"It's always a challenge to go to Blacksburg to play Frank Beamer's teams. They're very, very well-coaches every year. They play extraordinarily well on defense, offense and they probably the biggest challenge that you're team faces, special teams-wise. They've got such a great reputation and put such a huge emphasis on it, and they use an awful lot of talented players. It will be a big challenge for our football team going to Blacksburg."
On offensive coordinator John Shoop:
"As I started to put the feelers out for a potential offensive coordinator, one of the guys that I've always kind of somewhat relied on has been Norv Turner. I've got such great respect for him from our years working together at Dallas, and he instantly said, ‘John Shoop.'
"He said, ‘I'll be honest with you, I don't think that there's any chance in the world that he's going to leave the National Football League.' He had been in the NFL twelve years with the [Carolina] Panthers and everybody, but I appreciated Norv's insight into to it. He said, ‘If you can get him, he'd be the best guy that you could potentially hire,' and we were fortunate enough to get him."
On the differences in offensive play-calling in college versus the NFL:
"I really don't think that there's necessarily all that much. There's a little tiny bit of differences simply because of the hash marks. In the National Football League, the ball is virtually almost always somewhat in the middle of the field, and there is a wide side of the field in college football and somewhat of a boundary side, although it's not as dramatic as it used to be.
"But just talking to John in the springtime and over the summertime, he was trying to find out, because it's different where teams in college actually have field defenses and they have boundary defenses, where in the NFL you're somewhat balanced. And that was something he was concerned that he needed learn, but I think that he clearly has made that adjustment instantly going through the spring and the summertime."
On South Florida quarterback Matt Grothe:
"I think all of the schools that have mobile quarterbacks have somewhat of a little advantage, in that he is kind of the unaccounted for guy, as far as run defense is concerned. And Matt Grothe is an experienced, veteran kid. He had a lot of starts and opportunities last year and he's very confident in their offense. His running ability chips away at you and keeps drives alive."
On Brandon Tate:
"We are very fortunate with Brandon. Certainly, [the] previous things that he was known for – the punt returns and the kick returns – but I think he's finally started to come into his own as a receiver and I think that that's really has helped to compliment the rest of our receivers and our offense. Slowly but surely, he's building a reputation of being a complete player – someone that can contribute on special teams as well.
"Someone that has to return punts and kicks, they such an enormous responsibility in the potential to change field position and also [in] the protection of the football, but Brandon has done a very, very good job of that for us thus far."
On Virginia Tech's defense:
"Without question, this is the best defense that we've faced. They're big and disciplined up front – two massive, huge defensive tackles. The linebackers are without question – they are most athletic, fast kids in the secondary. Those guys can hit and they can run and thinking back to the six years that I was at Miami, I'm not sure that this doesn't look like maybe the best defensive group that I've seen Virginia Tech have."
On Yates' problems last weekend against South Florida:
"I guess the best answer is that it was a totally different quality of opponent defensively. As I said before the game last week, South Florida had more speed than anybody that he had played and that they had some very talented kids in the secondary. Two really good corners and defensive ends – I think the one kid is still leading the nation in sacks. He's going to be one of those guys that's going to go extremely high in the draft. I think it's just a combination of a much, much better opponent – more talent and more speed.
"And we made some mental mistakes. Some protections where we had opportunities to pick up some of the people and help out, but we just didn't get it done. That's something that we've absolutely got to do a better job – not just in this game against Virginia Tech, but in the future."