It's Tuesday, which means it's Butch Jones press conference day. When I said this would be a regular feature, I meant regularly every couple of weeks. I'm a trickster, I am. Anyway, enough about me. Let's hear what Coach Butch Jones has to say about things this week.
Exciting to get back to game week. Number of goals during work week. Correct deficiencies. Unusual season with schedule. Just improve fundamentals and small details. Trying to create depth and competition. Important everyone has a role and we're gonna rely on more and more individuals.
Need to get health back. Very tough, very physical Va Tech.
Starts with Logan Thomas. Involving him in run game will be a challenge. DBs have to play the deep ball. Deep balls at a premium.
Va Tech defense plays with great pad level. Active linebackers. DLine ranked best in the country preseason and are deserving of that honor.
Special teams will present challenges.
Every practice is critical. Players looking forward to participating on the national stage. 2 of 3 on national tv is what the program is ascending to.
Someone asked about Pitt playing both teams. What makes college football special is each week is a new season. Each game is a storyline in itself. Pitt made big plays and didn't give them up. College football is a consistency level and maturity level. Pitt had everything go right, Va Tech had adversities. Tech was back against Bowling Green. Will take everything in the program to win the game. Players have to bring their A game. Can't make mistakes they made against Delaware State. Every mistake is magnified, it can be catastrophic. UC has 1 offensive penalty all year. Have to keep that up. No self inflicted wounds. Can't turn the ball over.
Critical game because this is the next game, that's not coach speak (ED: It is coach speak). Va Tech is as good a team as we'll face all year.
Special teams question. Have to prepare for everything. Their best special teams player jumps between nickel and SAM. 4-6 plays affect the outcome, Va Tech has players on special teams. Beamer ball reference. It's the depth of their program and caliber of special teams. UC has a long way to go. Not pleased with special teams. Source of emphasis. Level of consistency in all phases. Looking for more players to step up. Mentions Winn would be the best special teams player. Players have been challenged to step up.
Have to wrap up on running quarterback. Thomas is a north and south runner. He plays like a 260 lb player, and he can throw. You see him become more and more involved in their offense.
Doesn't pay attention to the running stats against Va Tech. It's basically the opponents they've played.
Va Tech TO's against Pitt. Football is a game of momentum. Pitt made great plays on deep balls. It comes down to plays. Plays don't make players, players make plays. We didn't have anyone step up and make big plays against D State. Instead of a 12 yard run, we need a 22 yard run. It's going to be the story of our offense, the ability to create big plays.
Difference between the Big East and ACC is not much at all. It's made between media and perception. Lots of great ACC and Big East games. We're playing a team that went to the ACC championship, going ot be a great challenge. It's a home game for them. Approaching the week as a road game. Half of the travel roster will be making their first road trip. Team is still learning nuances of what it takes to compete
National perception for this game. You look at wins and losses, bowls, conference championships. You can't put all your effort and energy into 1 game. Players understand the caliber of Va Tech. They have our attention.
Any time you play on national TV it's a chance to sell the program. We've benefited and taken advantage for our school and program. Admissions at a all time high, recruiting skyrocketed and the fan base is growing as a byproduct of national TV. That 4 hour commercial is big.
Drew Frey and Alex Chisum are 100%. We're gonna need big games from them.
On the depth chart, Chisum is slash Julian. Whoever has the best practice will start. Chisum knows about the Wally Pip story. One person sitting out is some one's opportunity. Damon took advantage. They will compete it out.
Julian has quietly worked hard every day. We saw glimpses of it in practices, but to see it in a live game was great to see.
Munchie turnover question. We stress ball security, calls it cat security. Everything is a learning opportunity. 4 of 5 years with staff in top 15 in not turning it over. Some TO's are where he has to throw it away, and there were protection issues. More determined than every. Every week a growth process for Munchie. Every opportunity is a chance to improve. Liked his determination and focus. Teaching him to be a student of the game. He's doing everything he's been asked.
Thomas question about who he compares to. No QB as big as height and weight. he's a load. it's hard to simulate in practice. Bennie Coney has been Thomas in practice. Drinking a lot of muscle milk this week. It is what it is, it's a great challenge. He's one of the best we'll play against.
High profile non-con games question. How do you prevent team from putting too much in the game? It's embedded in the culture that you prepare the same for every opponent. Every game is for a championship. Every game is critical. Every game is important. He's excited because we'll play against the best. Very young team, looking forward to game as a measuring stick for the team and program.
Running back by committee skill set compliments each other. Hard to prepare for them. It's another challenge.