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November 12, 2014

Frank Beamer

FRANK BEAMER:  Talk about Duke, you're talking about a really good football team.  Their quarterback Boone does a great job of taking care of the football.  They've got experience up front, four returning starters, just very efficient in how they go about business.  They truly bend don't break on defense.  I think they're like 69th in total yards, but they're like 11th in points allowed.  They allow you some yards, but points are hard to come by.
So really a good football team.  Certainly a well‑coached football team and a talented football team.  They've got some really good players, and they know how to play the game.  So really impressed with them.

Q.  Frank, could you give us an update on what Chase Williams was able to do in practice and what the outlook is for him for Saturday.
FRANK BEAMER:  Well, he did quite a bit of work.  He's going to try to take another step today.  I think he feels very good about it.  The trainer, Mike Goforth, feels good about it.  But it's one of those things where we've got to make sure he's well to the extent that he's not thinking about it.  I think trying to play with injuries, if you're having to think about it, then you're probably better off letting a guy that can go full speed in there.
We're going to make that determination here.  He's a smart guy too.  He'll do what's right for him and this team and so forth.  So we'll get it figured out.

Q.  With Wade Hansen in at right tackle, do you need to scheme things differently in terms of keeping a tight end more full back blocking there, or do you run exactly what you were running and just ask Wade to kind of play his position?
FRANK BEAMER:  I think Wade will be better prepared this week than he was last week.  And I was watching him yesterday.  You're talking about a guy that really gets after it.  I mean, he's all about effort.  I think with the extra week and the preparation and so forth, that I'm hoping a much better game than we had last week.

Q.  First and foremost, I know you weren't feeling that well last week.  How are you doing?
FRANK BEAMER:  I'm doing better.  Just got to keep plugging along.

Q.  In keeping plugging along, you said a lot of positive things about Duke and what they can do.  I want to take a look at your offense.  Running backs‑wise, you've lost some guys during the season.  Who can you say has really stood out for you?  I know Marshawn is somebody you talked about.  Where is the running game in your mind?  Do you feel you have enough to go up against a team like Duke to really be able to push them in the running attack?
FRANK BEAMER:  I hope so.  We've had problems.  We just came out of a meeting, and Marshawn is a little bit gimpy.  Wright is a little bit gimpy.  You'd like to just get completely well and play a couple guys and let's go.  We can't get completely well, but we've got a couple more days.  Hopefully, we'll be right by Saturday.

Q.  When you look at Michael Brewer and what he's had to do, obviously, when you have those injuries that come in the running game, then a lot's going to fall on his shoulders and being able to get the ball downfield.  How do you feel he's been able to respond to that, in your mind?  And not just in a game, but also from what you've seen in practice.  How do you feel Brewer has been able to kind of grow in this type of season that you've had?
FRANK BEAMER:  I think he's doing better all the time.  Out there yesterday, our passing efficiency in practice is very good.  You probably say, well, you should be able to complete them in practice, and you should.  You don't always do that.  But try to get it to the right guy and get it there on time and so forth, I think we're getting better all the time.
Again, if we could just keep our people in there, that's the darnedest thing, trying to keep the same people.  I think I might have said it sometime earlier this week, but I know one of the great years we had here, we started the same 22, every one of them except for one guy, a receiver, in one game.  We can't get the same 22 from one week to the next right now.

Q.  Frank, I wanted to ask you about the freshmen.  Obviously, they've been an integral part of specifically your offense this year.  How do you think they've lived up or exceeded expectations?  And how much does that go back to how prepared they were coming in?
FRANK BEAMER:  I think it was a really talented group.  I think it's a very smart group.  I think that goes hand in hand with being able to play early and play at a high level.
McKenzie, he was well on his way, was probably our best tailback at the time he got hurt, really been running well, made some people miss and so forth.  And then Marshawn's come on, and he's had his moments, but now he's been banged up.  But then when you put Phillips and Isaiah Ford in there, I really think they've got a bright, bright future.  Bucky Hodges, I think, certainly a bright, bright future.
What excites me, Hodges and Malleck and Cline, Kalvin Cline, who's not playing right now, but next year, when you look into the future, you've got three tight ends there that can block inside but line up outside.  That they're athletic enough where they look like they belong out there.  I think you get into blocking some quick screens and so forth.
So I'm eager‑‑ I want us to continue to improve each and every week right now, and then I think our future looks really good.

Q.  What do you think of last year's Duke game, the fallout of that?  How do you think your team responded to that game?  The game, obviously, the defense played lights out in, lost the week after.  What would you say about the impact of last year's Duke game?
FRANK BEAMER:  The thing about Duke is you just can't walk out there and expect to beat them.  You've got to go beat them.  Not turn the ball over yourself, take care of the football, every play counts.  Make sure you're flying to the football from a defensive standpoint.  Be really good in the kicking game because that's where the momentum plays are.  So you just got to go beat them.
Most people are like that these days, but not to the extent, I think, Duke is.  They're not going to turn the ball over to you, and you've got to go get it.

Q.  I know you guys are looking ahead and this is a little offbeat.  If I could ask you to quickly go back to Game 2.  You had such a good weekend against Ohio State and beat them so soundly.  Are you a little surprised how they've rallied back into the national picture?  Did you see that it's a possibility?
FRANK BEAMER:  Yeah, when we were the winner of that game, you realize that they had a lot of good talent.  Urban's going to do a good job of coaching them, and it kind of fits in with what I said our team was really.  Before it all started, I said I really think it's going to be‑‑ we're going to be a little bit up and down, and that was before we lost two offensive linemen before we started the season and before we figured out we were going to be playing 21 freshmen because of injuries here and there.
But I said, it's going to be a little bit up and down.  Well, Ohio State was a really up time.  But you still got those guys that's coming back and the same guys that's made a great catch, and all of a sudden, they're two yards short on a route.  Now all of a sudden, the timing's off, and all of a sudden the play looks not very good.  So that's what you live with, I think, when you're playing kids that don't have‑‑ that do not have a lot of experience.

Q.  And just to follow up, you've been around so many successes, and obviously this has been a test with the injuries, but is it just kind of an example of just how weird and funny and crazy football can be?  That night seemed so important for your program, so low for Ohio State, and obviously it's kind of different eight weeks later.
FRANK BEAMER:  Well, again, that's kind of the way the flow goes.  I think what you've got to be good at is being realistic in what you got on your football team.  I would have hoped that Ohio State would have thought they were beaten by a good football team, not be such a low mark in their season.

Q.  That's true.  Absolutely.
FRANK BEAMER:  But, no, we had a great game against them.  Kids played great.  Any time you play at Ohio State, your players know who they're playing.  It's not just another game.  So that was a good part of the season, the high in the season, and then we've had some lows.  So what we need to figure out is how to just kind of hang in the middle and play consistently.

Q.  As a follow‑up to that, how do you think the Ohio State game impacted your team and the players' mindsets at all?  Because that was kind of a high, and things have been up and down since then.
FRANK BEAMER:  I've said all along, I like our football team.  I like our players.  I liked them after we beat Ohio State.  I liked them after we had a tough loss.  I think we're got great kids.  They work hard.  They want to be successful.  They do what you ask them to do.  Haven't had a lot of problems.  Haven't had a lot of issues.  I like our football team.  I'd just like for them to have a little more experience.

Q.  Has this season been harder for to you go through than the last couple just because you've had to go through some injuries and you kind of haven't really known what you were going to get maybe week to week from your team just because they're so young?
FRANK BEAMER:  I don't think they're any harder.  I think any time you're not successful in this business it's hard.  It's that way all over, and it's just a fact of life.  I try to keep it realistic.  I try to keep‑‑ evaluate as to where we should be and how close are we to being there.  I try to keep it in that perspective.  Some people think we should win every game.  We'd like to win every ball game, but I think you've got to be realistic and understand other teams don't stay the same.  They change from year to year.  We don't stay the same.  We change from year to year.  Play as hard as you can, be as good as you can, and hope you get your share of the wins.

Q.  How close do you think you are?
FRANK BEAMER:  I think we're getting better all the time.  I really do.  I think we continue to get better and better.  Like I said in practice yesterday, just sitting there looking down and looking at the whole field, the level of execution on offense is very good.  I think we're getting better all the time.
The worst thing we got going is we can't keep the same 11 starting, the same 11 playing.  Too much movement in there.  That's the one problem.  But we've got great kids, and they're working like heck to be good.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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