Tech Talk Live Notes for October 15, 2012

Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, on October 16, 2012
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Jim Weaver

Weaver thought Tech’s comeback on Saturday was awesome.  He had to go down to the field for a presentation early in the second quarter, and he noticed there was no panic on the VT sideline.  They stayed with it.  Weaver admitted that he was probably feeling like most fans when it was 20-0.

Weaver was impressed with Tech’s pass rush.  The Hokies created leverage under blocks and got pressure on the quarterback.

The Hokies have a history of playing very well on the road.  This year it seems to have reversed itself, and Weaver doesn’t know why.

Open dates give teams chances to add new things to their packages.  It also helps you get healthier.  Sometimes it can go the other way, though.  Sometimes you can be rusty and you don’t have the same intensity level after a bye week.  Clemson was off this past weekend.

The Marching Virginians are going to Clemson this weekend.

Weaver doesn’t know exactly when the Hokies will play Notre Dame for the first time.  Tech will play the Irish once sometime between 2014 and 2016.  They aren’t sure yet on the exact date or season.

Weaver is disappointed that the ACC is sticking with eight conference games.  He was an advocate of nine conference games.  The voting went 8 to 6.

Weaver hopes that that he can finish the 2013 schedule in the next 7-10 days.  Weaver said he wouldn’t be opposed to playing ACC teams in non-conference games (such as Wake Forest, or a second meeting with UVA), but that’s very unlikely to happen.  It’s tough to make future schedules right now, because Weaver doesn’t know yet when the Hokies will be playing Notre Dame.

Curt Newsome

The line was physical in the running game against Duke.  They also showed a lot more consistency after the first quarter.  It’s something to build on.  Right now they are struggling to get through some injuries.

Tech is fortunate to have a guy like Michael Via who has played center before.  Andrew Miller is out for the season, and that’s a big blow.  Caleb Farris, the backup center, is also injured right now.  Matt Arkema will also get reps at center this week, just in case something happens to Via.

Tech is waiting to see what happens with David Wang to see exactly what they have at left guard.  He practiced some on Monday.  Arkema would start at left guard if Wang isn’t ready to go.

Brent Benedict played very well against Duke.  He’s very physical.  He’s still learning.  He is the starting right guard going into the Clemson game.  Laurence Gibson would be his backup.

With all the motions on offense this year, the shotgun snap is difficult.  The snap has to be timed perfectly with the motions on the jet sweep.  It would be a bad week to break in a guy who has never played center before, but thankfully Via has starting experience at that position.

The Hokies believe they can use their entire offense with Via at center.  They would probably have to scale some things back if Arkema has to play.

Newsome feels like Saturday was the most complete game the Hokies have played offensively.  They ran the ball well, and they threw the ball well.  They had production everywhere.  The offensive line created space in the running game.

Brent Benedict has all the tools.  He’s very physical.  Tech was recruiting him hard out of high school, but he signed with Georgia.  He eventually transferred to Tech.  Shane Beamer recruited him to Tech after he left Georgia.

Nick Becton is special.  He’s as good as any tackle in the ACC.  He will get an opportunity to play in the NFL.  He has always had the tools.

Vinston Painter has turned it up a notch.  He’s finally playing like a starter.  He has been a pleasant surprise for Newsome.  In the running game, his ability to block a down guy has been a surprise.  His ability to lock down a rush end in passing situations has been a surprise.

There is so much movement on defense these days.  You have to block moving targets, which is why teams everywhere use so many zone blocking schemes.

It’s tough to project high school offensive linemen to the college level.  Toughness is one of the critical things you have to look for, as well as being smart.  Being able to move your feet is important.  He has to be very competitive.

Moving your feet is so important these days.  There is so much zone blocking.  Guys have to be able to move their feet and redirect.

Duane Brown is the best offensive lineman Newsome has coached.  He was athletic, very tough, and probably the only lineman in the country who was on punt coverage.  He had a lot of football smarts and want-to.

Clemson has a different defensive coordinator this year, and they are doing some different things.  Last year they played some man coverage and got an extra guy in the box against the Hokies.  They were very talented up front, but they lost a couple of those guys.

The Tigers are very athletic up front this year.  Last year they were a little more physical, but they are athletic this year.  They’ve got some guys who can rush the passer.

Newsome thinks nastiness and meanness is inherent.  It depends on the makeup of the person.  The Hokies try to get it out of them.  Nick Becton has found a way to get more physical over the course of his career.  You try to get it out of them, but it’s usually inherent.

Newsome feels good about the interior line for 2013.  Miller, Benedict, Wang, Arkema, Farris and Gibson will all be back.

With zone blocking, the more players do it, the better they get.  The Hokies played very well up front against Duke.

Newsome recruited J.C. Coleman .  He had close to a 4.0 GPA coming out of high school.  He’s a good one.  He heard about Coleman about 3-4 years ago when he was at Oscar Smith.  It’s good to get an Oscar Smith player.  They are a well-coached team.

Michael Cole

It was very relieving to get the win on Saturday.  It was a critical win.

Cole is starting to feel more comfortable.  He’s a r-freshman and he’s still been getting comfortable with the scheme throughout the year.  He’s been forced to get better quickly.

The speed of the game is a big adjustment from high school, both physically and mentally.

Cole grew up watching the Hokies.  His dad went to Tech.

The fans make it incredible to play for Virginia Tech.  The always show up, win or lose, and they really contribute to the games.

Cole has struggled a little with his tackling, and he needs to improve on that.  He needs to focus on the little things and learn his role in the defense.

Cole is a big Steelers fan, and he grew up a big Troy Polamalu fan.

Clemson is a very dynamic team.  They have a lot of athletes.  Tech has a good scheme, and if the players execute they can get it done.

Cole’s family is filled with engineers, but he’s more interested in something like sports medicine.

J.C. Coleman

Shane Beamer told Coleman early in the week that he would start.  He used the week to prepare himself mentally.

The first touchdown run was his breakout moment.  He’s been waiting on that first long touchdown run for a long time.  The second touchdown was an amazing feeling.

Joey Phillips made a great lead block on the first touchdown run.  That block sprung Coleman up the sideline.  Coleman prides himself on his speed.

The second touchdown was an outside zone play.  He saw an opening, broke a little arm tackle by the linebacker, and then turned it up the sideline.  It was the fifth longest run in VT, and it’s a dream come true for Coleman, especially with all the great backs that have come through Tech.

A lot of things went into his decision to enroll early at Virginia Tech.  He wanted to be ready.  He felt like he could have a good role in the offense this year if he enrolled early.  With more time in the weight room, on the field, learning the plays, etc., he had a better chance to get on the field this year.  It helped him out a whole lot.

Coleman still would have made the same decision had David Wilson returned for his senior season.  There really wasn’t any reason for him to stay in high school.  He had all his credits.  His GPA was very high, at around 3.9.  He wanted to play this year, but if Wilson had stayed he would have redshirted and just gotten himself ready for next year.

Coleman has a great relationship with Richard Morgan, the high school coach at Oscar Smith High School.  His wife is also the guidance counselor at that school, and Coleman thinks a lot of both of them.  His wife set Coleman up with all the classes he would need to take in order to graduate early.

Everybody is fast on the college level.  You have to get used to that increase in speed.  It’s something that every freshman has to go through.  You can’t just run by everybody like in high school.

The fanbase is what really won Coleman over.  There were many reasons he chose the Hokies, but he was wowed by the fan support when he visited for the Spring Game.  He committed while at the Spring Game, even though his high school coach told him he should wait.

Coleman doesn’t think there are any disadvantages to being a shorter running back.  He can do everything that a taller back can do.  He can run with power and speed.  He can hide behind the linemen, and just pop out when the defense doesn’t expect it.

The offensive line had a great push against Duke.  They worked very hard, and hopefully they are gelling at the right time.  There were plenty of holes.

Virginia has made progress in the 757, but Virginia Tech still has the better players from that area.

Joey Phillips is one of the most passionate players on the offense.  He’s always fired up.  He’s been banged up, but he keeps going.  Coleman wouldn’t want to run behind a different fullback.

Clemson has a lot of playmakers on both sides of the ball.  Coleman really likes the running style of tailback Andre Ellington.  The Hokies have to go down there focused.

The Hokies have to be more consistent offensively.  They made some strides against UNC, and they were great for three quarters against Duke. Hopefully they can make more progress against Clemson.

Frank Beamer

It was a special win on Saturday.  He told his players after the game that it was a special game.  They came back against a good football team.  David Cutcliffe has done a great job down there.  The Hokies beat a good team.  They got the momentum, and the players really got it going.  Nobody panicked; they hung in there, and got it right.  It was a great win for Virginia Tech.

There was concern after the interception for a touchdown, that’s for sure.  In sports, you have to keep fighting.  Things didn’t look good. Tech was playing a team that can move the football, their defense had been playing hard, and their kicking game is very good.  It was an uphill battle.  They key is that everyone kept playing hard instead of giving in and pointing fingers.  They got some breaks, and they also did some things to help themselves.

The third quarter was one of the great quarters ever around here.  Defensively, offensively…it was very productive on both sides.  And again, Beamer emphasized that it was against a good team.

Beamer tied Tom Osbourne on the career wins list.  Beamer has great respect for Osbourne and what he’s meant to college football.  To be mentioned in the same sentence is very special.

Beamer thinks Marcus Davis is ok.  He went back in the game after he injured his shoulder.

Tech has 10 touchdowns of 40 or more yards this season.  They have hit a lot of big plays.  When you have big play ability, it gives you hope.  The Hokies made strides in the running game.  They have the makings of a good offense.

It was good to get the tight ends involved.  Randall Dunn and Ryan Malleck can both run.  They are both threats in the passing game.  A tight end that can get down the middle of the field gives you some options.

Cody Journell has been a good kicker.  He’s been very consistent.  He answers the pressure.  He has a real ability to focus and concentrate.

J.C. Coleman is a very strong back.  His strength and power are underrated.  He holds up in pass protection.  His height isn’t a disadvantage.

The 757 is very important for Tech’s recruiting.  There is great football and great coaching out there, and the Hokies will continue to work that area hard.

Clemson played two tremendous games against the Hokies.  Tech probably didn’t play as well as they could have, but the Tigers played very well.  Clemson is a very talented team on both sides of the ball, and you have to play a great football game if you want to hang in there with them.

Tackling will be key against Clemson.  They will complete passes.  The Hokies have to make sure the short passes don’t turn into long plays.  It’s the big plays that get you.

Clemson is dynamic on offense.  DeAndre Hopkins has been really good at wide receiver, even with Sammy Watkins only playing in three games.  Watkins should be ready to roll this week.  They have a lot of good players on offense.  They have all the pieces to the puzzle.

Clemson is not only talented, but their scheme is very good.  It’s almost like the old single wing.  Lots of crossing action, and lots of different stuff.

The defensive line really stepped up against Duke.  They have to do that again against Clemson.  They have to focus on putting Clemson in long yardage situations.

Tech will have to match Clemson’s intensity.  It will be a big crowd, and loud.  The Hokies have to play with poise.  They can’t let the circumstances get to them.

Monday was Day 2,880 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.

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