Tech Talk Live Notes for September 10, 2012

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Jim Weaver

If you never give up, you give yourself a chance to win.  That’s what happened to the Hokies against Georgia Tech.

Playing on Monday night on Labor Day is part of the ACC’s television package.  Virginia Tech won’t be in the game every year.  Other ACC schools will have to take part as well.  Tech will get asked to play in the game again, but Weaver is going to try his best to only play it once every three years.  A short week like that is just not an ideal arrangement, especially if you are the travelling team.

Some football talking heads have been saying that 1-A teams shouldn’t play 1-AA teams.  Weaver disagreed, saying that it’s easier fiscally to get a 1-AA team than a 1-A team.  He’s tired of being told by announcers on television how to run his business.  When you are trying to balance a multi-million dollar budget each year, you have to make the right financial decisions.  It would have cost Tech about $800,000 to get a team like Ohio in Lane Stadium.  The Austin Peay game cost $325,000.

The athletic directors have not discussed the ACC’s 9-game scheduling format yet.  That will happen in the fall meetings.  A number of schools will probably have to play on the road against the same team two years in a row.  It’s possible that the ACC could scrap the current scheduling format and come up with something completely new.

There are 20 bicycle policemen who are supposed to be going through parking lots to make sure people are keeping their tailgates within a reasonable distance from their car.  He knows a lot of people aren’t doing it, and it makes it very difficult for those who are driving through the lot to their parking space.

Women’s soccer is undefeated and ranked #11 in the country.  Chugger Adair and his staff have done a great job.  Kelly Cagle, who was Adair’s predecessor, recommended Adair for the job.

Mike O’Cain

It’s nice to get in a normal week of preparation.  They had three days to get in five days of work.  Tech obviously didn’t play their best on Saturday, but they didn’t make a lot of mistakes.

Georgia Tech did a lot differently last Monday night.  They have predominantly been a 3-4 team, a 2-gap defense.  They played more 1-gap on Monday night, which is much different in terms of how you prepare your blocking schemes in the week leading up to the game.  They brought more pressure and  played more man coverage than they’ve done in the past.

Bryan Stinespring is back in the booth this year, after being on the sideline last year.  He felt like he could see things better up there.  Kevin Sherman had been in the booth with O’Cain last year.  Sherman has several very young receivers this year, and they need to be coached up on the sideline.

Logan Thomas didn’t throw the ball very well in the first game.  He might have been pressing or trying to throw the ball too hard.  He had two high throws against Austin Peay, but they needed to be high because there was a linebacker in the middle of the field who he had to throw over.

Thomas is fine physically.  There are no problems there at all (no sore arm).

O’Cain really likes Mark Leal.  He has a lot of confidence in him, and he believes Leal could go out and win a football game for the Hokies.  He was hoping to get Leal more throws on Saturday, but they went 3-and-out twice in the fourth quarter, and he didn’t have the opportunity.

We’ll see more hurry up in the future.  We were going to see it more on Saturday, but they weren’t able to get into a rhythm.  You want to get something established.  It took them awhile to decide how they wanted to get things done on Saturday.  They went into halftime and made some changes.

Tech has to throw the ball more accurately.  They’ve got to run routes better.  They’ve got to get a better push up front on the offensive line.  O’Cain said he has to do a better job of putting them in a position to move the ball.

The morning of the game, Frank Beamer told the coaching staff that if the game went to overtime, he was thinking about kicking a field goal on the first play (editor’s note: we assume that Beamer meant that if the Hokies had a chance to win the game in overtime, they would go for a field goal on the first play of the possession).  He asked the rest of the staff what they thought, and none of them agreed.  They all felt like they had to try and get closer.  When they got it down to first and goal, the staff discussed whether or not to kick a field goal on first down.  They decided to keep going for quarterback sneaks.

Pitt didn’t play very well against Youngstown State.  They were missing several players in that game.  Cincinnati big-played Pitt.  They did look a lot more athletic against Pitt.  O’Cain believes they are a little bit suspect in the secondary, as they have some young corners.  They changed their safeties from the first game to the second game.

Every game is different, and every team is different.  If you don’t play your best, you can always lose.

The Pistol has gotten a lot of hype, but there’s not a whole lot to it.  The Pistol is a combination of being in the shotgun and the I-formation.  It lets you run the ball downhill from the shotgun alignment.  You can also disguise your protections a little bit.

Tony Gregory

Gregory tries to produce wherever he gets on the field, and special teams is his first opportunity.  He got a good jump on the ball on the blocked punt.  Beamer teaches his players to go as if they aren’t going to be blocked, so they are able to get good jumps.

Tech does a drill before practice every day where they put a mark in front of the punter.  You have to keep your eyes on that mark.  That’s the spot where you aim when trying to block a punt so you don’t run into the kicker.  At that point you just try to focus and keep your eyes open.

It’s tough to tear your ACL twice, as Gregory did.  It’s hard to get through it.  It’s very painful.  You just have to have the right attitude and dedication.  Gregory loves football and he loves the Hokies, so he couldn’t see himself giving it up after the second knee injury.

Tech has different game plans for each opponent, so you could potentially see any of the tailbacks in the game.

It was very exciting to score his first career TD against Austin Peay.  Hopefully he can get some more before it’s all over with.

Gregory will graduate in Human Development in December.  He loves kids, he has a 6-year old sister.  He’s working his internship at a daycare, so hopefully he can open up his own daycare.  He has another year of eligibility left, and he might get a sociology degree in that year.

When Georgia Tech went ahead late in the game, Gregory knew it was going to be a tight one.  But the Hokies had been there before.  The sideline went nuts when Corey Fuller caught the big fourth down pass and Cody Journell kicked the field goal.

Jack Tyler

Tyler grew up in Northern Virginia, so he grew up a big Redskins fan.  Three former Tech players started for the Redskins on Sunday: Will Montgomery, DeAngelo Hall and Josh Morgan.

After last Monday’s game, Tyler felt physically terrible.  It was the worst week ever.  It was a tough game to get over in just a few short days.  It was very hard on his body.  Mentally, it was the best week of his life.  A lot of people back home were proud of him.

Things have been going well.  All the linebackers who are playing are experienced.  Tyler has always been a mike, but Bruce Taylor has moved over to backer, which is a lot different.  But they’ve all been in the meeting room together and they all learn from each other.

VT’s goal on Monday night was to eliminate the big play.  They really prepared hard.  That was their main focus.  When GT has scored against the Hokies in the past, it’s usually been because of a big play.  If you eliminate those plays, it’s tough for them to score.  It worked out.

Tyler thinks Georgia Tech is the most difficult team to defend.  On any play, three guys could get the ball.  You really have to be good with your key reads and fundamentals.  The coaching staff did an amazing job getting the defense ready to play.  The players were actually joking around on the sideline about how well everything Foster came up with was working.

Getting out of bed on Tuesday was tough.  Tech scaled back a little bit last week, and did fewer hitting drills.  Even with that, it was tough.  His shoulders didn’t feel too hot, and his legs were sore.  But that’s football.

The feeling after the Georgia Tech game was one that Tyler can’t put into words.  With the crazy turn of events at the end of the game, it really brought everybody together.

Tyler grew up a Tech fan, so he remembers all the matchups with Larry Fitzgerald.  It’s fun to play in games like this when you remember where the rivalry came from.  Pitt will be a hungry team.  They are 0-2, so they will do whatever it takes to win.  Tech will get everybody’s best shot.

Ray Graham is a really good tailback.  They have good players on offense.  Pitt hasn’t shown their best yet.

Frank Beamer

It was a tough week.  The players and coaches handled it well, and the Hokies were very organized.  They cut back their practices, but they tried to practice enough.  Beamer felt like it went well.

You play such a physical ball game on a Monday night, and then you only have a few days to get ready for your next game, it takes a toll.

Beamer said that if he ever had to open in Atlanta for a Monday night game, he would want the next Saturday off.  It’s even tougher to have to travel after you play a Monday night game.  VT found that out the hard way in 2010.

A lot of players made big plays when it counted against Georgia Tech.  Looking back, it’s a great way to start the season.  It wasn’t so much fun to go through it at the time, however.

Michael Holmes and J.C. Coleman have really done well.  Those guys are playing for the first time.  J.C. Coleman really has something … he gives the offense something.  Get him out in space, and he’s tough.  Tony Gregory played with great speed on Saturday.  Beamer is proud of him.  Martin Scales brings a toughness that is kind of a changeup to the other guys.

Corey Fuller has really improved.  He’s turned into a heck of a player.  He’s always been fast, but he’s positioning his body well and breaking tackles.  He’s been a guy who has really helped the team and played very well.  Demitri Knowles will get more involved as the time goes by.  He’s got great speed and hands.  He just hasn’t played a lot of football.

D.J. Coles practiced some on Monday, though he’s still out for the year.  The staff just wants to keep him involved with the team.

The staff feels like Joshua Stanford will factor in soon.  He’s a mature guy, and he’s going to get better each week.

Tech played a lot of freshmen against Austin Peay.  Beamer likes the way the Hokies are recruiting right now.  At one point they had 10 freshmen on the field on defense.

Tech has to keep working on the kicking game.  All the punt returners are new.  Offensively, Beamer was happy with the way Tech played in the second half.  They got into a flow and they mixed some things up.  They have to get going quicker in the game.

Beamer would like to see Tech play a little tougher up front.  They are athletic and moving in the right direction.  They dropped a couple of passes that killed drives.  Overall, the offense just has to play more consistently.

Tariq Edwards is coming along, but he needs a little more time. He’s a terrific player.  They would like to get him back ASAP.

A.J. Hughes kicked the ball very well, and they had a good day in punt coverage.  If you make plays in the kicking game, you will rarely lose.  The Hokies had a great punt return and a punt block on Saturday.

Tech will keep working their new punt returns, such as Kyshoen Jarrett, Michael Holmes, and perhaps Willie Byrn.

It’s in the best interest of Trey Edmunds to redshirt.  There is no question about his ability or how good he’s going to be, but right now he’s behind the other guys, and there aren’t enough reps to go around.

Beamer thinks Demitri Knowles and J.C. Coleman really bring something to the table on kickoff returns.  They are both fast and shifty.

Pitt has good players.  They lack stability because they have had so many coaches recently.  It’s hard to adjust to a new staff every year.  But they have tough players, and good players.

Beamer thinks the rivalry with Pitt will rekindle when they join the ACC.  The schools are pretty close to each other, and Beamer sees some good games down the line.

Ray Graham was a terrific player last year, and then hurt his knee.  He came back this season, and he is getting better each and every week.  He’s got some quickness.  He can stop on a dime.  He’s a fantastic ball player.

Pitt missed scoring opportunities against Cincinnati.  That game was closer than the score indicated.  They drove the length of the field twice, but didn’t score either time.  Tech has great respect for Pitt.

Pitt does a lot of I-formation, and playaction off of that.  They want to feature their tailback, and their quarterback is a senior.  Their receivers are big guys.  Their offensive line is full of tough guys.

Pitt is in the middle of a great recruiting area.  That program will get a lot of good players as they get into the ACC.  They are going to be really good really quick.

Pitt played last Thursday night, so they’ve had a couple of extra days to prepare for the Hokies.  Beamer expects a tough and physical battle.

Tech will keep on working with tempo.  It helps to change tempo during the course of the game.

Tech is just about done with recruiting for 2013.  They are just waiting on a couple of guys to decide.  Beamer is very pleased with recruiting this year.

Beamer is proud that Tech only had four penalties against Georgia Tech.  He thought the team played very disciplined for the first game.  Tech also has just one turnover through two games, and that’s a good mark.

Monday was Day 2,845 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.

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32 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. After reading these comments, I came away a little surprised. I am definitely a huge VT football fan, but my work took me away from Virginia as soon as I graduated. I was lucky to get a chance to get back to VT for holidays, etc. and would always try to schedule a trip back to Blacksburg if possible. I have also spent many football seasons overseas since graduating, so watching a game has often been a hit-or-miss event.

    While I understand how season ticket holders could be frustrated if they don’t get to go to the very best game or two of the season, for me, getting to go to two games last season (actually went to the GT game close to where I was working), and then to the holiday bowl, was amazing!

    I think that there are enough VT fans now that I hope some can’t make all the games- that’s probably why I was able to get two tix and bring my wife back for her first VT game vs. Miami. All I would want to say in response to these comments is possibly consider how great it is to go to all of the games you guys have the opportunity to go to. I would take AP, Duke, and Wake any weekend, just because I know I would get a chance to go to PK’s for a beer, grab a sub from Sycamore Deli, and maybe even drive down to the river to see if there’s still big rocks in the middle of it like there was 15 years ago.

    We all know the AP game was going to be tough for the players to get through, but the GT game on Labor Day was worth it! Everyone I spoke with spent all summer talking about it- it was a big deal for all my friends who are fans, but then again, maybe because we don’t get back to Tech that often, we never have a chance to take it all for granted.

    I do appreciate everyone’s insight, and I have DEFINITELY MISSED Tech Football.

  2. I’m sure all the anti-Weaverites have a replacement lined up for Jim’s retirement. Be sure and get someone who’ll listen to the Hokie fans and not worry about the business running a successful inter-collegiate athletic program

  3. The whining about playing in a Monday night nationally televised game every 3 years is freaking ridiculous. The VT-GT game was the most talked about game of the weekend and the 2nd highest rated game behind Alabama. Getting that type of coverage is incredibly helpful to the program even if we have to schedule a cupcake on a short week (see Thursday night ESPN games). It isn’t like we are notre-dame; Are we really going to sacrifice such an incredible, recruiting/media opportunity because fans don’t want to drive up twice a week and we are getting a short week on a poor 1-AA team? Give me a break.

    1. While I understand and agree for the most part with you, I am not sure it is that cut and dry because there are a couple factors involved here.

      First, I would say a large percentage (maybe even the largest in the state of VA) is located around NOVA, which means 4-5 hour drive (1 way). So for people wanting to attend the Labor Day game, they would probably have to take off work on Tuesday (which may or may not be possible given the job) or go into work with little or no sleep. For the Thursday game against Florida State, then most likely they would have to take off 2 days (which may or may not be possible given the job).

      Second, if you notice what home games are considered to be most desirable then the Top 3 would be UVA, Georgia Tech, and Florida State (in whatever order). No disrespect to the other 3 schools, but it is hard to get as excited for a game against Austin Peay, Bowling Green, or Duke compare to the other 3 games. It wouldn’t be such a big deal if VT only had the GT game on Labor Day and the FSU game on prime time Saturday. But when 2 of the 3 most desirable games are during the week then it may not be feasible for people to be able to take 3 days off from work especially since the fan base/season ticket holders are spread across the state and in neighboring states. Also, considering that VT probably won’t play FSU at home again for another 4-6 years (depending on cross-division schedule). I can understand why season ticket holders may be a little frustrated with this year’s home schedule.

    2. Good point, but we may not always be the home team on the Monday Labor Day night game. We were fortunate this year. I would agree that having to travel and also having a short week is not an ideaI arrangement. The 2010 season is a good reminder.

  4. I really don’t think people truly understand how much control ESPN has with the new TV contract with the ACC. Since the signing of that contract each labor day game has been conference match ups except for the Boise/Tech game back in 2010, to my recollection. However making a schedule call like that is really out of Weaver’s hands. If ESPN wants Virginia Tech to open on Labor Day night, 9 times out of 10 they are going to get what they want because of that contract. Also the reason Tech is so attractive to ESPN for big games like that is because of the TV market that Tech brings. Majority of Virginia Tech’s alumni are based in the D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia area, which if you guys didn’t know Northern VA is considered to be the richest place in America… so I can see why ESPN wants to see Virginia Tech in games like this. It is all about the money. Now I do agree that from a football standpoint that does suck a lot to play two games in a span of 5 days and you are really putting yourself in a risky situation of not coming out of there 2-0 but that’s the risk you take. I would like to see at least a Saturday off after a Labor Day game but Weaver also needs to make the school money so I understand if he is stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    1. North Carolina has the greatest number of Tech alumni after Virginia. Don’t know how anyone could afford or want to live in Maryland. Go Hokies!

  5. You guys are being rather hard on an excllent athletic director. It’s a tough job, and, unlike you, he has to consider ALL factors, not just your convenience.

  6. “The morning of the game, Frank Beamer told the coaching staff that if the game went to overtime, he was thinking about kicking a field goal on the first play. . . . . He asked the rest of the staff what they thought, and none of them agreed.”

    Am I the only one that finds this bit disturbing??? Yay for the rest of the staff, but come on coach! REALLY?

    1. No, you are not alone. I find it flat-out scary that a coach would consider that. It does not indicate a great deal of confidence in the offense. I’d say that the offense should always expect to score TDs and they should be pissed when they have to settle for FGs. Beamer just doesn’t seem to have that same intensity.

    2. Wow…. this clearly demonstrates that Beamer simply does not have that intense killer edge. I’ve been saying that for years but this just about sums it up… I can’t belive he would rather go for the field goal and not even try to score a TD.. Wow.. wow….

  7. I thought JW was getting ready to retire. How’s he going to limit this 2-games-in-5-days crap if he’s retired?

    There are some things that just ain’t worth the money. They’re called lemons.

    1. Another thought: I’d rather be 2-0 after beating ‘Bama next year, than 2-0 after the 5 day gauntlet of GT and AP.

      Sure beats 0-2 after the Boise-JMU debacle.

      I want to play good football on Saturdays, having a normal, regular, American as apple pie 7 days between games. Underline good. I don’t think chasing money at non-traditional times (read: non Saturday) is conducive to good football.

      1. “I don’t think chasing money at non-traditional times (read: non Saturday) is conducive to good football.”

        I agree, it’s not. But as long as the ACC has that TV contract, it’s something we are going to have to do every now and then.

  8. I am looking forward to the first team to get tossed out of the national championship playoffs for a weak schedule. Maybe that will reduce the 1AA and bottom dwellers that predominate the early season schedule. Weaver’s arguments fall on deaf ears here.

  9. I don’t agree with Weaver trying to get us to play it once every three years. That seems pretty often to me. Its going to cost us more times than not in my opinion either in 0-2, 1-1 or down the line because we take a week off after the first week. I don’t like it. Why doesn’t the rest of the ACC share in the Monday night game?? There are plenty of teams, UNC, NC State, FSU, Clemson, Miami, GT. It doesn’t have to be a conference game does it? It is always going to be a decent match up to get ratings because it’s a prime game so we either need to always schedule people equivelant to AP or take the week off (which I don’t agree with). Either way, once every three years seems way to often for me.

    1. Every three years is too much.
      It puts the players in a bad position.
      It puts the fans in a bad position (behind the steering wheel late at night).
      But JW wants the money the home game generates.
      That’s his job.

    2. I am not sure he is trying to play once every three years… much as he wants to try and LIMIT it to only once every three years. I think VT is asked to play a big opener on Monday night because of the success of the program and the TV draw for the ACC. It is the ACC that wants VT to play more often….Weaver is trying to keep it within reason. I think he would be OK with once every 5+ years, but it is the ACC that is pressuring us to play Monday night openers. I interpreted it differently,

      1. I don’t think you interpreted it differently. I think you read it incorrectly.

        JW said he was going to try his best to play it only once every three years.

        The correct interpretation would be defined by the word “try”, which means it may be out of his control, and “only” which means we could be asked to play it more often.

        Where do you see in the article he would prefer every 5 years? It’s not there.

        1. Agree with you…Weaver meant he is trying to limit us to once every 3 years…VT doesn’t get any extra money from ESPN / ACC by playing on Monday night or Labor day…’s part of the ACC contract. The ACC wants us to play as we are the highest rated team in ESPN telecasts. It has to do with future contracts, etc…. No way ESPN wants Duke, Maryland, Wake, etc. on these high profile games… guys need to lay off Weaver on this issue……now some other issues such as not opening lots until 4:00pm, putrid video board / sound system, etc….fire away….

      2. Exactly, as long as VT maintains, ESPN will want us to play on Labor Day (or FSU). I saw somewhere that VT-GT was the 2nd highest rated game next to Mich-Bama.

    3. Let’s see…9th year in the conference, how many Labor Day ACC openers have we played? Oh yeah, ONE. The Boise St game was a made for TV deal with ESPN. BTW, ESPN does have a voice in the process since they pay the bills.

    4. Your wants are past-generational yearnings. You want to give up watching far-away Tech games on TV or recruiting in Florida and Georgia? Times they ara-a changin’ and you gotta change with them!

  10. Shame Weaver does not pay $50.00 to watch Austin Peay play it’s a shame Weaver does not concern himself with the travel that most fans have to make in having 2 games in one week

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