Maryland-Virginia Tech: Week Long Coverage
Virginia Tech (7-3, 4-2) took care of business against Miami and now needs two more wins and a Duke loss in order to reach the ACC Championship Game. The Hokies host Maryland (5-4, 1-4) on Senior Day Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
NOTES FROM MONDAY'S NEWS CONFERENCE WITH HEAD COACH FRANK BEAMER AND SELECTED PLAYERS
-In conjunction with Beamer's reading program, Herma's Readers, and in honor of Veterans Day, Beamer made a $20,000 donation to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.
-The Hokies have won five in a row over Maryland.
-How did Tech's defense stop Miami's run game, holding them to 28 yards on 24 carries? Defensive tackle Derrick Hopkins said, "We just played hard. We played fast and everybody stayed in their gaps and ran to the ball. That's the key. If one person gets out of their gap he's going to cut it back quickly so each person had to stay in their gap to control them."
-How did Tech's offense turn up the run game? Offensive lineman David Wang said, "I think it was coach [Jeff] Grimes talking to us all week. His big thing was to come off the ball with confidence, get up there, look at the defense, and just play football and have fun. That's what you need to do. He said you can't worry about if you mess up one play you can't keep it in your mind. You got to forget it and move on."
-Wang said watching Trey Edmunds run for four touchdowns just made the offensive linemen all the more excited to get back in the game. He said he could see a spark in Edmunds' eyes when they were in the huddle.
-Derrick Hopkins was used as a full back on offense for a few plays against Miami. Coach Beamer said Hopkins just kind of runs into anything he sees. He took out one Miami player but also his own teammate Calvin Kline on one play.
-Logan Thomas threw for 366 yards, 2 TDs, and 0 interceptions against Miami in the rain. Against Marshall in the rain Thomas threw for 181 yards, one TD, and 2 interceptions. So what was the difference in the two games? Thomas said the rain against Marshall was big, fat rain drops that covered the ball in moisture. That prevented him from gripping the ball properly. Against Miami he said the rain wasn't as thick and he was able to make the throws he needed.
-Thomas said the blocking by VT wide receivers downfield was the best he's seen this season.
-Saturday's game will be Thomas' last at Lane Stadium. He said it has been a long journey with a lot of ups and downs. We'll have more sound bites from him later this week on ABC 13 Sports. He did say he doesn't think he'll get emotional.
-Beamer said the Miami win won't mean a thing if they are unable to win the final two games.
-Beamer started his coaching career at Maryland as a graduate assistant. Maryland is leaving the ACC for the Big Ten after this season. Beamer said he's sorry to see them go. He mentioned that Maryland will be adding considerable travel time to road games by switching conferences.
-Josh Stanford had 107 yards receiving against Miami and 171 against Boston College. "That guy has come a long long ways and I think it's totally confidence. He wasn't really confident early in the year but then he made a couple catches and then all the sudden he's catching, he's running, he's blocking, he's turned into a terrific player," Beamer said.
-X-rays were negative for Antone Exum but he's still banged up. So is Kyle Fuller and Brandon Facyson. Beamer didn't sound too upbeat about their health at this point in the week. However that can obviously change as the week progresses.
-At this point in the season Beamer likes to practice with a purpose so they were not on the field for practice on Sunday or Monday. Tuesday is the first day back for on-field drills. On Sunday the team does come in to review game tape from Saturday's game.
-Beamer said Maryland has a good quarterback and even though they lost 20-3 to Syracuse the game tape did not indicate the eventual scoreboard outcome. He said the offense moved the ball but a few drops and turnovers hurt them.