Tech Talk Live Notes for 9-26-11

Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, on September 27, 2011
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Tech Talk Live (football and basketball season)

When: Every Monday from 7:00-9:00 during football season, 7:00-8:00 during basketball season.

Where: Click here for a list of radio stations, and to find the link for listening to the show on the Internet (look to the right on the hokiesports.com page that loads when you click the link). You can see the show in person Bull & Bones Brewhaus & Grill in Blacksburg.


Jim Weaver and Frank Beamer were guests on Tech Talk Live, as usual.
Bryan Stinespring joined the show to talk about the progress of the Tech
offense, and Trey Gresh and David Wilson were the player guests.

Jim Weaver

Every time you win, especially on the road, it’s a good thing. It’s hard to
win on the road, and the Hokies have done great on the road in recent years.

Roth noted that this is just the seventh time that two top 15 teams will play
in Lane Stadium.

Weaver thought the orange helmets and orange pants looked good on Saturday,
though he doesn’t get into the uniforms very much. They can wear whatever they
want.

Virginia Tech constantly monitors their booster situations, with regards to
boosters at practice, at games, etc. They aren’t going to change their policies
based on what is happening at other schools. They are always on top of the
situation.

Weaver feels like the ACC should continue to honor their non-conference
rivalries, such as Clemson vs. South Carolina, FSU vs. Florida and GT vs.
Georgia. He thinks ACC teams should play a BCS non-conference game each year,
along with 10 ACC games (after Pitt and Syracuse join). He would finish off the
schedule by playing a 1-AA team because they cost half as much as a smaller 1-A
school.

Weaver didn’t want to comment on specific schools (Rutgers in this case) and
whether or not they are a good fit for the ACC.

The ACC is prepared to wait for the 27 months that Big East bylaws require
Pitt and Syracuse to stay in the conference. If the Big East takes some other
people (such as ECU), then they will want those departing schools to hit the
road sooner.

The Lane Stadium video board was updated four years ago. Plans call for the
board to be updated again a couple of years down the line.

Virginia Tech doesn’t have any need to pipe in music and artificial sound
during home games. Tech fans know how to make noise on their own (unlike certain
other teams).

If the ACC has a chance to renegotiate the TV contract they just signed, then
they should have more conference games. That would make the ACC more appealing,
and it would make the contract worth more money.

The NCAA is going to allow the Longhorn Network to run highlights of high
school football games. That’s a recruiting disadvantage for other schools.

Bryan Stinespring

Practice was good on Monday. It was crisp and sharp, which was exactly what
they needed.

Stinespring likes the balance the Hokies have. They have been able to run and
throw effectively during the last two games. They have shown that they’ve been
able to drive the ball down the field. The inconsistency is disappointing. Tech
only had 12 turnovers in 14 games last year. This year they already have six
turnovers. They have also had too many penalties. Too many of the turnovers have
come in the red zone.

Logan Thomas was put into a lot of check situations on Saturday, and he got
them all right. He graded out at 94% for the game, his best performance of the
season. His read progressions were fast and quick, and he made great decisions.
After he hurt his shoulder on the touchdown run, the coaching staff took the
option out of the playbook. He was fine on Monday, but a little sore.

Stinespring feels like the offensive coaching staff changes have worked very
well. Mike O’Cain and Kevin Sherman have great vision from the booth. O’Cain and
Stinespring have very good communication.

Tech has tried to run the ball outside and inside. The zone has been run
well. That is a play where the tailbacks have to continually get better at
reading, and sometimes they have to give the line more time to make their
blocks. The running backs really need to develop a good feel for running the
zone plays.

Chris Drager has done well for the Hokies. He’s been doing well in the
running game. The tight ends probably have five or six catches on the season.

The staff has thought about going with a no-huddle at specific times, but
when you want to do a no-huddle, you better make it your primary focus so you
can be efficient at it. Tempo has a tendency to make defenses show what they are
going to do quicker, and they can wear down a defense. But once a defense
adjusts to the pace, they can do just fine against a no-huddle. The bottom line
is that whether you huddle or don’t huddle, you’ve got to block the other team.

Wider splits and more spacing could create more room for Tech’s runners, but
it also gives defenses a chance to hit the bigger gaps. Overall, Tech has been
good at what they’ve been doing.

David Wang is a significant loss for Tech. He was an additional starter. But
Michael Via is playing some right guard, and Nick Becton and Andrew Lanier are
splitting reps at left tackle. Blake DeChristopher is an iron man right now.

Tech knew that Arkansas State would play their safeties up, and they would
have a chance to make big plays down the field on playaction. They were able to
do that. They knew Marshall would be more of a zone defense, where there would
almost always be a safety in the middle of the field. Tech tried to space them
out from sideline to sideline and throw it around accordingly.

Clemson is a very good team. When you beat Auburn and Florida State in
back-to-back weeks, you are good. They are a confident team right now. They are
very athletic on both sides of the ball, and they have a lot of length on
defense. They will try to free an extra defender to help out in the running
game. They present a lot of problems, because of their talent and their scheme.

Trey Gresh

Gresh was the first four-year starter at quarterback in the history of
Blacksburg High School.

Gresh ran down the Marshall player when the Thundering Herd blocked the extra
point. It looked like it was going back for two points, but Gresh ran down the
starting free safety. He’s not sure if he’s the fastest holder in college
football, but he’d like to race the guy who thinks he is.

The last time Gresh made a tackle was during his junior season of high
school. He threw an interception and had to tackle the defender.

Gresh doesn’t think Tech fans should be concerned about the kicking game
right now. Cody Journell is a really good kicker. It’s always tough to come in
as a young player and kick for the first time. It’s just a matter of time before
they get things clicking.

Last season, Gresh mentioned to Coach Beamer one day that he’d like to try
holding. Beamer agreed, and Gresh learned from Brian Saunders every day.

Collin Carroll is an excellent snapper, and their timing is good. They worked
at it all summer. With a new holder and new kicker, everyone has to work on
their timing. Carroll rarely has a bad snap, but they actually do practice bad
snaps just in case Gresh ever has to field one.

Gresh always wanted to play for Tech, being from Blacksburg. It was always a
dream to run out of the tunnel. He’s very fortunate that he’s had the chance to
play here, and he wants to make the best of it. Playing in southwest Virginia,
sometimes it’s hard to get recruited.

You really get a different perspective, when you are player. It’s amazing how
much little kids look up to Tech football players, and it’s really a blessing.

Gresh is majoring in finance and marketing. He wants to be a lawyer, or maybe
open his own business.

Tech is fully aware that Clemson is a great team. They try to prepare the
same for each team. They realize that Clemson is good and that Tech needs to get
off to a great start.

David Wilson

Wilson has more rushing yards through the first four games than any player at
Tech in the ACC era.

Wilson has been wearing a shirt and tie to school since high school.

Tech hasn’t played as well as they are capable of playing. They are getting
everyone’s best shot. Some parts of how they’ve played haven’t set well with him
or some of his teammates in the locker room. They’ve been coming up with wins,
and that’s the important thing.

Wilson has carried the ball “out” a little too much, rather than
“in”. That has led to a couple of fumbles.

Wilson doesn’t follow GW-Danville (his alma mater) as much as he’d like, but
he’s always busy with his own schedule. He’s not able to make it back to any
games.

Wilson thinks he’s been running better in between the tackles than outside
the tackles so far. He likes getting the ball, period. It doesn’t matter if it’s
inside or outside.

Josh Oglesby has changed the way he’s run a lot. He’s really fighting for his
yardage. He used to just go down on first contact, but now he’s getting yards
after contact and driving people backwards.

Wilson likes big, older type cars. He has a 1978 Ford Thunderbird that is
Burnt Orange with a white interior and 24″ rims. He put a lot of money into
it, so he enjoys it.

He has a pure bred white German Sheppard named Roxie. She was rescued by
someone who couldn’t take care of her. Wilson asked his parents if he could
take her, and they said no, but he got her anyway.

Wilson can’t wait for this game. This is the one that he circled when he
first saw the schedule. With the game at night, it’s going to be electrifying.

Wilson wasn’t bored with the first four games of the season. He just loves
playing football no matter who he is playing.

Wilson decided on Virginia Tech because he liked the environment. The
football program is strong and the coaches have been here for a long time. The
program is very stable, and it is close to home.

Wilson wants to race Trey Gresh. That was an impressive play on Saturday.

Clemson is undefeated, and so is Tech. Both teams have speed and athleticism.
It’s a great matchup, and the Hokies have to play well.

There are a couple of formations and other things that Tech hasn’t done yet.
They are still adding things to the offense.

Returning a kickoff and then playing tailback doesn’t bother Wilson. It makes
him a more versatile player. C.J. Spiller did it at Clemson and does it in the
NFL.

Tech went light in practice on Monday, in no pads. They’ve got some guys
banged up, and they are trying to get some guys healthy. Wilson said he felt a
lot fresher after Monday’s practice.

Sometimes Wilson gets the ball, and he pictures the play going a different
way than what exactly happens after the ball is snapped. You really have to pace
yourself and be patient. The timing with Logan Thomas on the option plays is
also very important, but that hasn’t been a problem.

Wilson always looked up to Kevin Jones when he played at Tech (Jones was at
Tech Talk Live on Monday night).

Frank Beamer

Beamer thought the play by Trey Gresh was amazing. He didn’t realize Gresh
was that fast. It was a huge play in the game.

If you do it right once, you can do it right all the time. That’s what Beamer
told the team on Monday. They have to be more consistent. They’ve had some great
plays in all three phases of the game, so they can be more consistent.

Tech is playing a really good team this week. It will be a good measuring
stick for the Hokies.

The Tech defense has been very impressive this year, but they had some
breakdowns on Saturday. They have to get that cleaned up. They have to mentally
be in the game at all times.

Tech has to be consistent punting the football. They are having a competition
this week. It’s wide open. They will make a decision on their punter later this
week. They are trying to give someone a chance to settle in.

Danny Coale is doing a lot of running throughout the course of the game. That
worries Beamer that his leg might be tired in the fourth quarter when the Hokies
need a really good punt.

Tech goes by the same schedule each week, no matter who they are playing.
Their preparation is always on the same schedule. That helps them to be
consistent and get better all year long.

Tech went a little light on Monday in practice. They are a little banged up
right now, plus playing on Marshall’s field turf is hard on the body. Beamer
wants his team healthy and fresh for Saturday.

Beamer hopes to get Jarrett Boykin back on Saturday. The injury report will
be released on Thursday.

Beamer doesn’t think Logan Thomas is holding the ball too long. He managed
the game very well on Saturday. He made some great throws and was very much in
control. He gets better each and every week.

Beamer described Tech’s uniforms on Saturday as "different". Kyle
Fuller told John Ballein that they needed orange pants to go with them. Fuller
didn’t realize that that was already being planned.

Telvion Clark hurt his ankle. He didn’t play in the second or third week. He
got some time at the end of the Marshall game, and was kind of hobbling around a
bit. Beamer is really proud of the progress he has made.

Height is the first thing Beamer looks for when evaluating his punters. Low
line drives aren’t good. Beamer was encouraged by what he saw in practice on
Monday.

Beamer said the Hokies haven’t been holding back offensively. They do
different things for each team, depending on the matchup. He is proud of the
balance of the offense over the last two games.

Sammy Watkins reminds Beamer of a bigger Percy Harvin. He is a really good
player. He is a major threat.

Clemson is playing well right now, but they are playing with great
confidence. They had close games with Troy and Wofford, and then they turned
around and beat Auburn and Florida State.

Clemson has really good players all over the field. They can really run. They
have a very balanced offense, with lots of misdirection. Tajh Boyd is playing
great at quarterback. They play at a fast pace on offense, and they have a very
good defense as well.

Monday was Day 2,494 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.

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