January 3, 2011 – Allstate Sugar Bowl Virginia Tech Post-Game Press Conference Quotes
Head Coach Frank Beamer
Quarterback Logan Thomas
Cornerback Kyle Fuller
THE MODERATOR: We’ll get started with our official postgame press conference. We’ll begin with Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer, also being joined by quarterback Logan Thomas and cornerback Kyle Fuller.
We’ll begin with Coach Beamer.
COACH BEAMER: I’m really proud of our football team. I thought we battled back, great heart. Did some ?? you know, it’s tough when you give Michigan the ball on the fumble kickoff return, an interception, go for ?? on the punt, it was an option, run or kick it, and thought we might be there to pick up the first, or not, kick ’em deep.
And the field position too many times we gave a good football team, and that’s tough to overcome. But our guys did their best to try to do it and hung in there great.
A couple of close calls, probably the difference in the ballgame. And so I’m proud of our football team and the effort and how they hung in there and battled when things didn’t look great.
They kept battling. Proud of that.
THE MODERATOR: Questions?
Q. The fourth and one where you had the fake punt with Danny, what was the thought process behind that play?
COACH BEAMER: Like I said, it was an option: run or kick. And I thought it was a good ?? it was a short ?? it was a yard. And if they dropped off, had a little seam, we were going to go for the first.
If not, we’re going to kick it and try and pin them down deep. So we had that option going. And their guy did a nice job. He looked like he was going to go outside and all of a sudden jumped back in underneath and got us.
So it was an option there whether he’s going to kick it or not.
Q. Coach, on that, you don’t typically do a lot of rugby?style punting. Have you all worked on that play a lot in practice?
COACH BEAMER: We’ve been working on it for the last three weeks, really, the situation. And if it’s going to be less than five, we really planned to do that, and so ?? but the situation hadn’t come up in the last three games until that situation.
So, yeah, we’ve worked on it quite a bit.
Q. Coach and Kyle, can you talk about the job you guys did on Denard Robinson? For the most part you contained them. A couple of big penalties, really, set up both their touchdowns.
COACH BEAMER: Yeah, you know, I think field position and penalties, you know, kind of helped them out, but I thought our defense did a great job of containing Robinson.
And, you know, it’s just tough giving a good football team that many good field positions.
KYLE FULLER: I think our goal was coming to the game was contain Robinson on that run and pass. And I felt throughout the game we did that. A couple of times he used his athleticism to get out of the pocket and make some good throws down field. And their players, you know, they made some big plays.
But other than that, I mean, I like the way all our guys played together.
Q. Frank, just a comment on what Justin did tonight. Never made a field goal in a college game. To go out there and make his first four, and then in overtime ??
COACH BEAMER: Yeah, I just talked to him. I told him he did a heck of a job. He said he didn’t quite get through that last one. But he did a nice job for us. And I liked to have seen him make the last one.
And it’s so close. Danny’s play is so close, and it seemed like there was just quite a few of those there tonight, so close but just didn’t quite have it go our way.
Q. Logan, in that first half, how frustrating was it that you guys were moving the ball as well as you were but couldn’t punch it in? What do you think was going wrong there with your inability to kind of punch it in there for touchdowns?
LOGAN THOMAS: Well, I heard a stat that ?? something like they’re seventh in red zone defense, so gotta give them credit in that aspect.
They did a great job defending us. Just couldn’t pick up the short yardage when we needed to.
But, yeah, all the credit goes to them for stopping us.
Q. Frank, were you planning ?? you sort of mentioned how you guys had been practicing the rugby bump. Were you guys planning on taking more chances? You went for it on that fourth and one in the first half. Did you have a different mindset going into this game, you wanted to sort of catch them by surprise a little bit?
COACH BEAMER: Well, we talked about before the ballgame that it was going to be more likely to go for it on fourth down. That we got a new kicker, hadn’t been in those situations. You know, your percentages go with you going for it.
And then on that one we got there and we didn’t know exactly how close it was or how far away it was. And so we got in a little bit of a situation where we didn’t know exactly where the ball was. And then they were ?? for our sneak, they were in a good defense, too.
Q. Logan, on that one play where you threw the interception to ?? the defensive lineman kind of got in front of you, can you describe what happened on that play, please?
LOGAN THOMAS: He saw me rolling out. I was just trying to dump it over his head. He timed his jump perfectly and got his hands on it and came down with it.
All the credit to him. He made a great play. Great athlete.
Q. Frank, we always talk and you’re always asked about representing the ACC. From your perspective, how do you feel you guys did in that regard tonight?
COACH BEAMER: How we did in what regard?
Q. Representing the ACC.
COACH BEAMER: I still didn’t hear you.
Q. In representing the ACC.
COACH BEAMER: Representing the ACC. Well, we didn’t get a win. We need wins. And, again, it wasn’t because of lack of effort by these guys. It wasn’t because we didn’t prepare. I thought we worked hard for this game. The kids made great preparation.
And just in the big picture, you know, we gave them the ball on our side of the 50 too many times.
And if you could go back, I’d take a couple of decisions back. But knowing how things worked out. But they are what they are.
I think everybody in Virginia Tech football put a lot into this ballgame, I can tell you. And we wanted to get a win for the ACC and wanted to get a win for Virginia Tech.
We haven’t done as well as we want to in these BCS games. But you give Michigan credit. I mean, they hung in there and battled and hung on, and they certainly never slowed down.
I mean, they gave effort throughout and hung on and got a win.
Q. Logan, you’ve seen a BCS game from the sideline before, but to get into one to cap off your first season as a starter, how far did you come this season and how did it help you grow working towards the future for you?
LOGAN THOMAS: I think it helped me grow a whole lot. Especially coming from never playing, never playing in a real game that mattered last year, and being able to grow throughout the season, I think I made ?? I think I matured pretty well and I’m happy with my maturity.
Yeah, playing in a BCS game, it’s something that everybody dreams about. It doesn’t come around every year. Thankfully for us we’ve been able to play ourselves into that situation the past couple of years. And I’m very thankful to be here.
Q. Logan, you guys talk about the Danny Coale and how close that was. What was that like for you? Seems like you think you probably have a touchdown. And what was that whole ?? what was that whole, I guess, scenario like?
LOGAN THOMAS: When I first saw it, Danny made a great play to even get a hand on it. I think I left it a little bit wide. I could have left it straight up ?? I guess right down the numbers, and he probably would have had an easy touchdown catch.
But the play is designed to hit the corner. I threw it out to the corner. He got a hand on it. He made a great play. From the two angles we saw, I guess we thought it was a touchdown. And we couldn’t see any other way, because inconclusive evidence or whatever it was, but I guess the official saw something.
So, I mean, it’s tough. But just to know that we were that close.
Q. Logan, you guys had 3:53 left starting on the 9?yard line. Driving to tie it up there, you guys ended up getting Myer’s field goal there. Take me through your mindset there, kind of somewhat of a two?minute drill where you guys needed to score?
LOGAN THOMAS: We’ve been there before against Miami. We had to do it twice the end of the first half and then at the end of the second half to go win that one. But we’ve done it a couple of times all year and we came out with points on a lot of them.
So, I mean, it was nothing. The offense had been clicking all night. They weren’t stopping us. We were stopping ourselves.
So I knew we could take it right on down the field, not a problem. And we did so. Had that false start, or else we might have had another shot at a touchdown.
But it’s past tense now. I’m proud of the guys. They battled up front all night long. We heard for the past 30 days they’re so dominant up front, but I think our guys showed they’re just as dominant. So I’m very proud of the guys.
We battled on the outside, and we made big plays when we could.
Q. Frank, I know last year the Stanford loss was ?? you guys took it hard because things kind of unravelled in the second half. I wonder, does this one feel worse because you were so close? And how do you move ?? how do you get over it moving forward heading into the off?season? How do you move past something like this?
COACH BEAMER: Last year against Stanford, we just ?? you know, we didn’t get it done in the second half. But, again, I think a couple plays starting that half, had they gone our way, maybe it would have gone different. But it didn’t. And walking away from that one, it wasn’t very good.
And I’m about half sick right now. But I’m proud as can be of our players. I’m proud of how we battled back. I’m proud of what we are as a football team. It wasn’t lack of effort here at all. It wasn’t, again, lack of preparation. It wasn’t ?? our guys played their heart out. Just some kind of fluke plays right before the half, a couple of fluke plays.
And, I mean, just, you know ?? but, again, our guys never stopped themselves. So I feel a lot better walking out of here tonight than I did against how we played against Stanford. But also knowing that we kind of ?? we let them have the ball too many times in great field position.
And too many mistakes, what Logan said. We get down there, what was it, third and one, and we jump ?? we jump and now it’s third and six. And all of a sudden just roughing the kicker penalty. It was just some stuff there that wasn’t in our best interests.
Q. Coach and Kyle, you talked about Denard, but the play of Hemingway, can you elaborate on Hemingway and his performance tonight?
KYLE FULLER: Hemingway, we knew that they also had other guys, their running back, a lot of good receivers that we had to focus on as well. And, you know, just like we saw on film, those guys, they’ll make some plays.
And they did that tonight.
Q. Logan, Michigan threw a lot of looks at you on its defensive line. What were you able to do that made you so successful against what they were trying to do defensively?
LOGAN THOMAS: Great preparation. Coach got me prepared right. We kind of went over this week what they were planning on doing. And they did exactly as we thought.
They actually played a little bit more two safeties than they had previously. But I’ve been studying, been trying to get ready for this game after our last outing, knew we couldn’t have another one like that.
And I thought we did a great job offensively. Of course we didn’t get points when we got in the red zone. We didn’t get all the points we could. But I think we played a good game. We played our hearts out.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.