STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, we came off of a nice win against UMass. As you said, Mike, I think our defense played outstanding. We held UMass to minus 23 yards rushing and 122 total yards. Offensively had 344 yards. We had five explosives in the throw game. I really like where our passing game is headed, and we're really much improved in that area and continue to grow and improve on offense. We were able to do some things on special teams, and I see our team is beginning to grow.
We're playing obviously Virginia Tech, heading down there, outstanding football team, really tough venue to play in. Blacksburg is one of the traditional, really tough places to go play on the road, so we have to take on the venue and then of course take on an outstanding football team.
On defense, Bud Foster is back with their dynamic defense. They've got some great players. Their middle linebacker, their free safety, their defensive end, these are guys that to me are fantastic football players. They're physical. They play hard. They're relentless.
On offense they've got a host of great skill players starting with their quarterback Jerod Evans. Travon McMillian, I really like the way he runs with the football. Sam Rogers I think is just an overall great player. Isaiah Ford and Bucky Hodges and Cam Phillips, just a long list of skilled players.
I know they're a tempo team. I know they want to get to the line really fast. I saw them against Tennessee. They came out of the blocks really, really fast and really impressed with them as a football team. They're well-coached on both sides of the ball and special teams, so this will be a great challenge for us.
Q. Going back to this past game and what Patrick Towles was able to do with former quarterback Jeff Smith, I know you've talked about Jeff moving to wide receiver in the past but how he looked in this past game.
STEVE ADDAZIO: I mean, Jeff has got elite speed. We saw it as a true freshman playing quarterback. He has the speed that we had when we were at Florida. He can run. He's got really good hands. He's really obviously tackling in this wide receiver position. He missed most of training camp, so he's really starting to come on right now and give us a real explosive deal to our offense.
Q. And then as far as Justin Fuente, just what you can say about going up against his team this week. You talked a little bit about the team itself but what you can say about him as a coach and what you've seen from him on film.
STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, he's been successful obviously as a head coach and as a coordinator, and I watched him run his offense when he was at Memphis, and I've watched the tape this year. They're well-put together, they've got good players in good positions. They know exactly who they are. They're a tempo team, which brings another element into the mix, and I think he's a heck of a football coach.
I think Bud Foster is a heck of a defensive coordinator. I have, in various different capacities with different programs, gone against him a lot of years, and those defenses come to play, and he does a great job of defending your formations and your plays. So I think they've got a great staff, obviously, and they've got really good players. That's a team that you could tell last year and the year before was young and developing, and they've got good players.
It always comes down to good players, man. They've got good players, and they're put together well, and they're going to be a force to be reckoned with.
Q. I'm wondering what about Scot Loeffler made him a good fit for you guys at BC, particularly as an offensive guy coming into a program where defense has been your calling card recently.
STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, Scot is really one of the better quarterback coaches in the country. We were together at Florida. We were together -- he was my coordinator at Temple, and then of course he went on to Auburn and Virginia Tech. I know Scot really well. He's a good friend, but most importantly, he's a hell of a football coach and a good mind, and I wanted to make sure that we developed at the quarterback position, and I wanted to make sure we developed in the throw game, and I knew Scot could bring that to us.
So when he became available, I knew I wanted to get him on my staff, and he's done a great job. So I'm real happy with what he's brought to the table but not surprised.
Q. I was interested in examining the rushing statistics so far, that Patrick has proven to be your second leading rusher. Given that Bud Foster's defenses have struggled in the past defending running quarterbacks, how do you imagine that he will end up factoring into the running game for you all this Saturday?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, Patrick did a great job creating some running yards through scrambles. We're a pro-style offense. We're going to throw the ball. We're going to run a power run game. We're not a spread quarterback run team. Obviously I've done that in the past, but that's not what we are. Patrick will make yards with his legs in 3rd down, I'm sure, when the pass rush or the routes break down, but we're not designing him as a runner.
But I do like the fact that -- I believe I want a throwing quarterback that can run so he can get you out of trouble, and he's been able to do that for us effectively.
Right now we want to run the ball better with our tailbacks. We've got good tailbacks, we've got a young offensive line, and our goal is to run the ball better, and we've done that well around here in the past, and now that we're last year and this year breaking in a new offensive line, we have to have a little patience as we grow the O-line and grow that power run game.
Q. Another coach on this teleconference reminded me earlier it's two games in and not to read too much into statistics, but looking at your defensive stats, you're up close to where you were last year. Is that a fair comparison? Is this defense potentially as good as last year's team?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Statistics don't mean all that much to me, but we're better right now fundamentally than we were a year ago. We're better up front fundamentally. We're playing with great fundamentals. We still have great scheme, but we have good players, okay, and now we have good players that are playing well fundamentally, so we can match that scheme up. We don't always have to rely on blitz patterns, although we have them all. I think we're just developing on defense, and I think we're outstanding the way we're playing right now. It's like you said, we're just a couple games in, but yeah, we are talented, and we are playing well, and it's real.
We opened up with Georgia Tech. We played a UMass team that had some ability and some talent, and of course now we're going to face a very talented Virginia Tech offense, but this is a good, stout defense that has taken another step fundamentally.
The stats are -- they all get varied by who you play and all these other kind of things, but we're playing at a high level right now.
Q. I wanted to ask you about two of your linebackers. Connor Strachan and Matt Milano are among the ACC leaders in tackles per loss. Can you talk about their ability, and is that a function of the scheme, or is that a function of their ability to disrupt things?
STEVE ADDAZIO: It's always a function of good players, and those two guys are really good football players. They can run. They can strike. They're physical, and they can run and they're playing with great fundamentals. They've improved fundamentally right now.
You know, it's all about the players, man. Those guys are really good. They're talented, and there's a host of other guys that are talented. We have a good back end. We've got a good defensive front. But those two particular guys that you mentioned, they're really good football players that can make plays and they make plays.