In his post-game comments to the media, Frank Beamer addressed the play of his special teams, saying that more veterans would be placed on the unit in future games. He also touched on a variety of other subjects. Here is the full text of his comments, from J.D. Howell of ESPN Radio Blacksburg.
I think defensively we played exceptionally well. I think if we’d have caught the ball consistently, it would have been a good night offensively. I think special teams, when you start playing a lot of young kids, you play them on those special teams, that’s where it shows up. We had three new guys over there on the right side. I didn’t see exactly what happened. It’s no excuse. We’re going to evaluate our personnel. Kickoff return‑wise, you know, the whole deal.
The good part about it is I feel like we can get better. We can correct the things that wasn’t quite there. We’re going to get those special teams better, consistently catch the football. It’s kind of like what I said in pre‑season: what we got is a good defense, we got good kickers, we just got to get the other people around Logan playing better. I thought our offensive line hung in there tonight. Pass protection, they did good against a tough, tough defense, tough pass‑rushers. I think there’s some positive things to take out of this game. The points that we gave them, that shouldn’t happen in a ballgame. Those were critical there. But I firmly believe that what was wrong tonight can be corrected and we can be a good football team.
ON TREY EDMUNDS
I think Trey is going to be a terrific back. He showed speed. He’s a powerful guy. Each and every week I think he’ll get better and better. First time he ever stepped on a college football field there tonight. Pretty good crowd he stepped out there against.
ON SPECIAL TEAMS MISCUES
When you start playing young kids, that’s where you’re going to notice it the quickest. We had a bunch of new guys out there on kickoff return, kickoff coverage, new guys on punt coverage. But that’s not an excuse. I mean, we’ve just got to play better.
WILL YOU USE MORE VETERANS
ON THE DEFENSIVE LINE’S EFFORT
I thought we played well defensively. Tackled well against good backs. We got something to build on here. We know what we need to work on so… I said this going in: you play a team like Alabama, flaws, if you got ‘em, show up. I think a couple of them showed up there tonight.
ON TREY EDMUNDS’ 74 YARD TD
They kind of jumped us. The kid made a heck of a play. But we had a little something going, like you said. Big turning point.
ON TREY EDMUNDS
You’ve heard me talk about Trey a bunch of times. The kid’s got a lot of ability, made out of the right stuff, a great family. I mean, he’s going to have a terrific future at Virginia Tech.
ON WIDE RECEIVER DROPS
Well, I just think it’s concentration. I’ve seen D.J. Coles make a lot of tough catches. Demitri, he has to go up and get it at the highest point. Get Charley Meyer back in there, I think Charley, he didn’t play any tonight, but he’s a very dependable guy there. I’ve seen D.J. do it and Demitri do it. It’s a matter of concentration and confidence. We’re going to throw a lot of balls this week.
ON LOGAN THOMAS’ GAME
He made a lot of good plays, a lot of good decisions. If we helped him out, you never know. I don’t know how many dropped balls we had. Then he keeps drives alive, you keep momentum alive. Several of them are first‑down balls. But Logan is fine. He’s a smart guy, competitive, the leader of this football team. We’ve just got to help him out a little bit. But I was encouraged by how our offensive line played tonight. I thought against a good defense, they hung in there.
ON KEEPING ALABAMA CONTAINED
We finished up the year last year being a pretty good defense. I was hoping we could pick it up. We’ve got good defensive players, defensive coaches that’s been there a while. Bud and the boys, I thought they played a terrific game. I got a lot of respect for their (Alabama’s) offense. I think they’re very good.
ON ENCOURAGEMENT WITH THE SECONDARY
Very. Facyson was another kid that played a bunch in there, two freshman kids with some height. I think those two kids will get better and better, make us better on the back end. I was really encouraged by that. Kendall, he’s a big‑time player and he likes the challenge of it all. I think he’s got a bright future, too. When you bring as many freshmen as we brought, a lot of them played, you know, there’s a lot of good players there. When we get them some experience, we’re going to be a good football team.
ON AVOIDING A LETDOWN AFTER BAMA
I think we’re a year older. A lot of those guys were young. We had a lot of time to get ready for Georgia Tech (last year). We had a great game plan. Went up to Pittsburgh. They kind of got after us a little bit. Pittsburgh plays a lot like Alabama plays. I think we’re a year older, more mature, more experienced, all the above. I think we got some confidence at the end of the year how we played. So, you know, we just got to keep working on that defense.
DID THE OFFENSIVE LINE IMPRESS?
I thought we hung in there in pass protection. They were bringing a lot of stuff. When they bring it, it’s good people coming at you. Yeah, I thought we hung in there. Couple runs in there. We’ve got work to continue to do, there’s no question. But for a group, a couple of them playing their first snaps, both our tackles, you know, I thought they hung in there pretty good.
ON THE DECISION TO NOT HAVE J.C. COLEMAN TRAVEL
We thought he was going to be okay. He kind of just got to a point. High‑ankle sprains. We didn’t know until about Wednesday or Thursday that he just wasn’t going to get there. We thought he might. But we felt like it would be better for him to stay home, get treatment, get it completely well so it’s not an issue. Hopefully he’ll be back next week.
ON TREY EDMUNDS’ WORK LOAD
Well, he got his share of work. But Mangus came in and did a good job at the end, too. We were just trying to get first downs.
ON ASSESSING THE SPECIAL TEAMS
Well, we just need to carry out our responsibilities on the kickoff. We had a guy, a freshman, had him wrapped up. Didn’t quite wrap‑up. I think some of the other guys pulled off, thought he was wrapped up. All of a sudden down the sideline he goes. On the punt return, like I said earlier, three guys over there on the right side, first time they’ve been on that team. Malleck was on that team, Vandyke was on that team. But that’s not an excuse. We just got to get better. We know how to cover. We just got to get our job done. I think evaluation. Maybe we’re trying to play some kids, may need to get some more veteran guys that’s been in some games. But this will be a good evaluation because they were going against good people. We’re going to evaluate it and get it better. I can assure you we’re going to get it better.