Typically, mid-week press briefings in college football is the time for both coaches to praise the job of the other, and Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente didn’t disappoint on Wednesday. He feels heading into this weekend’s game against West Virginia, there is a bit of an unknown factor surrounding the Mountaineers offense.
Fuente was talking about West Virginia quarterback Will Grier, who was a terrific during his time with Florida, but the Hokies lack any tape on him running the Mountaineers sophisticated offense. This will hurt in judging his tendencies in certain situations on the field. Grier transferred from the Gators to West Virginia prior to last season.
“They’re always had skill player. Whenever I’ve seen West Virginia play they’ve had wide receivers and running backs that can stretch the field and make plays in space,” Fuente said in a teleconference call with Charleston Gazette-Mail sports writer Mitch Vingle, “This year will be no exception. Defensively, they understand their scheme and play incredibly hard and can do several things to give defenses problems.”
The Hokies coach added that he wouldn’t consider the Mountaineers 3-3-5 defensive alignment a “gimmick” defense because the players understand and played in the scheme for a long time. Fuente feels no one gives Mountaineers defensive coordinator Tony Gibson credit for the adjustments he makes during the course of a game because he can and does shutdown opposing offenses. He feels Gibson does an excellent job of adjusting to what key players are doing on the field, especially if they are posing a problem to his defense.
Fuente was named ACC coach of the year last season after leading the Hokies to a No. 16 ranking in the final polls.
His team is looking forward to playing the game in the Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. area because Virginia Tech has plenty of fans in this region coming to the game. The Hokies and Mountaineers will meet on Sept. 3 at 7:30 pm ET at FedEx Field, and the game will be televised nationally on ABC.