Tech Talk Live (football and basketball season)
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The running game really came to play on Saturday, and they made it happen
when they needed to make it happen.
It’s an exciting time for all sports at Virginia Tech. They are trying every
year to enhance the facilities, and enhance the recruiting budget. Weaver is
proud of all of the Olympic sports coaches. Men’s soccer beat #1 UNC 1-0 in
double overtime on Friday night.
Many people have decided in the last few years to have the conference
officials for the home team do the game, in non-conference matchups. That’s why
there were Conference USA officials at the ECU game on Saturday. Weaver thinks
Conference USA officials will be doing the Marshall game as well. When Marshall
plays at Tech, the game will feature ACC refs.
Weaver said he has never watched a football game where one team went without
being penalized. That’s unbelievable. Bill Roth stepped in and noted that
Florida State was not called for a penalty during the ACC Championship Game.
Conference realignment is a topic that is 99% speculation. Weaver said that
he doesn’t know anything about realignment, so he can’t really offer any
information other than speculation.
In the Big Ten, the conference owns the TV rights of each institution. A team
can leave the Big Ten, but the Big Ten would still get TV money from that
school. Weaver doesn’t know if the ACC should do that, but he doesn’t have a
problem with raising the exit fee. It serves the same purpose.
Roger Goodell has decided to extend suspensions from college to the NFL. For
example, Terrelle Pryor is currently suspended by the NFL. There are fewer road
blocks for Goodell to do that than it is for NCAA President Mark Emmert.
Tech isn’t going to take the band to places like Miami and BC because they
would have to charter a second plane. They will take them to drivable games such
as UNC, UVA, etc.
It was pleasing that the Hokies were able to run the ball when they needed
to. However, there are plenty of things to work on. They watched the film as a
team this morning.
There is something to be said for going on the road, having 12 penalties and
not playing well, yet still being able to beat a pretty good team.
The running backs need to get better at the little things. There is footwork,
reads, and certain landmarks where the backs need to be on certain plays. They
have to get better in the passing game as well. David Wilson is a talented guy,
and they need to get him involved in the passing game.
David Wilson has done well, but he would be the first to tell you that he
could have been better. He left some yards on the field at ECU. If he had been
at the right landmark at the right time, he’s probably still running. It was the
same thing against Appalachian State. For as well as he played against ECU, he
had eight or nine minus plays for things he didn’t do well.
Wilson was healthy for ECU, but he told Beamer that there were some things
going on in the piles that probably shouldn’t have been going on, and that
probably affected him a bit. He came out of the game a couple of times because
of that, and he got hit in the ribs or hip late in the game. As far as what was
going on under the piles, it was mostly ankle stuff.
Sometimes Beamer gets caught up in his emotions, and he’s a competitor who
loves Virginia Tech. That explains his head butt on the sideline to David
Wilson’s balance and power are incredible. Sometimes when it looks like he’s
down, he keeps going. He’s a special talent. Josh Oglesby ran with a lot of
power. Beamer is very proud of the way he is playing.
Regardless of what defensive scheme you are playing, the option is an
equalizer. Tech only had one game of film for ECU’s 3-4 defense, and they pretty
much did what the offensive staff expected.
Shane Beamer looked at the scoreboard a few times, and the low number of
offensive yards ECU had was just amazing. The defense did a great job.
Offensively, they just kept pounding it. Coach Gentry and the strength program
took over in the second half, and that’s Virginia Tech football.
Tech had a chance to make a big play on the reverse to Marcus Davis. Logan
Thomas is the blocker on that play, and he didn’t get close enough to the
defensive end to make the block.
Beamer believes that Wilson can take the pounding over the course of the
season. He is a very strong running back. Tech is fortunate to have a guy like
Josh Oglesby who is able to provide quality carries as a backup.
East Carolina is a pretty good team. Coach Spurrier called Shane on Monday
and was very complimentary of how the Tech defense played against the ECU
offense (ECU scored 37 on South Carolina). He also said the ECU defense is
better than a lot of people think.
Beamer thinks David Wilson is a little better than South Carolina’s Marcus
Lattimore. They are both two of Beamer’s favorite players that he’s ever been
around. They are great guys. Both guys are very strong. Wilson is faster than
Lattimore. They are both physical runners, while Lattimore is more of a between
the tackles guy. They are both special players and both great for their
Tech needs to get the ball to David Wilson as much as they can. Tech keeps
track of Wilson’s touches in the press box, because they don’t want to get to
the end of the game and realize they didn’t get it to him enough.
For the most part, the pass interference call on Jayron Hosley being the
exception, the penalties called on Tech were good calls. Most were self
inflicted, like lining up offsides. Having that, you don’t expect ECU to play a
perfect game. Bill Roth noted that East Carolina has never had a game in
which they were not called for any penalties, until Saturday.
Arkansas State has 10 senior starters on defense. They are a good defense,
and they have some speed. They’ve got guys who can run. They wore Memphis out
last week, and gave Illinois a good game in the first week. They blitz a lot, so
the Hokies have to protect the quarterback. They have eight sacks in two games.
Offensively, this will be Tech’s biggest challenge so far. The Arkansas State
defense is good, and experienced.
Tech was struggling on Saturday, but they had to get past the mental lapses
and get it done.
It means a lot to break Ernest Wilford’s record. The coaching staff has put
him in the right positions to succeed.
Boykin has improved a lot since his freshman year. It’s a huge difference
from high school ball. You have to read so many different coverages in college.
Boykin doesn’t feel like the wide receivers were focused enough during the
East Carolina game. He puts the struggles in the passing game on the shoulders
of the wide receivers, himself included. They dropped too many passes.
The little things, such as footwork, are so important in college. That’s what
young players don’t realize when they get to college.
If you look at Hines Ward, he is a receiver who is an excellent blocker. He
is very physical. Boykin tries to block like Ward.
Before each game, you study what the defensive backs do. Are they going to
jam you? Are they going to give you the short routes?
Boykin thinks the best cornerback he has faced was Macho Harris, when Boykin
was a freshman. It was a major challenge, but as time has gone by it has gotten
easier. Harris was a little bit of a showboater who would try to get in your
Miami, Florida State and UNC have the most physical secondaries. They do a
lot of jamming.
Tech wants to establish themselves early against Arkansas State. They want to
get back to the point of improving week by week.
Boykin reflected on the fact that Tech is 2-0, while they were 0-2 at this
time last year. It feels a lot better. Winning and losing can be fragile. The
younger guys on the team need to understand that they can lose any game.
Logan Thomas always kept his composure in the huddle against ECU, even when
Tech was trailing. That’s a good sign.
Tech has some good young receivers. E.L. Smiling and Willie Byrn are good,
and Coles and Davis are going to explode this year.
Boykin has a younger brother who is a junior wide receiver at Butler High
School. He loves coming to games at Lane Stadium. He is actually a little taller
Saturday was a great road win. They knew going in that it was going to be a
test. Coming out with the win was a nice accomplishment.
Tech’s defense is kind of unique. ECU runs a lot of quick passes, and the
Hokies are very good at stopping plays like that.
ECU has some very good players. #1 (Lance Lewis) had some great catches
against South Carolina, so the Hokies had to bring their A-game.
Torrian Gray teaches his players to never break down when making a tackle.
Instead, they need to run through the ball carrier. He also teaches them to
tackle outside in, so they don’t lose their leverage. When a big touchdown
occurs, it’s because someone lost leverage.
Dominique Davis is a good quarterback. It was a big accomplishment to hold
that team to just 112 yards and 10 points.
Against spread offenses, you have to be fundamentally sound and take great
angles on the tackles. You can’t allow big plays. Tech has the athletes and the
ability to run the nickel package, so they can match up against all different
types of offenses.
The Tech defense is very complicated. It’s rare for a true freshman to play
right away. It takes a lot of time to get comfortable in the defense.
Hill feels like things are starting to click for him right now. He has been
surrounded by a lot of good cornerbacks during his time at Tech.
Playing for Torrian Gray is great. He is one of the best defensive backs
coaches in American, maybe the best.
You can’t compare wins and losses. You can’t assume that playing well one
week will mean you’ll play well the next week. You have to have a clean slate
each week and prepare yourself to dominate.
Only 10 coaches in history have won 200 games at one school. Beamer said he’s
had a lot of very good assistant coaches, and some very good players. He has
always had a great administration behind him as well. They have been given what
they need to win.
It wasn’t a pretty first half against ECU. Tech had a very high number of
players who have never played in Greenville. Beamer said he should have done a
better job of preparing them for what it would be like. He thinks he got caught
up in how well they played in the opening ball game.
The Hokies played their best defense at the end of the game. They got the
best punts from Scott Demler at the right time, and they ran the ball when they
Defensively, Tech did a great job of executing. They did a great job
tackling, and they created confusion.
Kyle Fuller graded out with 44 points against East Carolina. He had a great
football game. Cris Hill was very good as well. Those two guys really came
through when needed.
Tariq Edwards is very explosive. He’s good in pass coverage. He has good
height and good size, and he can really close on offensive players. He has made
a big difference for the Tech defense.
Logan Thomas just hasn’t been in a lot of ballgames. The staff is very
confident in him. He made some good plays against ECU. He’ll be better next time
out, and Beamer thinks he is going to be just fine.
Beamer believes that you have to be balanced offensively. Great football
teams can do both. The running game was really working on Saturday, so the
Hokies stuck with that late in the football game.
Michael Via will begin getting reps at offensive guard, with David Wang
injured. They will also watch Matt Arkema and Courtney Prince. The staff will
see where they are with Via at the end of the week.
Scott Demler is a little bit inconsistent right now. He’s had some good ones.
Beamer is taking a good look at true freshman Michael Branthover this week. He
really has a strong leg.
Tech has good wide receivers. They just have to keep throwing, and the passes
will get caught. Beamer has plenty of confidence in the receivers.
Beamer thinks East Carolina played extremely well. They were very
well-prepared, and they played with great effort. There were a couple of places
where they could have been called for a penalty, but nothing blatant.
When you recruit close to home, you build relationships with high school
coaches, and you can believe what that coach tells you. If he tells you a
recruit is the type of guy you want in your program, you believe him. It’s a lot
more fun to win with great kids.
Beamer told the team on Monday that the thing he takes from the ECU game is
how tough they were, how they got it done down the stretch and played tough.
This team is still in the making, but they are a determined group. Corey
Marshall and Luther Maddy took a giant step forward in this game. Their
technique was much better. How the backups develop and how the injury situation
goes will determine how this team turns out.
Beamer thinks Ruffin McNeill is one of the good guys in college coaching.
He’s is a genuinely good person. Beamer hopes ECU has a good season. They can
score points, and their defense is a lot better.
Arkansas State had 611 yards of total offense against Memphis. Their
quarterback was 19-of-21. They have 10 seniors starting on defense. They have a
kicker who kicked a 56 yard field goal. This is a really good football team.
Beamer likes the white uniforms look sharp. They will wear white uniforms and
white helmets against Arkansas State this Saturday.
The 47-3 win over Memphis was huge for Arkansas State. That is their main
rival. They hammered Memphis, and looked good doing it.
Beamer is really happy to see Jarrett Boykin break the school record for
receptions. He’s a team guy who doesn’t say a lot.
Ryan Aplin is Arkansas State’s quarterback. He’s an accurate guy and a very
impressive player. 19-of-21 is a very impressive number for one game. That’s
tough to do with no defense on the field.
Dave Womack, former Georgia Tech defensive coordinator, is now at Arkansas
State. He has some good players to work with. They have good speed and good
strength on defense. They average 480 yards per game on offense. They are a good
football team, and they have good athletes. All you have to do is watch the
Monday was Day 2,480 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.