The Hokie Hotline (football and basketball season)
When: every Monday from 7:00-9:00 during football season, 7:00-8:00 during basketball season.
Click here 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.
Weaver said he is very proud of the football coaching staff and team. It is a great honor to finish off the season with a big win over North Carolina and to have an opportunity to participate in the first-ever ACC Championship Game.
Weaver said there was a time this year when his staff was working the phones to try and ensure that the Hokies got an at-large bid to the BCS. But fortunately Georgia Tech was able to knock off Miami, so Tech controls its own destiny. Weaver said he is still hearing that the Fiesta Bowl will take Notre Dame and either Ohio State or Oregon. A lot of politics are involved.
Weaver said VT is treating the ACC Championship Game like a regular road game. The team will fly in on Friday, go to the stadium for their workout and then to the hotel. Roth asked where the Hokies will go if they lose on Saturday. Weaver said the Gator Bowl has the first pick after the BCS, and Tech would have no control over their postseason fate.
Revenue sharing in the ACC is different than it was in the Big East. Teams got paid based on order of finish in the Big East, but that is not the case in the ACC. The ACC team that makes a BCS game will receive $1.6 million as expense money. Money from the bowl games goes first to the ACC office and then is distributed amongst all the teams at the end of the season.
Everyone gets an equal share, with the exception of Boston College, Miami and Virginia Tech. These teams get a smaller share in their first two years in the league. These teams will get $6.25 million per year in their first two years. After that they will become full revenue sharing members of the ACC and their payout will increase by about $3 million per year.
The ACC will also pay for the air charter for the team and band for the trip to Jacksonville for the ACC Championship Game. Virginia Tech will also receive a check for $160,000 for additional expenses. There are no complimentary tickets available for players and the band in the ACC. Tech has to pay for those tickets, and they will use part of that $160,000 to do so.
A caller asked Weaver if a game with Tennessee at Bristol Motor Speedway was still possible. Weaver said it was highly unlikely. There has been no conversation between Tech and UT about the game in about three months, and neither school has heard anything from speedway administrators.
Coach Greenberg said he is doing fine and the team is doing fine following the loss to Ohio State on Monday night. He is disappointed that they didn’t defend better and that they didn’t put more pressure on the basketball. The team just didn’t show a sense of urgency in the first half. They will have a lot of film to watch on Wednesday. Greenberg joked that games at this time of the year are learning experiences, and Tech’s reward will be to play at Duke on Sunday.
Greenberg said the Hokies were passive defensively in the first half. They didn’t pressure the ball, they over helped on penetration and they didn’t stop the Buckeyes from getting the ball down low. A big part of Tech’s game plan was to pressure their guards, and they were able to do that in the second half. The Hokies made a great comeback but didn’t play smart down the stretch.
Greenberg went on to say that the coaching staff has to figure out an effective substitution pattern. Jamon Gordon and Zabian Dowdell are playing too many minutes and need a break at some point. It is good to have Wynton Witherspoon back, and his presence will greatly help the team.
Roth asked about Duke, and Greenberg said they are playing at a very high level. They are a very talented basketball team, but just lost DeMarcus Nelson for 6-8 weeks due to an injury. That will hurt them because he is a very good on the ball defender and a good rebounder for a guard. They are also doing some things differently this year. They are moving J.J. Redick around more. They are very good, especially at home. Defending Shelden Williams and containing Redick are the keys to the game.
Greenberg said Tech has to play Duke like they played Ohio State in the second half. To beat Duke, you have to be aggressive and attack. You can’t sit back and react. You have to put pressure on the ball to buy yourself some time in covering Redick off the screens. Shelden Williams must be kept off the offensive glass. He is a great rebounded and Coleman Collins did a great job against him in Blacksburg last season.
Roth asked about Wynton Witherspoon’s performance in his first game back from injury. Greenberg said he did a good job for the most part. He hit a nice pullup jumper. He has to play lower and with better balance. But considering he only has about four or five practices under his belt, he did a nice job.
Greenberg said he isn’t sure about the status of Robert Krabbendam. He will probably be cleared to play in about three weeks. At that point they will evaluate his performance in practice, see how many games they have left on the schedule, and decide whether or not to play him or redshirt him.
Roth asked Greenberg about the rest of the league. He said the ACC is still developing. It takes time to develop team chemistry, especially losing as many good players as the ACC lost from last year. Georgia Tech and UNC will be very good, but their young players just need time to adjust. Florida State is playing well and playing better defense. The ACC is always going to be good. Some years are better than others, but the ACC is always very good.
Greenberg said A.D. Vassallo is going to be a good player. He made a nice move to the basket Monday night and is getting better all the time. He is still learning how to defend and how to play in the pace of the offense, but he is going to be a good player in time. Cheick Diakite did a good job Monday night. He moved Terence Dials off the glass once, hit a shot in the lane and got a couple of rebounds in four minutes.
Roth congratulated Beamer on his second consecutive ACC Coach of the Year Award. Beamer accepted on behalf of his coaching staff, saying they have a great organization and that is why they win a lot of football games. Everyone has a job and they carry it out well. The entire football staff just runs a good operation.
Beamer said you don’t win games without having good players, and he is proud that nine Hokies made either first or second team All-ACC. Roth pointed out that there are no Florida State players on the first team All-ACC. Beamer said the voters must have been looking at different game film than he is looking at. Defensively they are the same as Miami. They have a lot of highly athletic players who can really run. They are strong up front and have good linebackers.
Beamer said the Hokies haven’t played a team with as many good running backs and receivers as Florida State. They are loaded at the skill positions. They have had some bad injuries on the offensive line that have really set the offense back. Their quarterback is very young, but he is very talented. The Seminoles have a lot of ability on offense. There is a thin line between being okay and not being okay, and FSU is talented enough that they can be okay in a hurry.
Beamer pointed out that despite Florida State’s poor finish, their season can turn around if they beat Tech on Saturday. That would put them in a BCS bowl. So the Seminoles know they have a lot to play for and they will come out fired up on Saturday night.
Roth pointed out that Jason Murphy was named first team All-ACC, which was somewhat of a surprise. Beamer said Murphy has worked really hard. He started out as a defensive tackle and switched over before his sophomore year. He is a very athletic player and Tech takes advantage of that by getting him out on the edge to make blocks.
Beamer said Will Montgomery is very deserving of his first team honor as well. He graded out at 97% for the UNC game with seven knockdown blocks. That is difficult to do, especially playing two different positions. The game makes sense to him and he has a knack for knowing exactly what is going on along the offensive line. The Hokies will miss him next season.
If you are going to play for a championship, you must have a good quarterback, and the Hokies do. Marcus Vick was named first team All-ACC as well. Beamer said Vick has been very good this season. He has some things that he has to do more consistently, but he is one of the big reasons Tech is playing for a conference championship.
Roth asked Beamer why the Hokies have run the ball so well during the past two weeks. Beamer said he thinks an effective passing game has helped the running game. The offensive line deserves a lot of credit. Duane Brown has made the offensive line much better. Jeff King and Jordan Trott did a great job of blocking at the tight end position. The running game has been very consistent the past two games.
Beamer said Mike Gentry deserves a lot of credit for having such a healthy team at this point in the season. The team works hard over the summer in conditioning. Injuries limit your abilities as a team, and Tech has been fortunate to not have any major injuries this season.
Beamer said the punt team has to be very good on Saturday night. Florida State does as good a job blocking kicks as anyone in the nation. That also holds you up in your punt coverage. They are very dangerous on special teams because they have so many great athletes on their team. The Hokies have to be on their game this weekend. Roth noted that the Seminoles have blocked five punts this season.
Beamer said the Jacksonville people have done a great job in the past with Gator Bowls, a Super Bowl and Jacksonville Jaguars games, so it should be a really good experience for Tech fans that make the trip this weekend. It will be the first-ever ACC Championship game, but it will likely go off without a hitch.
Beamer said he thinks Florida State will play their best game of the year on Saturday night. People are telling them they are done. Their players are too good and their coaches are too good for them to keep losing. Tech must respond by playing their best game of the season. They had a good practice on Tuesday and the team looks like they are ready to play.
As usual, Tech will look to shut down the running game first on Saturday night. Once you get FSU one dimensional, you can turn your defensive ends loose against the quarterback. Weatherford hasn’t played as well this year when he has been under pressure, so it will be important for Tech to generate a pass rush.
Roth asked Beamer about practice this week. Beamer said they were able to practice outside because the rained stopped. The team had a very good practice. Tuesday practices set the tone for the rest of the week, so hopefully things will continue on Wednesday.
Garry Smits joined the Hokie Hotline from the Florida Times Union. He said the Gator Bowl people were very pleased when Georgia Tech beat Miami. Now the ACC Championship Game will sell out and the Hokies will bring a lot of fans. Jacksonville officials are always very happy whenever Virginia Tech fans come to town.
Beamer said Bobby Bowden called him on Monday to ask him about Tech’s 2003 season. The Hokies went on a late season slump that was very similar to the end of this season for Florida State. Beamer said he was very honored that a coach like Bowden would call him to talk to him about something like that.
Beamer said Mike Imoh is better and he practiced on Tuesday. He needs to be full speed by Saturday. If he isn’t 100% there is no reason to put him on the field against a speedy Florida State defense. Being able to throw the ball is the key to running the ball on the Seminoles. Each time Marcus has struggled this year, he has come back the next week with a great game. He needs to do the same this week.
- Monday was day 368 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup, day 424 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Black Diamond Trophy, and day 361 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the ACC football championship.