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November 6, 2012
A Healthy Fuller Hopes To Salvage Season
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It's tough to pinpoint one thing that's led to the struggles this season for Virginia Tech.
Junior cornerback Kyle Fuller isn't sure what the problem is either. But he is certain what has to happen in the Hokies' last three games if they're to win two to become bowl-eligible.
"I think we just have to get everything done on all cylinders," Fuller said. "I feel like we've had the same team as the last two years, good guys. We've been able to win games but we haven't been able to get it done and I think that's a big thing right there. We've been getting better. We've shown we've been getting better each week and I'm hoping this week we can put it all together."
Putting it together includes on defense, where though there's been signs of defensive ferocity at times, there's been a drought. It's been 19 games since Virginia Tech's defense produced points, a safety in a 26-7 win over Arkansas State last season.
"That's something that can change a game and that's something that we take pride in," Fuller said. "Defense wins games and you need those types of plays to help out the offense, just to build momentum. Football is a game of momentum and we definitely think about those and talking about those things but we haven't been able to get it done recently."
Fuller has two interceptions, but not since the Hokies' 42-7 win over Austin Peay in September. Part of that has been due to Fuller's health. Since playing Pittsburgh Sept. 15, Fuller has been battling a pinched nerve in his shoulder, as well as a pulled groin muscle.
"It's definitely frustrating, just knowing what I can do being 100 percent," Fuller said. "I'm just thankful that I'm able to go out there and still playa and help my team. That's something you have to work through. It's the game of football. You're gonna have injuries and you have to play through them and that's that."
Fuller got time to rest during Virginia Tech's bye week, but was tested against Miami and will be tested more so against junior quarterback E.J. Manuel and Florida State Thursday.
"E.J.'s a good quarterback, good athlete, can make plays throwing the ball and running," Fuller said. "That offensive line may be one of the best that our D-line has faced, so we're expecting a big game out of them. I have trust in guys on our D-line to put pressure on them and hopefully they'll play for us a little bit and just us in the back end, we've just gotta do our job in coverage."
A win Thursday won't right a season of wrongs. But it will salvage some of it, as well as put the Hokies on track for a bowl.
"Me personally, I don't really see it as playing for pride," Fuller said. "I know what we can do. I'm not feeling sorry for us, we just can't settle. We've let a lot of games get away from us this season. We can't settle with that. We've gotta prove and gain back those games that we lost and this would be a great one to do it."