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Tom O'Brien Looks To Meeting Vick, Virginia Tech

Sept. 26, 2000

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Boston College head football coach Tom O'Brien BIG EAST Teleconference September 25, 2000

Can you give some general comments on the Navy game and your thoughts on the upcoming Virginia Tech game?

"I think we played well once we caught up to the option on defense. Offensively, we had very good execution. The quarterback was very accurate. We were able to throw the ball deep on them and help ourselves. Then we had a tailback with another good rushing day. Then special teams-wise, we didn't have a lot of opportunity in the punting game or kicking game, but we did a commendable job there. Obviously, the competition changes a lot form what we've played the last three weeks with Virginia Tech coming into town. We look forward to their visit here on Saturday."

Can we get an injury update on Ryan Burch and Scott Bradley?

"Burch has a sprained knee. He'll be out two to three weeks. Bradley's is a couple of things, but it's not surgical. He'll be out anywhere from four to probably five to six weeks."

As far as you depth know with your guys at middle linebacker, where do you stand?

"(J.D.) Schmidt's the only one that's healthy right now. We have to wait to see on (Andy) Romanowsky this week. But that's where are at middle linebacker."

In that game two years ago (against Virginia Tech) where you played in the torrential downpour, was it just astonishing to you that they threw out a guy who had been a safety as their quarterback and still managed to pull out that game?

"No, they have good players. He was a quarterback in high school so he had played there before. When you're in a program for ten, eleven, twelve years like Coach Beamer was at that team, they had good players and they're able to do those things."

Obviously all the superlatives on Michael Vick have been used, do you have him in any kind of historical perspective as far as the elite? Is he that good?

"Looking at him, I would say he's the best I've ever seen. I think he's better than Charlie Ward was at Florida State and I think he's better than (Donovan) McNabb was at Syracuse. Those were the two best I've seen prior to him."

Can you talk about the challenge of preparing for (Michael Vick) and is there anything specific you 're hoping to do in terms of limiting his effectiveness.

"There's a lot of things. Everybody's got a lot of great ideas but I don't know exactly what you do since he's so unpredictable. You can't put him in a box and you can't categorize him in any one way. I think the best we can do, being a Catholic school, is ask our alumni to pray for a miracle."

Frank Beamer talked about using his speed against your size and how you are so much bigger than him, have you gotten to the point where you're more satisfied with your team's speed up against a team of this caliber. People talk about it being exposed in the Colorado game, but do you feel better about the team's speed now?

"We're quicker than were a year ago. We're faster than we were a year ago. If there's one thing we have to improve here, it would be our speed. That's always been a bugaboo, trying to get speed here at Boston College. It's something we have to recruit and work towards, but it's something we're better off than we were three or four years ago."

Would you consider them a speed team?

"Absolutely. They have great speed on offensive at the tailback, at the perimeter and at the quarterback position. Then they have great speed on defense at every position."

Looks like this game could be track meet type game with a lot of points scored. Can you score enough points against Virginia Tech in a game like this?

"I don't know that. That's why we're going to play on Saturday."

When you prepare for Virginia Tech's defense, they're personnel had changed a lot. They had such good personnel last year and they still have it evidently. Do you prepare for schematics or personnel or a little of both?

"Well, I think you have to start with schematics first. They've been in that same defense for many, many years and they do a great job with it. They have answers for everything, whether its formation or plays. And then, once you get through that part of it, you have to look at their players. The great rushers, the great blitzers, the great cover guys that they have."

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