
Beamer: Yeah, I think Duke is very impressive. You look at them, and they've got a lot of good players. Like I said, I think they're extremely well-coached. It takes time. David Cutcliffe has done a good job there. His staff has done a good job, and I give them all the credit.
How do you know from your own situation, how did you know when you got your program turned around?
Beamer: Well, probably when we got eligible for that first Independence Bowl. That was something that had not happened before, so I think that's probably when we knew it.
I just want to know a little about Sean Renfree, the quarterback. When you watch him, what do you see from the guy that's been the main starter before getting hurt. What will you see from him?
Beamer: A big, tall guy that can really throw it. He's really accurate. He's a red-shirt senior. He's been around. He knows where he's going with the football, 72% completion percentage, so that's strong right there
And Tariq Edwards for you, what do you anticipate his role being this week? Will getting him back help your defense, do you think?
Beamer: Well, yeah. We'll see how practice goes for him this week, then determine his role. But he was an excellent player last year. He was one of our more talented guys and better players on defense, so it will be good to get him back out there.
We were asking some of the defensive guys yesterday about you guys start out with a lot of intensity in practice. As you look at the intensity through the six games, how would you grade that and where do you think you are from the intensity standpoint overall?
Beamer: We have a bunch of players that want to be successful, work to be successful, and want to be successful. We've got to help them and make sure we take care of the little things and the details because those details, if you don't take care of them, it can cause long plays, and cause inconsistency in your offense and inconsistency in your special teams. So that's what we're working on right now.
With David Wang, he was hobbling around so much on Saturday. He still played. Has he been able to do much this week?
Beamer: He didn't practice yesterday. We'll put out the report on Thursday as to what his status is.
You mentioned one of the reasons for the offense's success at North Carolina is their offensive line. Can you just talk about their ability as a unit, and also particularly their left guard, Cooper?
Beamer: Yeah, the offensive line, I think has protected Logan very well. We drew it too many times the other day. The game situation dictated that, but I think overall they've protected him well. We've got to be a little more balanced in our offense. I think that is the key thing for us right now is to get more balance.
I'm sorry. I didn't make that clear on my question. I was actually asking about North Carolina's offensive line. And particularly their left guard, Jonathan Cooper?
Beamer: Oh yeah, they're a veteran group of guys. They've been around, and that is one place you want to experience is your offensive line. I'm very impressed with them, and I'm very impressed with Cooper. They get things done very well. Then you put a back behind those guys, and they've got three of them, really. But you put a guy that can make you miss, and you've got something really good going.