Tech Talk Live Notes for September 17, 2012

Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, on September 18, 2012
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Jim Weaver

Nobody expected that on Saturday.  Every now and then you will have a game like that.  Weaver can tell you that nobody expected that, and the Hokies don’t practice like that.  The team seemed all business-like at the team hotel.

A B-25 bomber will fly over pregame on Saturday, and a P-51 will fly over at halftime as part of Military Appreciation Day.  They are World War II planes.  They will be doing test flights on Friday around Blacksburg.

The Cincinnati game will not be any earlier than 3:30pm.  The networks decided  to exercise their 6-day option.

Virginia Tech and Florida State are the only undefeated and untied teams in women’s soccer.  VT is ranked #9 in the country.  They will play #5 Boston College on Sunday at 1pm.

Weaver thinks the academic scandal was the reason Chancellor Holden Thorp resigned at UNC.

Tech is planning on building a locker room for the women’s soccer team, but it’s on hold right now for the same reasons that the new football facility was on hold over the summer.

The most Tech has ever paid for a buy game was around $800,000.  The lowest amount paid these days is around $300,000, and that’s for 1-AA schools.

Even though they only play five football games per year against the ACC, Notre Dame is a member of the ACC for all other sports.  If they ever decide to leave, they pay the same $50 million buyout fee that everyone else would pay.  Notre Dame is a great brand, and it’s great for the ACC.  It’s great for Virginia Tech.

The ACC’s opponent in the Orange Bowl is expected to be Notre Dame, the Big Ten, or the SEC.  Or, it could be the Big Ten and the SEC, without Notre Dame.  Weaver thinks the Orange Bowl will be worth somewhere around $60-75 million.  The deal should be announced soon.

There have been a couple of times where the ACC didn’t have enough bowl eligible teams to fill out all of their bowl slots.  Weaver has no problem with Notre Dame being involved with ACC bowls.  He thinks it could help the ACC add another bowl to its slate.

Bud Foster

The Hokies had bright and early meetings on Monday morning, and a “spirited” practice on Monday afternoon.

Foster woke up at 2:45am on Monday to think about what he was going to say to his players in their early meetings.  He had quite a bit to say.

Tech’s three keys to success were to be 1) more physical, 2) play with passion and 3) communicate.  They failed all of those goals.

Tech gave up too many yards on the perimeter.  The defensive backs looked a little tentative with their tackling, and that’s disappointing.  The most disappointing part was the inconsistent effort.  The fumble that Gouveia-Winslow caused could have been a recovery if the Hokies were running to the football.  That’s not who we are, and that’s the message Foster delivered on Monday morning.

Tech takes the pads off on Thursdays, and Foster doesn’t like that, but he understands it’s to keep guys healthy, particularly after playing two games so quickly to start the season.  Tech was sluggish in practice on Thursday, and Foster threatened to start it all over again.  They practiced well after that threat, but then they just came out on Friday and they were flat.

The Kyle Fuller injury was big.  Tech had a whole defensive package designed for him when Pitt went to their 11-personnel.  Tech’s freshmen aren’t ready for prime time yet.  Donaldven Manning could have been a factor on a couple of those passing plays, but he wasn’t.

Foster thought the Hokies were slow on their reads at times.  In football, you try to find one more defender than the offense has blocking.  Pitt was running a little zone play, and the Hokies always have an edge guy coming down.  On their first touchdown, the Hokies had a free hitter there to make the play, but the runner bounced it outside of the free hitter.  For whatever reason, the Hokies were a step slow and off their game.

Everything that Pitt did, they had help from Virginia Tech.  There wasn’t one play they ran that the Hokies didn’t prepare for.  Tech had too many collision hits (hitting without wrapping up), and the Hokies don’t teach that.

Bruce Taylor practiced Monday-Wednesday.  He flew to Pittsburgh late on Friday night.  He’s not 100% right now.  He sat out the Austin Peay game with an ankle injury, and he has a bit of a groin injury too.  Tariq Edwards practiced on Monday, and he did some good things.  It would be good to get him back.

Foster thinks Edwards will be out for one more week for sure, and maybe two.  He really doesn’t know.  We’ll see how he progresses.

The defense has the majority of their players back from last year.  They know what it takes to be successful because they’ve done it before.  You can’t play great defense unless you play with passion and intensity.  They know the formula.  He told the defense this morning that if they want to be successful, then get on board.  If not, then transfer somewhere else.  Foster only wants guys who want to be successful.  They had a heated discussion.  They aren’t just accountable to each other.  They are accountable to everybody who played defense for Tech in the past.  They have built a great tradition here.

Bowling Green played Florida tough.  Their line is a little more athletic than Pitt’s.  Their receivers are athletic, but not as big as Pitt’s.  (editor’s note: however, Bowling Green starts four freshmen on offense).

Foster said Tech will respect Bowling Green.  He hopes his defense plays like a wounded dog, like Pitt played this past week.

The MAC is known for their quarterbacks, and Dave Clawson has always done a great job with his quarterbacks.

Certain personnel groupings will make the Hokies play man defense, because Foster thinks the run fits are better that way.  Tech did play some 2-deep and some man free on Saturday.

Foster challenged his players, telling them that he will learn a lot about their character this week.

Eric Martin

The players aren’t happy with the way they came out and played.  They weren’t ready to play, and that’s not like them.

The team looked at film of Pitt’s games against Youngstown State and Cincinnati, and the coaches told them they were going to face a much better team than they saw on film.  They were definitely right.

Practice was great on Monday.  Everybody knew that they had to bring a new level of intensity, and they did that.

Catching the first touchdown of the season still seems a little surreal.  It was really loud catching it right there at the back of the south end zone.

Martin is majoring in sociology.  He was thinking about local police work back home, but there are a lot of options out there.

The offense is still confident.  The turnovers on Saturday is not who they are.  There are a lot of little things that go into those interceptions.

Bowling Green is a tough team.  They really brought it to Florida in the first week.  They are going to come after Logan hard on Saturday, so the team has to be ready to protect him.

Kyshoen Jarrett

The blocking was set up very well on his punt return for a touchdown.  After Ronny Vandyke took out two guys, he just had to make one guy miss.  He probably owes Vandyke lunch.

It feels good to get the ball in his hands when the opportunity allows.  Once you bring one back, it builds your confidence, and you can’t wait to do it again.

It was obvious that the tackling wasn’t up to par.  They’ve got to rally back this week.  They are going to attack it.  Their tackling and communication will be better going forward.

The coaches always say that other teams will give Tech their best shot.  They definitely got Pitt’s best shot, and they were caught off guard.

The coaches aren’t allowing the players to hang their heads.  They will come back and have a better game this weekend.

The biggest difference between corner and rover is the communication responsibilities.  Other than that, it’s still about covering and tackling.

Jarrett’s brother has cerebral palsy, and he’s blind as well.  Jarrett spent his high school years taking care of his brother.  His mom was a single mom, so it was up to him.  His brother loves coming to Tech games.  He always gets excited when he hears Kyshoen’s name over the loud speaker.

Tech has great support from the fans, and they are going to attack Bowling Green the way they attacked teams before Pitt.  They are going to be fine.

Tech has to communicate better and tackle better.  They have to attack things and play with passion.  They have great coaches who will get them through it.

Jarrett is studying Human Development.  After football, he would like to help take care of people with disabilities.  He could help his mom and brother even better that way.

Frank Beamer

On tape, Beamer saw a lot of things that go against winning.  They didn’t make a fourth a one.  They got a personal foul on third down.  Just a lot of things they did wrong.  The good thing is that they are things they can correct.

Beamer never had a sense that it would be “one of those days”.  He thinks he should have done a better job of preparing Tech for what type of Pitt team they were going to see.  He should have done a better job of preparing the team.  They didn’t play with as much toughness and emotion as they need to, and that “goes back to me”.

Beamer feels bad for our fans.  He knows they let the fans down, especially the ones who travelled.

Pitt does deserve a lot of credit.  They have a lot of tough players on that team.  They are in a good recruiting area.  They have a lot of tough, Chris Drager types up there.

Logan battled and competed all day long.  He had some tough plays, and some of that was his fault, and some of it was the fault of other players.

Tech needs to establish a running game.  It was 21-0 early, so they had to throw it more.  Beamer is proud that the team hung in there and sort of got back in the game.  They had their opportunities.

Beamer thought the team practiced very well on Monday.  The players are disappointed.  They got outplayed, and that’s the bottom line.  Everybody is disappointed, and now they just have to deal with adversity.

If David Wang can’t go on Saturday, either Michael Via or Matt Arkema will start at left guard.  Wang’s ankle isn’t broken.  He’ll be back, but the staff doesn’t know when.

Tech needs to get into a better rhythm on offense.  They have to put some good plays together.

There is some big play potential.  Logan Thomas was just off on what would have been a deep touchdown pass to Marcus Davis.  They are pretty close.  Maybe they have too many young guys.  They just need to get them playing more consistent.

It has been good to get special teams going a bit.  Kyshoen Jarrett is making a big difference with his punt returns.

If teams are loading the box, then you want to play-action pass and go down the field like they did in the first play against Pitt.  If they aren’t loading the box, then the Hokies just have to go through their reads in a traditional passing game.

Tech’s running backs have talent, they are just young.  They’ve just got to keep working.  It even took Darren Evans about five games before he got going.

Beamer doesn’t think any of the older players are getting complacent.  They just played a bad game.  He feels for the fans.  Everybody is disappointed.  There’s a thin line between winning and losing, and you have to bring your best each week.

Logan Thomas will be fine.  The people around Logan have to step up as well.  He can’t do it all.

Bowling Green is a good team.  It’s no fluke that they played Florida tough.  Dave Clawson, their head coach, built the team that won the National Championship at the University of Richmond.  This is a very well-coached team.

Tech will have to beat Bowling Green.  They aren’t going to lay down.  They’ve already played Florida tough, so they won’t be intimidated.

In this business, there are highs and lows.  Tech didn’t give their best effort on Saturday.  That’s what hurts.  It’s a learning experience.  They have to keep improving as a football team.

It’s easy to practice and play when things are going well.  Tech’s character will be tested this week.  Beamer knows they want to play better, and hopefully they will.

Monday was Day 2,852 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.

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