Tech Talk Live Notes for November 4, 2013

Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, on November 5, 2013
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Jim Weaver

Turnovers were again critical on Saturday.  They are always a key ingredient to winning.  They can’t win when they turn the ball over four times.

The conference office tried to balance the schedules as best they could with the new schools joining the league.  Unfortunately, Tech is going to Miami for the second season in a row.

Weaver did push back towards the ACC “a little” when they found out they would be playing at Miami and BC two years in a row, but there was nothing Tech could do about it.  One reason they didn’t like it was because of the back-to-back travel dates in cities far away.

Tech hosts WVU next Tuesday at 1pm in men’s basketball.  ESPN is doing their 24 hours of college basketball, and they chose the Hokies for the 1pm tip.

Weaver believes that Cassell Coliseum has another good 10 years as a viable homecourt facility.  They have done a lot of renovations over the years, and he thinks the viability is there for another ten years.

The ACC Tournament Quarterfinal win over Notre Dame was huge for the women’s soccer team.  They play #1 and undefeated UVA next.

Weaver is surprised that the VT-Miami game was picked for the primetime game because Tech has lost two in a row and Miami is coming off a loss to FSU and just lost their running back for the season.

Both Miami and Tech can control their own destiny in the conference race.  Both teams need to win this weekend.  The Hokies have to eliminate the turnovers, win the kicking game, and play their best game of the year.

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Bud Foster

Tech has given up two explosive plays this year.  The long pass against Alabama, and the 62 yarder against BC.  BC ran about 50 powers against Tech, and the Hokies stopped 49 of them.  They had one guy who didn’t fit in the proper gap. It was disappointing because the Hokies needed a stop there.

Foster hopes Kyle Fuller can go this weekend.  He didn’t feel 100% last weekend, and you need to be 100% when you are tackling a back like Andre Williams.

Brandon Facyson has been a pleasant surprise this year.  He’s really stepped up.  He played really well early on with Antone Exum out.  It wasn’t an easy decision to put Exum back in over Facyson.

Dadi Nicolas is an incredibly talented player.  He’s also incredibly raw.  He’s very eager to please.  He’s very eager to go out and perform.  His development has been good.  Tech built a package around him against Pitt.  The had it for BC too, but they only got into their 12 personnel once because of the Dadi package.  12 personnel means one running back and two tight ends.

The BC game wouldn’t have been close without those turnovers, but that’s football.  BC chose to not let their QB get them beat.  They ran draws and such on their third and long plays, and it worked out for them.

The Duke Johnson loss doesn’t change Miami at all.  Dallas Crawford is the backup, and he’s a great back.  He dominated UNC earlier this year.

Miami is a very balanced offense.  They have dynamic receivers.  Duke Johnson is a big loss, but at the same time they have talented guys behind him.  Stephen Morris is a hot and cold guy.  He’s thrown 12 touchdowns, but he’s also thrown 10 interceptions.

Miami has the most talented offensive line the Hokies will have seen since the Alabama game.

The Hokies have to play a great game against Miami.  The played very well against Miami last year, but turnovers and special teams mistakes were Tech’s undoing.

Tech has a lot to play for.  If they win out, they can still be the Coastal Division champions.  The dominated the two games they lost, but they couldn’t avoid turnovers.  They have to avoid turnovers against Miami and the final games down the stretch.

In two weeks, Foster hopes everybody comes out for the Maryland game to support all the great seniors on Tech’s defense.  They have all had a great career.

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Joshua Stanford

Stanford was playing as a true freshman in 2012, but he got hurt and took a redshirt.  It was frustrating going from playing to sitting.  It was difficult, especially after all the work he put in to get on the field.

Turnovers have killed the Tech offense the last two weeks.  They have moved the ball better, but the turnovers have cost them games.

Sometimes the interceptions are the fault of the receivers.  Sometimes the ball tips off a receivers hands, sometimes they don’t run the right route, and sometimes they don’t get open which forces Thomas to hold the ball longer and go to another read.

Stanford is pretty exciting that the Miami game is at night.  It’s a good opportunity to play some good football in front of a national audience.

Stanford grew up in Canada near Toronto, so Hockey was his first love.  He is a big Maple Leafs fan.  He played football instead of hockey, because hockey is so expensive to play up there.

Stanford is passionate about poetry.  He put up his first song on Sound Cloud last week.

Stanford got the nickname Yoshi in high school, from the Super Mario Brothers character.  His receivers coach gave him the nickname.

Tech has to play well down the stretch.  They have a lot of great seniors on this team who deserve to go out as winners.  The other players have to play for them.

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James Johnson

Johnson can see some nerves from his freshmen this week.  Playing a real college game for the first time will be different for them.

Johnson likes the chemistry of this year’s team.  The older players and younger players are meshing well together.

Tech will miss Erick Green.  He was a big time scorer.  This team is probably a little more balanced.  They have more guys who can put the ball in the hole.

Jarrell Eddie and Adam Smith are very capable of scoring.  Ben Emelogu is going to be able to score at some point during the season.  C.J. Barksdale and Marshall Wood also have the potential to be good scorers on any given night.

Emelogu is a freshman who has been impressive.  He’s a good guy, he’s confident, and he does it the right way on and off the court.  He plays hard on both ends of the floor.  He demanded respect as soon as he enrolled.

Devin Wilson was a big time high school football player, but he chose VT hoops over NC State football.  He is a tough basketball player, he gets 50-50 balls, he’s always diving on the floor, etc.  He’s a winner.  He’s a pass-first point guard.  He can change the game without scoring a lot of points.

Tech could decide to redshirt Maurice Kirby.  They are talking that out right now.  Trevor Thompson is about 6-11, he’s long, athletic and he can run the floor.  He’s playing well right now.  Johnson saw some good things from him in the scrimmages.  He has to play with more intensity.

C.J. Barksdale has been suspended for the first three games of the season.  He made a bad decision, and he’ll have to pay for it.

Marquis Rankin plays so hard on both ends of the court that he always seems to be banged up.  He’s had minor knee and ankle injuries in the preseason.  He has experience at point guard.  But Devin Wilson has come in and competed every day.  Johnson isn’t sure who the starting point guard will be at this point.

It’s important to have the same starting point guard for each game.  Johnson wants a point guard on the court that is an extension of himself.  It’s the quarterback of football.  Johnson demands a lot of his starting point guard.

The team is ready to play a fast-paced style, but the NCAA is putting an emphasis on hand checking this year.  There have been a ton of free throws in preseason scrimmages because officials are calling the game so tight.  As a result, the Hokies won’t be able to press and trap as much as they’d like.

Tech scrimmaged South Carolina and Richmond.  They have two totally different styles.  South Carolina’s style is similar to Duke’s, and Richmond is similar to Boston College.  The scrimmage were good for the staff and players so they could see how the officials will call games this year.  They are calling them a lot tigher this year.  There are a ton of free throws.

Johnson is expecting a lot from Jarrell Eddie.  He learned a lot from Erick Green about how to prepare himself in the offseason.  He’s in great shape.  He’s playing well in transition.

Cadarian Raines was great offensively in the last scrimmage.  He’s running the floor better this year.  He needs to rebound a little better.

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Frank Beamer

Duke and Boston College are good teams, but Tech had a chance to win both games and didn’t get it done.  However, if they win out they have a chance to win the Coastal.  Their goals are still in front of them, but they have to play better.

Mark Leal is a good quarterback.  He’s got a good future, there is no question.  But Logan is a guy who gives the team a chance to win.  He’s had a couple of rough weeks, but Beamer still has great confidence in him.  He has great toughness and he cares a lot.

Thomas has a lot to shoulder because of how much the Hokies use him in the running game.  Ideally you don’t want your quarterback to run so much, but that’s just how the team is built right now.

Tech and Miami have had some great games over the years.  Beamer is pleased that this is a primetime nationally televised games.

On the goalline, you have to figure out how you match up.  Tech hasn’t been able to dominate running the football, so Tech went shotgun and read option on the goalline against BC.  That was the better matchup.

On the timeout before the BC punt, the Eagles had a new player in the backfield and Beamer was concerned about the fake.  That’s why Beamer took a timeout there.

On the other wasted timeout, the officials put the ball on the wrong hashmark.  Beamer called the timeout to get that straight, and the offical gave him his timeout back.

Cody Journell is a good kicker.  He had a rough spell in the middle of the season.  But he’s a good kicker.  He asked to try the 56 yarder, and he made it.

Brandon Facyson and Kendall Fuller were playing great, but Antone Exum was playing great at the end of last season.  Determining who to play is a good problem to have.

There’s a chance we could see Derrick Hopkins at fullback some more this season.

Miami lost Duke Johnson for the season, but they still have a great team overall.  It’s the best offensive line the Hokies will have faced.  Defensively, they are right there with Alabama from a talent standpoint.  They might be a little faster up front than Alabama.  Their secondary covers very well, and their linebackers are good.

Tech will get Miami’s best effort.  They are really good.  They are really good and athletic up front.

Monday was Day 3,265 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of The Commonwealth Cup.

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