Tech Talk Live Notes for December 17, 2012

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

Tech is still in the neighborhood of 3,000 tickets sold to the bowl game, which obviously isn’t good.  Weaver thinks many fans are buying through third parties such as StubHub.com.

Rutgers blocked eight kicks this year, they run the ball a lot, and they play great defense.  They are very similar to what Virginia Tech used to do.  Tech will have to play very well to beat them, but the Hokies are very capable of doing so.  This isn’t the old Rutgers.  They are a very good program now.

Weaver was proved right when the basketball only schools left the Big East.  They all have something in common, and that’s basketball.  It didn’t make sense for them to remain in a league that was going through so much change.

Weaver doesn’t know what will happen to UConn.  They play 1-A football, but they are a big time basketball program.  Weaver does know that football drives the train.

If Notre Dame decided they wanted to come to the ACC a year early, Weaver thinks the ACC would say yes.  The scheduling arrangements haven’t been made yet.  Weaver would be in favor of it.

The students have done a great job supporting the men’s basketball team so far this season.

Proxy tickets could be possible for the bowl game.  If enough people show enough interest, Tech will do it.

Tech budgets for a potential problem of selling bowl tickets.  They’ll be able to pay their bills.

Bryan Stinespring

Bowl prep is going very well.  It’s been an interesting couple of weeks.  Stinespring has been recruiting for two weeks, and came back recently to get a jump on Rutgers.

Stinespring has been in the Tidewater for two straight weeks.  Cornell Brown was there with him for a week, and they also went to a couple of places in Lynchburg, and also Hargrave.  They covered a lot of ground.

Recruiting is different in the Tidewater is a little different these days.  The dynamics of recruiting consistently change.  The Tidewater has always been a very competitive area.  There is a lot of talent there.  You have to constantly work hard there.  These days, sometimes you have to deal with more than the players, parents and coaches.

Rutgers is very good defensively.  They only allow 14 points per game.  They do a lot of the things Virginia Tech does defensively.  They are physical up front, and they will load up to stop the run.  Tech will have to be balanced offensively to find success.  They’ll also have to make some plays down the field in the passing game.

Rutgers is just good all-around defensively.  They will play two-deep, but they also do a good job of getting their corners involved in run support.  Schematically they are similar to Boston College.

Tech will continue to use Martin Scales and J.C. Coleman at running back.  However, Michael Holmes is feeling healthy right now, and they could get him back involved in practice and see if they can get him going.

Stinespring and Logan Thomas talk quite a bit.  Roth asked Stinespring if the bowl game will be Logan’s last game at Tech.  Stinespring responded by saying that the only thing on Logan’s mind was winning the bowl game.  Getting feedback from the NFL always helps, but you also have to take your family into consideration, and other things.  It’s a big decision.

The coaching staff tries very hard to get all the right information to the players and parents, so they can make the proper decision.  They try to put them in touch with a lot of people, who can give them a lot of points of view.

The team had a couple of really crisp practices on Saturday and Sunday.  The team was off on Monday, and will be off again on Tuesday.  All day on Monday and Tuesday, the staff will look at Rutgers one more time and finish their gameplan.  The team will practice on Wednesday, and Rutgers preparation will begin in earnest.

Tech has scrimmaged more with their younger guys than usual during their bowl practices.  Chris Mangus and Trey Edmunds were impressive at tailback.  Nigel Williams has stood out on defense.

James Johnson

Virginia Tech didn’t come out ready to play on Saturday.  Georgia Southern made some shots, and you have to give them credit.  They gained confidence early when the Hokies weren’t playing well, and that helped them.

Tech didn’t make shots, either.  That happens from time to time.  That created some frustration, and as a result the Hokies didn’t get back on defense after missed shots.

It really hurts to lose Marshall Wood.  The Hokies were already thin up front.  He was one of Tech’s better rebounders.  Tech already needed to get better rebounding the ball, and that will be tougher without Wood.  The doctors and trainers don’t know how long he’ll be out.

Tech will play Cadarian Raines and Joey van Zegeren together at times.  They’ll also take a look at walk-on Christian Beyer.  He played well against Mississippi Valley State.

Erick Green is putting up a lot of points, but more importantly he’s taking care of the ball and he’s distributing the ball well.  His hard work is paying off.

The Hokies had a shooting practice on Monday.  They will have a regular practice on Wednesday, and then they’ll head to Las Vegas.  A trip like this is a good bonding time for the team.

Tech missed three-pointers against Georgia Southern, but they were the same three-pointers that went down against Iowa and Oklahoma State.  Johnson isn’t going to tell his guys to stop shooting because they missed against Georgia Southern.

Tech is getting more production from Joey van Zegeren than Cadarian Raines.  That’s why van Zegeren got more minutes on Saturday.  Raines has to step his game up a little bit.  He had a good practice on Monday, and Johnson thinks he’ll bounce back.

Tech’s rotation on double teams is a little slow defensively, but they have to do things schematically to keep their big guys out of foul trouble.  Tech doesn’t have enough bodies to play guys one-on-one in the post at all times.  They have to double team and trap.  They’ve given up some baskets, but they’ve also created turnovers out of that as well.

Bradley is big and athletic.  They have good guards who are smooth, and they can shoot.  Johnson thinks their best post player actually comes off the bench.  The scouting reports for Colorado State and Portland are nearly done as well.  The Hokies will have to play one of those two teams on Sunday.

Johnson has been doing a lot of recruiting recently.  He went to see Maurice Kirby last week, who signed with Tech in November.  He’s been looking good this year.  It’s important to bring in guys like Kirby (6-9, 240) and Trevor Thompson (6-10, 215).  They have the right kind of size.

Matt Arkema

Arkema has a BIT exam on Tuesday, and a Business Law final later in the week.  That’s tough stuff, but they are going alright so far.  He still thinks football practice is harder than finals.

Arkema is very excited about going to the bowl game.  He’s never been to Orlando.  He expects it to be a lot of fun.

The bowl practices have been a lot of fun and very upbeat.  They’ve been fast-paced, and Arkema likes that better.

Arkema used to work out with Will Johnston in high school.  He’s not surprised Johnston has had success with the basketball team, because he’s always had a great work ethic.

Arkema would like to go to law school at some point.  His dad is a lawyer.  He hasn’t decided what area of law he wants to get into.

Rutgers looks very good on defense up front.  They have a lot of movement up front defensively.  They are hard-nosed.

Corey Fuller

It’s a relief to be done with exams, and school in general.  He could feel the weight come off his shoulders as he was leaving a classroom for the final time.

Fuller wasn’t being recruited as a scholarship football player by any 1-A schools out of high school.  He ran track at Kansas because their coach had trained several Olympians.

When Kyle Fuller started getting recruited by Virginia Tech, Corey’s father called him and asked how much he missed football.  He said he missed it, but he didn’t want to play at Kansas.  He figured Virginia Tech would be the best spot.

Fuller always worked hard on being a good receiver.  It helps going up against his brothers, who are all very good defensive backs.  He put a lot of time in over the summer to put himself in a position to play a lot this year.

Fuller works hard at getting off the line of scrimmage, and how to make his break.  He also tried to catch as many passes as possible over the summer to work on his hands.

Growing up, Fuller wasn’t as good over the middle of the field.  That’s something he definitely improved on.  He’s not just a guy who runs deep routes anymore.  He can take hits over the middle.

Fuller believes he has the potential to play in the NFL.  His brother Vincent said he had good potential, as did Kevin Sherman.  He’s come a long way since 2009, when he was running track at Kansas.

Rutgers has a good defense.  They are physical, and they have a lot of experienced players.  However, it’s nothing Tech can’t handle if they prepare well.

The FSU game was Fuller’s favorite game of the season.  Even though it was a loss, he thought everyone played to the best of their abilities, and he had a big game.

Fuller took four finals since exams began, so it’s been a long week.  His personal finance class was very useful.

Frank Beamer

Beamer considers Corey Fuller to be a great story.  He’s come a long way, and he’s got a future in the NFL.  In the preseason, a scout from the Giants asked Beamer specifically about him.  He’s had a great year.  He came through in some big games.

Tech has gotten their younger players involved in some scrimmage situations.  They are going to do a little more on Wednesday.

Tech will have a lot of bodies at running back next year.  They certainly have plenty of options, and it’s possible that some could play other positions as well.

Beamer is happy about Tech’s practices thus far.  They have gone with a fast tempo, and everyone has responded well.

Beamer is very impressed with the Rutgers defense.  They play with great technique.  Their numbers are very impressive.

Offensively, Rutgers doesn’t allow many sacks.  Their wide receivers are very big, and they can run, especially #17 Brandon Coleman (6-6, 220).

Rutgers has a good coaching staff.  This is a very well-coached team.  They have done a very good job with their program.  They were very close to being in a BCS game this year.  They are a quality team who could easily be there.

Rutgers has really upgraded their personnel since the Big East days.  They’ve always had good coaches, but they’ve recruited much better.

Bill Roth: only four coaches have led schools to 20+ bowl games: Bobby Bowden, Tom Osbourne, Bear Bryant and Frank Beamer.

Tech played Florida State in the Citrus Bowl in Orlando in 1991.  The game was supposed to be a Tech home game, but the Hokies sold the game to the Citrus Bowl.  Tech didn’t have much money back then, and the Citrus Bowl people convinced Beamer that it would be a neutral field.  It turned out to be anything but neutral.

Tech also played UCF in the Citrus Bowl nine years later.  There were 50,000 people there, which was the biggest crowd in UCF history.  Lee Suggs rushed for five touchdowns that day.

Beamer feels a lot of sadness over the shooting in Connecticut.  When things like that start happening to kids, it’s just sad.  It affects everybody.

The Hokies are going through two weeks of preparation to prepare for Rutgers.

Beamer doesn’t think it’s easy to come out and do different things for the bowl.  If anything, Tech would cut back offensively and make sure they can execute what they’ve already put in.  Tech is doing some good things, but they have to get it more efficient and consistent, particularly running the ball.  They should probably cut back on some things.  That’s where Beamer thinks they are headed right now.

Rutgers has been very good at throwing the ball, and the offensive line has been very good in protection.  Tech hopes to get some pressure, because Rutgers will throw some interceptions.

Monday was Day 2,943 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.

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