Tech Talk Live Notes for 10-3-11

Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, on October 4, 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.


Frank Beamer discussed Saturday night’s loss to Clemson, and how the team
hopes to improve from their mistakes. Charley Wiles talks about the loss
of Antoine Hopkins up front, while D.J. Coles and Antone Exum were the player
guests.

Jim Weaver

Weaver is very disappointed in the outcome with Saturday night. He knows the
coaches and players work hard, and he remains optimistic about the rest of the
season. The Hokies always seem to come back when they get some adversity.

Weaver knows both teams will be ready to play on Saturday. He thinks it will
be a typical great game between Tech and Miami.

The secondary ticket market is really hurting ticket sales for schools in
bowl games. Back in 2008, Miami hosted the Orange Bowl and the National
Championship Game, and it was required that an Orange Bowl ticket be purchased
to get a National Championship Game ticket. That flooded the secondary market
with Orange Bowl tickets for cheap, so Tech fans didn’t buy them from the
school, and the athletic department lost money. Since then, Tech has budgeted
for a shortfall when it comes to bowl game ticket sales.

Even though Tech has lost money in the ticket sales department, they aren’t
losing money overall. They are still running in the black. The conference helps
out the bowl schools when they don’t sell all of their tickets.

Weaver believes that the bowl system is best for college football. He also
believes we will see a +1 system implemented, with a four-team playoff for a
National Championship. Not many of the presidents/chancellors want a playoff
system, because it goes into the second semester of academics. Different schools
start the second semester at different times, and it could create an uneven
playing field.

Weaver isn’t certain about future non-conference scheduling, particularly
with West Virginia. They aren’t sure how scheduling will set up once Pitt and
Syracuse join the ACC. Right now, Tech doesn’t have any room through 2019.

On the scoreboard in the southwest corner of the end zone, Tech shows scores
of teams who are on VT’s schedule, teams who are in BCS conferences (especially
the ACC), and they’ll put some 1-AA in-state scores up as well.

Charley Wiles

Wiles felt sorry for himself a bit on Sunday. It was a very tough loss on
Saturday, and even tougher with Antoine Hopkins being lost for the season. After
Sunday, he was over it. It’s an opportunity for the team to come together and
turn this thing into a positive.

Practice was good on Monday. It was cold. They went shoulder pads and
helmets. They are still evaluating who will start at defensive tackle in place
of Antoine Hopkins. Right now, it would be Corey Marshall. He had a good
practice on Monday. Luther Maddy has a high ankle injury, sustained in the
Marshall game.

Antoine Hopkins is an upbeat type of person. Wiles isn’t sure if Hopkins
knows what he’s getting into with all of the rehab, but today he was very
upbeat.

Dwight Tucker could give Tech something at the point of attack. He’s got some
strength, and he can dent the line of scrimmage. His issues are that he plays a
little stiff, and he ends up on the ground too much. He will get a look this
week. Isaiah Hamlette will get work as well. Things are unsettled. It’s like
preseason camp again.

Miami is not a good offensive line to break in a true freshman against. They
are a pro-style team. They are physical up front. The strength of their team is
their offensive line, and their tailback. He is David Wilson, but bigger.

J.R. Collins and James Gayle are very productive. They are very instinctive,
and they have cut down on their mental mistakes. They are playing at a high
level.

These days, teams are really making you defend the quarterback. In the past,
it was 11 on 10, because the quarterback was a guy who would just hand it off or
throw it. Now teams are getting their quarterback involved in the running game.
Now you have to count the quarterback as a running back. Tajh Boyd really kept
Clemson going on Saturday, because he was able to run, roll out, etc.

Miami is playing multiple tight ends. Tech is going to see a quarterback
under center rather than in the shotgun. This is not a spread offense. They
aren’t doing much differently under Al Golden, offensively. Their offensive
linemen look like NFL guys. By far, this will be the best offensive line Tech
has seen. They are big, and physical. Tech has to match them in the trenches.

There is no chance that Chris Drager moves back to defensive end. He graded
out at 90% at tight end against Clemson. The Hokies need him at tight end,
especially with Eric Martin hurt.

Tech can blitz, play man and play zone out of the nickel. They are a multiple
defense. They played quite a bit of man-free coverage out of the nickel on
Saturday night.

It’s not good to lose Antoine Hopkins, but it creates opportunities for other
players. It’s time for them to come together.

D.J. Coles

Coles signed with Virginia Tech because of Coach Cav. He came into Coles’
high school and didn’t try to cut corners or “give him little bribes”
to get him to come to Tech. When he visited Tech, he felt at home. The coaches
always asked Coles about him and his family first, not about football. That was
a big deal.

The result of a game doesn’t affect the way a recruit looks at a school, at
least from Coles’ point of view. He would take the point of view that he has a
better chance to come in and help them win games.

Initially, it was tough to go to Fork Union. He was pretty heartbroken. He
didn’t know much about Fork Union and Coach Shuman. It was an eye-opening
experience that you can’t take anything for granted. He learned things there
that helped prepare him for Tech, such as study hall, breakfast check, etc.

Looking back, he wouldn’t change anything. Fork Union helped him out a lot,
so he will take it.

Tech obviously could have played better against Clemson. They’ll be fine
going forward. Clemson has a good defense, and Tech didn’t execute on certain
plays.

Coles likes the jailbreak screen that Tech ran against Clemson. It has the
potential to go for a big play, though it also has the potential to get the
receiver nailed by a defensive tackle who is running down the line.

Coles is 6-3, 230, and he currently runs a 4.46 in the 40.

Marcus Davis was practicing some on Monday. He’s trying to get his foot
ready, and get back into the flow of things.

Last year, Tech started 0-2 and still won the ACC and went to the Orange
Bowl. Coles told the fans that Tech is very capable of doing the same thing
again this year. Just relax, and on Saturday the Hokies will put on a show. Tech
has good leaders on this team.

Studying sociology is interesting. It’s a study of why people do the things
they do, and that’s always been interesting to Coles.

Coles really hasn’t played a big role in a Tech-Miami game. Two years ago he
was just on special teams, and last year he was coming off an injury. He’s
really looking forward to the experience.

Antone Exum

The team is positive right now. It’s a long season. It’s just one loss. They
can still go undefeated in the Coastal Division, and they can still win the ACC.

The defense feels okay about how they played against Clemson. Tech had a
pretty solid performance, but they did have a few big plays. Clemson shouldn’t
have scored 23 points.

Clemson has a lot of speed on the perimeter. They have speed everywhere, and
they’ve got a really good quarterback. If Tech sees them again in the ACC
Championship Game, they’ll be ready.

Exum and a lot of other guys were hurt after the game. David Wilson was
really emotional after the game. As players, they have to have short memories.
They are focusing on Miami right now.

Tech has great leadership. They had great energy and execution on the
practice field on Monday.

Miami has the best offensive line Tech will see. They run the ball well, and
Tech stops the run well. Exum has confidence that the coaches will put the
players in a position to succeed.

Exum has only played against Miami once, but it was fun. It was aggressive
and edgy. By edgy, he means edgy by things that were said and done on the field.
Miami isn’t the cleanest team out there, but the Hokies have to keep their head
and speak with their pads.

Exum plans to graduate next summer. He’ll be finished school in three years.
He’s thinking about an MBA, or getting a minor in communications. Right now he
is just focused on finishing up in Finance.

Exum’s father is a dentist, and his mother is owner of a home infusion
company in Ashland, so she is a Doctor as well. His whole family is really
competitive. Whatever he does, he wants to be the best. That’s something that’s
always been in him.

Exum was playing a physical pickup basketball game with his dad, and once
nailed him in the mouth and bloodied him up. Still, he has never beaten his
father in a basketball game.

He always has a sheet of paper that says “what can I do to get better
today?”. There’s a chart in his room where he writes down something extra
that he’s done each day to get better, something that he isn’t required to do.

Exum’s hard work and dedication come from his parents. You might not expect
that from the son of doctors, but he’s always been a hard worker.

Exum would be comfortable being a football analyst for something like Monday
Night Football. A lot of broadcasting companies want former athletes in roles
like that. He’s open to anything that pays well, after his football career is
over.

He has been doing hot yoga over the last year. He had always heard that it
helps flexibility, and it definitely has helped him. It helps him control
breathing, prevent injuries, cleans out his system, etc. It has helped him a lot
as an athlete. He once saw Blake DeChristopher doing hot yoga, which was
interesting. He took James Gayle and Kyle Fuller with him once, but they never
came back for more.

Exum thanked the fans for their support. The team still has the same goals.
He hopes the fans will stick with them. There are many more wins to come.

Frank Beamer

Beamer thinks Tech is close to being a good team. If you take about 4-5 plays
away from the defense, they really played well. If you watch the film of the
offense, they did a lot of good things. They had some good drives going, and
were close to a lot of big plays. If you’re close, you can get there. Tech
played a very good team. Clemson played great.

Tech wins and loses as a team. They didn’t do a great job in the kicking
game. They had three penalties on special team. It’s not offense, it’s not
defense, and it’s not special teams. It’s a football team trying to work
together.

Tech played very hard. They didn’t always play mentally well, and they didn’t
make the plays they needed to make. They never got the momentum going their way.

Tech has the ball for almost 20 minutes in the second half, and they didn’t
score. They were getting after Clemson at the beginning of the game, but they
had too many important penalties and turnovers.

Tech is going to continue the competition at punter, but Demler is their guy
right now. Beamer hates the fact that he got booed during the game. That’s not
helping anything. That’s not being good Virginia Tech fans.

Beamer likes the rugby style option with Demler. He did it in high school,
and he’s pretty good at it. Unfortunately, he dropped that one on Saturday
night.

David Wilson had 20 carries for 123 yards, 14 broken tackles and 95 yards
after contact. He runs really hard.

Beamer really thought about going for it on the Clemson 32, but he thought
they could pin them back, and that would make a difference in a really tight
ballgame.

You really can’t prevent the pressure from getting to young players, like
Logan Thomas. Fans don’t really understand everything that goes into plays
sometimes. They don’t know what Thomas sees, and what he’s reading, etc. That
pressure from fans is always going to be there. Thomas knows that.

Tech had a good practice on Monday. There’s no reason to blast anyone, or
find fault from within. They need to make sure the football team stays together.
You can’t fall apart and still be successful. They have to find out what was
wrong, correct it, and be better this weekend.

The defensive line is getting thin. They will have a couple of very young
players playing significant snaps. However, injuries are a part of the game.
Corey Marshall and Luther Maddy will give it the best they’ve got.

Beamer appreciated the fans creating a great atmosphere in Lane Stadium,
especially with the weather. He apologized for not playing better, and hopes it’s
a different story this week.

Miami has very good players, and really good up front. They have excellent
skill position players. They are Miami, they always have talent.

Clemson’s defense has gotten a lot better since the beginning of the season.
They have continued to get better. They’ve got good defensive players.

The game could have gone differently. If that pass to Boykin had been a
little lower, it would have been a big play. Tech is really close to getting
there. They are stopping teams on defense, and they are moving it on offense,
but they had two key turnovers against Clemson that set them back.

The penalties on special teams are frustrating. The late hit on Wiley Brown
was a picky call. Kyshoen Jarrett was going very hard on his block in the back,
and he just made a mistake.

Michael Branthover has been up and down. He has the strongest leg of all the
punters, it’s very powerful. Beamer is working on developing his consistency
right now.

Tech probably needs to change up their snap counts and signals out of the
shotgun a little more. Defenses can see that.

Tech always needs to have Jarrett Boykin involved in the game, and probably
should have gotten him involved more on Saturday. Marcus Davis couldn’t go.
Demetri Knowles has great speed, and the coaches are still looking at him.

Logan Thomas is just fine. He is learning. He will go through growing pains,
and he’ll be better in the next game. Beamer doesn’t feel any different about
Thomas than he did last week.

Tech didn’t really recruit Andre Branch, but Beamer said they probably should
have. He is very good.

It’s tough losing Antoine Hopkins. He has put a lot into it, and he means a
lot to the football team. Both of the Hopkins guys have been playing very well.
Beamer really likes Marshall and Maddy, and they are going to get a big
opportunity.

Tech has talked about getting Logan Thomas rolling out a bit more, especially
at the end of the game on Saturday night when the Clemson defenders knew the
Hokies were going to throw the ball.

Tech and Miami have had some great games. The loudest Lane Stadium has ever
been was perhaps in a loss to Miami, back during the blocked punt in 2001.

Miami has a lot of good players, as usual. Travis Benjamin is a dangerous
returner and receiver. They have excellent backs. The Canes are strong up front
defensively. Marcus Forston is a very physical defensive tackle, and linebacker
Sean Spence is very good. They will be ready to play on Saturday.

Monday was Day 2,501 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.

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