Tech Talk Live Notes for 8-29-11

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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 hokiesports.com page that loads when you click the link). You can see the show in person Bull & Bones Brewhaus & Grill in Blacksburg.


Jim Weaver

Tech has a sellout streak of 81 straight games. It dates back to the end of
1998. It really helps the administration sleep at night, knowing that they don’t
have to worry about selling tickets.

There are still tickets available for the Arkansas State game, because they
returned part of their allotment to Virginia Tech.

Appalachian State gets great fan support, and they will bring plenty of fans
to Blacksburg. It will probably be the biggest visiting contingent since LSU or
WVU. (Editor’s Note: Appalachian State led FCS attendance for the third time in
four years in 2010 with an average of 25,715 fans per game. Boone, NC is just
162 miles from Blacksburg.)

The game will kick off at exactly 12:30pm. There will be a pregame
presentation for Coach Beamer, who will begin his 25th season as Virginia Tech’s
head coach.

Jim Weaver thinks Tech can play for the National Championship, but only if
they win all their games. You just have to take it game by game and let the
chips fall where they may.

With the scandals that are going on in college football, Weaver believes we
have to lean on the integrity of the people involved. If they can’t behave
correctly, they need to be “booted out by the hind end”.

Jerry Moore has done a great job at Appalachian State. He is a very good
coach, and very experienced. Appalachian State has very good players.

The ACC is the best fit for Virginia Tech because they are in the middle of
the geographic footprint, they are the right academic fit, and Weaver doesn’t
see any reason to leave. He doesn’t think Charles Steger sees any reason to
leave. If it looked like two other ACC schools were going to leave, Tech would
probably have to revisit things, but as far as Weaver knows, all ACC schools are
solid in their commitment to the conference.

In the short term, changing conferences doesn’t help financially. There is a
big $13 million exit fee for the ACC. That’s one year’s revenue share.
Conferences are talking about heavily elevating their exit fees very soon. Most
teams don’t have $13 million sitting around.

Virginia Tech gains from associating academically with the Wakes, Dukes and
UNCs of the world. The ACC is a very good fit.

Bryan Stinespring

Tech began preparing for Appalachian State last Thursday and Friday. They
have been installing the game plan since then.

Stinespring likes where the Hokies are right now. They just have to get on
the field and play. He likes the way they have practiced and scrimmaged.
Everyone is anxious and excited. Tech is spreading the ball around, and the
fullbacks are involved in the offense. That’s a good thing because it makes the
offense tougher to defend.

There are some injuries that have caused some concern, particularly the
injury to Michael Via. He is an additional starter, and he can play center or
offensive tackle. Blake DeChristopher is back going full contact, so that’s
important. Eric Martin has shoulder injuries, and he is very important to Tech’s
two tight end sets.

David Wilson averaged 9.3 yards per touch during the August scrimmages. The
Hokies need to get him the football a lot.

The staff is going to dress true freshman tailback Michael Holmes, though he
probably won’t play this weekend. If Tech can stay healthy at tailback, he will
probably redshirt. However, they are one injury away from needing Holmes, so
they are going to keep him ready to go.

Corey Fuller is doing a nice job as the #6 wide receiver. Josh Oglesby is
doing a good job as the #2 tailback. He does everything well. Tony Gregory is
#3.

Logan Thomas is a threat in the running game. He hasn’t gone full contact in
scrimmages, but the defense has been wrapping him up. He covers ground quickly
because he is so tall.

Marcus Davis showed what he was capable of doing last season, he just needed
to become more consistent. Stinespring feels like he can play a big role this
season. Randall Dunn is one of Tech’s most improved players, and he will
contribute at tight end.

Tech will dress four tight ends: Chris Drager, Randall Dunn, George George
and true freshman Ryan Malleck. Drager is the best all-around tight end. George
is a guy who can battle at the point of attack in a two tight end set. Dunn is
the fastest, and he has great hands. Stinespring is very excited about Malleck.
He is capable of being an outstanding tight end.

The offense has tried to increase their tempo during practices and
scrimmages. They want that to carry over into games this season.

Kevin Sherman will be in the booth with Mike O’Cain this year. They can
concentrate on coverages and what defenses are doing on the perimeter.
Stinespring will be on the sideline. He likes looking the players in the face.
If he needs to set the temperature on the sideline, he will do it.

Vinston Painter has made a lot of improvements. He is a lot closer to
realizing his potential. He is in a position to play in non-mopup situations.
The clock has been ticking for him, and he knows that.

Stinespring likes what Andrew Miller is all about. He is really tough, and he
plays to the whistle. He is a similar player to Jake Grove. True freshman Caleb
Farris is going to have to be ready to back Miller up. It would help Farris to
have a r-senior on both sides of him, with Greg Nosal and Jaymes Brooks.

Appalachian State is difficult to prepare for. They are changing to a
different defensive scheme. They played a 4-3 last season, and now they are in a
3-4. It really changes your blocking schemes, protection schemes and how you
want to attack a defense.

Stinespring is comfortable with Logan Thomas. If the coaches didn’t feel that
way, they wouldn’t go out against Miami and ask him to throw a pass on 3rd and
17.

Bruce Taylor

The preseason was fun, but it’s over. They finally get to see a different
offense and hit somebody besides their own teammates.

Virginia Tech has lost three consecutive season openers. It would be horrible
to go through his entire career without winning a season opener.

Taylor’s shoulder got banged up during the course of last season. It felt
fine in the offseason, but it started hurting again in the spring. They went
ahead and did the surgery, and it’s fine now.

It’s all business in the weight room at Tech. It’s such a big part of the
game, and really makes a difference in the fourth quarter.

Tech gave up too many big plays last year, partly because they were so young
on defense. That’s been a big focus this year.

Taylor feels 100% confident that Tariq Edwards and Telvion Clark can get the
job done. They are both playmakers who can run. Edwards is long and can jump.
Clark is the fastest linebacker on the team, and he has a great motor.

Other than Lane Stadium, Taylor’s favorite atmosphere was FEDEX Field for the
Boise State game. Memories of that game are pretty good, except for the end.

Corey Marshall has been very impressive with his strength and motor for a
true freshman. He moved from end to tackle in the middle of camp, and that’s not
easy for a true freshman. Luther Maddy is also very good. Both guys are
physical, fast and they have good hands and feet. Many young players don’t use
their hands and feet well, but these guys are more advanced.

Taylor named two defensive players for breakout player of the year: James
Gayle and J.R. Collins. They have had great camps. On offense, Taylor named
Marcus Davis. He has great measurables.

Virginia Tech is a great place, especially on defense. You aren’t going to
play for a better coach than Bud Foster. The atmosphere in Lane Stadium is
great. There are nice people everywhere you go in Blacksburg, even after losses.
All of that is why Taylor would recommend Virginia Tech. He also visited UNC,
South Carolina, Clemson and Florida State.

Appalachian State has a dynamic quarterback in DeAndre Presley, who is really
good. He can run and he can pass. He puts up huge numbers. They are a good team,
and they are winners. Tech needs to be ready.

Logan Thomas has looked good so far. He’s been very comfortable in the
pocket, and he’s been making good decisions. He’s going to be a great player.
Not only in future years, but this year as well. He has great players around
him.

Logan Thomas

It’s weird getting so much attention now. Nobody knew who he was his first
two years in Blacksburg. Now everyone does.

Thomas is 6-6, 254. He wears size 17 cleats and size 18 sneakers. He has to
order shoes online.

Thomas didn’t really like redshirting and sitting his first year, but he
started progressing as a quarterback, he started to like it. Tyrod Taylor was a
great influence.

Taylor and Thomas text each other a lot, and they talked after Taylor led the
Ravens to a big preseason win against the Redskins last week.

Thomas didn’t consider schools who were recruiting him as a quarterback. Duke
and Boston College wanted him as a quarterback, while Notre Dame wanted him as a
QB/WR/TE type.

It took a couple of weeks before Thomas felt comfortable with playing
quarterback. He doesn’t know if playing receiver or H-back would be more fun,
because he has spent all his time at quarterback. There are so many meetings,
generally three in one day. They make for some really long days in August. When
you know you are the starting quarterback, you are paying closer attention.

Thomas was a big fan of Daunte Culpeper of the Minnesota Vikings growing up.
After he started to understand everything that went into being a quarterback,
Brett Favre became his favorite.

Thomas describes himself as a big, strong quarterback who likes to throw
deep. He has a strong arm, and he’s not afraid to run through defenders. He’s
definitely not afraid of contact.

The last time Thomas got hit was last year about this time. He’s looking
forward to it.

Thomas had seven basketball scholarship offers, such as JMU, Liberty,
Richmond, etc. He loves basketball, but he’s focusing on football.

Thomas is feeling pretty good about himself. He’s not nervous at all. He’s
excited. Maybe that will change when he gets in the huddle on Saturday. He’s
always been a naturally calm person.

The Tech offense is kind of winging it this week. They aren’t exactly sure
what to expect from the Appalachian State defense. The Hokies have a lot of
senior offensive linemen, so making adjustments during the game shouldn’t be a
problem.

Frank Beamer

Logan Thomas has many of the same qualities as Tyrod Taylor. He is calm and
cool, with good leadership abilities.

Beamer thinks Tech still has some work to do. He’s not sure how the backups
on the defensive line will play, as well as a couple of backups in the
secondary. Anytime you have a new quarterback, placekicker and punter, you are
nervous. Beamer thinks everyone will do well, but until you see them in a game,
you don’t know.

Antoine and Derrick Hopkins have been playing well at tackle. They sort of
play off each other a bit. Beamer likes the entire starting defensive line, but
they have some very inexperienced backups.

David Wilson is a unique talent. He has the speed of Reggie Bush, but he may
be more powerful. Whoever you compare him to, he is unique. He’s always upbeat.
He’s getting ready to have a terrific year.

So many people these days are using shield protections, and that makes it
more difficult to block punts. However, it does make it easier to return punts.

Beamer believes that DeAndre Presley might be the best quarterback the Hokies
face this season. He’s a really good player, and a senior with a lot of
experience. He can run it and throw it.

Beamer has always been fortunate to have great people around him, from the
coaches, to the trainers to the secretaries. They have made Virginia Tech
consistent, and that has helped the Hokies recruit well.

Beamer really hit it off with Dutch Baughman, Tech’s AD when Beamer was
hired. He had a very good idea that he was going to get the Tech job after their
first meeting. Bobby Ross was considered for the job as well, but demanded that
he be allowed to hire a top notch assistant: Frank Beamer. Beamer said that Ross
has been very important in his life. He really cared about the players, and
Beamer learned that from him. When things are going bad, the players are the
guys who get you out of it.

Mike O’Cain calling the plays is going to work out well. He knows his
quarterbacks. Stinespring on the sideline is going to be good as well, he will
fit in there.

The four captains for the opening game are the seniors the staff feels have
been outstanding since the spring. Next week’s captains will be the four best
seniors against Appalachian State.

Beamer is always worried about a possibility of breakdowns in the kicking
game in the first season. Things aren’t completely ironed out yet. This is the
fifth year in a row that Tech has started a new placekicker. Cody Journell has
kicked very well in practice, and he should do fine.

Collin Carroll has been very consistent and very good. You don’t notice a
snapper until he has a bad one, so Beamer hopes no one notices Carroll this
year.

Appalachian State has a lot of weapons and they are well coached. Brandon
Quick is an excellent wide receiver who will play in the NFL. They are ranked #2
in 1-AA, and they might win the National Championship. They have a lot of
experience. They are a very big defense. Their defense is bigger than Tech’s.
They will be a challenge. They expect to win.

Tech has two true freshmen at defensive tackle. They are talented, but how
are they going to react to playing? There are still question marks like that.
We’ll start to find out the answers on Saturday.

Monday was Day 2,466 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.

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