Tech Talk Live Notes: Fuente Recaps Win Over Boston College, Schedule for Bye Week

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Virginia Tech Talk Live

Tech Talk Live aired once again on Monday night. Andrew Allegretta hosted the show instead of Jon Laaser, while Mike Burnop returned after his absence last week. Here are the highlights.

Justin Fuente

Improving to 5-0 after losses at Virginia Tech

“I’m glad we rebounded. I don’t like practicing that, obviously coming after a loss, but I was pleased. I was really excited about our team and how they took the field. We talked all week about responding, we knew we were going to play a big, tough, physical team on the road. We wanted to get back on the right side of the ledger in conference play, and I thought our guys did that. We didn’t play perfect by any means, but when we took the field, there was a level of intensity and a level of toughness that we need, and we’re going to have to have every single game to give ourselves a chance. But I was really pleased, I was genuinely excited for our guys to get that win.”

How impactful young receivers were after Cam Phillips left the game due to injury

“You’re right, it’s a little hairy when you make the trip without CJ Carroll, Phillip Patterson hasn’t played all year, hopefully we’ll get him back in the coming weeks, and then all of a sudden Cam goes down. We played six true freshmen the other night on offense alone. So, that’s why your hair gets a little gray quickly. But I was pleased. Eric Kumah, not only did he have four catches, but they were four third down conversions I think. They were really big plays versus tight coverage. That’s what we need. We need to continue to encourage Eric to come along, because we’re going to need him. He’s got to embrace who he is. He’s a bigger-bodied kid, he’s got to become a bigger, more physical presence out there for us. Sean (Savoy) obviously played at a high level for us in the slot and on the outside, and then Murphy contributed a little bit there with a couple big plays. So that’s going to be key for us moving forward. We’ve got to have those guys continue to get better and improve, and be dependable football players. I don’t think we need the extraordinary from them, I don’t think we need them to turn into Superman out there. What we need is them to be trustworthy players that execute at a high level on a consistent basis.”

Updates on CJ Carroll and Steven Peoples, and if they will be ready for North Carolina

“I do. I feel — pretty good that we’re going to have them. Like you never really fully know. CJ has been dealing with a deal in his foot that he’s been dealing with for a long, long time. I feel almost positive that Steven will be back, and I feel better every day that CJ will be okay and ready to go.”

Decision to play freshman wide receiver/tight end Drake DeIuliis

“Yeah, we put Drake in. It’s something we’ve been wrestling with for some time. Drake is a tight end that has a bright future here, that we started repping more on the outside these past couple weeks. I anticipate that he’ll continue to play quite a bit through the home stretch here. He’s a big 6-foot-6, 240-pound guy that I think is going to be a really good player, and that we’re working some on the outside and that we’ll work some on the line of scrimmage. We are just to a point where, in terms of our playmakers and guys that we’re trying to get the ball, I felt like he was a guy we couldn’t ignore any more in practice, that we needed to play him.”

“Part of it is that we know we’re going to face tight coverage. We know, particularly in the red zone, that we’re going to continue to face tight coverage. And we have not been very proficient thus far this year. Last year, we were as good as any place I’ve been. We got more tight coverage, and we were better against it, which is kind of odd, than I’d ever been anywhere. I’ve never seen as much of it and I’ve never defeated it as much we did last year. This year, we’re going to continue to see some of it, and we just don’t have enough guys right now that can win in that, and that’s probably the overriding, determining factor for getting him on the field.”

Virginia Tech football
Virginia Tech safety Devon Hunter has made his primary impact on special teams. (Photo by Ivan Morozov)

How Devon Hunter is progressing, rating his performance on special teams

“He actually had one (penalty), I mean he has the guy wired up and he just dumped a guy. Like, ‘Devon, I know you want to block the guy, but you can’t do that, it’s a penalty.’ He’s trying very hard to please. He really wants, he’s one of those guys I keep referring to on punt return that is taking a tremendous amount of pride — like here’s a big-time recruit playing on special teams and backing up on defense that’s taking a tremendous amount of pride in helping Greg Stroman return punts. I think that speaks volumes about him. We’ve just got to find that level of aggression/’getting your job done’ that is satisfactory, and he’s going to get it. This week is going to be big for him, in terms of working on defense and continuing to feel comfortable with his role defensively, and then continue to refine some things on special teams.”

Schedule and mindset heading into bye week

“Well this week is about improvement. I stole it from Buzz (Williams), this is our get better week. What we’ve decided to do, or what I’ve decided to do, is the kids are off (Monday). (Tuesday) we’re going to practice with everybody except the names you know. So, Motuapuaka, the Edmunds brothers, Mook (Reynolds), basically the starting 11 defense plus a couple of other guys, the starting offensive line, the starting quarterback, all those guys that have taken all of those reps are not coming to practice on Tuesday. We are going to practice with all of the other guys, the guys that I keep talking about how important it is for us to develop them for the long run. The young guys that are playing some, but not a tremendous amount, those are the guys, we’re going to get after it tomorrow. I’m so excited about that practice. It’s going to be a bunch of young guys that are hungry to play more, out there competing. I’m really looking forward to that practice. On Wednesday, we’ll bring the whole team back. We’ve got some things that we’re going to work on, in terms of what the defense needs to see from the offense, what the offense needs to see from the defense, some good crossover work, some situational work, and get some fastball work. On Thursday, we will work North Carolina. That’ll be a gameplan practice. There will just be three coaches there. It will be me, Coach Cornelsen and Coach Foster, it’ll be a coordinator practice. The other guys will be out on the road recruiting. Then when we’re done with that practice, we’ll all go out on the road recruiting. We’ll spend all day on the road, the kids will lift and run, we’ll be trickling back into town Saturday, the kids will be off Saturday and then Sunday, it’ll be full-fledged North Carolina.

Overarching thoughts on recruiting halfway through 2017 season

“Well, recruiting is going incredibly well, we just are running out of room at a rapid rate. That’s the biggest stress for me. It’s not the players, it’s making sure we handle the room, how much room we’ve got and all that sort of stuff, but we’ve got great momentum, we’ve got a fantastic product to sell. The North Carolina weekend is going to be a huge official visit weekend, combined with many unofficials, so we’ll be hopping.”

Impact of positive news coverage on college players, thoughts on Nick Saban’s comments

“Well, it’s very difficult, and I agree with him 100 percent. I mean, it’s just too much for them to handle. Now, there’s nothing to shut it off, and the only thing I can tell them is this — it’s an overreaction world. It’s overreaction good and it’s overreaction bad. And the truth is always somewhere in the middle, and it’s so hard to be 18 years old and be told how good you are, and then I’ve only got them for a couple hours. There’s a lot of other messages I’d like to get through to them also. You think about it, we get them a couple hours during the day with the messages we’re trying to deliver, and then there’s 22 or 20 other hours in the day for them to get bombarded with all the other stuff. It’s very difficult to do that. That’s part of the challenge. The challenge becomes more difficult the more public everything becomes. We talk about this in recruiting all the time, I think cell phones are a fantastic invention, but it’s not reality. Twitter is not the real world, and Facebook is not the real world. There’s no actual work being done on these things, there’s no hard labor being done, there’s no actual work. It’s all just stuff, and not all of it’s bad. I enjoy it too. But trying to get those messages across can be challenging, and Coach Saban can probably articulate it better than I can, but I agree with, at least to a certain degree. I’m not saying there’s nothing good that comes out of that, but I do believe to a certain degree he’s correct.”

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9 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Ha ha. Trying hard to hold it together. Coach JF talking about how twitter is “NOT” the real world for the most part…then the article ends with two tweets that say:

    Virginia Tech has held the Commonwealth Cup for 4699 days.
    Virginia Tech has held the Black Diamond Trophy for 4755 days.

    Coach, those tweets are for real!!

  2. Hang half a hundred on UNCheat by halftime, coach!!!
    The push the petal to the metal!!!

    Let’s Go…Hokies!!!
    Beat UNCheaterpants

    1. Think you want to use “pedal” there.

      The only flowers we want to be sending after UNC is Brandon, and he used up his eligibility awhile back if I’m not mistaken.

  3. Love the way that Coach explains and gives insight into how he runs football operations. Logic abounds.

      1. I was thinking about your Monday’s Thoughts when I read the comments about playing Dulius (man, my middle finger hurts typing all those “I”s so I went phonetic). Didn’t realize he was 6’6”. Maybe putting him out there on the edge was a “making them think” move against BC that didn’t pan out…yet. Maybe it’ll be 6 against UNC? Here’s hoping Drake has good hands. Love the Drake!

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