Tech Talk Live Notes for October 1, 2012

Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, on October 2, 2012
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Jim Weaver

Weaver thought the Hokies got out of the chute a little slow.  By the middle of the third quarter, they were mixing up their play calling and making things happen.  They had a lot of offense in the second half, but unfortunately they didn’t score enough points.

Players and fans have to let losses like that one go.  There are always 12 games in the regular season, and you have to get ready for that next game.  Tech is still unbeaten in ACC play.

The Tech coaches have a great deal of pride.  They are going out there on the field trying to win.  Just because Tech might lose a game doesn’t mean they aren’t prepared well.

Weaver reiterated that Virginia Tech had absolutely no control over the Cincinnati game being moved to FedExField.  He’s disappointed in how it was handled, the price of the tickets, etc., but Virginia Tech had no control over it. (Editor’s note: the game was a Cincinnati home game, and the Bearcats sold it for $3.5 million.)

Weaver is very comfortable with the size of Lane Stadium.  Tech wouldn’t sell out a stadium that was much bigger.  Clemson and FSU have trouble selling out their bigger stadiums.  Plus, you don’t want to run up any more debt on a stadium that only use 6-7 times per year.

It would be inappropriate for Weaver to make suggestions to the coaching staff during the season, especially since he hasn’t coached since 1980.  He does have a meeting with Coach Beamer at the end of each season to talk about the overall state of the program.

Weaver says he doesn’t sense any apathy from the fanbase.  He still gets a lot of angry and nasty emails.

Weaver is as frustrated as the fans about ticket prices to bowl games.  Hopefully the new BCS will have a new outlook on ticket prices.

Saturday’s game was Cincinnati’s home game.  The original agreement was for Cincinnati to have Big East officials in their home game, with Virginia Tech having ACC refs when the teams met in Lane Stadium.

Shane Beamer

Beamer felt like everyone was prepared well for the Cincinnati game.  Nobody is hurting more than the players and coaches.

He knows a lot about is being made about the slow starts, and he agrees that they have to do better.  But they were also backed up in their own territory quite a bit.  They started on their own three a couple of times.  It’s tough to start deep in your own territory.  That’s not an excuse though, because they plan for those situations, and they need to do a better job of getting it done.

Beamer liked the way Tech played in the second half.  They had a lot yards, and the running backs ran the ball very physically.  Beamer is proud of the way they played.

Cincinnati did a good job of covering Tech’s receivers.  Tech also had a chance to spring a few more big plays if the perimeter blocking had been better.

Shane is friends with Cincinnati defensive coordinator John Jancek.  They had a good conversation on the phone after the game that should be mutually beneficial.  He met Jancek at Kirby Smart’s wedding.  Smart is the defensive coordinator at Alabama.  It was good to hear some feedback about the Tech offense from Jancek.  Jancek told him that the Tech offense was tough to prepare for because of all the presnap shifts and motions.  Jancek also thought Vinston Painter and Nick Becton are very good players.

Beamer doesn’t notice a lack of leadership, but at the same time, they did lose a lot of really good senior leaders on the offensive side of the ball.  It can take time to replace leaders like that.  The seniors they do have on offense aren’t naturally vocal guys.  You can’t force somebody to change their personality.  Tech played very hard offensively on Saturday.  Just watch some of the screen passes and watch the effort of the linemen in getting down the field.

Beamer thinks Michael Holmes and J.C. Coleman are really starting to get better.  They are only freshmen, but they really ran well against Cincinnati.

There is a lot of preparation that goes into each game that the average fan doesn’t know about.  Shane only gets to see his wife and kids for about an hour on Sundays, and during some weekdays he doesn’t get to see them for more than 5 or 10 minutes.  For example, on Monday night after Tech Talk Live, the offensive staff is meeting to go over North Carolina’s blitzes and how to prepare for them … all 167 of North Carolina’s blitzes.

Beamer wouldn’t take back many of the plays called on Saturday except for perhaps a couple, but the coaches do need to do a better job of preparing the players, and the Hokies have to execute better.

Tech didn’t make many major wholesale adjustments at halftime.  Bryan Stinespring comes into the lockerroom at halftime and tells everybody what they need to do in the second half.  The speed sweeps with Dyrell Roberts and J.C. Coleman were things Cincinnati wasn’t prepared for, according to Shane’s conversation with John Jancek.

All four of Tech’s backs bring something to the table.  If two of them separate themselves, then those guys will play.  Michael Holmes and J.C. Coleman got the majority of the reps against Cincinnati.  Martin Scales only got about 10 plays.  They are all great team players.

Tech was indoors on Monday because of the rain.  They had a good, energetic practice.  Their ACC goals are still in front of them.

Beamer understands that fans are upset, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.  He’d rather get negative, angry emails all day long than have fans not care at all.

Different head coaches have different ways of motivating.  Shane has two coaching friends who tell him two different stories.  The first story was about the head coach sending out a mass text message to his whole staff, telling them that they needed to get better or he would have to fire them.  The second story was about the head coach meeting with the players, and he told them that if they didn’t play well, he might have to fire their assistants.  Both programs finished with losing records and didn’t make a bowl game.  When times are rough, Frank Beamer handles his players and coaches in a different manner, and that’s why Tech generally comes back from tough losses.

Tech has to play a very good defense this weekend.  Sylvester Williams is in the backfield all the time.  He’s a really good player.  UNC has recruited well, and they have good players.  They are adjusting to their new scheme, and they are playing hard.  UNC is having a white out this weekend.  This is a big one for them.

A.J. Hughes

Hughes grew up in Indiana.  He didn’t start punting until his senior year of high school.  It’s been quite an experience.

He was an all-state pole vaulter in high school, and he also did baseball, ice hockey and wrestling.

Hughes played receiver growing up, but went to a punting camp in the summer of 2011.  He learned how to punt, and learned a lot from Pat McAfee (Colts) and Steve Weathorford (Giants).  They recommended another camp, and he ended up getting ranked nationally.

Cornell Brown was the first coach to send Hughes a letter.  He watched several Tech games last year, learned that the punting situation wasn’t the best, and decided to come to Blacksburg.

Hunter Windmuller is also a great punter.  They had a great competition all summer long.

Hughes doesn’t have too much time to get nervous.  One of his early snaps in the GT game went through his hands, but he didn’t let it bother him.

Before taking up punting, Hughes didn’t have any real aspirations.  He was just trying to get through high school.  The last year has been a heck of a ride.

The first five games are the most fun Hughes has had in his entire life.  To play in Lane Stadium is jawdropping.

Hughes is a business major. His dad is an engineer and his mom is an accountant.  Hughes is a big Colts fan, being from Indiana.

Logan Thomas

Saturday was a slow start, just like the rest of the season, and it killed Tech.  They have to pick it up.  If Thomas knew what the problem was, he would fix it.

Tech had a lot of little problems in the first half, but they were much more on top of their game in the second half.

Thomas didn’t think the holding call on Riley Beiro was a hold.  He thought he used good technique and kept his hands inside.

Cincinnati played a lot more base defense than Tech expected them to.  But in the second half, the Hokies moved the ball very well, but for the whole game they just didn’t make enough plays.

Thomas and Corey Fuller were on the same page on the long touchdown pass.  Thomas threw it about as hard as he could, and things opened up perfectly.  He was feeling good about the outcome of the game at that point.

Thomas needs to have a better control in the passing game.  He’s thrown some high and wide.  He needs to do a better job of putting the ball right in the chests of receivers and make sure tipped balls don’t happen.

Tech does miss the consistency of guys like Danny Coale and Jarrett Boykin.

Thomas doesn’t think he’s off his game.  His responsibilities have increased a lot.  There are a lot of different things that contribute to interceptions during games, not just how the quarterback throws.

Thomas’ touchdown run against Cincinnati was the exact same play used in the game-winning touchdown against Miami last season.

Thomas usually goes home and plays Call of Duty after games.  That’s how he unwinds.  He doesn’t play sports games.  Thomas is good at Call of Duty, but he’s no David Wang, who ranks amongst the top 50 Call of Duty players in the country.  Hopefully Wang can be back on Saturday.

Tech will have to be ready to play on Saturday.  Thomas has gotten to be good friends with UNC quarterback Bryn Renner ever since ACC Media Days.  They have a great defensive line down there, and a very good defense overall.

Tech is close to playing to their full potential.  Hopefully they can pick up where they left off in the third or fourth quarter on Saturday.  They need to do a better job of getting off to a good start.

Frank Beamer

It was good to get out on the practice field on Monday.  Beamer likes being around his players.  They had a good practice on Monday.

The field position hurt Tech in the first half, and they also did a few different things offensively in the second half.

Beamer thought the holding call on Riley Beiro was a tough call.  He blocked it well.  The very next play after the penalty, Tech threw the interception.

The Hokies felt good about their coverage call on Cincinnati’s last touchdown.  James Gayle was so close to getting that sack.  The receiver stopped running at one point, and might have gotten Kyle Fuller a little bit.  There’s nobody else they would want back there.  Fuller is a great player, and he’s got to forget about it and move on.

On the wheel route for a touchdown, somebody was supposed to pick him up in man coverage.

Tech had the lead twice, and they have to learn from those few plays that cost them the game.  You can’t give up long plays.  You have to make the offense sustain drives.

Hopefully David Wang can get healthier this week.  Tony Gregory worked out a little bit on Monday, but Mike Goforth had to make him stop.  They’ll know more about those guys later in the week.  Tech came out of the Cincinnati game in good shape from an injury standpoint.

Beamer appreciates the support a great deal.  He knows the financial investment that fans make to travel to go to these games.  Everybody is hurting together after that loss.

Beamer thought the offensive staff made good halftime adjustments.  Beamer has talked with the offensive staff about what they need to do, and hopefully they can get off to a better start on Saturday.  They need to.  These slow starts put the defense on the field too many plays, and it affects the whole team.

Beamer thought the team played very hard on Saturday.  They have to do some things better, but the effort was very good against Cincinnati.  They were flying around against the running game, and the offensive line was more physical in the second half.  The young running backs were also physical.

Tech is going through some adversity, as they’ve done at times in the past.  In the past, they’ve done a good job of responding to disappointment.  That’s what’s important right now.  This is a critical game.

UNC is going to be a challenge.  They are a confident team that is playing very good football right now.

Tech’s challenge right now is making sure the players can execute whatever the coaches call during a game.  They are going to cut back some and just try to make sure they can execute whatever they decide to go forward with.  Beamer thinks that sometimes you can have too much installed offensively.  Cutting back and making sure they can execute is the challenge right now.

The Tar Heels are playing good football.  Bryn Renner is very good, and the tailbacks are playing well.  They are up tempo.  They have some defensive players who are real players, including Kareem Martin, who the Hokies recruited.  They are a resilient team.  They were down big at Louisville, and they nearly came back.  Beamer knows the Tar Heels are treating this as their bowl game.

The Hokies haven’t put together four quarters yet.  Now they are down to the nitty gritty, and it’s time to get it done.

Monday was Day 2,866 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.

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