Coaches Corner: Q&A

Coming off a decisive win over Florida Atlantic in Thursday's game, ECU's coaches set their sights on Saturday's showdown with Virginia Tech.

--- Offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley ---

Q: What were some of the biggest improvements you saw in the offense from Week 1 to Week 2?

A: Run game. I thought we were a lot more physical in the run game. I still think there's a few things to clean. There're a few things we could do better technique wise and scheme wise. I thought we a more physical group. I like that about us. I think our tempo was a little bit better. We still had too many penalties and we had the two turnovers. Going back and watching the film, penalties and turnovers were probably the difference between 21 more points and probably a couple hundred more yards. We were bouncing around and executing plays, but we shot ourselves in the foot way too much. We're going to have to get that cleaned up. Q: It seemed like you used Vintavious Cooper as more of a passing threat than usual on Thursday. Is that something you plan to use against Virginia Tech?

A: We'll see. We'll see what they do and what they're giving us. Our backs are always a big part of what we're doing in the throwing game. If people don't account for them, we've got to make sure that we're ready to attack them. We were able to do that and all our backs were able to have some pretty good gains on throws the other night.

Q: Of course every game is a challenge, but the first two games of the season were somewhat light relative to the rest of our schedule. With Virginia Tech being one of the biggest games of the season, how much of your playbook do you still have closed going into Saturday?

A: We just play to try to win every game. We don't look at it like everyone on the outside does. It's hard to say Virginia Tech is a bigger game when we just finished playing our first conference game. They're all important. You try and do your best in every one. We don't hold back on anybody to try and help on anybody else. We're going to try our best to win every game. We've been able to win the first two and that's not going to change how we're going to approach Virginia Tech. We're going to try our best to win against them, like we did the first two, and hopefully we get the same outcome.

--- Defensive coordinator Rick Smith ---

Q: How was it to get a few days off after having a five day turnaround?

A: I don't know how it was for them, but it was great for me!

Q: What were some of the adjustments you made in the secondary between ODU and FAU?

A: It was probably playing more zone than man. We played a lot of zone whereas, against Old Dominion, we played a lot of man.

Q: And how did that translate to holding FAU to only 13 points?

A: The defensive line just played awesome this week. So did the linebackers.

Q: Brandon Williams and Zeek Bigger both stepped up in a big way on Thursday. How do you plan to utilize that tandem against Virginia Tech?

A: We don't expect any different from them than what we got from the two guys that got hurt. I expect them to play just as good as Kyle Tudor or Jeremy Grove.

Q: What are some of your biggest areas of focus for taking on Logan Thomas?

A: When it's the run play the run and when it's the pass play the pass.


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