Tech Talk Live Notes for 10-17-11

Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, on October 18, 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

The Tech football team was outstanding in the last three quarters on Saturday
night. Weaver is very impressed by how all the young backups have come in and
played well with some veterans on the injured list.

Winning on the road isn’t easy. Virginia Tech now has the nation’s longest
road winning streak (11 games). Coach Beamer and his staff do a great job of
getting the team ready for road games. Weaver thanked the fans for the great
turnout of Tech fans in Winston-Salem.

Virginia Tech upgraded their video board about three years ago. They use it
6-7 times per year. Right now they have a few capital projects that are a little
higher on their list of priorities. It would cost $1-1.5 million to upgrade the
video board. The Wake Forest board is impressive because one person donated lots
and lots of money for it.

Virginia Tech doesn’t get any extra money for the Cincinnati game in FedEx
Field next season. Cincinnati gave up the home game to play in FEDEX, so they
will get the ticket revenue.

Weaver would rather play a local small-conference team on the road (such as
Marshall) than go on the road somewhere west of the Mississippi. It’s a really
tough trip to go out west. Tech can’t fly out of Roanoke when they go that far.
They have to drive to Greensboro first, and that adds a lot to the trip. Weaver
and Beamer don’t think it’s good for the team to do that during the regular
season.

Tech has had discussions with Notre Dame on more than one occasion. They’ve
never been able to come to an agreement to play. Instead, Notre Dame decided to
Maryland. Weaver isn’t going to get into the reasons because it could hurt
future negotiations, but he promised that Tech would never play at Notre Dame
twice just to get the Irish to play in Lane Stadium once.

Tech’s marketing people decide when Enter Sandman is played during the game.
It was Jeremy Wells, the Assistant AD for Marketing and Promotions, who pushed
the button to play the song late in the game against Miami.

Bud Foster

The game started a little slow. Tech came out a little flat, and Foster
addressed that with the defense on Monday. Wake was a hot football team. The
Hokies played really hard. After Wake’s first touchdown, Tech really played good
football.

Tech is really young on defense. They had four starters out against Wake
Forest. The young players answered the bell. The young guys are getting better
each week, and Foster is very encouraged.

Tech’s goal was to stop the run and make Wake one dimensional, and they did.
Wake always uses six-man protections. They never leave the tight end in to pass
protect. That helped the Hokies get some pressure on the quarterback.

The Hokies are probably playing more man-free coverage than they have in the
past. It all depends on personnel. Tech probably played more pure man coverage
against Wake because they were blitzing so much. That was the game plan.

Tech got Wake Forest in a lot of third and longs. (Editor’s Note: 11 of
Wake’s 13 third downs were six yards to go or longer.) If the defense gets the
offense behind the sticks, they can do a lot of things defensively that can
create problems on third down.

Jayron Hosley felt good on Monday morning, but the coaches are being
cautious. Hamstring injuries can be lingering, so they didn’t practice him on
Monday. James Gayle did practice, and that’s a good sign.

Detrick Bonner played very hard. He had a lot of technique errors, but
overall he played really well. He was up against Chris Givens, one of the top
receivers in the ACC. Bonner responded. Foster thought he did a great job for
the Hokies.

Derrick Hopkins is really turning into the bell cow on the inside. He is fast
and physical at the point of attack, and he can chase from sideline to sideline.
Foster thinks he is one of the premier defensive tackles in the ACC right now.

Zack McCray played pretty solid against Wake, though they would like him to
be more physical. Corey Marshall, Luther Maddy and Isaiah Hamlette all split
time at defensive tackle next to Derrick Hopkins, and the productivity at that
position went up this week.

UV A defensive coordinator Jim Reid used to be the head coach at VMI, where
he ran the Georgia Tech offense. He probably has a very good understanding of
how to stop the triple option, and it showed on Saturday when UVA upset the
Yellow Jackets.

The offensive and defensive coaching staffs are completely independent when
preparing for an opponent. Sometimes they share some ideas, but for the most
part they are independent.

Stunts and twists vary from week to week. Foster wanted to get Tariq Edwards
moving a bit, and Wake was primarily a 6-man protection group, so he did want to
bring more pressure this week.

Dadi Nicolas is up to about 230lbs. He came in at 205lbs. He has a chance to
be a dynamic defensive end. He can bend his body, he’s explosive, he’s
relentless and he really plays hard. Kris Harley was a little overweight when he
came in, but he’s going in the right direction. Ronny Vandyke and Michael Cole
have great futures. Foster really likes this freshman class. Justin Taylor has a
great motor.

Miami’s offensive line is probably as big as any in the NFL. Foster thinks he
could have done a better job adjusting to Miami’s blocking schemes in the second
half of that game.

Logan Thomas is a weapon. Defenders will get tired of tackling him. Tech runs
quarterback powers and decide plays, sort of like what Auburn did with Cam
Newton. Logan Thomas has those similar qualities. He’s a big guy, he’s athletic,
and he’s doing a great job throwing the football right now.

Boston College has had some injuries, and they’ve got basically a new
offensive line. They are still very big up front. Chase Rettig is a solid
quarterback, but he’s still very young. BC moved the ball against Clemson, but
they had some tough turnovers. Foster thinks they have quality players, and they
are well-coached.

BC had a week off, and Virginia Tech will get their best shot. Tech is going
to get everyone’s best shot. BC recruits very tough kids. Their games have been
very close. They aren’t going to quit.

Chris Drager

Drager has been involved in the running game all year, and now it feels good
to get involved in the passing game (four catches in the last two games).

The mindset of the offense is very good right now. Obviously after the
Clemson game they knew they needed to get some things straight, but they have
done very well the last two weeks.

The first quarter didn’t go well at Wake. Drager himself started out slow and
missed a big block in the first quarter. But they eventually got it going.

Wake Forest had some unique schemes that Tech hadn’t seen on film, and it
took them some time to adjust. The last three quarters went very well.

Drager’s first year of grad school last year was the busiest. This year it’s
not so bad. He’s already filled his class requirements for grad school, and he’s
just doing research now.

Even though he didn’t get the Rhodes Scholarship, he’s glad he went through
the process. It really helps you learn a lot about yourself.

Drager really loves defensive end and tight end. He enjoyed defensive end
more, but he thinks he’s more suited for tight end. Getting a sack is probably
more fun than scoring a touchdown, but he hasn’t scored a touchdown yet so he
doesn’t know.

Logan Thomas is calm and cool under pressure. He’s been fine this season.

The most fun place Drager has played was at Nebraska. It was really loud, and
their fans were really nice.

Pitt got under Drager’s skin during the recruiting process. Pitt is his
hometown school, and they didn’t offer until well after Virginia Tech offered.

Ryan Malleck is a good tight end. He’s learning the playbook, but he has all
the tools. He’ll be a good player for the Hokies.

Kyle Fuller

Fuller has a lot more confidence this year. He knows the defense, so it’s
easier for him to go out and just play football.

Tech was very prepared going into the Wake Forest game. Nobody panicked after
the first quarter, and they eventually got things going.

It always hurts to lose defensive starters, but Fuller sees the backups in
practice every day and he knew they were ready to go.

Fuller lines up basically as a whip in the nickel package, over the slot
receiver. He lines up as a field corner in Tech’s base defense. Sometimes he
doesn’t know what position he’s going to play until 10 or 15 seconds before the
snap. He has to make a lot of quick reads, and the reads at each position are
different.

Kyle talks to his brother, Vince, a lot. He was out of football for the first
part of this season, but he was picked up by the Lions last week.

Kyle’s brother Corey is a r-junior wide receiver for the Hokies. He had been
at Kansas running track, but he missed football so he walked on at Tech and
earned a scholarship.

Fuller has always been smaller than running backs, so he’s always had to be a
good open field tackler by tackling low. If running backs don’t have their legs,
they can’t run. He doesn’t like missing tackles.

Fuller picked Tech because it felt like home. He always felt comfortable at
Tech. He visited Tech a lot when he was younger, and always liked it.

Fuller visited Maryland, Kansas and Virginia Tech. He also has a younger
brother who is still in high school. He has a lot of major scholarship offers.
He’ll decide what schools he wants to visit when his season is over, and Kyle is
sure Tech will be one of them.

The best wide receiver Fuller has had to cover was Leonard Hankerson of
Miami. There are other guys he could mention as well, but he tries to prepare
and play the same way each week.

Boston College is 1-5, but Fuller treats each team the same. He knows BC will
be ready to go.

Fuller is studying business. It’s not bad so far.

A typical Monday for Fuller starts at 6:20am when he wakes up to watch film.
He also got treatment for some nagging injuries. He had three morning classes,
he lifted at 1pm, got an hour of study hall, then position meetings, and then
practice. It’s basically a 14 hour non-stop day.

Being active and forcing himself to have good time management helps him to be
better academically.

Frank Beamer

Tech’s organization was strong against Wake. They stayed poised and beat a
good team that was hot and playing with a lot of confidence and momentum.

Beamer told the coaches on Sunday that he feels like they are starting to
come together as a team. The kicking game is getting better. The offense gets
better each week. Despite the injuries, the defense played very well against
Wake Forest.

Winning on the road is a great feeling, and how it happens helps as well.
Tech was trailing, and then came back. It felt good.

Logan Thomas has been really good the last two weeks (40-of-57, 590 yards, 5
TDs, 0 INTs). He gets better all the time. Beamer always felt like he would.
He’s a smart guy, and he learns. The more he understands where to go with the
ball, the more accurate he gets and the more efficient the whole operation
looks. He’s always very calm and doesn’t get rattled. He’s got the perfect
temperament for a quarterback.

Beamer really likes where the offense is going. They are keeping people off
balance and doing a great job.

Beamer tries hard to be the same before the game and after the game. He’s not
much of a talker before the game when he meets with the opposing coach. He’s had
some coaches he just couldn’t escape from before the game, and after you beat
them they don’t want to talk much during the handshake. The situation in the NFL
was crazy on Sunday. Beamer has never had a situation like that. He can’t see
himself ever chasing down the other coach.

Coaches talk about different things before each game. Sometimes Beamer
doesn’t have a lot to say usually. But with a guy like Jim Grobe, it’s
different. Grobe and Beamer are good friends. They both own property at Reynolds
Plantation. Their wives are good friends. Grobe runs a good, clean program.

Tech’s 96 yard drive was huge for momentum. The offense made some huge third
down plays on that drive (4-of-4 on third downs). That was a big drive.

Beamer wasn’t sure how a penalty could be called for 12 men on the field on
defense before the offense snaps the ball. Apparently when the offense breaks
the huddle, you have 10 seconds to get your 12th guy off the field, or else a
penalty will be called.

Jarrett Boykin is a special player. He plays well each week. He blocks, he
catches, and he’s a special guy.

Tech is averaging 419 yards per game, the most in 11 seasons. The Hokies are
mixing it up well, and they are playing to the strengths of their players. They
have a lot of options on the offensive side of the ball. The offensive line is
doing a great job of protecting Logan Thomas.

Justin Myer is a great kicker. Except for the kickoff out of bounds against
Wake Forest, he is doing a great job.

Michael Branthover had a good game on Saturday night. The more reps he gets,
the better he’ll be. He’ll gain confidence each week. He’s got a very strong
leg. He’s also a good field goal kicker, and he will probably be Tech’s kickoff
guy next season.

Alonzo Tweedy played well on Saturday. He’s got a lot of ability. The more he
plays the better he will get. Eddie Whitley replaced Jeron Gouveia-Winslow as
the personal protector and quarterback of the punt team, and he did a good job.

Nick Dew is getting more reps in practice at whip now that he’s #2. He’s
playing special teams, and now that he’s getting more practice time at whip,
we’ll see him get better.

Beamer feels good about some guys on the scout team. Ronny Vandyke and
Michael Cole got hurt in the preseason, or else they would probably be playing
this season. Tech will most likely redshirt Demetri Knowles since the wide
receivers are healthy now. He’s still going to get work in practice with the
offense. He’s probably the fastest receiver on the team. He reminds Beamer of
Bryan Still.

Right now, Dominique Patterson isn’t playing. He was moved to tailback in
August and he got hurt. He has to apply his ability. Beamer thinks in the future
he will be on the field.

BC is 1-5, but their losses are very close. They played Clemson tough, but
had a couple of key turnovers. They are close to being good, but they’ve had a
lot of injuries. They had a bye week last week, and they will be ready for
Virginia Tech.

Monday was Day 2,515 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.

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