Tech Talk Live Notes for September 16, 2013

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Jim Weaver

The defense played great on Saturday.  The passing game came alive a little bit, and Logan Thomas played well.  It’s always tough to win at East Carolina, and Weaver is pleased that Tech hung in there and won.

This is the last game of the Marshall series.  Former Tech defensive tackle J.C. Price is the defensive line coach for Marshall.

Notre Dame will visit Virginia Tech in 2018, and the Hokies will play in South Bend in 2016.

Tech will take under advisement any and all games at neutral sites, but he’s not in favor of taking away a home game too often.  That takes away from the fan experience for Tech fans.

Tech doesn’t like playing Georgia Tech on a short week, but it’s a short week for the Yellow Jackets, too.  They play UNC this weekend.  It’s not ideal, but it happens every now and then.

Shane Beamer

ECU is a whole lot better than people give them credit for up front.  Their nose tackle is more athletic than the Alabama nose tackle, and that’s not coach speak.  He really caused Tech a lot of problems up front.  Beamer said that Tech probably could have done a better job as coaches.  Hindsight being 20-20, they should have run the ball out of spread formations a little more.  They also could have executed better.  Shane said they will be better this weekend running the ball.

Beamer said he thinks teams will continue to load the box until the Hokies show they can throw the ball consistently.  ECU didn’t do a lot of man press coverage, but future teams will, so the coaches will have to be prepared for that.

You have to coach every little thing, particularly with young players.  You can’t assume they’ll retain it.  You have to keep hammering it home.

Trey Edmunds has a great passion for football.  It hurts him when he makes the smallest mistakes.  He punishes himself after practice if he fumbles.  He’s still a very raw player.  He’s still working on his steps and aiming points, where his eyes need to be, etc.  He just need reps and time.

Beamer is pleasantly surprised with Chris Mangus .  He’s shown some toughness the last two games.  He has a lot on his plate, because he’s lined up as a running back and a wide receiver during games.  The Hokies have to find ways to get their best guys on the field.

Beamer hates that J.C. Coleman has missed so much time.  He’s practiced just a couple of times in the last month, and he’s still a very young player.  He’ll figure back in when he gets healthy.  He’s really good in pass protection as well.

Joel Caleb is impressive looking physically.  He’s got strong hands and he’s a physical player.  He really ran the ball well against Western Carolina.  Beamer thinks he’ll be a tailback going forward.  He and the other backs are versatile players who can also split out wide.  Scot Loeffler is big on personnel and getting their best 11 on the field.

Beamer knows from his other coaching jobs that other teams ramped up their special teams efforts because of Virginia Tech.  That’s always the thing head coaches wanted to talk to him about when he was hired.  Virginia Tech forced college football to change the way they prepare on special teams.

Recruiting is going well.  They have a lot of juniors that they are recruiting heavily.  They will be out recruiting the night before the Marshall game, and Shane and his dad will go out recruiting together after the Georgia Tech game.

Tech’s starting 11 hung in there with Alabama’s starting 11, but the depth in the talent level showed up on special teams.  Ryan Malleck and Ronny Vandyke were supposed to be on the punt team.  Deon Clarke was on the punt team, but they took him off for the Alabama game because he broke his hand in the preseason.

Recruits and players these days like wearing different kinds of uniforms these days.  The newness excites them.  As much mail as Beamer sends recruits, the most feedback he got last year were the camo uniforms the Hokies wore for Bowling Green.

Sam Rogers is an impressive freshman.  Any time Shane went to Richmond to recruit, all the coaches wanted to talk about Sam Rogers .  UVA wanted him bad, and Mike London even did an in-home visit with him.  Rogers had a goal to start from day one, and he got it done.  He came up on his own during the spring and watched practice, he got his parents to quiz him on Tech’s playbook, etc.  He really prepared himself well.

Tech wouldn’t have been in a bowl game last year without Cody Journell .  He made clutch kicks against BC, UVA and Rutgers last year.  He had a rough day, but he’s a good kicker.

Cody Journell

On the first extra point, his plant foot was too close to the football.  After that, he tried to fix it too much and overcompensated.  It’s like your golf swing.  It got in his head too much.  He drilled all five of his kicks in Sunday’s practice.  You have to have a short memory.

Shayne Graham contacted Journell after the game.  Graham told him about how he had a rough game against Temple in 1998 that arguably cost Tech the game.

All kickers have a routine.  He looks down, then looks up at the goal posts, then looks back down and tells Trey Gresh when he’s ready.  You also have to look at the flags on the goal posts to judge the wind.  In Lane Stadium it can be difficult because the wind direction can change a lot during a game.

Journell is considering and MBA, but he has aspirations of going pro perhaps in Canada, so he’s putting the MBA on hold for now.

It was a little rough meeting with the media after Saturday’s game, but he tries to keep his chin up.

J.R. Collins

Last year Collins wasn’t taking things as seriously.  He thought he could just walk onto the field and have success without working for it.  Obviously that didn’t happen, so he applied himself for this year.  He’s working hard and taking it one day at a time.

A year ago, Collins started off the season around 250 or 255.  As the season progressed, he got up close to 270.  Right now he’s 242.

This summer he took a trip out to LA for Athletes in Action.  He was there for three weeks learning about the Gospel and serving the community.  He was working with kids at the Salvation Army.  Compton, California was obviously different than Blacksburg.  Just seeing the circumstances of the people there helped him to not take for granted what he has here.  His Faith began when he got to Virginia Tech, and it’s very important to him.

Right now, J.R. Collins is watching some Cornell Brown tape.  He gets to work with him one-on-one a lot, and he has a lot to do with his success.  He had a great motor and always played hard.

The defensive line really didn’t have expectations coming into the season.  They knew they just had to take it one day at a time.

The ECU game started out rough.  There were a couple of miscommunications.  But as the game went along, they started getting things going.

Frank Beamer

That ECU team is one of the better teams that they’ve had.  Tech played 10 true freshmen in that game, and ECU always plays the Hokies tough down there.  Beamer really apprecates that win.  He thought it was a big one.

Confidence comes from being successful in tough situations.  He believes Saturday’s win was something to build on.  The passing game was better.  They are getting great effort.

Bud Foster is about as good as it gets, and his staff is very good.  They got the defense settled down after the first possession and played great for the rest of the game.  It’s a very mature defensive team.  Experience is a wonderful thing.

Tech has been able to get sacks against ECU despite the fact that they try to get rid of the ball quickly.  They’ve been able to force him to hold the ball, which helps that front four get to the quarterback.

Tariq Edwards is a playing at a very high level.  The game makes sense to him, and he’s a very good athlete.  He’s fought through some injuries.  He was on the punt coverage team on Saturday as well.

J.R. Collins is playing all out.  He’s also on the punt coverage team now.  His personal life is much better now.  He’s never been a bad kid, but he’s more organized and more “with it” right now than he’s ever been.

James Gayle ‘s shoulder popped out, but came back in to dominate.  He’s got a lot of toughness in him.  He’s an exceptional defensive end, and he has a lot of want-to.  Dadi Nicolas also shows up and is productive.

Brandon Facyson and Kendall Fuller are pretty amazing.  They are two corners with some height.  They are exceptional players and the game makes sense to them.  They aren’t just out there running around, they know what to do.  They’ve played as well as you could ever hope a freshman could play.

Tech needs to continue to complete passes, because defenses will continue to crowd the box.  They will keep doing that until Tech’s passing game is consistent.

The passing game is a work in progress, but it got better.  Hopefully Charley Meyer can get back soon, and that can help things out as well.

Sometimes Logan’s left knee gets his left knee too straight and it causes him to throw high.  He needs to bend it a little more, but he’s getting better.  He’ll continue to get better as he gets used to his new receivers.

Brent Benedict had a more consistent week of practice than Laurence Gibson , so he got the start against ECU.  It’s good to create competition.

Alston Smith looks good at guard.  If they can get him up to speed in knowing the plays, he has a chance to contribute.

Tech has to play Marshall and Georgia Tech five days apart.  That’s not ideal, but the Hokies have to be mentally tough.

Antone Exum has already redshirted, so he can’t get a medical redshirt.  They haven’t talked about applying for a sixth year, but they will.

Tech would like to throw it to the tight ends if they get open.  Losing Ryan Malleck really hurt them there.

Marshall is probably a better team than ECU.  They have a lot of people back from last year.  J.C. Price is their defensive line coach, and they’ve gotten a lot better defensively.

Rakeem Cato is a really good quarterback.  Turnovers got them off to a tough start against Ohio.  They are scoring 46 points per game.  This team is for real.  ECU might be the best ECU team they’ve played, and Marshall might be a step ahead of them overall.

Marshall does a lot of the same things as ECU offensively.  Cato is very accurate, and he’s got good skilled players around him.  They run the ball better than ECU, and that puts more stress on the defense.

Monday was Day 3,216 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of The Commonwealth Cup.

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8 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Thanks Chris!

    I especially appreciated reading the mentor-esque relationship provided by Shayne Graham to Cody Journell. Mr. Graham will achieve his leadership outcomes as well as career goals outside of the NFL with that mentality. It would be wonderful if the Collegiate Times could pick up this thread/concept and use it as an example of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve); not only in athletics, but our students’ careers and lives. Mentors Matter! Leaders are our Teachers. Cody truly struggled on Saturday; however, is he not going to continue to face adversity as traverses life’s journey?

    We cheer for our boys on Saturday…yet, do we care where they end up in life?

    Once again, great job TSL.

  2. I’d love to know what this quote from CFB means:

    “Antone Exum has already redshirted, so he can’t get a medical redshirt. They haven’t talked about applying for a sixth year, but they will.”

  3. Thanks for the quick notes.
    Glad to hear about Notre Dame in 2018 but our future schedule and Notre Dame’s shows us visiting them in 2016. Wonder if has changed to 2015 or is a mistake.

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