"This week brings a new opportunity and a new challenge and thank goodness we get the chance to fight again. It's against a football team that's really well-coached. Frank Beamer and his staff have done a great job and it's a football team that keeps the pressure on you in all phases of the game. That team doesn't let up, that environment doesn't let up, so we're going to have to prepare ourselves, but if you're a true competitor, you like playing in that kind of environment."
"We have to sit down and discuss it with him, but yes, he's done for the season. He was blocking downfield on the interception that (John) Talley took in for the touchdown. Phil was leading out front and down by the goal line one of their guys dove to try and hit Talley, missed him and rolled up onto the back of Phil's knee. Looking at it on tape it was pretty obvious what had transpired. We spent several hours together yesterday. It's a shame because he's worked so hard and prepared, and also done a good job leading. He's one of our captains. Not having Kenny (Stanford) and Phillip out there, two of your captains, that's something you never want to see. He'll bounce back and he'll be fine. He's been through some things in his life where he'll come back and he'll be fine."
On the impact of losing Alexander for the year "I think if you go to any school in America and say you're going to lose your best pass rusher, I think it definitely has an impact on you, but that's football. That's the game and it's a shame that it happened to Phillip because he put so much into getting ready to play this year. But now somebody has to step in there and take up the slack. That's the cold, cruel reality of football and injuries and it's time for those other guys to do that and I thought they responded really well on Saturday in that role."
The progress of his players "(Justin Kitchen) is definitely more than a fill-in. Justin has made a lot of strides. He and I got here together and he was a tall, gangly linebacker. He became a tall, gangly defensive end who started to thicken up and bulk up and I've really been pleased with his attitude, his work ethic and his improvement. Eli Nichols has made strides. Eli was on the scout field last year and he started and played really well last Saturday. And Patrick Bailey, a true freshman. I'm pleased. Not satisfied, but I'm pleased at how they're working and how they're improving."
On the quarterback situation for this week
"We're getting ready to talk about that in just a little bit. Both quarterbacks are going to play. As far as which role and who's going to start, I'm not really sure of that yet. I think that's going to go on all week in practice, but they're both to have a role in the game plan, there's no doubt about that. One of those guys has to separate himself on game day. They're both going to have opportunities and every week we're going to evaluate it and see where we are. But Mike (Schneider) has been out competing and he couldn't have done what he did when he went into the game if he'd been sulking or sticking his lip out. He went into the game and he was competing and I was proud of the things he did."
On his team's depth
"We're playing a lot of guys on both sides of the ball, which is something I want to do to develop depth. At the same time, it helps morale. If guys know they're going to get in the game and that the game could depend on their performance, It's just human nature that people will prepare a little bit differently. So I think it helps the morale of the football team and it helps us as we build down the road as well."
On the team's morale following loss to Connecticut
"I think we're very disappointed because we gave so much and we emptied our tank. We came so close to having that golden nugget but we didn't get that golden nugget. All we got was a better feeling about competing. But at the same time, I know this: if we keep putting ourselves in position to win, we're going to get some and when we get some it's going to snowball. I think they're hungry to go compete again, especially against a great football team and in a great environment for college football. Motivation won't be a problem."
On the atmosphere at Virginia Tech
"It's a great atmosphere. There'll be a bunch of people screaming against us and all that. That's a good thing. If you're a competitor, you really can relish that. But at the same time, those fans aren't going to tackle anybody or block anybody. There's 11 on the field and we have to focus on that."
On the notion that Virginia Tech is down this year
"No. They are not down. Those people that thought Virginia Tech was down this year were way off-base."
On playing Virginia Tech in the Hokies' first ACC game
"We just want to play well and have a chance to win. Whether it's Virginia Tech's first ACC game, that's irrelevant. We just want to play well."
On Tech QB Bryan Randall
"He's not just a one-dimensional guy. He's an excellent passer. He has good touch on his passes and he's got the zip to make the tough throws as well. And you saw him get loose against Southern Cal, who arguably might be the best defense in the country, and he avoided those guys, made them miss and created big plays. That puts added pressure on and it goes back to what I said about how that team keeps you under the gun. They don't let up. With their style of defense and what they do on special teams, you don't ever get to exhale. You have to keep going."
On the kicking situation
"Right now we have the same plan. We opened it up last week in practice and Matt Brooks won that job. We want to see everyone improve and competition makes everybody better. But because a kid makes one mistake, I'm not going to give up on him. We all make mistakes, every day. But at the same time I want to try and increase the competition there and that's Alex Feinberg's job, to put some heat on Matt and make us all better."