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October 9, 2013

Paul Chryst

PAUL CHRYST:  Obviously looking forward to‑‑ it's good to be back in a game week and looking forward to playing Virginia Tech down there.  It will be a great atmosphere, and we've got to handle all that comes with that, and obviously biggest concern is I think they've got a heck of a football team.  But we had a good bye week, got some things accomplished, keep working on some things we need to clean up, and looking forward to finishing this week off with some good preparation and going down and, like I say, play a very good Virginia Tech team.  It'll be a heck of a challenge, but those are great things, and that's what college football is about.

Q.  In back‑to‑back weeks you've played the highest scoring game in ACC history, or just about, and then the lowest scoring ACC game played this year.  Which is the real Pitt team?
PAUL CHRYST:  Yeah, it was an interesting two weeks, and the thing, at the end of it, you're appreciative of the effort and guys finding a way to win.  But probably‑‑ that's the exciting thing to me about a season is that really, you don't know who you are.  Each week you define and you write a chapter of that season, but at the end of the year is the only time you really know who you are.
Obviously there's things that you do well and things that we didn't, and I thought defensively we had a good effort against‑‑ both games, you can take a look at any side of the ball.  They did some good things, but enough thoughts to cause it to be high scoring owe low scoring.  I really don't know.  I think we continue to play and find out each week more who we are.  I couldn't tell you.  I mean, I can tell you the reasons why on each play and different things happened, but if you're just to put it into a quick phrase or something, I think we've got to still find out who we are.

Q.  Do games develop a tempo like that?  Have you seen over the years where you get in a game and the first quarter some things happen and all of a sudden you know it's going to be a high‑scoring game, or you get in a game and both teams sputter early?
PAUL CHRYST:  Yeah, I think that's a good question, but I don't know‑‑ I think different teams have‑‑ develop a way‑‑ teams that are confident may start slow, but they continue to‑‑ they don't press, and they kind of keep hammering away, and they get into a rhythm, and I think games can kind of come their way, who they were that season.  And then I think there's some teams that are a little bit more‑‑ I've been around some teams where you can tell, like you're asking in the first 15 minutes, you have a pretty good idea what type of day it's going to be, and I've been around teams that, you know what, they just kept going and that didn't necessarily‑‑ the first 15 didn't necessarily dictate, good or bad, how it was going to be.
I think that's part of growth and maturity as a player and not necessarily an age, but just as a player.  Football is a game of emotion, and you want to have that and need that, but you also‑‑ momentum is going to swing, and you've got to try to fight to get it back as soon as you can, and you've got to fight to hold onto it while you have it.
Good teams and veteran players can do that and kind of recognize that moment, and so, hey, we've got to step up here and get momentum back or not.  That's what I've liked the last couple weeks.  It's forced us to be in uncomfortable situations, and I think you can grow through that.  I think it's all part of that process.

Q.  To follow up on that within 15 minutes you can tell where your team is that day, have you noticed there's a crazy stat going around that like 85 percent of the games in the league have been decided by at least 12 points.  Have you noticed that games are getting decided‑‑ maybe it's an early‑season thing but there have been an awful lot of one‑sided games, not just in the ACC but around college football this year.  Are you seeing that?
PAUL CHRYST:  Yeah, absolutely you try to take note of what's going on.  I don't feel like we've really been‑‑ yeah, and I think particularly early in the year, I'd be interested to see if that continues as everyone truly gets into their bulk of their conference play.  It is an interesting trend.  You always try to look at how can that help our guys or how can that help us, and I think it's more interesting than it is than you trying to be on one side of those, but I don't spend a whole lot of time thinking about it, either.

Q.  Talk about Virginia Tech's head coach Frank Beamer.  What's it like going up against him this weekend?
PAUL CHRYST:  Well, I mean, certainly have the utmost respect for Coach Beamer.  I grew up with football, so I love the history of football.  My dad was a coach, so great respect for the coaching profession.  Coach Beamer, he's a legend in our profession and very well deserved.  I think it's unbelievable, and it's impressive.  There aren't many guys that have that success at one place.  My brother coached Jeff King, who played for Coach Beamer at Virginia Tech, so I got to know Jeff, and what players say that have gone through this program, you can go on and on.  I think it's what you strive to do and to do it in a way that he did it:  Classy and I think a guy that truly is all that's good about college football.  I can't say enough about him.
Fortunately it's not Coach Beamer against Paul Chryst because I don't like those odds.  We've got to go down, our team this year against his team this year, and it's a great opportunity to play at a great venue, and obviously all that's good about college football, I think there's a lot of it right there.  Can't say enough about him, really.

Q.  What's the similarities in your quarterback Savage to Logan Thomas?  Do you see any similarities?
PAUL CHRYST:  I always have a hard time even when people ask you to compare guys on your own team because you know your players so well, and so you know the differences.  I think no different from any offenses, if we're going to be successful, it goes through Tom in a lot of ways, and I think the same can be said for Virginia Tech and going through Thomas.  Other than that I wouldn't even start to make comparisons.  Obviously both very important to their teams.

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