Tech Talk Live Notes for 11-28-11

Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, on November 29, 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

Virginia Tech beat Virginia in football, volleyball and wrestling over the
weekend. Weaver is very proud of all the teams involved.

Saturday night is going to be an exciting game between the Hokies and
Clemson. Kirk Herbstreit and Brent Musburger are doing the commentary for ESPN.

Virginia Tech has sold out of tickets for the ACC Championship Game. The
secondary ticket market is the only way to go to get tickets right now.

Weaver doesn’t see a swap between the Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl happening
this year. The Orange Bowl is trying to build their brand around the ACC. If
Tech doesn’t go to the Orange Bowl, their likely destination is the Chick-fil-A
Bowl, but that’s just a guess on Weaver’s part.

Weaver doesn’t know why the Marching Virginians were in the upper deck at
UVA. You’d have to check with the UVA ticket office to find out.

Weaver is very proud of how the men’s basketball team has been playing. They
played well against Syracuse, and then they knocked off Oklahoma State and St.
Bonaventure. They are off to a good start.

Seth Greenberg

Greenberg said the upperclassmen are giving the younger players good
leadership. When Victor Davila opens his mouth, it’s pretty shocking, so
everyone listens.

The Hokies are a long way from where they need to be. After Tech played three
games in four days, the next week of practice was very valuable.

Oklahoma State is very athletic. St. Bonaventure has some very good seniors
on their team, and Nicholson might be a first round pick. Victor Davila did a
great job against him.

Tech still plays Minnesota, Rhode Island, Kansas State and BYU in their
non-conference schedule. It will be very challenging, but it will help them as
they get ready for ACC play.

Tech made it a focus to get the ball to Victor Davila in spots where he likes
to score. The Hokies empowered him, and he responded. He’s a guy who has scoring
ability.

Erick Green has taken another step forward, and he’s playing hurt right now.
He’s not exploding quite as much as he’s capable. He’s got good poise, and he’s
making shots. He’s a much improved shooter.

Dorian Finney-Smith leads the ACC in rebounding. He has great instincts, he
pursues the ball and he has long arms. He’s got to improve defensively.

The Hokies have to play faster. Greenberg didn’t think they played fast
enough in transition on Sunday. They have to put more pressure on the defense in
transition.

Tech has good shooters this year. If they run a good offense with good
spacing, this team can be a good shooting team. Robert Brown can shoot.
Finney-Smith is capable. The Hokies have to screen better, and they are already
a very unselfish team.

Tech’s offensive execution down the stretch was terrific. They lost some
intensity on defense when they got up by 11, and they heard about that in a film
session on Monday.

Marquis Rankin has a great work ethic. He is very unselfish, he’s a great
defender, and he’s fast with the ball. He’s had a little bit of swelling in his
knee, so he’s a little further behind than expected.

Joey Van Zegeren had a slight concussion, so he missed one week of practice.
He’s got the ability to run and block shots. They are thinking about redshirting
him.

Greenberg doesn’t know if J.T. Thompson will be back next year or not. He
will graduate in December, and he’s got a young child to take care of. Greenberg
is going to hold a scholarship for him in case he wants to return for a sixth
year.

Minnesota leading scorer and rebounder Trevor Mbakwe tore his ACL on Sunday
and will miss the rest of the season. He is a rebounding machine, and he’s a big
loss for the Gophers. Still, Minnesota is a big team, and a good team, and it
will be a major challenge. They play great defense.

This will be Virginia Tech’s first true road test. It will be another good
measuring stick. The ACC/Big Ten Challenge is a major event. The Hokies are
playing in the very last game of the Challenge, so it could come down to what
Tech does on Wednesday night.

Minnesota’s Williams Arena, also known as The Barn, was built in 1929. It’s a
great place to play. The benches are actually below the level of the court.

Bryan Stinespring

Stinespring had a great seat to watch a terrific game on Saturday. He loved
the emotion on the sideline and the emotion in the locker room. It was the type
of thing you relish as a coach. It was exciting for everybody involved.

The intensity level increased as the week went on. The team was very sharp
all week long, and they had a bounce in their step.

Danny Coale really surprised Stinespring with his pregame speech. He normally
doesn’t say a whole lot. He felt like it was his time to say something before
the game, and he said it without much room for miscommunication.

Blake DeChristopher had a great season and won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy.
It’s a great honor. He’s certainly deserving of that award.

Tech wanted to attack UVA from the opening snap. The coverage dictated that
the Hokies go deep on that first play. Danny Coale was wide open on the first
play of the game, but Logan went to Marcus Davis instead and he made a great
play on the ball.

Marcus Davis has to be consistent in his approach. He was banged up for
awhile, and he wasn’t really in rhythm for a few games.

Andrew Miller and Chris Drager were so banged up that they couldn’t practice
throughout the week. However, they showed up on Saturday and toughed it out for
the team.

Virginia Tech gets everybody’s best shot. They got Clemson’s best shot in
October, and they expect the same on Saturday.

When Tech played Clemson, they had some banged up receivers, and a banged up,
inexperienced quarterback. Now Tech’s receivers are healthy, and Logan Thomas is
playing great. David Wilson’s vision is also much better. Across the board, the
Tech offense is much better right now, which you hope would happen every year.

Recruiting is going well right now, and they anticipate it to continue to go
well. The Hokies have proven themselves over a long period of time. They win,
they graduate players, and they have a lot of success on and off the field. They
will continue to recruit at a high level.

Clemson has a very talented front four on defense. They have plenty of guys
who can rush the passer. You can’t double one guy, because it presents matchup
problems elsewhere. The Hokies are going to have to play very well up front.
Andre Branch has been a problem for a lot of people.

Danny Coale

Danny Coale got to punt and return a punt in the same game, though he joked
that he didn’t do a very good job returning punts.

Coale didn’t know for sure that he was punting until pregame warm-ups. He was
ready for it. He knew it was a possibility all week.

Coale can’t repeat verbatim what he said to the team before the game. He had
some things on his mind. He knows the rivalry very well, and he had some things
he felt strongly about. There was a lot of hype about Virginia all week, and
that was kind of insulting to Coale. He felt like the media was taking something
away from Tech, or had forgotten about Tech. He wanted to make sure the team
understood that.

Virginia had a great year, and they deserve attention. But there is a lot of
pride within the Tech program. The program is built on championships, and for
Tech to win a championship they had to go through UVA.

The fact that UVA beat Florida State made this a more interesting matchup.
Coale can’t root for UVA, but he didn’t mind that they beat FSU because it made
Saturday a huge game.

It was fun giving the campus and locker room tour for ESPNU’s All-Access on
campus at Tech. Coale has a lot of pride in Tech, so he enjoyed helping his
school get exposure.

In the first game against Clemson, Tech didn’t play well at all. It was
pretty embarrassing for Coale. He definitely wanted a chance for redemption.
Clemson played a really good game, but the Hokies had some early turnovers and
hurt themselves a lot in that game. Three points is embarrassing.

The UVA students started an "overrated" chant directed at Virginia
Tech in the first half of Saturday’s game. Coale made sure to remind the team of
that at halftime. He took it personally.

Virginia Tech’s goal since the Clemson loss has been to get back to the ACC
Championship Game. Coale doesn’t think they are going to let this opportunity
slip by.

Coale respects Clemson as a football team. They came into Blacksburg, played
better than the Hokies, and deserved to win. They have some dynamic players that
are fun to watch.

Eddie Whitley

Clemson played very well in the first meeting, and the Hokies didn’t play
well. The secondary had about four mental breakdowns that shouldn’t have
happened. They don’t want to have those mental errors this week.

Clemson has lost three of four, but that doesn’t matter because they are the
only team to beat Tech. The Hokies have to come out with a chip on their
shoulder and play very well on Saturday night. It’s going to be a battle. It
doesn’t matter about the rankings or the records, it’s about one game.

Tajh Boyd has great athletes around him at receiver, running back and tight
end. Boyd does a very good job of spreading the ball around to all his great
targets.

Virginia Tech held Sammy Watkins to three catches in the first meeting. Cris
Hill did a great job on him. Tech didn’t double team him, but just played smart
and played with good technique.

Tech gets everybody’s best shot, especially in big games. The Hokies have to
respond, and Whitley said the players have to "love to be hated".
That’s why they play so well in big games.

Arkansas State is a good team. They are 9-2 and they haven’t lost since they
came to Blacksburg in September.

Whitley doesn’t know if Jayron Hosley will return for his senior season. If
he does, that means Hosley, Kyle Fuller and Antone Exum will be starting in the
secondary next year, and the only starter they’ll have to replace is Whitley.

Whitley went to Butler High School in Charlotte. It is about 25 minutes from
the stadium. A lot of Whitley’s friends and family will be at the game. The same
is true for Jarrett Boykin, who also played at Butler.

Frank Beamer

Beamer thought the players did a great job of playing, the coaches did a
great job of coaching, and the fans did a great job of being fans on Saturday.
It was a pretty good day in Charlottesville.

Beamer thought the Hokies were going to play well heading into the game. Guys
like Blake DeChristopher and Danny Coale had a lot to say. Guys always listen to
them because they normally don’t say much. Virginia deserves credit for having a
great year, but the Hokies played really well.

Tech played such a good game against UVA, but the key to success will be
putting it out of their minds quickly and getting ready for Clemson.

Florida State and Virginia Tech finished #1 and #2 in the ACC in total
defense. Not a single Seminole or Hokie made First Team All-ACC on defense.
Beamer also thought Danny Coale and Jarrett Boykin should have gotten some sort
of recognition.

Clemson played very well against Virginia Tech in the first meeting. However,
the Hokies also had some turnovers early in the game and just couldn’t put it
together. Beamer gave Clemson credit, they’ve got a lot of good players and
coaches. They are a good program. Thank goodness the Hokies were able to work
their way back to get a rematch.

Clemson has lost three of four, but that doesn’t matter. All that matters is
this one game. We can count on Clemson’s best effort on Saturday night.

Logan Thomas has played better and better as the season has progressed. He’s
been a major reason for Virginia Tech’s success. The defense has really battled
to make up for some players lost to injury.

It has been a great year for the Tech coaching staff. Mike O’Cain has done a
great job with Logan Thomas, and Bud Foster and his staff have been able to
overcome a lot of injuries.

Thomas is further a lot than most people thought he would be at this point.
But when you think about it, he’s so smart, he’s very poised, he’s in control,
he learns quickly, and he’s very gifted. He’s a great leader, so maybe it
shouldn’t be surprising that he’s so good.

You’ve got to take care of your own business and not get caught up in the
rankings. In the big picture, you wish Clemson had beaten South Carolina, but
that’s not in Tech’s control. They have to focus on what they can control.

We’ll have to see if Danny Coale punts this Saturday against Clemson. Michael
Branthover is going to be a terrific punter, but he’s inconsistent right now.
Punting is very exact, and he’s a bit erratic right now. Coale was booming them
in pregame at UVA, so Beamer went with him. Coale has been in a lot of big
football games.

Andre Branch is a great player. He is the leader in sacks in the ACC. The
Hokies have to get him blocked this time.

Beamer isn’t concerned that some people don’t think Tech should be ranked
this high. They are #3 in the Coaches’ Poll, which shows that a lot of coaches
across the country respect what the Hokies have done this year.

Tech fully realizes how good Clemson is. Their talent level is great, and
it’s a big game. This will be a tough football game. The kicking game will come
into play. Whoever doesn’t turn the ball over will have the advantage.

Monday was Day 2,557 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.

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