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.
Roth, Mike Burnop and Jim Weaver began by discussing Tech’s bowl situation. Virginia Tech is one of just four schools to go to a bowl game for 13 consecutive seasons. Some fans are disappointed about the Gator Bowl, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with playing on January 2nd. Weaver said he thinks the bowl system is great for college football, and it would be very beneficial to the Virginia Tech football program if they can knock off Louisville on Monday.
Weaver said Virginia Tech has a great advantage over other schools when it comes to bowl placement because of all the great Hokie fans. Tech fans travel so well, and that really sets VT apart from other schools around the nation. Weaver said the ACC was very deep this year, as proven by the eight teams they sent to bowl games.
In a balanced ACC, it is important for Virginia Tech to schedule for success. But at the same time, it is their policy to schedule an equity conference opponent every year. Weaver said it is also great for the Hokies to schedule regional teams such as Marshall and East Carolina so Tech fans can attend even more road games. It is important not to overschedule, which is what UNC did the past two seasons.
Roth asked Weaver about Tech’s excellent graduation rates, which were released recently. Weaver said that Virginia Tech has worked extremely hard over the past few years to improve the academic standings of their athletes. There is also a new system, which does not penalize schools for having players transfer. When the new student-athlete support center is finished in the West Side expansion, things will be even better.
Roth mentioned that this is the first year that Virginia Tech’s budget is on the same level of other ACC schools. Weaver said that is true for a few reasons. First of all, fund raising is at an all-time high. Hokie fans are really excited about Tech’s move to the ACC. It also helps that Cassell Coliseum is sold out for each and every game.
Weaver said he expects to see a great game tomorrow. He thinks the Hokies will play well. Tech needs to be sure they don’t give Louisville the short field because they are very explosive offensively. They also have to be ready to block Elvis Dumervil and pick up a lot of blitzes. Michael Bush is a great running back, and Tech must be ready to shut down the run and force them to win the game through the air.
Foster said he is very proud of what the team accomplished this season. They have one ACC Championship and one Coastal Division Championship in their first two years in the ACC, and that is a good way to start out in a new conference. Foster said he was fortunate to coach some very good football players who know how to play the game.
Roth asked Foster about Jimmy Williams. Foster said Williams is one of the best players he has ever coached. He has come very far as a player and a person. Foster is proud of what he has accomplished as a player and a person. He has really developed on and off the field. His post season accolades are well deserved. Foster said he thinks Williams could have been very good at safety this year. He is so much further along as a football player at this point in his career.
Foster said he was proud of his entire secondary. They started new players at three of the four positions, and everyone played well. Aaron Rouse worked very hard to turn himself into a very good rover. He led the team in interceptions and he has a very bright future. Justin Hamilton is one of the most unselfish players to ever play at Tech. He did a great job of picking up the free safety position.
Foster said he was very pleased with his linebacker corps as well. Vince Hall developed into a very good football player. He has great instincts and has developed well physically. Xavier Adibi had his moments as well. Those guys will be a great tandem in the future. James Anderson had a great senior season and was very consistent. As a group they were very consistent.
Burnop asked Foster about the Louisville offense. Foster said they are very good and are well coached. They know what they are doing, and they are just very efficient. It should be a great battle of one of the nation’s best offenses and one of the nation’s best defenses. Foster said the Hokies haven’t faced as big a tailback as Michael Bush since they went up against FSU’s Greg Jones in the Gator Bowl following the 2001 season.
Foster said the more film you watch on Louisville, the more impressed you are with them. They are playing a different quarterback in the Gator Bowl, but Cantwell handled himself very well against Uconn in the last week of the regular season. Louisville has very good wide receivers. They are athletic, they have great size and they remind Foster a lot of the Florida State receivers. They spread the ball around a lot, so you can’t focus your coverage on just one player. They have an array of weapons that they can use, and they use them well.
Foster said the Hokies need to do a good job up front. They need to get pressure on the quarterback. Darryl Tapp will be playing his final game as a Hokie, and Foster noted that Tapp is one of the best to come through Blacksburg. He is one of the great people and players that Foster has been around. Tim Sandidge has also had a great year. He was probably Tech’s most improved player on the team. He made great preparation in the offseason and developed into a great senior leader.
Burnop asked who will get the lunch pail next year after Darryl Tapp leaves. Foster said he wasn’t sure at this point. Generally they give it to a new player each week, but Tapp would never give it up.
Foster said the first key against Louisville is to stop the run. That means the Hokies are controlling the line of scrimmage. The secondary must know their assignments and tackle well after the Cardinals make short catches. Above all, the Hokies have to play with emotion and play great team defense.
Stinespring said a win over Louisville would make everyone feel a lot better about the season. Anytime you have a chance to win 11 game in a season is a good season. When you win ten games and you are disappointed, that means you have set the bar very high. That is a good thing, but it can be a bad thing at times.
Stinespring said he doesn’t pay any attention to the criticism. He is proud of what the offense has accomplished. They led the ACC in scoring. They played very well for the majority of the season, except for two games. Overall Stinespring is very pleased with the way the season went.
Stinespring said he is happy that the seniors get the opportunity to go out in the right fashion. They don’t deserve to go out the way they did in the ACC Championship Game, and they will be ready to play on Monday. They want one last victory in a Virginia Tech uniform.
The running game improved as the season went along. The offensive line matured and adjusted as the season went along. The passing game also helped the running game. Branden Ore gave the offense a great spark, and Cedric Humes steadily improved as the season progressed. Duane Brown had a great season considering he was playing tight end just two weeks before the NC State game. His move to tackle made the entire offensive line better.
Stinespring said he was proud of the group of wide receivers. No one had a truly great season statistically, but a different player stepped up in each game. It is tough to gameplan a defense when you have so many receivers that each have a different skill set. Every receiver on the team is capable of making big plays. They will all be back next year as well.
The Hokies were fortunate to have a great tight end like Jeff King. Jordon Trott played well also after changing positions. The fullback could be more involved in the offense next year, but that will be determined in the spring. Depth along the offensive line will be a concern next year. They won’t be ready in the spring, but there is a good nucleus of players and they will get better as the season goes on.
Louisville reminds Stinespring of Georgia Tech’s defense. They run a lot of the same schemes, they have some of the same blitzes, and they have very good team speed. It will be important for the Hokies to have success on first down against Louisville. They can’t get in third and long situations with the Cardinal’s blitzing tendencies. They must mix up their play calling on first down and just be efficient.
Beamer began the show by mentioning how proud he is of the consistency of the program. Tech is one of just four teams to go to 13 consecutive bowl games, and that says a lot about the state of the program. Beamer said the Hokies haven’t really done anything different in their bowl preparations from 1993 to today. Some teams work their young players a lot during bowl week practices, but the Hokies don’t really do that. The bowl game is very important. Winning provides momentum for recruiting and spring practice.
Beamer said the approach to this season was no different than last season. He called on the seniors to lead the team. They bounced back successfully from all their losses last season and this season, and they hope to do the same against Louisville on Monday.
Burnop asked Beamer about Jimmy Williams. Beamer said he was really proud of how Jimmy Williams developed during his career. He has gone from being some sort of a distraction to a real team player. He is proud that he is leaving Virginia Tech as a unanimous All-American. He is very talented. His pro prospects are very good, but it will depend on combine times as well as team needs.
Beamer said the Hokies are playing a team that is really good. They have won 29 games the last three years, they have the nation’s leading scorer in Michael Bush, they are very balanced offensively and they have one of the nation’s best defenders in Elvis Dumervil. They are awfully good, but the main question is whether or not the Hokies come out and show character and emotion and take care of business.
Beamer said Hunter Cantwell is very good. He is the same player as Brohm, but he just doesn’t have the experience. Michael Bush is a great tailback who can pound the football. He has very capable backups as well. They might be even better running the football than they are passing the ball. They get the short field a lot, and their offense always takes advantage of it. Stopping the run will be a big key for Tech.
Beamer said everyone needs to sit back and relax and let Marcus Vick further develop. He works hard and is a great competitor, but this was his first season as a starter. Quarterbacks get a lot of credit when the team wins and a lot of blame when they lose. Marcus understands that and he isn’t phased by it.
It will be important for the Hokies to be balanced offensively. They need to run the ball and pass the ball effectively to keep Louisville off balance. Beamer also said the Hokies have been very close to blocking a punt, and they aren’t giving up on it. Louisville’s punter has been very erratic and Tech needs to take advantage of it. The Hokies need to be great in kickoff and punt coverage as well.
- Monday was day 401 Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup and day 457 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Black Diamond Trophy.