Tech Talk Live Notes for 12/27/10

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Tech Talk Live (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 page that loads when you click the link). You can see the show in person Bull & Bones Brewhaus & Grill in Blacksburg.

Jim Weaver

  • Weaver thinks the matchup with Stanford is one of the best of the bowl
    season. Both teams have a great quarterback.
  • Stanford and Virginia Tech are #1 and #2 out of all Top 25 football teams
    in graduation rates. Tech’s academic center in the West side of Lane Stadium
    has really helped the football program, as well as all sports.
  • Kelly Cagle did an outstanding job with the women’s soccer program, taking
    the program to multiple NCAA tournaments. Weaver feels like the program is
    heading in the right direction, despite her departure.
  • Queen Harrison has represented Virginia Tech in a first class fashion. Her
    achievements have been first class. Overall, 2010 has been a great year for
    Virginia Tech athletics.
  • For 2011, Weaver wants Tech to keep winning and graduating student
    athletes. Fiscally, the athletics department is very sound.
  • Virginia Tech has sold about 7,000 tickets to the Orange Bowl. That’s not
    where they wanted to be, but it’s a lot better than it was 10 days ago. Tech
    won’t lose money on the bowl experience. They budget to make sure that
    doesn’t happen. The Hokies will get $1,725,000 from the ACC as travel
    allocation for the bowl game.
  • The budget for the Orange Bowl is between $2.25 and $2.3 million. Every
    year in the late summer, Tech gets a revenue check from the ACC that is
    normally about $500,000. Every year that money goes to expenses for the bowl
    game, so each year the Hokies are basically in a break even situation
    regarding the bowl game.
  • Teams rarely make money on a bowl trip. They just try to break even. It
    all depends on where the bowl game is played.
  • Weaver met with WVU athletics director Oliver Luck this past fall. He is
    the father of Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. Neither AD had any idea that
    Tech would face Andrew Luck at the time.
  • Weaver thinks the Carolina Panthers will make a coaching change. They
    could go after Jim Harbaugh, who could then draft Andrew Luck with the #1
    overall pick.

Tom Fitzgerald, Stanford beat writer for the San Francisco Chronicle

  • The key to Stanford’s turnaround has been Jim Harbaugh and his staff. They
    went 1-11 in their first year. The morale was terrible. The biggest thing
    this staff has done is convince the players that they can win.
  • Harbaugh has proven to be a tremendous recruiter, and he’s an excellent
    tactician offensively. He outsmarts people. Certainly having Andrew Luck has
    been a big part of the success as well. He doesn’t make many mistakes.
  • Harbaugh has recruited back-to-back top 25 classes. He is an excellent
    motivator, and he values a balanced offense.
  • Stanford’s team has an NFL vibe, with their size and coaches. Harbaugh
    will use two and three tight ends at the same time, and they are a very
    important part of the offense.
  • Fitzgerald believes that the Orange Bowl will be Harbaugh’s last game at
    Stanford. He expects Harbaugh to get a job at a bigger school like Michigan,
    or he will go to the NFL.
  • The Stanford players are very excited about playing in the Orange Bowl.
    The Orange Bowl is a highly-regarded bowl, even on the west coast. Nobody
    was familiar with Virginia Tech, but they are definitely paying attention

Adrian Autry, Assistant Basketball Coach

  • Seth Greenberg was on the road recruiting in South Carolina on Monday
  • Tech has to keep working on things to get better with the guys they have
    left. They have to play a little bit smarter so they don’t have to go as far
    to the bench. They have to continue to concentrate on the things that are in
    their control.
  • The Hokies have played well over the last three games. Erick Green has
    really come along. He has done everything the coaching staff has asked him
    to do. He has done very well this year. He gives Tech another ball handler,
    and he’s playing extremely confident. Green is also playing very well
  • The 1-3-1 zone has been effective because the Hokies have tall players at
    guard and on the wing. They have long arms and can get in the passing lanes.
  • Malcolm Delaney is playing very well right now. He’s playing off the ball
    for the first time in his career. It doesn’t really matter if Green or
    Delaney is running the point, but getting two ball handlers on the court
    makes a big difference.
  • Autry thought the bench did a great job against St. Bonaventure. Manny
    Atkins and Jarell Eddie came in ready to play. Everyone on that bench knows
    they have to contribute now that Tech is down to just eight scholarship
  • Having so few players does make practice tough. The coaching staff has to
    be creative, and certain players have to play two or three positions. The
    players have been really dialed in.
  • Tech’s schedule this year has been much more challenging. The Hokies have
    played some very good teams early in the season.
  • Mississippi State was a much bigger team than Tech, and they are talented.
    But the Hokies were well-prepared for that game and won it easily.
  • Autry doesn’t know if the Hokies are going to pick up a football player to
    play on the basketball team. They are exploring all their options at Tech.
  • Thursday’s game will be a big game for USC Upstate. The Hokies have to be
    in a good frame of mind heading into this game.

Cornell Brown

  • Brown signed with Tech when they were coming off a 2-8-1 season. He almost
    went to Maryland. Once he got in front of the crowd at his press conference,
    his decision changed. He just felt a good vibe from the players on the team,
    and the coaching staff.
  • Brown is the defensive line coach for the Calgary Stampeders in the CFL.
    Calgary is basically like Denver. It has a lot of mountains around it. They
    have the biggest rodeo in the world in Calgary.
  • It’s different coaching in the NFL, but it’s still football. It’s a
    fast-paced game, because there is a 20 second play clock.
  • Stanford runs a 3-4, and they will line up in many different ways. They
    really want to free up their linebackers to wreak havoc on the offense.
  • When you lose your first two games, the only people you can depend on are
    the people you go to work with each day. You have to take it one game at a
    time, just like the 1995 team did.
  • Brown’s favorite moment at Tech was the first game he played against
    Bowling Green. He recovered a fumble on his first series, and when he came
    to the sideline Bruce Garnes was screaming that Brown was a real player.
  • Brown remembers playing in the Sugar Bowl and how the Tech fans took over
    the Superdome. That was a huge game for the Hokies, and when he sacked James
    Brown, the dome went nuts.
  • Stanford is a really big team, but it comes down to mentality. It doesn’t
    matter how big the other team is, what is on their helmet, etc. It just
    comes down to the Hokies executing and doing what they do.

Curt Newsome

  • Stanford is a big, physical football team. They play very well early in
    games, and seem to get out to big leads.
  • The Tech offensive line has really improved throughout the season, and the
    ACC Championship Game was their best game. They have a group of players who
    have played together for awhile, and except for Beau Warren they’ll all be
    back next year.
  • Greg Nosal has done a great job. He’s playing with a shoulder injury that
    will need surgery after the season. He is a tough guy, and he’s athletic.
  • Andrew Lanier didn’t have a great spring, and Nick Becton got ahead of
    him. Lanier got a lot better during the season, and Becton wasn’t able to
    pass him when he came back from his injury.
  • Blake DeChristopher has been very consistent. He has a great work ethic.
  • Stanford is listed as a 3-4, and they can switch fronts from a 3-4 and
    4-3. They excel in third and long because they can show so many different
    looks and blitz from so many different angles.
  • Stanford’s linebackers are very physical, and tough blitzers. They try to
    run through running backs instead of around them.
  • Stanford has been excellent at not giving up big plays. They put a lot of
    pressure on the quarterback. Tech’s protection needs to hold up and give
    Tyrod Taylor a chance to hit big plays downfield.
  • Schematically, Stanford is similar to Georgia Tech, but they are a lot
    bigger. However, Tech has played some defenses that are faster.
  • Stanford hasn’t faced anyone quite like Tyrod Taylor, who has the ability
    to run it and throw it very well.
  • Recruiting has been up and down. Tech really likes the players who have
    committed so far. Sometimes early playing time has a lot to do with whether
    or not you get a player.
  • The blizzard in the 757 delayed Tech’s travel plans, so they won’t be able
    to practice in Miami on Tuesday. They will have to wait until Wednesday. But
    they had terrific preparation in Blacksburg before Christmas, so they should
    be okay.
  • Tech will have to match Stanford’s intensity and play harder up front.
    They have to be physical in the run game, and attack the Cardinal.

Ryan Williams

  • You just have to stay focused for a big game like the Orange Bowl. You
    have to separate fun from business. They can’t have too much fun on the bowl
  • Williams doesn’t really set goals before the season, because he doesn’t
    like being disappointed. He just goes in each game and does whatever he can
  • The toughest part of being hurt was watching the team play when he
    couldn’t. When he redshirted, he didn’t even go to any of the games because
    he couldn’t stand sitting out.
  • Williams hasn’t made a decision on the NFL. When the time comes, he will
    make the best decision for himself and his family. We’ll just have to wait
    and see. He’s focusing on Stanford right now.
  • Tech has to come out and execute against Stanford like they’ve been doing.
    Williams prepares for every team the same. He goes into each game with the
    same mentality.
  • Stanford has one linebacker who likes to run over running backs who are
    pass protecting, so watch for Williams to go low on #11 when he blitzes.
  • Stanford is a fundamentally sound defense. They fill their gaps, and they
    don’t give up big plays in the secondary.
  • Academics were good this year. He finished with an A, two B’s and a C
    during the first semester.
  • The running rotation will be the same against Stanford. It will be
    Williams, Evans and Wilson. That’s how it will be throughout the game. They
    all contribute to the offense very well. Wilson is particularly good in the
    passing game. Each back would like to be in the game more, but when they
    have three guys that good, you have to use all of them.
  • Williams weighs in at 207 right now, and he is feeling good physically.
    His hamstring isn’t bugging him.

Frank Beamer

  • Tech will arrive in Miami late in the day on Tuesday. They will practice
    on Wednesday, and that will be their “Monday” practice.
  • Cornell Brown’s commitment to Tech made a big difference in the program.
    It started Tech’s run of getting top in-state players. Beamer likes seeing
    former players like Brown and Kevin Jones coming back to Tech. It shows that
    family atmosphere that Beamer likes.
  • Beamer took a look at Stanford’s punt team on film, and there wasn’t much
    to see. They only punted 29 times this season.
  • Stanford runs the ball very well, and they move the chains. They lead the
    nation in time of possession. They are a balanced football team. It’s
    important to make them one-dimensional. They are a tough-minded football
  • Barquell Rivers held up well in Tech’s pre-Christmas practices. Everyone
    is pulling for him. Beamer thinks that between Bruce Taylor, Jack Tyler and
    Tariq Edwards, the Hokies will have a three-man rotation at linebacker. You
    have to remember that Rivers hasn’t played football in a year.
  • This has been a special team, and that starts with the senior class. It
    has been a fun team to be around. You hate to see those seniors move on, but
    that’s the nature of the game.
  • Dyrell Roberts probably won’t make it back for the Orange Bowl. They need
    to get him completely well for his long-term future.
  • Stanford is the highest ranked one-loss team, and both of these teams
    could be playing for a National Championship had a couple of things gone
    differently. Tech has a chance to win 12 games and finish in the top 10,
    plus finish as the highest ranked ACC team. This is a major opportunity.
  • Tyrod Taylor is the key to Tech’s offense, and that’s the case with any
    offense. If you don’t have a good quarterback, you probably aren’t going to
    have a good offense. The receivers and tailbacks wouldn’t be as effective
    without Tyrod Taylor. The Orange Bowl will be worth a ticket just to watch
    the two quarterbacks play.
  • Andrew Luck is a big guy, he’s faster than you think, and he’s a very
    tough runner. Beamer thinks he has a great future in the NFL.
  • Beamer thinks the Orange Bowl will be a tough, physical football game.
    Both teams play that way. Both teams also have the ability to get the ball
    out in space. It should be a great matchup.

Monday was Day 2,221 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.

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