Tech Talk Live Notes for 12/31/10

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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.

Bill Roth, Mike Burnop and athletics director Jim Weaver held a one hour Tech Talk Live show from south Florida on Friday night. It was held at Rivals Waterfront Grille from 6-7pm, and the location and time will be the same for shows on Saturday and Sunday. On Friday, the trio reflected on the season and looked towards Stanford and the Orange Bowl.

Ryan Williams says he is going to play against Stanford, but he hasn’t been able to go full speed since the Florida State game. Burnop said Beamer gave Williams an ultimatum, telling him that if he was going to play in the Orange Bowl then he was going to have to get some good practices in. He can be an impact player if he’s well enough to play.

Tyrod Taylor has been battling a stomach bug, but he seemed to be feeling better on Friday. This is clearly a business trip for Taylor. He’s taking it very seriously. It’s going to be sad to see him play his final game in a Tech uniform.

It’s always good to be back to the Orange Bowl. Weaver and Burnop said you can’t take it for granted. The Hokies had a very special path to the Orange Bowl this year. Weaver never thought about Tech winning 11 in a row after they started 0-2. After that, it was all about improving from week to week.

Stanford and Virginia Tech are ranked #1 and #2 in graduation rates of all the teams in bowls. From hearing all the players talk to the media all week, it’s clear that both teams have the right kind of players. Weaver is happy to be keeping such good company in graduation rates.

Burnop and Weaver feel like quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Tyrod Taylor are on a business trip, and they both appear ready to put on a big show on Monday night. Thanks to those two players, this has a chance to be one of the best bowl games of the year.

Weaver believes that Jim Harbaugh has done an excellent job recruiting good athletes to Stanford. Tech has been impressed by many of the Stanford players, including 6-3 cornerback Richard Sherman. They have good players at every position. Burnop added that the Cardinal are big at every position, and they are probably the biggest team Tech will face this season.

Burnop likes the way the coaching staff is keeping players focused for bowl games. They are practicing hard in Blacksburg before Christmas, and their curfew has been cut back during the bowl trip. Changing hotels the night before the game is a big key as well. He also added that Miami didn’t look focused at all in the Sun Bowl against Notre Dame. Those players were just ready for the season to end.

Statistically, Stanford is one of the most impressive teams Virginia Tech has ever faced. They have a 1,000 yard rusher, a great quarterback, they are great on third downs and great in the redzone, according to Mike Burnop. Weaver thinks Stanford can play with the best in the country on both sides of the ball. They even have one player (Owen Marecic) who starts at linebacker and fullback. It is going to be a battle on Monday night.

Weaver goes back almost 20 years with Stanford athletics director Mike Bowlsby. Bowlsby was at Iowa, and they’ve gotten to know each other professionally. They had dinner in Miami, along with a lot of major Orange Bowl officials. They didn’t talk about Jim Harbaugh possibly leaving for the NFL, so Weaver doesn’t have any information about that.

Burnop believes that Ryan Williams wants to enter the NFL Draft. Is he ready? Burnop doesn’t know. The hamstring injury can hurt him in the eyes of the scouts, and he’s only the fourth leading rusher on the team. Darren Evans has a family to worry about. Burnop thinks both Williams and Evans will enter the NFL Draft. Weaver said that Burnop’s assessment was a fair one, though he wants Williams to come back and play one more healthy season.

Weaver thinks the situation at UNC is very fluid. He doesn’t understand why the case hasn’t been closed. It makes him think that something is still going on, but he doesn’t want to speculate.

If the Hokies beat Stanford, the senior class will have 43 wins, which would be a school record. This group of seniors saved the season. Things would have been lost without them. An 0-2 start is not easy to overcome, and it’s like 1995 all over again according to Burnop. The leadership that Jim Weaver saw from this senior class is second to none in his 14 years at Virginia Tech.

Burnop also noted that not only did the team rally from an 0-2 start, but they also fell behind in most of their games and had to rally. Some of the deficits were big, like 17-0 against NC State and 14-0 against Georgia Tech. It’s impressive to come back and win games like that. Weaver said he would take the Tech staff and match them up against any other in the country when it comes to coaching up players.

Stanford is #1 in the country in time of possession, and they only had to punt the ball 29 times this year. Tech can’t afford a big early deficit because they will have a tough time getting the ball back. Burnop noted that the Hokies have to take care of the football. Stanford will be a handful. Weaver knows the Tech players will not shy away from the challenge.

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