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October 8, 2014

Paul Chryst

COACH CHRYST:  We have got to take advantage of the bye week this week.  Kids are off for a couple days and get back at it today.  Last few weeks haven't gone how we'd like it but you know, I liked the response of the team and we just need to have a couple good days this week and clean up some things, and then get ready for a full week of preparation versus Virginia Tech.

Q.  What's your approach in terms of when do your players start working on Virginia tech?  When do you let them start watching tech film?
COACH CHRYST:  Coaches are ahead of it a little bit but we are going to take the rest of this week and use it as an opportunity to kind of work on some things, six games in that are different areas that we can improve upon.
So for example, each position group will have a meeting today and tomorrow we'll go over some tape and things that we are going well and things we've got to build on, and different things individually or as a unit we are not doing well enough and we have to clean up.
So kind of use these two days as we are going to practice today and tomorrow, use those as kind of focused‑‑ going to be all about Pitt and then we'll start the Virginia Tech preparation with players Saturday which will be a normal kind of like a Monday the way it falls for us.  We have a regular week of preparation.

Q.  When you look at as a coach what you've seen already from Virginia Tech, defensively, what jumps out in the two road games?  They played well at Ohio State and UNC, what jumps out there?
COACH CHRYST:  I've looked at them and I see ‑‑ I think they have good players running a good scheme and they are playing confident in it.

Q.  I wanted to start with James Counter and what you've taken away from him, he's been able to score in the majority of the games this season and how you've seen him grow and how the offense can lean on him at different times.
COACH CHRYST:  Yeah, certainly I think he's grown in a lot of different ways, and it's important when he's playing well and we are able to run the football.  That's good for our offense.  James is a guy that he wants to be good, works at‑‑ takes pride in trying to get better at different things and certainly is a guy that gives our team energy.

Q.  As far as looking at the last game and heading into the bye week, what are some of the big key areas that stand out to you?
COACH CHRYST:  You know, I think defensively, and this is true with every defense, but you've got to try to prevent the big plays and teams are going to make plays.
We are going against good players each week and so they are going to have‑‑ we want to address certainly the big plays, run or pass and then offensively we have to find a way to‑‑ again, we are not unique to any other team but when we are able to convert on third down, keep drives alive, we've got to be better there.
Got to be better in protecting the quarterback and quarterback getting the ball; sometimes that's receivers, sometimes that's quarterback and sometimes that's the line.  These are different areas that we have enough things to work on, certainly, these next couple days.

Q.  In the last couple of days, you haven't been able to run the ball as effectively.  Just wondering what you've seen on the tape that has led to struggles there, and how much are you missing Artie at center?
COACH CHRYST:  Artie was a good football player for us.  You know, so you're always going to miss a good football player.  Our consistency, I think it's tied‑‑ one plan is good defenses and also you've got to be able to do some things to take advantage of winning one‑on‑one battles on the outside in the throw games so they can't just‑‑ you're not going to hurt them outside and you'll continue to see numbers in the box.
I think that running the football, everyone can take pride in it and everyone can take ownership with that.  Each game we've had good runs but we've got to be able to be cleaner with them all and also we've got to do a better job on third downs and get more rush attempts and certainly got to do a better job of being more consistent in the throw game.

Q.  Last Friday when you announced the one‑game suspension for Adam, you said he would be back for the Virginia Tech game.  Is that still true, and will you be inserting him into the starting lineup at left tackle?
COACH CHRYST:  He'll be back practicing today, and we'll see on the starting.

Q.  I guess it was both frustrating and a difficult situation for you.
COACH CHRYST:  Yeah.  But you know, I mean‑‑ it's clear what the expectations are, but always, you care a lot about these kids and our job is to help them grow.

Q.  I'm going to ask about the timing of the bye week, you obviously hit a tough spot.  Is it tougher to take a week off after three straight losses or would you rather bounce back and play again and try to get that taste out of your mouth?
COACH CHRYST:  I think you can look at it both ways, right, and the biggest thing is that this is where we're at, and so you embrace it.  I think it gives us a chance to kind of take a step back, look at some things, clean up some things.  I think the things that you're in control of, you try to, you know, handle them and have a good plan with it and when the bye comes is when the bye comes.
Certainly there is, you'd rather be‑‑ having played better and the results be different the previous three weeks.  But you know what, I think right now is a pretty good time for our team to take a step back and focus on kind of ourselves for a couple days and then get geared up and certainly play a really good Virginia Tech team.

Q.  During bye weeks are you physical or do you try to cut down on contact and let everybody heal?
COACH CHRYST:  Knock‑on‑wood, right now, we are relatively healthy.  But there's no doubt, you go through camp and six games, it's a chance for guys to get back maybe physically and mentally, maybe get refreshed a little bit.
So we'll still do it.  I think you still have to kind of‑‑ the speed of the game, and have contact, we'll have pads on.  We'll do a little bit more with our young guys, that's a pretty good time of the year, bye week, to do some things with your young guys.
We are going to try to keep a balance and we are not going to go two full scrimmages or anything.  But at the same time, you know, we do want to have‑‑ and it's a young team.  We want to‑‑ some of those technique things that you want to improve upon, you need to do it in pads and you need to go at a good speed.  So we'll try to have a good balance to it but we'll also make sure we're taking care of the guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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