Beamer proud, but cautious after big comeback
It took a week-to-week focus and gradual developments for the Virginia Tech football team to climb out of the abyss that was its 0-2 start to the 2010 season, and Monday morning Coach Frank Beamer said it will take a similar approach for the Hokies to compete for the ACC Championship.
Coming off the biggest comeback of his 24-year career at Virginia Tech, Beamer reiterated how proud he was of his charges after looking back at the film of Saturday's 41-30 victory over North Carolina State. But even though the Hokies now sit atop the ACC's Coastal Division and their next five opponents have a combined 10-14 record, Beamer wasn't ready to do any sort of prognosticating beyond this weekend's non-conference matchup against Central Michigan.
"We’ve already had lessons this year," said Beamer. "It’s not what should happen, it’s what you make happen and how you prepare and how you play. That’s what’s real and that’s what we’ll talk about this week. ... If we’re gonna make a run at the ACC, we need to continue to improve."
Virginia Tech has four-straight home games beginning Saturday at noon against the Chippewas. After Central Michigan, the Hokies face three-consecutive conference contests at Lane Stadium, culminating in a Nov. 4 Thursday night showdown with Georgia Tech.
But considering most people left this team for dead after that Sep. 9 loss to James Madison (who if you haven't heard, lost at home to Delaware Saturday), it's certainly surprising (and if you're a fan, refreshing) that overconfidence might be the biggest obstacle facing Virginia Tech in the coming weeks.
“I think there’s a lot of pride in this program," said Beamer. "I think we have some great seniors. I said all along that I really liked the kids in this program, I like what they’re all about. After you have a tough Saturday against James Madison, after you’ve had a tough Monday against Boise State, you look forward to seeing those guys on Monday. ... I think we got quality kids in our program that are gonna hang in there and battle and I like them.”
Some more notes
*Beamer wouldn't take the bait when asked how close running back Ryan Williams was to playing against the Wolfpack this past weekend and said the team will follow the same protocol it has the past two weeks dealing with his nagging right hamstring injury. The Hokies won't announce his official status until the team's Thursday injury report is released.
Williams practiced on a limited basis last week, and I expect the same this week. I'll be at practice tonight and will check whether he's out on the field again.
*Beamer made it a point to praise the job senior quarterback Tyrod Taylor did in the fourth quarter against North Carolina State. Though his passing statistics weren't particularly impressive (12 of 24 for 123 yards), he threw three touchdowns and rushed for 121 yards, including runs on crucial third-down conversions during both of Virginia Tech's fourth quarter touchdown drives.
"How he plays when the game is on the line, I think, is very, very good," said Beamer.
*Cornerback Jayron Hosley was named national defensive player of the week by the Walter Camp Football Foundation after his three-interception performance against the Wolfpack. Hosley also had six tackles and four pass break-ups, a week after he had his first interception of the year against Boston College.
*The ACC announced Monday that Virginia Tech's home game against Wake Forest on Oct. 16 will start at 3:30 and be broadcast nationally on ESPNU.
I'll get a chance to talk with some players later today and tomorrow, so more to come in the aftermath of an exhilarating comeback victory.
| October 4, 2010; 1:11 PM ET
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