Tech Talk Live Notes for 11-8-11

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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.


Seth Greenberg

J.T. Thompson’s injury is very disheartening. He’s always done everything the
coaching staff asked him to. He has stepped up in big games. During his career,
he has had two torn ACL’s, an MCL, major ankle surgery and double hernia
surgery. He’s always got a great attitude. He’s handling it well, and will
graduate in December.

Tech is going to try to force people to match up with them. Jarell Eddie will
start at the “4” position. He’s not the rebounder that J.T. is, but he
can stretch the defense and shoot the basketball. He also has a pretty good
handle, and he’s more athletic than other 4’s. Dorian Finney-Smith could play
the 4 some as well, depending on matchups. They are still trying to get C.J.
Barksdale’s intensity level up. He’s going to be a very good player.

Having Victor Davila and Cadarian Raines on the court at the same time could
be a liability in defensive transition, but they are going to have to play
together at times. The Hokies will have to tweak some things to make that combo
work.

Erick Green has an Achilles injury. It happened during a shooting drill, and
it was a non-contact injury. He’s been in a walking boot. They don’t know
whether he will be fine later in the week or several weeks from now.

With Green and freshman Marquis Rankin out with injuries, Dorenzo Hudson is
now the backup point guard behind Ty Garland. He has played that position once,
two years ago, when he scored 41 points against Seton Hall.

Jay Bilas was the guest speaker at Sunday night’s tip-off banquet. He did a
great job talking to the players after practice. His message was great.

Jamon Gordon is currently playing in Turkey. He’s making well over a million
dollars. He signed a two year contract. He still contacts Tech players and tells
them how they need to play hard. He’s a great leader and a lockdown defender,
and that is appreciated in Europe. (YouTube
link to Jamon interview
from April.

The ACC is the perfect fit in Virginia Tech’s geographic footprint. For
Tech’s recruiting, it’s perfect. It makes more sense for Virginia Tech than any
other league.

Greenberg really believes that Notre Dame will end up in a conference, either
the Big Ten or ACC. It will be interesting to see where they end up. They really
move the needle when it comes to TV ratings.

East Tennessee State won 24 games last year, and they will be in Cassell
Coliseum on Saturday. They are always a very good team. Their starting center’s
(Isaiah Brown) father played for Greenberg at Miami. They will extend the
defense, and they’ve got a lot of JUCO kids who can really shoot the ball.

Starting Monday, Monmouth, FIU and George Mason will play in the Preseason
NIT in Blacksburg. King Rice, who played point guard at UNC, coaches Monmouth
and he is assisted by Derrick Phelps. Isaiah Thomas coaches FIU, and they are a
very talented team. Former Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt is now the head coach
at George Mason.

Starting Monday night, there will be four games in Cassell in about 27 hours.
Greenberg doesn’t really want to play three games in the first four days of the
season. Usually the Preseason NIT starts in the middle of the week, but they
pushed it up after Tech signed on.

The 3 and the 4 in Tech’s offense are pretty much interchangeable right now.
If Green can’t go, then Garland will start at point, with Hudson at 2.
Finney-Smith will be at 3, with Eddie at 4 and Victor Davila at 5.

Billy Hite

Hite is loving his new role. He’s going to practice and doing football
activities, but he’s not in the office 80 hours per week. He does miss the
teaching part of the game, being in the meeting rooms, etc. He doesn’t miss
recruiting at all.

Hite has started the Letterman’s Reunion, and the first will be held on the
day of the Spring Game. Hite projects that 250-300 former lettermen will attend.

Hite still gets nervous before games. He’s really nervous even though he’s
not actually coaching. He hasn’t thrown up before a game yet, and he used to do
that all the time.

David Wilson is a special player and person. Wilson has never had a bad day
in his life. He has a great attitude. Whatever Wilson is on, Hite wants some of
it. Wilson needs to continue to learn how to read defenses. Sometimes he doesn’t
get a good read when he takes the handoff, but he’s obviously doing something
right.

Logan Thomas is further along than what Hite expected. He’s very intelligent,
and he’s strong and powerful. Tech needs him to play great against Georgia Tech.
The offense as a whole has to take advantage of their opportunities and score
touchdowns.

Both VT and GT are ball control teams. You will see two teams on Thursday
night who want to control the clock.

Punting will be key on Thursday. Michael Branthover has been inconsistent,
but he has a great leg. He’s going to be an amazing punter.

VT has to protect the football against Georgia Tech. They have to drive the
football and not give the Yellow Jackets short fields. The kicking game will be
very important. Whoever plays the best in the kicking game will probably win.

Eric Martin

Martin has had injuries to both shoulders this year. His right shoulder has
popped out and back in, and then he hurt his left shoulder in one of the
preseason scrimmages. Both injuries happened in the same week.

The training staff at Tech has done a great job. It was tough to get through
those injuries, and he’s had a lot of rehab. The long-term prognosis is that he
doesn’t need surgery. He just needs rehab and rest.

It was great to catch a touchdown at Duke. He lives with Jaymes Brooks and
Blake DeChristopher, and they were right there to celebrate with him.

Each position does their own thing before games. The tight ends go out to eat
together, for example.

During the bye week, everyone just relaxed and tried to get healthy.
Everybody was fresh and ready to go on Thursday, when the Hokies started
practice.

Martin doesn’t watch much football on TV. He tries to get away from it and
relax.

The atmosphere is going to be exciting in Atlanta on Thursday night. VT will
have to play well, because Georgia Tech is good.

On the football team, it is “no shave November”. Everybody on the
team who can grow a beard is participating.

The best thing about playing football at Tech is the people you meet. The
camaraderie is great.

Martin majors in Sociology. He always makes sure he’s in class, and he spends
a lot of time in study hall. The hardest part of playing football is the time
management. You always want to go to bed when you get home, but you know you’ve
got to stay up and write that paper.

Martin will block the defensive end or the strongside linebacker on most
plays against a 3-4 defense.

Jack Tyler

Tyler found out that he was going to start last Thursday. Bud Foster told him
that his football skills would help a little more in this game. He reads fast
and he’s a good downhill defender. As a linebacker, you don’t have to move
backwards in coverage against Georgia Tech.

The Georgia Tech offense is very unique, and that makes it difficult to
defend. You have to trust your teammates on every play.

Tyler will have the dive, the quarterback and the pitch, depending on the
play and the defense.

It feels good to get back in the lineup, and it feels good that everyone
seems to have a lot of confidence in him. He thought he was overlooked coming
out of high school, and he’s glad to get the chance to play at Tech.

Tyler had the luxury of coming to Tech after Cody Grimm. They were both
recruited walk-ons from the same high school, and good friends. He knew how to
prepare himself when he first got to Virginia Tech.

Tyler was recruited by five schools, and he got one scholarship offer.
Buffalo offered him the day before Signing Day. He decided to walk-on at Tech
instead.

He was also a big lacrosse player in high school. It’s a fun sport. He played
defense in lacrosse as well, and it misses playing it.

Tyler lives with roommates who are high school friends, not football players.
It’s good to come home and get away from football.

Tyler switched to Residential Property Management with a minor in real
estate. Both of his parents are realtors.

Tyler is a proud supporter of “No Shave November”. The team has a
bunch of players who actually can’t grow beards. Telvion Clark doesn’t even have
hair on his head, much less his face.

Tech has a lot to play for. They have such a great coaching staff that you
can never really bet against the Hokies. Hopefully they get a chance to play
Clemson again. All the Tech players know that they didn’t play well in that
game.

The Hokies have to keep Georgia Tech in long yardage situations. The Jackets
will go for it on a lot of fourth downs, and they convert 57% of their third
downs.

Tyler loves the all-black uniforms the Hokies wore against Boise State last
year.

Frank Beamer

The bye week was good for Tech. Getting a few days away really helped the
players. The weather was great, and the coaches got to do some recruiting. They
did the bye week a bit different. Normally they practice Tuesday and Wednesday,
take Thursday and Friday off, and then start the game week on Saturday. But they
started on Thursday this time after taking Tuesday and Wednesday off. They
really want to focus in on Georgia Tech.

The scout team isn’t snapping the ball. The center moves a rag, but the
quarterback already has the ball. That helps to simulate the speed of the
Georgia Tech offense. T.J. Shaw is the scout team quarterback this week. His dad
is a coach at Ferrum, where they run the triple option offense.

Tech made personnel changes in the front seven because you want to get your
best players and best matchups on the field. Jack Tyler is a great fit at mike.
He’s very good moving downfield. At tackle, J.R. Collins is the best option this
week. You can’t take a false step against this offense. Everything hits so fast
that if you take a false step, it’s a big play.

Kyle Fuller is going to be involved in the option game quite a bit from his
nickel/whip spot.

It doesn’t make any difference whether or not Georgia Tech knows the Hokies
are making those personnel changes. The Yellow Jackets are going to do the same
thing every week, and it’s not going to change their game plan.

It’s important to play well on first down. It’s easy for Georgia Tech to pick
up first downs in short yardage situations. Every possession is critical. You
don’t want to have turnovers, and you want to take advantage of all your
opportunities.

Michael Branthover punted well this week for the most part. He needs to get
more consistent, but he has all the physical ability. Cody Journell is back
kicking and Beamer thinks he’ll be okay for Thursday night. We’ll know for sure
on Thursday night.

Tech does a good job with their in-game adjustments and that all goes back to
the coaching staff. The Hokies have very good assistant coaches. They are very
experienced and they’ve seen most things that opponents can throw at them.

Tevin Washington, the GT quarterback, had a big day rushing against Clemson.
He’s a good player, and he’s good in that offense. You don’t see the ball on the
ground very much.

Beamer feels like the Hokies have a good defensive game plan, and he feels
like they’ve practiced well. That offense is so different than everything else
you see, and Tech doesn’t have many guys in their current starting lineup who
have played against it.

The UVA defense mixed it up some. They were in an even front some and a 50
front some. You have to mix it up against Georgia Tech. If you don’t, they’ll
beat you.

Any time you can get Georgia Tech behind, it’s critical. You want to score
first and get them behind. For this game, it’s even more important than it
usually is.

The winner of this game is going to have a big advantage in the ACC Coastal
Division race. The winner of this one will be in the driver’s seat.

Beamer feels like the pace and tempo of practice this week have been good.

Georgia Tech will wear white on Thursday night. Virginia Tech will wear
maroon.

The coaching staff was recruiting last week. They visited prospects who were
committed, as well as prospects who are undecided. The Hokies are just about
finished with their 2012 class.

Monday was Day 2,536 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.

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