Tech Talk Live Notes: Woody Baron, Justin Fuente Talk Explosive North Carolina Offense

Share on your favorite social network:
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail to someoneGoogle+share on TumblrShare on Reddit

Tech Talk Live aired as normal on Monday night, and Virginia Tech Head Coach Justin Fuente and Woody Baron were the guests. Here are the highlights from Monday night’s show.

Woody Baron, Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech defensive tackle Woody Baron (photo by Ivan Morozov)

Woody Baron

Workload of veterans during the bye week

“We definitely practiced during the bye week. Three times, we did go out in full pads. Coach Fuente wanted to take it easier on the guys who get the brunt of the snaps on Saturdays. The younger guys who also play, we kind of amped up the reps to get their experience going.”

Thoughts on being one-third of the way through senior season

“It’s incredible, it’s gone by just like that. Like they say, time passes by while you’re having fun and I’ve had nothing but fun in my time here.”

Thoughts on North Carolina and preparing for their offense

“We had a day off today, so there was a lot of film-watching by the guys at the facility. When you see them, you see a fast team, very athletic, very talented on both sides of the ball. Defensively, I think it’s going to be important for us just like any other week, we’ve got to rally to the ball on every snap. We need 11 hats around the ball at all times.”

Progress of younger players, especially Ricky Walker and Tim Settle

“It’s great, we need as much experience as we can get with the second-tier guys coming in. It’s going to benefit us so much in these games early in the season and down the road.”

Memories from last year’s game vs. North Carolina, takeaways from that game

“If I remember correctly, last year we fell behind a couple scores early and it wasn’t looking too great. We rallied at the end, forced overtime, so I think the guys who were around at that time can go into the game thinking it’s never over until it’s over and hopefully, eventually, it will go our way.”

What being a student and football player at Virginia Tech has meant to him

“It’s been incredible, just being a part of the Hokie family is something I’ll never forget. Walking into Lane is an incredible experience. Just being a football player has been great, but it’s only a fraction of what it’s meant to be a student-athlete at this school and a part of the Blacksburg community.”

Follow Ricky LaBlue on Twitter

Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech football head coach
Justin Fuente (photo by Ivan Morozov)

Justin Fuente

Does opinion of UNC change after seeing Tar Heels beat Florida State

“I had a pretty high opinion of them heading into the game, but to pull that off is a nice feat. It’s a feather in their cap to go down there and pull off a victory. Not a whole lot of people have done that in recent history, and in dramatic fashion obviously. Kudos to them, and they deserve the accolades and the appreciation that they’re getting for winning such a big ball game.”

Being involved in blowout games, vs. North Carolina being involved in late-game situations

“We’ve been preparing our kids since we started for those games. They’re coming. Just because we haven’t had them yet… my take on this conference and this league is that there are going to be a bunch of tight football games and we’re going to play in more than one of them. We’ve got to make sure we’re prepared. We’ve hit scenario after scenario, in terms of our preparation and meeting times, and we continue to try and drive those things home. We’ll be prepared when we do play in a tight one.”

Handling ups and downs in big game

“That’s what I try and tell the guys. ‘I know you’re excited to play, but we’re playing other good people and when you do that, they’re going to make plays on one side of the ball or the other.’ We’ve got to handle those things and continue to move forward and play the next play. For better or for worse, whether they just scored or we scored, no matter what happens, we’ve got to find a way to play the next play because in the long run, those things all add up and we’ll figure it out in the end.”

How being ranked affects perception of program, recruiting

“It certainly doesn’t hurt. I mean, we’re not going to give it back to them, we want to take it. All that being said, I think Virginia Tech, if we do our job, it will be recognized. We have a fantastic history and tradition here that I think people want to put us up there, if we just keep doing our job. It’s certainly a name that’s familiar with people across the country. It’s nice and I appreciate it, I don’t want to denigrate it, but if you take care of your business, people will recognize that. To me, that’s the focus and I know our kids are focused on it. They don’t dwell on that sort of stuff either.”

Competition of players making the travel squad for road games

“There are a lot of factors. You may have a guy, you have all these specialists too, your deep snapper, your punter, you’ve got to allocate some spots for those guys. There will be guys on the bubble this week and for us to determine where we need a spot, do we need another corner, do we need another running back or who’s on special teams. You better be on that special teams two-deep if you’re on the bubble. Absolutely, it does serve as a carrot if you will, for some of those guys on the bubble of traveling.”

Offensive weapons for North Carolina

“(Trubisky) has done a fantastic job of operating their offense. They have skill players all over the yard, multiple running backs that are very talented. The two things that I see that make them the most difficult is the tempo with which they play, they really push the tempo, and their ability to both run and throw the ball. They are truly a two-headed monster. They can run the football into good looks and certainly throw the ball into good looks. Their slot receiver, (Ryan) Switzer, is a heck of a football player. Then they’ve got some bigger guys on the outside that can really make plays. They know what they’re doing, they’ve been running this system for several years. They’re the catalyst for that team. They set the tone for that team. That team is built around that offense and ultimately trying to outscore people.”

How North Carolina defense compares to East Carolina, Boston College

“It’s kind of interesting to see the difference, and that’s the thing about college football, the different challenges from week to week. They are a big defensive front, much in the way we talked about Boston College’s front, just being a big, strong, burly group on the D-line. They do a great job of keeping the ball in front of them and when I say that, to me it looks like they’re centered around, ‘let’s not give up the big play. If we give up some yards, that’s okay.’ If you look statistically at that sort of stuff, their big deal is to give up a little bit of rushing yards, give up some first downs here and there, that’s all right. Let’s keep them out of the end zone, get stops in the red zone, let’s force turnovers, let’s get some punts and then their offense is scoring at such a high clip, it’s a good recipe for winning football games. It’s kind of a unique challenge. It’s not like they sit back and let you throw hitches all the time, it’s just for the most part, there’s two safeties up on the roof and they do some man coverage stuff underneath and try to keep you from making big plays and earn every yard as you go down the field.”

Focus on improving zone blocking up front

“Basically, it takes away the man to man block. You have one-on-one blocking and zone blocking was invented many, many years ago to protect linemen vs. movement. So you don’t actually have a person or a man, you have a zone. The kind of fundamental rule with zone blocking is your play-side gaps. If I’m a right guard and we’re running the ball to the right, my play-side gap is the gap to my right and my back-side gap is the gap to my left. It’s play-side gap to second-level. You got to kind of get those guys stepping and moving to their play-side gap. If there’s nothing to their play-side gap then you should climb to the second-level. We have made some good plays, Travon (McMillian)’s big run at Tennessee was a zone play and they pinched and then it bounced. We haven’t been as efficient as I would like for us to be. You can also incorporate outside zone, which is the same fundamental rule, but you’re actually trying to reach those people and get the ball pushed to the edge and we’ve been pretty good in some of that type stuff as well. Trying to get back to fundamentals and make sure we’re on the same page and when we’re reaching the gap, getting to the second-level.”

Talk Talk Live Notes archives

Share on your favorite social network:
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail to someoneGoogle+share on TumblrShare on Reddit