The Hokie Hotline (football and basketball season)
When: every Monday from 7:00-9:00 during football season, 7:00-8:00 during
for a list of radio stations, and to find the link for listening to the show on
the Internet (look to the right on the hokiesports.com page that loads when you
click the link). You can also watch the archive on hokietv.com.
Monday night’s show originated from Beamer’s Restaurant in
Christiansburg. Guests included Athletic Director Jim Weaver, offensive
coordinator Bryan Stinespring and head coach Frank Beamer. Weaver talked about
football scheduling (Wisconsin is backing out of a planned series with VT), and
Stinespring discussed Ohio, Marcus Vick, and Reggie Ball. Beamer covered a
variety of topics.
said he thought things went very smoothly for the first home game, considering
where they are with stadium expansion. The biggest complaints he is getting are
about students overcrowding the North end zone and the sound system not being
loud enough when “Enter Sandman” was played for the team entrance. Weaver
said he was pleased that there were no problems with wiring, the video boards or
the radio broadcast.
Weaver said that he has been informed by the Ohio athletic director that Ohio
head coach Frank Solich is not keen on completing the series with Virginia Tech.
The Hokies are scheduled to travel to Ohio in 2006 and the Bobcats will play in
Blacksburg again in 2007. Solich is trying to build the program up and playing
Virginia Tech will not help him. Weaver says he believes they will have at least
one more game with Ohio.
Weaver also said that Wisconsin has called and said they would like to get
out of the contract to play the Hokies in 2008 and 2009. The Badgers will have a
new coach beginning next season, and he is not interested in playing Tech.
Weaver contacted Nebraska as a possible replacement, but he hasn’t heard
anything back. The Wisconsin series could be pushed back. Weaver said he is
still working on Penn State and the prospects look better at this time than they
Weaver said the only way he would do a Pac-10 deal is if it were a
two-for-one, meaning that there would be two games at Lane Stadium and only one
on the road. Tech would not be able to fly out of Roanoke, they would not be
able to truck their equipment, and the effort just isn’t worth it.
Weaver said he has been in contact with the West Virginia athletic director
about the series, but that the Hokies and Mountaineers will not play “in the
foreseeable future”. There are no open dates for either team that will fit
their schedule. Weaver said it is possible to play an Atlantic Division team
from the ACC as an out-of-conference game in a year that the Hokies are not
scheduled to play that particular team as part of their ACC schedule. However,
that scenario is not very likely.
Weaver said he doesn’t think the Tech-Tennessee game at Bristol Motor
Speedway will be played. Neither Tech nor Tennessee has heard anything from the
speedway administration, so Weaver assumes that the offer is not on the table.
Stinespring said Reggie Butler got hit from the side when he was making a
block during the Ohio game. The knee brace he was wearing probably saved his
season. The doctors think he will be back at some point within the next two
Stinespring said the offensive line got better as the game went on. They
struggled a bit early, and the fourth and one really stands out in his mind. The
protection was bad early as well. At one point they had an open man downfield
that would have gone for a touchdown, but Vick was sacked.
Stinespring said they didn’t go into the Ohio game taking them lightly. He
said they looked at the Pittsburgh film and just thought that the Bobcats
manhandled them up front. They could have played two more quarters and
Pittsburgh wouldn’t have scored.
Stinespring is very pleased with Marcus Vick at this point. They ran the
option more with him and put the ball in his hands more, which was very
effective. And the best thing about Vick is that he is still getting better and
he has not reached his potential.
Eddie Royal has been struggling somewhat, and Stinespring said he isn’t
sure what the problem is. He was sick against NC State, and he was the victim of
circumstance against Ohio. He was the primary receiver on Ohio’s three sacks.
It is also difficult to get a lot of touches when there are so many other good
Georgia Tech ranks first nationally in turnover margin at +3 per game. They
also only allow 80 rushing yards per game. Stinespring said they are very
formidable. They get you in bad situations and force turnovers. They blitz a lot
and are very good at it. They live and die by the blitz. They also run a lot of
zone blitz. They like to create a lot of havoc around the line of scrimmage.
Most of their ten interceptions on the season have come when the quarterback has
been under pressure. It will be a great matchup because the Hokies have only
turned the ball over once this season.
Stinespring said that Will Montgomery will start at left guard against
Georgia Tech and Danny McGrath will start at center. Ryan Shuman will move up to
backup center. Brandon Gore is playing well at about 18-22 snaps per game.
Brandon Frye will backup both tackle positions for the Hokies.
Stinespring said that outside of the Tech program, the program with the most
influence on the Tech offense in the Indianapolis Colts. Stinespring has visited
the Colts and picked up some of their passing game. Frank Solich also helped
tremendously with the option when he was the head coach at Nebraska.
Beamer began his segment by saying that Georgia Tech will be the best, most
complete team that the Hokies have faced this season. They have good personnel,
good kickers and an overall good team. VT must play well to win.
Beamer said they are going to prepare for Reggie Ball. They have a good team
no matter who is at quarterback. P.J. Daniels is a great tailback and Calvin
Johnson is probably the best wide receiver in the nation. Georgia Tech is loaded
Beamer said he feels good about where his team is right now. He said he was
happy that the team played better as the game went along against Ohio. The
coaching staff is very good at making in game adjustments and getting players in
the right positions to make plays. The team has done a good job on focusing on
the upcoming opponent each and every week. Beamer said he was pleased that the
team is playing with discipline. There were no turnovers against Ohio and only
Beamer went on to say that he thinks this is the best group of kickers that
he has ever had at Virginia Tech. Nic Schmitt is punting well, Brandon Pace is
kicking field goals, and Jared Develli and Jud Dunlevy are kicking off very
Beamer said he was glad that Reggie Butler was wearing a brace when he was
injured on Saturday, or else the injury could have been much worse than it
actually is. As it stands now, Butler will probably miss around two weeks of
A caller asked about film study, and Beamer said that it is very important.
You don’t want to wear your team down with a lot of practice as the season
goes on, so they must learn a lot about themselves and opposing teams by
preparing well in the film room.
Beamer was complimentary of the young tailbacks once again. He said Branden
Ore and George Bell were going to be good backs. He also said that it looks like
Elan Lewis needs to drop some weight, but when you watch him run you aren’t so
sure anymore. Either way, Lewis is going to be a very good back.
Roth brought up other ACC games this weekend. Beamer said he doesn’t think
Maryland played as well as they thought they were going to, but he believes that
Ralph Friedgen will get them going in the right direction.
Beamer was asked about defensive tackle play, and he was very complimentary
of Tim Sandidge. He has stepped up with his play on the field and his
leadership. Carlton Powell is a good player, but he has been banged up. Barry
Booker and Kory Robertson have played better than hoped, so Beamer is pleased
with the job that defensive line coach Charley Wiles has done.
Beamer was asked why the Hokies didn’t go after any blocks against the Ohio
kicking game. Beamer said Ohio had a very good setup, he didn’t think it was
the right time, and he felt very good about the Hokies’ return game. He said
he spends a lot of time studying it, and some teams are better to go after and
some teams are better to return against. It will vary from week to week. Georgia
Tech has a backup long snapper who will be playing this weekend because the
starter is injured. The backup snapped one over the punter’s head against
A caller asked if Tech would play differently if Reggie Ball does not play,
and Beamer said they are preparing as if Ball will play. Beamer said that backup
Taylor Bennett hasn’t been in the battles that Reggie Ball has, but he is
capable. Georgia Tech will probably have two different game plans when they come
to Blacksburg, one for each quarterback.
Beamer was asked about James Anderson, and he said Anderson is playing great
this year. He had a great game against Ohio. He is a five time Excalibur Award
winner in the weight room, which is something that no one else has ever done.
A caller asked about coaches changing focus areas in recruiting. Beamer said
they did change some things up, and he feels like they have their coaches in the
correct places. There is less emphasis in Florida, and the Hokies are starting
to hit New Jersey, South Carolina and Georgia harder. There is a big recruiting
meeting coming up on Thursday.