Old Dominion Week Presser 9/3/19: Bud Foster

The Virginia Tech defensive coordinator discusses Hokies' busts against the Eagles and focuses in on some key Monarchs personnel.

Publisher's Note: Leo Peschio contributed to this transcription.

Talking to Coach [Bryan] Stinespring this week and he didn't say it but it doesn't sound like he's relishing the experience of coaching against you and where he'd been so long. I'm curious, you've coached against guys that you worked with, you coached against guys that played for you, is it mixed emotions because obviously you want to win, but is it an emotional or trying week?

Yea, I mean when you develop a relationship with certain guys. I mean obviously you have, you cross over a lot in this business. Bryan and my situation is probably different because we were together for twenty-five plus years. Outstanding football coach, even a better man. Those are always, he's as competitive as anybody I know. He'll have his guys ready to play and that's hopefully what we're going to do this week is have our guys ready to play. I have the utmost respect for Bryan as a football coach and as a person and love him as a friend.

I don't know if you'll recall this but he said when he was a GA even though he was on the offensive side of the ball he liked to sometimes sit in on your meetings because he liked the way you taught the game. Do you remember that?

I remember that. That was many moons ago, but yea he would sit outside. Sometimes he'd sit in my room. A lot of times he sat on the outside. But, that's what you do as young coaches, and Bryan was a guy that wore so many, hats here and we had a lot of success during his time here and he was a big, big part of that.

Will Tyjuan Garbutt be available?

I'm hoping so. He was in blue today and limited. Hopefully we get Tyjuan back.

Did you have a chance to review that play?

We saw it, yeah. We saw it, turned it in, that's all. It is what it is.

And then how did you think the freshman defensive line played?

You know I was pleased with them. I thought DaShawn Crawford did a nice job. I tell you he played well even though he's not a freshman. He was first time playing in big-time college football. The two young kids, Norell Pollard and Mario Kendricks both did a solid job. I'm really encouraged by their upside. Now we've got to continue to improve and grow and have a great week of practice. But, I thought our first year guys, [Jaevon] Becton played well I thought, solid at defensive end, and [Jaylen] Griffin played well at defensive end. I thought he did some nice things too, Jaylen. Those young guys playing for the first time I thought really played very solid and played for us when it was all said and done.

You gave up, the secondary anyway, gave up three big gainers in the first half. Two of them didn't result in any points at the end of those drives. Those were the bulk of the yards in the first half. And then third quarter you don't give up a single yard, the fourth quarter you played well too. Were there some adjustments or was it kind of an adjustment period for some of the younger guys who were rotating in and out?

I think it was as much as anything an adjustment period for those guys. Two of the big pay plays were busted coverages. It wasn't like they just got beat deep or anything like that, which is going to happen occasionally. But, those were inexcusable, and [Jermaine] Waller would have been the last guy I would have thought just by the way he played and how he performed all spring, all summer, and all fall camp. But, that also goes to show you, all of a sudden you're the guy and you got to be locked in every play. And I think it was, more than anything, I thought we played tight for some reason in the first half, and pressed a little bit for whatever reason and we settled down in the second half and played like I thought we practiced all fall camp. Now like I said, we've got to do it for sixty minutes, we can't just do it for thirty. That's what it's going to take. So that's got to be our mindset from here on out. In practice, our practice habits have got to be consistently good. Our practice habits, we got to give consistently good effort, and that carries over to what we do on Saturdays.

One more about [Jovonn] Quillen's status, I know he was on crutches.

He's kind of day to day. We'll have to wait and see. We're hoping we can get him back, but we'll see. I don't think it was an ankle so it's a little better than what we thought it might be.

How did you like how the linebacker rotation worked out? Do you think that was beneficial?

Well, I was going to play those guys. Rook played outstanding, Rayshard [Ashby], he played outstanding. Dax [Hollifield] was solid, little bit all over the place. [Alan] Tisdale did some good things, but he was an issue on the quarterback run. We see that play a thousand times and he had a bad read. Keshon [Artis] came in, for a handful of plays and was productive in those plays. I'ma play them a little bit, I mean it's hard early particularly when it's warm. You're playing good people. I like what Tisdale's done, his body of work has been tremendous this camp, and he's earned some playing time. He's got a skill set that's, he's very talented and I'm excited about it. It was his first college game, and he's going to continue to get better. I rotated a little bit in there, and hopefully we'll get a chance to do that again this weekend.

What, I know it's one small sample size, but what did you see from their offense and particularly their new quarterback as you may already know?

I mean offensively they're doing the same thing they've been doing. Only thing I did see is a couple quarterback runs, designed runs. They did that with five too with the [Steven] Williams kid when he was in there a couple years ago. So they have that capability in their offense.

The thing I've been impressed by the quarterback is he's a big, athletic kid. He can run, he's very good with the ball in his hand. He made some good throws, and he's got some talent around him. That's the one thing that they've got some, a couple tight ends that I think are really talented. They got a couple receivers that are really good football players. I think Lala Davis is a good back, I always liked him when he was at Heritage High School, and one, the [Kesean] Strong kid is a good player. They're a little bit different, but he's got some quickness, can catch the ball out of the backfield. I think they've got some really good skill kids and the quarterback's a guy that I l think they'll run, we didn't see much, they had a couple designed run plays, quarterback draw, quarterback speed sweep but a quarterback sweep off of that. I think there will be some other designed run plays for the quarterback, I could see that happening with them. I don't think they showed much that they're capable of doing. But for the most part it's kind of the same offense, what we've seen. But the quarterback is talented.

It's not revolutionary but the fact that Stevie Williams who played quarterback for them is now a receiver and they can move him around. What kind of challenge does that present in preparing your defense?

Well, I mean obviously he's played receiver and so the one thing you've got to be aware of with him is the ability to throw the football, and they did run a reverse pass with him against Norfolk State. He's got those capabilities with the double pass or reverse pass or those types of things. But again, he's a big, athletic kid that has some speed, has some size and has the skill set. So I think they put him in a good position, I think, if he's not going to be a quarterback for them he's a good enough athlete that he could be a factor somewhere else, and I think it's good coaching on their part to try and find a spot for him on the field.

You mentioned a couple times now that you guys played tight, how do you avoid that in the home opener? Is that something you talk about, do you change anything?

We need to go trust the training, trust each other and go out and take a deep breath, blow it out, let's go relax and go play. I don't know if there's a scientific way to do that. We got a game under our belt now. We saw what we can do if we settle down and play in the second half against, I think, a good offensive football team, and now we just have to go do it on a consistent basis.

You know one thing I told our kids defensively, when make a mistake, when we make a mental error, a critical error that's no different than us turning the ball over or throwing a pick. It doesn't come out in the stats as a turnover, but it can cost us the football game, and they've got to understand that we have got to play error free. We always strive for perfection hoping to get excellence, but that's what we've got to work towards. We can't be seventy-five percent on defense at this level, you're going to give up thirty-five, forty points every week. That's where our kids got to understand that every play counts, every play is critical. Their performance on that play, what they're supposed to execute is critical to this success of our play on defense, and eventually the success of our, the result of the game. I told them, you can talk about five turnovers, but we had five or six big plays and that's equal to five or six turnovers in my opinion and they got to understand that.

[Zion] Debose and [Rob] Porcher any closer to playing for you or is one out longer than the other?

Yea, Zion is going to be out for, that's who you're talking about right?

Yeah.

He's going to be out for a little bit. Porcher we're hoping to get back this week. He's practiced today and he's gotta knock some rust off what I saw today, but he's showed some abilities last year to be a playmaker and be productive. He has not taken a snap yet obviously this fall, and he needs to be ready to roll. And hopefully he can give us some added depth and some quality depth at that position.

Comments

Is Coach Wilder trying to "rub our nose in it" by naming Kuma and Cunningham captains or am I imagining things?

I don't think he's rubbing our noses in it as much as he is probably trying to honor those guys knowing how much this game will mean to them.

--
"It's time to go play Virginia Tech Football longer and harder than anybody else in America!!" -- Justin Fuente
"I put a brick in Sacksburg today." -- Cam Phillips

Why would you "honor" dudes for transferring from a school?

Naw, dude... this is serious effort trolling here.

Leonard. Duh.

I agree. Let's fuck em up! Even Willis. Nobody open? Chuck a bullet at Wilder on the sidelines.

This game just became the tiniest bit more important.

For OUR team.

"honor" is probably the wrong word. But you know this game will mean more to Kumah and Cunningham than any other on their schedule, and you know they want to come in and have a big time game. So why wouldn't the coach say you know what, this game means so much to you guys, why don't you lead the team out on to the field.

You can call it trolling or you can call it coaching. Either way I hope we shut both of those guys down, and I hope we blow ODU right out of Lane on Saturday.

--
"It's time to go play Virginia Tech Football longer and harder than anybody else in America!!" -- Justin Fuente
"I put a brick in Sacksburg today." -- Cam Phillips

Naw, dude. Serious. Effort. Trolling.

I get naming a kid captain who wouldn't normally be because he's playing in his hometown and his disabled family member is at the game. Acknowledging that this game is special because the guys quit the team is really petty.

My wish for this game is that while the Hokies are smashing ODU 100-0, they show absolutely no emotion whatsoever. Send the message - You are nothing to us... except for a W on the schedule. Now go back to Norfolk. It's going to take us awhile to get all of this Monarch goo off of our cleats.

Leonard. Duh.

I don't really disagree with what you're saying. And I was really just giving him the benefit of the doubt; I mean Kumah is probably going to be their best offensive player this year. Wilder said they've been leaders on the team, so yeah, why shouldn't they be captains. MAybe they earned it and it is trolling at the same time. I just really don't have a problem with it. I don't even think it is petty. And if I were the coach, I'd probably consider doing the same thing. And I like your attitude about smashing them 100-0 and acting like it is just business and no one at VT cares because it is just ODU and they're nothing to us doesn't really fit with how upset you are over a little bit of trolling.

And the game isn't special because they quit the team, it is special for ODU because it is ODU playing VT and trying to prove that last year was not a fluke. And if you're the coach, wouldn't you want to send the message to your team that they can repeat. Maybe he is just doing everything he can think to try and instill confidence in his team. I just honestly think I would do the same thing. Call it trolling if you want, but I'm fine with it. I hope we shut them down and send them packing.

--
"It's time to go play Virginia Tech Football longer and harder than anybody else in America!!" -- Justin Fuente
"I put a brick in Sacksburg today." -- Cam Phillips

It's trolling. And it's allowed.

By the way, we don't give the benefit of the doubt to opposing coaches. BTW, where is that "Hatin' on" thread? Now I see what the problem is. We've lost our Hatin' on thread.

What would we have called it 10 years ago before the word "trolling" existed?

"Trolling" in this sense has been around since AOL dial-up days, so yeah, still trolling.

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

We don't love dem Hoos.

Thanks for pointing out my ignorance of the word's inception, but you failed to grasp the main point of my question (or were you just trolling? ;). What would we have called trolling 30 years ago? Would we have said that he's just trying to get into our players' heads? If anything, I'd think this will motivate our guys even more to shut them down. Is he trying to pump up Kumah and Cunningham?

For what it's worth... I'm not upset. Just calling it like I see it.

It's all good in the 'hood.

Leonard. Duh.

Send the message - You are nothing to us... except for a W on the schedule.

This is exactly how I always felt about the ECU game. I absolutely hated that they tried to act like we were some sort of rival.

Using /s is for cowards.

It's definitely trolling.

VT just needs to take care of business in their first home game of the season.

From my understanding it's caused backlash even within ODU circles. I don't think it was a well reasoned or very defensible decision outside of saying it's not a big deal. It creates unnecessary controversy and comes off as petty at best.

Doesn't matter though, we win and nobody even remembers in a week or two.

I feel like this game has maybe the most potential to get dirty of any game left this season, and I think both sides are equally liable to start it.

edit: nevermind, I temporarily forgot Trevon Hill was a thing

21st century QBs Undefeated vs UVA:
MV7, MV5, LT3, Josh Jackson, Jerod Evans, Michael Brewer, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon, and Grant Noel. That's right, UVA. You couldn't beat Grant Noel.

My initial reaction was that he did it as a way to further motivate the team and players by trying to make like a lot is on the line. You're right in saying no one will remember if we handle business and win.

--
"It's time to go play Virginia Tech Football longer and harder than anybody else in America!!" -- Justin Fuente
"I put a brick in Sacksburg today." -- Cam Phillips

I have the utmost respect for Bryan as a football coach and as a person and love him as a friend.

Translation:

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

1. Of course Wilder is trolling us. 2. Does ODU have any "tall" WRs or "Big/Veteran" RBs this year? We could be in deep shit if they do again.

I am so scared of what I expect Eric Kumah to do to our cornerbacks

Eric Kumah apparently grew an inch after transferring to ODU.

I'm a little bit nervous, too. I know people keep downplaying Kumah's "athleticism" or mention the sentiment that Tre and Hazelton might have a higher ceiling, but the bottom line is he made some incredibly tough/important catches for us last year and I expect him to make those tough catches again on Saturday.

"Now Miami wants to talk about it." *Cue Enter Sandman*

Well, he has seen "behind the curtain".

That said, our guys know him as well.

Virginia Tech: Best entrance in college football; great facilities; 7 outright conference championships, 26 straight bowl games, hall of fame defensive coordinator, great home field advantage, ACC's top win % since 2004

Also Virginia Tech: Legit worried about losing to Old Fucking Dominion 2 years in a row

Do we still have best ACC win % since 2004? Even after some of the down seasons we have had lately. I imagine someone is catching up to us quickly.

--
"It's time to go play Virginia Tech Football longer and harder than anybody else in America!!" -- Justin Fuente
"I put a brick in Sacksburg today." -- Cam Phillips

IIRC Clemson with their surge into the spotlight and F$U are above us but honestly not by much

Clemson is 88-32 in conference play since 2004, winning 73.3% of their games.
VT is 84-36 over the same span, winning 70% of their games.
FSU is 78-42, 65%
GT is 71-49, 59.2%
Pitt is 27-21 since joining in 2013, 56.3%
Miami is 67-53, 55.8%
Louisville is 21-19 since 2014, 52.5%
UNC is 57-63, 47.5%
BC is 52-60 since 2005, 46.4%
NC State is 50-70, 41.7%
Maryland was 30-50 between 2004 and their departure after 2013, 37.5%
UVA and Wake are both 45-75, 37.5%
Syracuse is 17-31 since 2013, 35.4%
Duke is 32-88, 26.7%

Edit: I should have mentioned that these records are complete through the end of 2018. They don't include the handful of week 1 games.

Appreciate that, I had thought us and Clemson were around the 70% mark

This comment perfectly captures the strange state of the program we are in. It should never even be a remote consideration that we could possibly lose to ODU two years in row.

Or even just once...

The list of lower tier FBS or even FCS teams winning against higher tier FBS programs grows every year.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

VT should never lose to ODU in football- Ever. Accepting the possibility makes us Wake Forest at best. Is that where we are? One miracle FCS win over a P5 every 5 years has nothing to do with VT/ODU. They have been FBS for 5 minutes and went 4-8 last year. They are a bad G5 program. VT should never lose to them.

"Accepting the possibility makes us Wake Forest at best. Is that where we are?"

Why do you have go to straight to hyperbole? That is a ridiculous take. Upsets happen. It's a big reason why sports are interesting. Otherwise, why even play the games?

Yes, it absolutely sucks when your team is the upset. But accepting reality that upsets happen doesn't make us or the program any worse.

His use of hyperbole and the ensuing commotion is a pretty big chunk of the posts on this website.

Upsets happen- fact, I agree- I get it. VT has also had one losing season in 27 years and has beaten UVA 15 straight years and has indoor plumbing on all sides of their stadium- unlike ODU until this season's rennovation. VT has also played at the top level of football for 70 years, compared to ODU's 6... So yes upsets happen, and no VT should never lose to ODU in football. Both things can be true. To accept that - yeah ODU could get us every now and then is to accept mediocrity, which is Wake Forest football. I could have said Maryland or a number of other teams too. We need to raise the bar, not lower it. That's what I was told Fu was brought in here to do.

Tenn, Michigan, VT ( Temple), VT (JMU), UNLV (Howard),

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

UNLV? They ARE ODU... so that example doesn't wash, sorry. UNLV sucks. I'll trade Michigan's current 11 win roster, multiple national titles, NY6 bowls every year and top 10 recruiting forever for another ODU loss though, I admit

UNLV was 45 plus point favorite over Howard it's considered one of the worst losses in FBS history.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

VT should also never lose to JMU. Or Temple. Or Wake Forest. Or East Carolina. Or a handful of other teams that we've lost to over the years.

So what part of this is new ground for you?

I don't doubt that VT will take care of business on Saturday.

Maybe it is his hyperbole but I feel like you guys are missing a valid point. We all know upsets happen but that is irrelevant to the point here. VT should have higher aspirations as a football program than to be routinely concerned about a program like ODU. Do you not agree?

In fact, the biggest outlier for us since 2011 is 2016 (2017 had some good points but we never really contended for the Coastal), which points to an overall downward trajectory. I think a lot of fans thought (unrealistically) that Fuente was going to fix the spiral immediately, myself included after winning the Coastal in his first year.

Hopefully last year was the bottom and Fuente is building things back up, but the reality is that right now, VT football has fans that have a rational reason to be uncomfortable (maybe not nervous, but certainly uncomfortable) about the game against ODU this weekend. The point is, we should be better than that and we are not.

Obviously I do not think we will lose, but I can't honestly say I am excited for the game. I will just be relieved once it is over. Being in Norfolk last year broke me a bit.

This isn't lost on us, and we've discussed it thoroughly for almost a year.

You're right, though. It broke all of us a bit.

Like I said earlier, though. VT just needs to break out the lunch pail and take care of business.

"and has indoor plumbing on all sides of their stadium- unlike ODU until this season's renovation"

The point that everyone is missing is the pure comedy gold of just casually throwing in this dig at ODU.

"Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our heart with tolerance."
-Stan Lee

"Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing."
-Ron Swanson

"11-0, bro"
-Hunter Carpenter (probably)

One miracle FCS win over a P5 every 5 years

Except the FCS is currently on a streak of 10 years with at least one win over a P5 school (link) with a total of 26 such wins over that span. And guess who is on that list.

And guess who is on that list.

UVA! Twice!

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

I don't think there is a remote consideration that we could lose to ODU 2 years in a row. The spread is 28.5 points so people not emotionally connected to last years loss don't see this is a competitive match up. A lot of Tech fans however will just remember how we were favored last year and are still haunted by the loss and won't feel comfortable till the game is over.

Gobble Till You Wobble

Right i get that. My point was that people not emotionally connected to Tech football are still able to seperate last year from this year and say Tech will win by 4 touchdowns, while a lot of Tech fans are prepared for the worst.

Gobble Till You Wobble

As long as we don't turn the ball over 5 times, we shouldn't.

It's not like they haven't had plenty of reps against him. If the defense is concerned about him, I'm confident that they'll scheme to make his impact as minimal as possible.

The 1st 2 questions of this presser gives me da feels of nostalgia.

Seriously! How great is it to see Bud being Bud! Energy! Almost cutting off reporters because he's in a hurry to answer the question! Building his players up but also being clear on the things they have to work on!

I guess the best part was just seeing the glow coming back in his eyes on the sideline! The way the camera caught him cursing after a blown play! The way the players speak of him, not just as a coach, but as a leader and father figure!

He just seems "back"!

And really back, not "Miami bak."

Or "Texas bak."

"Now Miami wants to talk about it." *Cue Enter Sandman*

I'm going to miss Bud. Really hope to see him around the program and campus as much as Frank over the coming years. And I really hope to see more of Bud's players fill in the defensive coaching staff over the years too.

One thing he mentioned about last year was the youth making it impossible to make in-game adjustments or even half-time adjustments because the players just didn't have that level of understanding. I would really like to hear his thoughts on the ability to make adjustments during the BC game. It seemed they were able to make good half-time adjustments, but what had the bigger influence, VT adjustments or BC playing a more conservative with the lead?

--
"It's time to go play Virginia Tech Football longer and harder than anybody else in America!!" -- Justin Fuente
"I put a brick in Sacksburg today." -- Cam Phillips