Tech Talk Live Notes for November 26, 2012

Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, on November 27, 2012
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Jim Weaver

Weaver was delighted for the seniors and fans that the Hokies were able to pull out the win on Saturday.

Tech has high character players. That’s why they were able to rally from a 4-6 record to win the last two games of the season on the final play of each game.

Weaver thanked all the fans who showed up at the game on Saturday. They played an important role in the outcome of the game.

Tech could end up in the Music City Bowl (Nashville), the Russell Athletic Bowl (Orlando), the Sun Bowl (El Paso) or the Belk Bowl (Charlotte). It will depend on what happens with the ACC Championship Game on Saturday.

Georgia Tech could be 6-7 if they lose to FSU in the ACC Championship Game. Weaver thinks they will get a waiver and be able to go to a bowl game, if that’s the case.

Weaver thinks the Russell Athletic Bowl could be between Virginia Tech and NC State, but it’s still tough to tell at this point. He thinks Duke will go to the Belk Bowl in Charlotte. That’s his gut feeling.

Notre Dame will get paid by NBC for their home games. When they visit ACC schools, they will not get paid ACC television money. That’s the way the arrangement will work.

Weaver doesn’t think the ACC will try to make it work with 13 schools. They will want to have the same number of schools in each division, so that means adding another school.

Weaver has seen an exciting brand of basketball so far this season. The players really seem to enjoy this system and playing with each other, and that’s a credit to James Johnson and his staff.

Cornell Brown

It was a long season. It is difficult for everybody because you’ve been accustomed to a certain way and a certain brand of football. Tech wasn’t all the way there this season, but they did finish strong, and that’s a positive.

The Hokies got some continuity going on defense at the end of the season. As guys gained experience, Bud Foster was able to do more things with his scheme. That’s why the defense was so much better in the second half of the season.

Football comes down to putting pressure on the quarterback in the pocket and forcing him to make quick decisions, and making him uncomfortable.

It’s always good to beat UVA. Those guys think they’ve closed the gap. That’s fine, they’ve got about 364 or so days to think about how close the gap is.

Tech had opportunities where they were able to get Alonzo Tweedy on the field later in the season. He excelled on special teams all year, and he really helped the team defensively at the end of the season.

Brown gets to watch the scout team offense each week as they play against Tech’s starting defense. He mentioned Brenden Motley as a guy who can do some things at quarterback. Chris Mangus has a lot of speed at running back, and Trey Edmunds is a big, physical back who can run downhill. Josh Stanford and Joel Caleb will have a chance to help the team next year as well.

Defensively, Brown really likes Alston Smith and Nigel Williams as young defensive tackles. Ken Ekanem is a good looking end, and Devin Vandyke is a good inside linebacker. Deon Clarke is a guy who is going to be more experienced next year, and there is plenty of young talent in the secondary.

The players will take a week to get caught up on school work and start preparing for exams. They’ll lift for a couple of days, and then find out what bowl game they are headed to.

Brown and the rest of the staff are going to focus on recruiting now. They also want to make sure they are very prepared for the bowl game.

James Johnson

Jarell Eddie is playing at a high level right now. He is shooting the lights out. He’s been a good all-around player so far.

The players are reacting well to the 5-0 start. They realize they have to step it up now, with better competition coming up. They are taking it one day at a time. They had one of their best practices of the year on Sunday. They had a great energy level.

Erick Green has 26 assists and only nine turnovers. He’s seeing the floor well, not to mention that he can score from the outside, from the inside, and from midrange.

The staff has been concentrating on getting Erick Green a little extra rest. They try to get him rest right before the TV timeout, and that gives him an extra break. It’s been working so far. He doesn’t want to come out, but they have to give him a breather here and there.

Johnson would like to see Tech tighten up their defense and stop the ball better.

Iowa has Adam Woodbury, a 7-1 freshman center, and Mike Gesell, a freshman point guard. They beat out UNC for Woodbury. He’s a very talented guy. He’s a big guy who can run. He has great hands, and he can score with both hands. Tech has to focus on keeping him out of the A-area, which is two feet in the paint.

Roy Devyn Marble is Iowa’s leading scorer. He’s a big guard who can play either guard spot. He reminds Johnson a lot of Erick Green .

Iowa has more turnovers than assists this year. With a freshman point guard, that’s not unexpected. They run a lot of motion, and they will run in transition, so turnovers will happen.

There have been a lot of upsets around the country so far, but the Tech players have taken it one game at a time and put themselves in a position to play in a big game. This is two pretty good teams with two pretty records.

Assistant coach Ramon Williams has the scouting report on Oklahoma State, whom Tech will play on Saturday. They are a good team, but Johnson will take a closer look at them after the Iowa game.

It’s exciting to have two programs like Iowa and Oklahoma State visiting back-to-back. They are two very good programs. Tech has been working hard, and the players deserve this opportunity.

Johnson needs a big week from Tech’s post players. Iowa and Oklahoma State are physical teams who can rebound the ball. They need guys like Cadarian Raines and C.J. Barksdale to step up.

Cody Journell

Saturday was cold, but it was a lot of fun to win a game like that. It’s good to send the seniors out with a win like that.

Journell missed his first field goal attempt, and it was frustrating. He had complete confidence that the defense would get the ball back and give him another chance. As soon as Exum got that interception, Journell was warming up.

Even while Journell’s offseason troubles were going on, he was still working hard and kicking each day. Coach Beamer gave him another chance, and Journell wanted to prove him right.

On a cold day, the ball doesn’t quite travel as far as it would on a warmer day. The motion and technique is the same, but the ball just isn’t going as far.

On his long, late field goal against Virginia, he sort of hit his foot on the ground before he made contact with the ball. He was still able to follow through and make the kick.

Growing up as a kicker, you are used to being iced. The only time Journell has ever been bothered was when he was in high school, and he was expecting the opposing team to call a timeout, but they didn’t. You’ve got to be ready either way.

Journell grew up a Tech fan. Since he can remember, his family has always had season tickets. It means a lot to be able to play for Tech. When Journell was a kid, Shayne Graham always stood out to him.

Journell is in Sports Marketing. It’s a big show. Watching the NFL on TV, and seeing how they market all the players, it’s wild how big everything is. He likes the business side of things.

Bruce Taylor

Taylor had a fun weekend. He carried the Commonwealth Cup downtown on Saturday night and shared it with the people. It means as much to them as it does to the players.

It’s been a long season. There have been some stressful times. But the last two games, it was good to pull out wins. He was nervous heading into the fourth quarter of both games.

Tech was confident at halftime. The defense only gave up one play in the first half, so they were optimistic.

Taylor’s nerves get built up so much before games that sometimes he forgets to celebrate wins. The UVA game was different, because there was a lot going on for him personally. It was his last game in Lane Stadium, and the last second win got Tech to a bowl game. He definitely did some celebrating afterwards.

Taylor is very thankful and appreciative to have been here for the last five years, and to be a part of the success Tech has had. This last year has been a little tough, and they haven’t gotten as many wins as they are used to, but it has been a learning experience for him as a person and as a leader.

Blacksburg is a great place, and the seniors have a lot of great memories. Saturday was the last time Taylor was able to run through the tunnel wearing a Tech uniform. It’s something he’ll remember forever.

The Hokies had a great tackling game against UVA. They like to throw short and force defensive backs to make tackles in the open field. The defensive backs had a great game on Saturday. When you tackle short dump offs for one or two yard gains, it’s a big win for the defense.

Tech will take some time off this week. That will be good for the team, they can get some guys healthy. It will be good to get in the weight room, because Taylor will have a lot of big things coming up in the next few months.

Taylor wouldn’t mind going to Orlando for the bowl game.

Frank Beamer

Beamer is very proud of the players and coaches for fighting back and winning the last two games of the season. He found out a lot about the character of Tech’s players.

The wind was a factor in the passing game, but after the first few throws Logan Thomas settled down and threw the ball well.

UVA did a good job against Tech’s running game, but thank goodness the Hokies had a quarterback like Logan Thomas who is a tough, rugged runner, particularly on a cold day. He certainly was the difference. Tech was able to run it in the second half, and UVA wasn’t. That was the difference.

Beamer feels bad for Tom O’Brien and Frank Spaziani. It’s a toughness business to be in. They are both good guys and good coaches.

Beamer was disappointed to see the two best ACC teams (FSU and Clemson) get beat by their in-state rivals this past weekend. It is what it is. You’ve just got to keep on playing and coaching. The ACC will prove its worth in time.

From a health standpoint, Tech came out of the UVA game well. Tech limited their turnovers and penalties, and when you do that you have a chance to win.

Beamer thinks the top three teams – Notre Dame, Alabama and Georgia – have great defenses. They have better defenses than offenses. Tech’s offense, defense and special teams all had their moments this year. It just wasn’t all there consistently. That was the frustrating part for everybody.

Beamer was surprised that Virginia didn’t use their timeouts to stop the clock at the end of the game.

Tech has used a lot of different backs this year. Right now, J.C. Coleman and Martin Scales are the two best guys. That wasn’t the case at the beginning of the season. Michael Holmes had a really good preseason. He’s still going to be a good back for Tech.

Saturday was a hard-hitting game. Beamer gave a lot of credit to Virginia. They got after it, and so did the Hokies.

Logan Thomas did a great job of dishing out contact on Saturday. He showed great determination when he was running the football.

Tech puts an emphasis on recruiting offensive linemen. They like to recruit athletic guys and then add some good, solid weight to them. That works better than getting big guys and then having to take weight off of them. Experience means so much on the offensive line. It takes awhile to develop.

Beamer really appreciates the fans for coming out in cold weather on Saturday. They helped the Hokies win.

Monday was Day 2,922 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.

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