On Saturday, Virginia Tech will be back at home for its ACC-opener, against Boston College. What are the Hokies doing this week to addresses the mishaps that have plagued them the last two weeks? Fuente addressed that and more this week on the teleconference.
Check out the video and the full transcript below:
FUENTE: Again, coming off the Battle of Bristol, a tough ballgame versus Tennessee where we did some good things and far too many bad things. But we had a great turnout from our fans, alumni, those people that made the trip.
It's kind of cool around here right now, Bruce Smith getting his jersey retired for Buffalo, which I think is kind of a neat deal. I want to congratulate him on that. We're looking forward to Boston College coming to town. They're a tough, physical football team, and we'll have our hands full with those guys.
Q. Starting with Travon McMillian, what you saw from him in the last game despite the loss and what he can bring to you this season.
FUENTE: Well, he obviously had the one long run there versus Tennessee. I thought he did a good job in the inside. You know, I think he's a little bit like everybody right now on our team that at times are playing pretty well and at times hurting us. I'm not singling him out, I'm just saying as a group on offense, it seems like we make a couple plays and then find a way to turn the ball over.
As a group, and Travon included in that group, if we can find a way to hang onto the ball a little better, I think we'll all play a little better.
Q. When you look back on this game, some of the biggest takeaways, obviously you brought upholding onto the ball. What were some other things you were utilizing as teachable moments?
FUENTE: Well, I didn't think we played very smart football. I didn't think we really had our emotions in check. It was pretty disappointing. We weren't a real disciplined football team. To me the discipline and the ball security issues are the two biggest things, and the handling the emotions of the game and expecting success, and then when things don't go well, going ahead and responding the right way is kind of what we've been working on.
Q. Considering that they do have a new coordinator on defense, do you go back and look at last year's film for personnel, or is two weeks in enough film to study for this season?
FUENTE: Yeah, we look at last year, too.
Q. What have you seen in terms of what's different under Coach Reid as opposed to what they were doing with Coach Brown?
FUENTE: I would say just in general terms that it's fairly similar. It's centered around press man coverage. I would imagine the first day of spring ball, they probably play some quarters and play man free press. They have obviously some variations and they're very well-schooled in all the nuances of those things, but my best inference is that it's pretty similar.
Q. You mentioned in your press conference earlier this week about BC's defense, and they do kind of have that reputation for having the defense as their calling card. When a team is a little bit lopsided in that way, how does that factor into you guys' game planning at all, and is that a particularly intriguing matchup for you as an offensive guy?
FUENTE: Well, I think you have to know going in that it's going to be hard. Yards and points are going to be hard to come by in my opinion. We've got to make sure we take great advantage of those opportunities that we do have. You've kind of got to get your mind right and get settled in for a tough, hard-nosed battle.
Yeah, it's always fun to go against good people. The coaches and players at Boston College on the defensive side of the ball have done a fantastic job. It's a great challenge. You know, and we'll hopefully have our guys ready for it.
But I think it's more of a mental and emotional approach as much as it is Xs and Os and understanding how difficult it's going to be and how we kind of have to make sure we dot all our I's and cross all our T's because the opportunities may be fewer.
Q. Is that a little bit more uncommon nowadays to see a team with that type of defense as opposed to the more high-powered offenses that we're a little bit more used to seeing?
FUENTE: Well, it may be -- statistically speaking it may be a little bit more uncommon. I think it certainly gets less publicity than the points and all that kind of stuff. It's kind of just the world we live in.
But the way the game has gone, it certainly has become a little bit more prolific in terms of offensive production.
Q. I was curious, as you've started to evaluate Boston College on offense in particular, quarterback Patrick Towles, he wasn't a guy that ran terribly much at Kentucky last year, but I noticed so far he's their second leading rusher. As you look at him, what are you seek from him film specifically when it comes to what kind of threat he might be on the ground?
FUENTE: Sure. He's a good athlete. I think that's probably -- his numbers at Kentucky are probably just a little bit more of a byproduct of the system that they run there as opposed to his reflection of his athletic ability. You see him out there moving around, avoiding pressure, getting on the move and making positive plays, and that's certainly something that you've got to take into account. Seems to me from what I can tell that to be a good athlete, an accurate thrower and somebody that from the outside it looks like he's jumped right in there and taken the reins.
Q. I wanted to ask a question about momentum. I watched a lot of football over the weekend, and your game was a specific example of it, but there were several others in the pros and other colleges, where teams seemed to be in control of the game, and then one play or one sequence would flip things and it was totally opposite the rest of the way. How real is momentum, and how do you try to deal with that as a coach?
FUENTE: Yeah, I think the more mature a team you have, the more your team has real self-confidence, the more they can overcome bad momentum, and the more that they can control themselves when things are going really well.
I was just as worried about how we were acting when we were up 14-0 as when we were down. We played hard the whole game. It's not an effort issue. It's just a focus and a maturity level issue in my opinion.
I think those teams that have real self-confidence, that expect to do well, that know there's going to be highs and lows, that just keep trying to play the next play are the ones that eventually find a way to get the job done. I think that's -- I hope that's a lesson that we learned last week.