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 Hokie Hotline featured athletic director Jim Weaver, offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring and head coach Frank Beamer. Conversation centered around a new athletic facility, the performance of Marcus Vick, and where the team stands at the half-way point of the season.
Note: 105.3 in Blacksburg was late in switching to the Hokie Hotline, thus I missed the first half of Weaver’s segment.
Roth asked Weaver about the recent editorial in the Richmond Times-Dispatch that really bashed Tech for the lack of availability of tickets for parents. Weaver said he had a problem with the editorial because they didn’t do their research. VT no longer provides 1,500 student guest tickets for each game because those tickets were being scalped. Students still have the option of buying season guest tickets. This policy costs the Virginia Tech athletic department $60,000 per game.
Weaver said the next project was a field house/indoor practice facility for the football team. They will start to make plans after the West Side construction is finished. He said there is no real prototype structure existing elsewhere that they are planning to mimic. It is very possible that a practice gym for basketball could be constructed in conjunction with the facility as well. The building will also be used by the Olympic sports.
Weaver said he isn’t sure at this point how student tickets will be distributed for the ACC Championship Game. He said some tickets will be made available to students if the Hokies are fortunate enough to get that far. An announcement should be made about this situation in the next few weeks.
Stinespring said his players and coaches have done a wonderful job the entire season and he is very proud of them. He said that Cedric is doing fine. He had surgery early Sunday morning just to get it over with. They think they have a chance to bring him back in two or three weeks. Cedric felt good on Monday and had a big smile on his face.
Stinespring said everyone got a chance to see the depth of Billy Hite’s backfield against Marshall. Ore has a lot of ability and a lot of talent, and the coaches were confident in him to get the job done. They felt that it was important to get him a lot of carries after Humes went down.
Stinespring said the time off has allowed him to look back on the first six games of the season and see what he likes and dislikes. He likes the balance from the offense. The Hokies are running the ball well and passing the ball well. They have scored on the ground and they have scored through the air. VT has turned the ball over just twice in six games, and the offense has only committed ten penalties. This is a smart, disciplined football team.
Roth asked Stinespring what the Tech offense isn’t doing well. He said that the offense needs to run the ball more consistently. They aren’t doing a bad job, but they have to be more consistent and dominant. He isn’t pleased with third down conversions. There was a big dropoff in this statistic from the West Virginia game to the Marshall game. Third down conversions are not decided on third down, but on first and second downs.
Someone wrote in and asked about opposing offensive lines and how it seems like they hold a lot more than Virginia Tech’s offensive line. Stinespring said he thought the officials did a good job for the most part, and as an offensive line coach he believes that you’ve got to let them play to a point. Jay Hagood was really good at holding and not getting caught.
Someone asked Stinespring what the locker-room conversation was like since the game was so close. He said it was no big deal for the Marshall game. He said it was more of a deliberate halftime discussion. The team realized that they needed to play better. It was more of a refocusing point. They just discussed what they needed to do and what they needed to accomplish in the second half. Overall, it was very business like.
A caller asked about Branden Ore running a screen pass. Stinespring said VT is pretty athletic up front, and you could see that when the linemen were pulling against Marshall. He said that VT has called some quick screens this year, and there are more screens in the playbook that have not been called.
Stinespring said Marcus has done very well with his Xs and Os this year. He messes up formations maybe once or twice a game, but overall he has been very good. They are able to open up the playbook more under Marcus because he is so smart and he understands the game. He has handled the offense very well this year.
Beamer said it feels good to be 6-0. For the most part, the team has responded and done what they’ve been asked to do. He was proud of the second half effort on Saturday. In six of the past seven years, Virginia Tech has started 6-0. The season will be determined in October and November, and the coaching staff has been stressing that fact to the players. All their attention is focused on Maryland right now.
Beamer said that he thinks the team is exactly where they were two years ago going into the WVU game. They were 6-0, ranked #3 in the country, they are going on the road for a week night game and they are facing a Maryland team that is improving as the season is going along, just like West Virginia in 2003. Beamer said they should go up to Maryland knowing exactly what to expect.
Roth asked about injuries, and Beamer said the team was fine with the exception of Cedric Humes. Xavier Adibi, Tim Sandidge and James Anderson are sore, but they are going to be ok very soon.
Beamer said Branden Ore and George Bell did well after Humes went down with an injury. Ore is shifty, fast and has good vision. He also blocked very well. Beamer is pleased that Ore played well when it mattered, instead of just garbage time.
Beamer was asked about Vick’s scrambling, and he said sometimes Vick stays in the pocket too long, but most of the time he is able to find an open receiver. He has shown the ability to run and get first downs, and throw very accurately to receivers downfield. It’s tough to coach a player to run at the right time. It’s just something that Marcus is going to have to get a feel for.
A caller asked why Tech doesn’t attempt some two point conversions just for practice in case they ever need to go for two. Beamer said they practice them throughout the week, but to practice one during a game would just show the opponent one of their special two point conversion plays.
Beamer was asked about instant replay. Beamer said he thinks it’s a good thing, but admitted that it hasn’t been too kind to the Hokies thus far. But as long as it gets the call right, he is all for it. Beamer said he thinks the officiating group is very good and the personnel is very good. He spoke to the group over the summer and got to know them, and the ACC officials have been very good as a group.
Beamer said it is amazing how many times Tech has been on national television. The program gets a lot of publicity and exposure from these games, and VT is beginning to be well-known all over the country.
Beamer talked about the NC State-Georgia Tech team. Sometimes things just don’t work out, even when you get the ball in the hands of your best player. It is amazing that the loser of the NC State-Clemson game this coming weekend will be in last place in the Atlantic Division. That just shows the talent and depth of the conference. NC State in particular is very talented.
Beamer was asked if Branden Ore will be featured more. He said that will depend on how quickly Cedric Humes can get back from injury. He will leave all playing time decisions with Billy Hite, who does a great job with the running backs.
Beamer was asked about recruiting. He said that the Hokies are in on such good players that it isn’t necessary to go across the country and chase recruits. He would rather stay closer to home and recruit from coaches he knows and trusts. Recruiting rankings can be way off at times and it’s important to trust your own judgment.
Beamer was asked if he would ever try another kicker if he felt the attempt was a little beyond Brandon Pace’s range. He said he would have a hard time going with anyone besides Pace, but if he had to he would choose Jud Dunlevy. He is very good with distance kicks and kicks well against the wind. However, he isn’t very consistent right now.
Beamer was also asked about the lack of success on punt returns this year. He said that on many occasions, they have been really close to breaking some good returns, but it seems like just one person isn’t executing their assignment. It seems like it is a different guy each time. They are close, but they aren’t as good as they need to be.
- Monday was day 318 of Virginia Tech’s
continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup, day 374 of Virginia Tech’s
continuous possession of the Black Diamond Trophy, and day 311 of Virginia
Tech’s continuous possession of the ACC football championship.