"Summary of last game ... we ran the ball pretty well. We rushed for over 200 yards and quite frankly we could have rushed for 250. We averaged over five yards a carry rushing the ball and when you're doing that, that shouldn't be the outcome. Our passing game was a non-factor for a multitude of reasons. Some were bad down to distances; there were a serious number of drops and some sacks that we probably didn't need to take. So when you just watch it, series-by-series from an offensive standpoint, it's a hard thing to watch because it's not like you are getting smashed out there, but you are stepping on your own foot and you're not executing - we need to execute because we need to be a very systematic team down the field. Turnovers, penalties, all those things - all they do is stall drives and they create problems because we are not the kind of team that can remake that up with a multitude of chunks which some teams can do.
"On defense we had four sacks, 5 TFLS, and nine negative yardage plays. On screens, bubbles, QB draws - we got gassed on those. We didn't create any turnovers and we had no real special team hits. So this team has to feed off of each other and when we all are working three phases together-cause we play hard, and we played hard in that game - it's amazing. There are some great looking things when you watch the tape, on both sides, but it is terribly inconsistent and we need to be consistent. We played hard and we did some really good things but that's not how we win and that is why we didn't win that game. It is just the facts of the matter.
"So here we are going into Virginia Tech week. Let's just start with the defense because it is probably the best defense in America. They are rated as the No. 3 defense in the nation right now. They are No. 5 in rushing defense, No. 2 in passing defense, they are No. 2 in sacks with 28. They are 11th in the nation in creating turnovers and they are returning nine starters on defense. We have played some pretty tough defenses this season but this defense is better than all the other teams we have faced. That is a fact. The secondary might be the best secondary in college football right now.
"On offense, Logan Thomas, their quarterback is a big, strong guy. He has 101 rushing attempts, 258 yards and four touchdowns. He's got over 1600 yards throwing. He's a veteran guy and from what I understand when you see him in person he's bigger than you think. This team is a team that plays great on defense. They play low scoring games. Their special teams have been traditionally strong and they are once again very strong. So this is a team built totally on win with defense, win with special teams, and try to control the ball the best you can on offense and I'm really impressed with them as you can tell. This will be a tremendous challenge. Thank goodness we play them here at home but we have to have a strong week at practice and put together an accurate game plan. We cannot have any turnovers, we cannot have any penalties and we have to play a clean game and maximize ourselves and we have to play lights out on defense."
More on Virginia Tech's defense:
"They're going to play man coverage; they're going to lock you down; they're really physical; they're really powerful interiorly, and yardage will be tough to come by. You're going to have to play the field position game, and you're going get your cracks in there, it will happen. We have a strong running game, and you can't get frustrated. What happens is, you get a little frustrated and you spit the thing out there, and the next thing you know they're bringing it back for six on you and they're scoring on defense. You can't let that happen, that can't happen. So this is a defense that's really going to stress you."
On new targeting rules:
"I understand all ends of it, I really do. We have to work on the safety of the game. If I thought a guy had the intent to hurt somebody, I'd want him ejected too. We have got to do something, and every time you take a stance and you try to change something, it's not a perfect world.
"We work on technique all the time. You try to get your pad level down. It's all the conversation. That's all you can do. You rep it. You work it. You talk about it. You acknowledge it and you move forward. If I thought a guy took a cheap shot on a guy, they probably wouldn't have to suspend him, I'd probably pull him out of the game."
Transcript via bceagles.com.