Hokie Hotline Notes for 12/22/08

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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.

Where: 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 see the show in person at Awful Arthur’s in Blacksburg.

Seth Greenberg

  • The first 40 minutes of basketball in New York were tough to watch, but
    the St. John’s game on Sunday was much better.
  • It’s human nature to let down sometimes. Tech was supposed to beat
    Columbia. Greenberg was disappointed. It shows disrespect for the game and
    for what the Hokies have built over the last five years.
  • There was much better chemistry between Vassallo and Delaney against St.
    John’s, and we saw the value of J.T. Thompson. He was rebounding and playing
    defense. He has a lot of energy.
  • Victor Davila is going to be really special. He has a feel for scoring. He
    has to start rebounding better and understand how to play defense.
  • Tech has a lot of basketball left to play. They are in the middle of the
    longest break Greenberg has ever give his team. They are off for four days.
    This is still a pretty young team.
  • Hank Thorns is making progress. He’s rehabbing his knee. They aren’t sure
    when he’s going to be back at this point. It could be on Monday, or it could
    be against Duke.
  • Right now it appears that Gene Swindle will redshirt. If he continues to
    work hard, Greenberg will redshirt him. If he gets complacent, then he won’t
    redshirt. He’s got a big body with good feet and good hands.
  • Tech is a different team defensively this year. They are more of a gap
    defensive team. Playing the 1-3-1 zone will help create a few more
    turnovers, which is what happened against St. John’s.
  • The Hokies played 38 minutes of zone against St. John’s. They couldn’t
    afford for Malcolm Delaney to get in foul trouble. Tech will take the 2-3
    zone and tweak it a bit, and perhaps do some trapping. They might be a more
    multi-look defense this year.
  • The 1-3-1 is really effective against small guards. When they try to
    penetrate, it cuts down on their passing angles.
  • Malcolm Delaney had a terrific weekend. He played with a chip on his
    shoulder against St. John’s, and that’s very important. Tech needs to get a
    little hardness and toughness to them, and make opponents react to them.
  • Tech is the underdog. They haven’t been to a bunch of NCAA tournaments.
    They have to dive for loose balls. They have to draw charges. That’s how
    they win. If they get away from that, they aren’t going to win.
  • Tech will be back practicing on Friday. They’ll play Charleston Southern
    on Monday in their final game before ACC play begins.
  • Playing at home doesn’t do Tech much good right now. The crowds would be
    small. Plus it’s important to get the players off campus for awhile. It gets
    sort of lonely in Blacksburg over Winter Break.
  • Greenberg felt good about Dorenzo Hudson’s performance against St. John’s.
    He played with a lot more confidence. They’ve got to keep getting him to
    feel good about himself.
  • Greenberg wants his team to be a mean, tough group that people don’t like
    to play against. That’s who the Hokies are when they are good.
  • Tech had more people at the game on Sunday than St. John’s did. That’s
    amazing, considering St. John’s is in New York.
  • There are a lot of good teams in the ACC right now. Clemson has a great
    mix of players. NC State has talent. Wake Forest looks like the real deal.

Bryan Stinespring

  • The bowl practices remind Stinespring of preseason practices. They’ve
    basically been in camp. They’ve started working on the game plan, and they
    had a two quarter scrimmage on Sunday.
  • The team has gotten a lot accomplished. Their timing has been good and
    they’ve thrown the ball pretty well. It’s important to keep the timing down.
  • Practices in Miami will be regular week practices. They’ll have regular
    middle drill, regular team vs. team, etc.
  • The staff was very, very surprised when they learned that Nick Marshman
    wouldn’t be eligible. He had already graduated. He got himself in a hole,
    thought he could get it back in exam week, but he didn’t do it.
  • Jaymes Brooks is starting at right guard. Sergio Render will move and will
    start at left guard. Brooks is excited about it, and they are working hard
    to get him prepared.
  • Cincinnati will start 10 seniors and one junior on defense. If Tech starts
    out in their “11” personnel, which is three wide receivers, one
    tailback and one tight end, they’ll have six freshmen on the field on
    offense. There is a huge experience gap.
  • On paper, Tech will return 17 starters from the bowl game for the 2009
    season. The Hokies have many young players who are gaining some valuable
  • Cincinnati
    will do what they’ve done the entire year. They’ll blitz, they’ll change
    their alignments and create confusion. They aren’t going to do anything
    different. Tech has to do a good job of changing up the types of protections
    they’ve been using.
  • The Bearcats remind Stinespring of the Boston College defense. The
    linebackers are physical and athletic. They run well and cover a lot of
    ground. Their interior players are similar to Carlton Powell.
  • The Cincinnati cornerbacks really break on the ball well. They get a good
    jump on the ball. Mike Mickens in particular is a terrific cornerback.
  • Backup quarterback is a concern for next season. Tyrod is the starter,
    obviously. Ju-Ju Clayton has really progressed in the scrimmages. He has a
    better command of the offense and he’s throwing the ball much better. He’s
    lost about 12 pounds and he’s moving around the pocket much better.
  • The spring will be big for the backup quarterback spot. They’ll just have
    to see how much Clayton progresses. Marcus Davis could potentially compete
    for the job as well.
  • Stinespring doesn’t think Tech will sign a quarterback in February. It
    would have been difficult for a true freshman quarterback to have beaten out
    Clayton for the backup job anyway. It’s tough without that redshirt year.
  • Stinespring gets the same personality vibes from Ju-Ju Clayton that he got
    from Bryan Randall. He shows composure and poise. Developing quarterbacks is
    a big part of the game, and Clayton is showing a good work ethic and good
  • Against Boston College, Tech went with a running game plan that tried to
    make Darren Evans as comfortable as possible. As he’s gained experience,
    he’s made quicker decisions. He’s getting better and hitting holes quicker.
  • Tech had a couple of big opportunities against Kansas in the first quarter
    last year. They overthrew an open Josh Hyman that would have given them a
    first and goal on the first drive, and then Josh Morgan dropped a sure
    touchdown. They missed some major chances to get off to a good start.
  • The Hokies began zone blocking around 1994 when Gary Tranquil was the
    offensive coordinator. It’s formation friendly and personnel friendly.
  • There are quarterback prospects out there that are intriguing. The staff
    just has to wait and see how they feel about some guys when they get back
    out on the road after the bowl game. There could be some reevaluation.
  • The game plan for the bowl game is probably 80-90% complete. They are
    continuing their film study and practice, and they could add things to it.
  • Cincinnati is a very good team. They won 11 games this year. They have a
    lot of experience. The Hokies have to be ready to go and play with a chip on
    their shoulder.

Jim Weaver

  • Weaver thinks Tech will sell somewhere around 4,700 tickets to the Orange
    Bowl through the Tech ticket office. It will be no more than 5,000.
  • You can’t blame people for buying cheaper tickets from the secondary
    market. When the tickets that Tech sells are full price, and fans can get
    them much cheaper elsewhere, it just makes sense.
  • The practices Weaver has seen have gone very well. The players were really
    getting after it. He is excited about the Hokies playing well and coming
    home with a victory.
  • Frank Beamer has been an advocate of playing Alabama from the beginning.
    Playing a big opener has a major impact on how players prepare in the
    offseason and during spring practice.
  • If Tech wants to be in the upper echelon of college football, they have to
    play some big time teams, and sometimes on neutral sites. The Hokies need to
    play teams like Alabama, Nebraska and LSU.
  • Tech actually pushed back their 2009 season opener at Cincinnati to play
    the Alabama game. Otherwise the Hokies would have been playing the Bearcats
    in back to back games.
  • Virginia Tech will get a $2 million payout for playing Alabama. Tech will
    get to keep all of that money. They won’t have to share it with the ACC. VT
    will get 31,200 tickets to the Alabama game. Tickets are split evenly
    between Tech and Alabama.
  • Alabama will be the road team and Tech will be the home team. The Chick-fil-A
    Bowl people, who are organizing the game, want Tech fans to do a maroon out
    and Alabama fans to do a white out.
  • Tickets for the Alabama game will not be included in the season ticket
    package. That’s too long a trip for fans to include in the season tickets
  • Students will be able to get tickets for the Alabama game. Weaver thinks
    there will be a reduced price for students. He also thinks that regular
    ticket prices will be $78, $75 and $57, but he might have one of those
    confused with the ACC Championship Game.
  • Former Tech softball pitcher Angela Tincher was named one of the winners
    of the Today’s Top VIII. It is given to just eight student athletes each
    year for athletic performance, academic excellence and character. Former VT
    wide receiver Andre Davis also won the award when he was in school.
  • Weaver has always wanted to schedule Penn State in football. Tech’s
    schedule is full, but Weaver would love to play Penn State.
  • Weaver doesn’t know which games next year will be Thursday night games,
    but we should know by January 15.

Frank Beamer

  • The bowl practices in Blacksburg have gone well. The players have bought
    into it, and everybody is on the same page.
  • Beamer is doubtful that Brett Warren is going to play. Jason Worilds is
    questionable. His shoulder is really giving him a lot of pain.
  • Nekos Brown would start for Worilds at defensive end. Barquell Rivers
    would step in for Brett Warren. Rivers is going to be a good player and
    he’ll give it his best shot. Beamer likes Rivers a lot, he just doesn’t have
    much experience right now.
  • Jaymes Brooks is going to be good too, but he lacks experience right now.
    He has had good practices over the last few days. Beamer knows we’ll see his
    best effort in the Orange Bowl.
  • The offense actually won the points battle with the defense in Sunday’s
    scrimmage. The scrimmage went pretty well considering the weather conditions
    were so bad.
  • Tech will have an extra day of practice in Miami. They will practice and
    hit in pads on the day they arrive, and then regular game week practice will
    begin the next day.
  • Beamer is looking forward to playing Alabama. It’s a great city, and the
    Chick-fil-A Bowl people really know how to do it. It’s also a lot of fun for
    Tech fans.
  • The Chick-fil-A Bowl is advertising this game like it’s the Daytona 500 of
    college football. NASCAR starts their season with the biggest race of the
    year, and college football will do the same this year.
  • If Tech can win the Orange Bowl, that will be 10 wins. The only other two
    teams in the country who have won 10 games each year over the past five
    seasons are Texas and USC. It would also be Tech’s 70th win in the last
    seven years.
  • Jahre Cheeseman has decided to focus on academics and give up football. He
    is set to graduate in the spring. It surprised Beamer, because Cheeseman is
    such a tough guy. Beamer wants to see him graduate now.
  • Tech has never won in Dolphin Stadium. They haven’t done well, but they
    are certainly due. Beamer knows we’ll see great effort from the Hokies.
  • This is a big game. Winning a BCS bowl would be big for the program and
    good for the ACC. Beamer wants to give the Tech fans a bowl win as well.
  • Cincinnati is very good. They have a good defense and the best punter in
    the country. Offensively, they are very efficient. They have had to use four
    different quarterbacks this year, and still won 11 games. You know they are
    a mentally tough team to get through a situation like that.

Monday was Day 1,486 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the
Commonwealth Cup.

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