Tech Talk Live Notes for October 22, 2012

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Jim Weaver

The offense had a great start at Clemson. Weaver agreed 100% with the call to go for it on fourth down to try and get up 14-0. If you kick the field goal you are up 10-0, but then Clemson could still tie the game without scoring two touchdowns.

The defense played with a lot of tenacity. They had five sacks against a very good offensive team. Clemson has the best skilled position players in the conference. Weaver is very pleased with the way they played.

Clemson is a talented team, and you can’t make mistakes and hope to beat them. Clemson had an interception return for a touchdown, and the Marcus Davis interception set up a touchdown as well.

There’s nothing the Hokies can do about the bad calls in Saturday’s game. All they can do is send the tape of the plays in question to the ACC office. Weaver doesn’t see how the Sammy Watkins fumble wasn’t clear.

The athletics department has saved money and they are prepared in case season tickets don’t go well in any given year. They have a non-renewal rate of about 8-10% each year, but new buyers have always made up those losses.

The fact that the ACC is sticking with an 8-game schedule does not change their new contract with ESPN.

Virginia Tech will play Ohio State in 2014 and 2015. They play Wisconsin in 2016 and 2017. He’s dealing with a number of teams right now for possible games from 2018-21, and he’s hoping to get that done in the next couple of weeks. There are Big Ten schools involved in those discussions.

Weaver renewed the ECU series. Pittsburgh went from being a non-conference game to a conference game, so the Hokies needed another non-conference contest. Weaver and Terry Holland have had a very good relationship for a long time. Weaver likes playing ECU because their fans buy all 4,000 tickets they are allotted. Also, it’s an opportunity for Tech fans in Tidewater to take a short trip to see the Hokies play on the road. Also, it’s not a buy game for the Hokies, so it makes sense financially.

BYU was available for a home and home. Virginia Tech wasn’t interested. They would have to bus to Greensboro to fly that far. Flying out of Roanoke would require a stop for refueling.

The Tech senior athletic staff is working on a long-term plan for the athletic department. They have a couple of meetings about that this week.

Bud Foster

Tech puts in a lot of preparation for defending spread type of teams such as Clemson, that use the slot tight end. Torrian Gray did a great job of studying it. The Hokies had a good plan going in. They had to stop the run and eliminate explosive plays, and overall they did a good job. The defensive players played really hard until the very end.

Clemson has dynamic playmakers at every position, and that makes them tough to stop. They have a dynamic quarterback, the best quarterback in the ACC (in Foster’s opinion), and two of the best receivers in the country.

The Hokies set the tone on Clemson’s first drive with two sacks. Luther Maddy had a great spring. He got hurt a bit to start the season against Georgia Tech and slowed down, but he has really come on the last couple of weeks. The whole defensive line has turned it up.

Kyle Fuller has been a whip type of player the last two years. This is his first full season playing corner. The safeties have really improved over the last couple of games. That has been a huge part of why the defense has gotten better the last two weeks. They’ve had great practice habits as well.

Other than hitting a baseball, Foster thinks the hardest thing to do in sports is play cornerback. You’re on an island out there. You can have great coverage, but a perfect throw will still beat you.

Tech played a lot of three-deep against Clemson. It was an aggressive three-deep. It’s a chess match out there.

Foster told the players on Monday morning that he knows they are improving, and that if they keep working hard, they will get even better. They’ll have an opportunity to close strong.

Foster wouldn’t discuss the Watkins fumble. They “got talked to” last week about saying things about the officials, so he would rather “keep my mouth shut”.

Miami is a very young team, but a very talented team. They have great speed, and they are big and physical up front. Al Golden has done a good job. They are young and improving all the time. The Canes and Hokies are both in the same position, so it should be a great game.

Miami will have the best offensive line the Hokies have seen to date. They have a lot of guys returning from last year. They are big and physical up front.

Foster has always been impressed with Miami quarterback Stephen Morris. He plays smooth. He’s a very good player with plenty of experience.

The Hokies have worked very hard since they played so poorly defensively against UNC. They are taking it one game at a time, and they’ve played very well since then. If the team keeps fighting, things will turn around.

It’s a good time for a bye week. Foster went home after Sunday meetings for the first time since August 1. Tech isn’t going out recruiting this week. The coaches are going to focus on Miami, because this game could decide who wins the Coastal Division.

The game is expanding, and there are so many athletes at quarterbacks these days. But the SEC is different. They play pro-style offenses for the most part. You see the en vogue offenses around the country, but not in the SEC. Defenses will come back up, but it will still come down to personnel and how teams match up.

Somebody has to win the Coastal Division, so it might as well be the Hokies. As far as Foster is concerned, the Coastal goes through Blacksburg.

Michael Via

Tech played hard on Saturday. Clemson is good. They have a good defensive front and great linebackers. Some things didn’t go our way.

It wasn’t a hard transition to center. He had played the position a lot in the past. The biggest transition is snapping the ball.

Things change a bit from position to position on the offensive line, depending on what position you play. Things aren’t too much different between the center and guards. They are all interior positions.

Via doesn’t have a preference on which position he likes the best.

Via thinks Caleb Farris will be back very soon. It’s good to have the bye week right now.

The team knows that if they beat Miami, they will have a great chance to win the Coastal Division. It’s always fun to play Miami. It’s always a fast game.

Via feels like the offense had a great week of practice last week. They know there are criticisms. The coaches tell them what’s going on, but it’s not hard for the players to see it too. They just have to keep working hard to make sure the problems are fixed.

Via graduated in May with a degree in Fisheries Science. He’s taking classes to maintain full time status as a student. He hasn’t decided what he wants to do next.

Via likes to go fishing, especially in the New River. There are a few lakes around Greensboro, which is where he is from. If there was a team fishing completion, Andrew Miller and Trey Gresh would have a good chance to win.

Luther Maddy

Maddy is looking forward to going home to South Florida to play the Miami Hurricanes.

Maddy sprained his ankle against Georgia Tech, but he feels a lot healthier now. He finally started feeling better before the Duke game. The pain is almost gone, and he’s been able to make some sacks.

Clemson is one of the harder offenses to defend. The defense did a great job, and they showed everybody that they could play well against a team like Clemson.

Earlier in the season, Tech wasn’t playing as well defensively. They were tackling poorly, and the effort was up and down. They’ve fixed their tackling and leverage problems and are playing better as a result.

Most of Maddy’s friends are Miami fans. They don’t know who to cheer for next week. He likes the smack talk.

Blacksburg is much different than Florida. It’s easier to focus on school and football at Virginia Tech.

Maddy really had no choice but to come to Virginia Tech. He didn’t have any other major offers. Tech took a chance on him. He got an offer from the Hokies the day before Signing Day. He was the last recruit of the class. There is a big chain of recruits from his high school to Virginia Tech (David Clowney, Mark Leal, Jayron Hosley, Dadi Nicolas and Maddy).

Maddy is a little bit shorter than most defensive tackles, and he didn’t play that much before his senior season. He had a great senior year. Now there are schools in Florida that are calling his high school coach and apologizing for not recruiting him.

Maddy didn’t have a heavy coat before he came to Virginia Tech. The warmest thing he had was a sweater from Wal-Mart.

Maddy took part in the snow ball fight with the cadets on the Drill Field last year, and that’s the coldest he’s ever been. He had never been hit with a snowball before, but it was a good feeling.

When he first showed up on campus, Maddy weighed 286 and he could bench press about 340. Now he’s 288 and he can press 380. The whole strength and conditioning staff is great. Maddy was kind of weak coming in, but he’s improved. He’s lost some fat and added muscle. He got a long stronger over the summer.

This has to be one of Maddy’s best games. He’s had it circled on his calendar since the summer.

Maddy would rather play the entire game, but once the Georgia Tech game began, he started to like rotating. It keeps everybody fresh.

Tech needs to do a better job in the redzone. They needed to hold Clemson to field goals. They tried their hardest, but they couldn’t keep them out of the endzone for some reason.

On Clemson’s last touchdown to make the score 38-17: “That was a very important part of the game. We should have stepped up.”

Maddy knows that Tech fans are frustrated. He asked fans to stick with the team, keep supporting them, and they will start winning again.

Frank Beamer

That didn’t feel like a 3-touchdown game on Saturday. If you take about 8 plays out of that ballgame, and have maybe 4 of them go Tech’s way, he thinks they would have won the game. But they didn’t go Tech’s way, and the Hokies didn’t help them go their way at times.

Things went like Beamer thought they were going to go early in the game. Early in the third quarter, the Hokies got stuck on their own side of the field. They stayed in a hole. Clemson got good field position too many times.

There wasn’t much decision about whether or not to go for it on 4th and 1. He knew it was going to take more than 10 points to win the football game. He thought they had a chance to get momentum. It was the thing to do. They had a little play off tackle, and they didn’t go down and get the middle backer, and all of a sudden he was hitting Holmes right in the hole. It was poor execution. It was a play they should have been able to execute.

Tech had some turnovers, and they didn’t take advantage of some other opportunities. Tech tried a double pass early in the game, but Logan Thomas threw it low to Marcus Davis, who wasn’t able to deliver the ball. Beamer thinks that play would have gone for a touchdown. You’ve got to take advantage of those situations.

They are close. Beamer told the team on Monday that there were about 8 plays, and if you get half of them turned around, then they would be feeling a lot better. Every part of the team has been good at some point, and now they just need to all be good together at the same time.

Clemson has a good offense. Beamer really likes a lot of the things they do, with the counter action. But what makes Clemson good and Oregon good is great people with great speed. The scheme is one thing, but Beamer thinks you have to have the right people to make that. When you look at Clemson, they have a great tailback, great wide receivers, the quarterback is playing great, etc. That’s what makes it. They’ve always been able to recruit well at Clemson.

Beamer thinks the wide receiver pass in the fourth quarter was a good call. It was wide open earlier in the game. Maybe they shouldn’t have gone back to it. But those kind of plays have a chance of giving you a lift, and Beamer thinks that’s part of a good offense.

Beamer thinks recruiting is going well. Losing guys early like David Wilson, Ryan Williams and Jayron Hosley have hurt. Tech hasn’t done some things they need to do to win. They are close. The team is still working very hard.

There are a lot of things involved in the offense. Everybody knows they need to run the ball better, and they are working to do that. They have a couple of freshmen tailbacks who don’t have experience. When you play your third center, things don’t always get blocked as well as you’d like. Tech isn’t looking to blame, they are looking to find ways to be successful.

Todd McShay stays on TV by being controversial. That’s part of it. But when you talk about the Tech offense … Cam Newton played in a similar offense. Beamer doesn’t quite understand where McShay was coming from. (Related article: McShay cooling on Logan Thomas)

There have been some tough calls going back to the Sugar Bowl, but things will all even out.

When asked about evaluating coaching performances, Beamer said: “We’re going to talk about Miami and what we need to do to get ready for Miami. That’s what I’m interested in talking about. I’m not interested in talking about our coaches right now.”

Mark Leal is a valuable guy. The Hokies have a lot of confidence in him. He has a lot of value as the #2 quarterback.

It’s a good time for a bye week. It will help some guys get healthy. Hopefully Caleb Farris will make it back for the Miami game. Other than that, the Hokies are fairly healthy.

Tech is going to work Laurence Gibson some and give him a chance to earn some playing time. Whether its guard or tackle, they’re going to give him the chance to prove he can help.

Monday was Day 2,887 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.

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33 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. “If you take about 8 plays out of that ballgame…”

    If you take 8 plays out of a 56-0 blowout…you’d have a tie…

  2. Couldn’t agree with Foster’s assessment that the Coastal championship goes through Blacksburg. No matter how bad we are doing it does. Always has (since we joined) always will.

  3. Foster wouldn’t discuss the Watkins fumble. They “got talked to” last week about saying things about the officials, so he would rather “keep my mouth shut”.

    Hmmm . . . I hate to think this way and I don’t know what was said about the officials last week, but I wonder if the officials decided to exact some revenge on a few close calls last Saturday. Hopefully it was nothing more than a case of honest mistakes, but Foster’s comment sure does give me pause.

  4. Chris,
    I’m pretty sure Brandon Flowers was from Atlantic HS and not Dadi Nicolas. I couldn’t double check Dadi’s high school because he’s not listed on the football roster.

  5. Why can’t we just play our four OOC games with the top four teams in the SEC? Then if we lost them, soreheads could have something else to complain about. Did you ever look at ‘Bama and Friends’ schedules? Some real patsies can be found there.

    1. true, however Bama destroys everyone they are supposed to and doesn’t play a close game to teams like Austin Peay, etc. I don’t think Bama has scored under 30 points this season. Thats going to be a tough game next year. They are just a dominant team.

  6. “4 plays here” or “”8 plays here”. STOP IT ALREADY. It’s making you look completely stupid and it’s such a bulls–t statement to make. In every football game, ever played, that statement can be made by any coach on either side, the winner or the loser, and they would probably be technically correct. But guess what, if Clemson had made “4 or 8 plays here or there”, they could have had the shutout. Heck, we can use your statement in other aspects of life. What if the British had made “4 or 8 plays here or there”, the United States could be under the rule of a King & Queen. Seriously, I can use this generic statement in almost any situation and technically, it would probably be correct. But in reality, it doesn’t mean anything. And when you say it, especially after every freakin’ loss, it becomes even less meaningful, if that’s even possible. Instead of giving a bulls–t answer, why not just admit you got beat because of the poor play by the offense. Or the poor play calling. Or the special teams miscues. Whatever the reason, just admit it. But please stop acting like we were a play away from winning every time we lose.

    1. Franks comments are not going to change. He’s got too much class to throw anyone under the bus. Things that need to be said behind closed meeting room doors are said there

      1. Effectively, by his comments, he’s throwing the offensive players under the bus…..time and time again. Never his offensive coaches, the players. When you continually talk about execution (or lack thereof), you are saying, “our players aren’t doing what they are being coached to do”.

  7. I want to throw a BS flag on Weaver’s contention that it’s not possible to play a BYU series because of the inability to fly in and out of Roanoke non-stop.

    I am an air traffic controller at the State College, PA airport. The home of Penn State has many, many team charters utilizing B737 and B757 aircraft. Nebraska came into State College last year on a Delta airlines B757 charter.

    Now, the State College runway is 6701′ long and is no problem for a B757 fully loaded with a bunch of Corn Huskers to get in and out of. The longest runway at Roanoke is 6800′ and I know that B757s are in and out of there, flown by UPS.

    So what’s the point? Consider this from the Boeing website:

    “With the improved wing design, less engine power is required for takeoff and landing. Even with full passenger payload, the 757-200 can operate from runways as short as those used by the much smaller 737-200 jetliner — about 5,500 feet (1,675 meters) for trips up to 1,740 nautical miles (3,220 kilometers). In addition, the 757 can reach a higher cruise altitude more quickly than many other jetliners.”

    Roanoke to Salt Lake City is 1500 nautical miles. It seems to me that a B757 charter would or should have no problem operating in and out of Roanoke as would be required for a BYU series. My guess is that it’s much cheaper to use the charter outfit that VT is contracted with now rather than to go outside of the contract to use a carrier such as Delta or United. I don’t know, I just don’t buy Weaver’s rap on this anymore. If there is a B757 driver out there who can set me straight, please do.

    1. As a contractor for the FAA, I agree with your analysis. What we don’t know, as you mentioned, are the facts of the contract that the VT athletics department has with their charter carrier. If Weaver locked into a low-cost outfit (probably, knowing his fiscal background), then he probably sees no choice other than going to Greensboro (which has a 10,000 ft/3,048m runway).

      I have to wonder, though, how Nebraska traveled to Blacksburg a few years ago (through Roanoke or Greensboro).

      It does seem like a lame excuse not to travel to any school west of the Mississippi – I guess we’re locked in as long as Weaver’s in the AD chair.

    2. Only UPS & FedEx use the B757 – The Roanoke Airport does not have a passenger agreement using B757. The largest aircraft for passengers is the Allegiant Air which uses MD-82/83 jet aircraft that seat 130-150 people. I don’t see the football team riding in the cargo plain. Who wants to see BYU anyway? To me, I’d rather play ECU where I can attend the road games.

      1. Nothing against ECU but a break from them here and there would be nice. BYU, anybody decent west of the Mississippi would be fun to see in Blacksburg. JW is a broken record. Same garbage different week.

  8. This is one man’s opinion. There are two reasons we are 4-4.

    First, the D is giving up 24 points a game. Take away the Austin Peay and Bowling Green games and the D is giving up 31 points a game. I remember talk in the preseason that this D was going to be really good like we’ve had in the past, that this would be a top 10 defense. Giving up that many points makes it hard for the offense, expecting them to score even more. I haven’t figured out what is anemic about the D, especially with seasoned players not playing as good as they did last year. But one thing I think is happening is that players are not pushing each other like they used to for starting status. Competition for starting spots makes the players better. That’s been a Beamer staple for 25 years. Why not this year?

    Second, our running game is as pathetic as I can remember. One 100 yard rushing game by a player the whole season…blech! Beamer didn’t mention it above or in the live show last night, but the RTD this morning had a story where Beamer said staff had decided to quit constantly changing the TB. That focus may be what’s needed. But honestly as much as I love VT and our players, none of our current backs are going to have trouble getting confused for David Wilson, Ryan Williams, Darryl Evans, or any other recent backs. To be honest it hurts me to see J. C. Coleman wear #4, especially just one year after Wilson played in that number and set a seasonal rushing record in it. This team really misses Drew Harris who had the build of a typical every down VT running back. This kid Derrick Green from Hermitage in Richmond could start at Tech in the Miami game in 10 days, this kid is a man amongst boys. Maybe next year we’ll have both Harris and Green,

    2012 is sure a disappointment, and I can only hope for a lot of improvement in 2013. But when you start off with Alabama, well, you’re looking at one loss on the season from the get go. I hope LT doesn’t go to the NFL after this season…his stats this year really don’t warrant it, but the pros have already put a lot of stock in his season last year. Gee whiz, a win over ‘Bama would be awesome, almost as good as a MNC. But it ain’t gonna happen without LT and the current state of our TB corps.

    I know everyone is disappointed with losing, and that gives way to a lot of speculation. Like I said this is just my opinion. So be kind with your critique of my opinion. I know I may not be right, it’s just the way I see things.

    Unbelievably, we still have a chance at another 10 win season if we win out, including the ACCCG and a bowl game. Now that would show me some true grit, and what an entrance to the ‘Bama game it would be.

    1. I completely agree with your point about Harris and Green. Harris was my favorite recruit in the last class. I only hope that he becomes eligible and sticks with his commitment. Is there any word on his academic progress? Not to forget Green. I am completely excited about him as well. They are both big, strong, fast runners! Understand, I am not disrespecting any of our current RB’s, but the aforementioned are standouts. I think J.C. will be as well with the right complement.

      Go Hokies and keep fighting!

    2. I agree. I can’t wait to see Harris (hopefully) and Green come in a running back. I can understand the guys we have not putting up the numbers that RW, DE and DW had. Those were three great backs. But to not peg the meter at all and have the only 100 yd rushing game against Duke is horrible. We played Austin Peay and didn’t even get a guy over 100 yds. I know it’s not all their fault, blocking and line play has a part as well, but there have been obvious times when the RB’s just missed the hole or cut into defenders and whatnot. Forget about breaking tackles. I honestly don’t know why Scales isn’t getting more carries right now. He seems to be the only back with any consistency when he comes into the game.

      1. I said the same thing about Scales to one of the blog righters was met with total disagreement. Curious to see how the four get paired down. Scales has value.

  9. BYU would have been agreat game to schedule. Jeesh….guess the economics of the issue outweighed fan enjoyment…. guess we’ll have to be happy with either a directional michigan or carolina….

    1. How about OSU and Wisconsin? Too many people (fans?) are looking for a reason to be unhappy.

      There are enough real disappointments out there that I am not going to worry about passing on a home and home with BYU. East Carolina is not a bad match up, OSU and Wisconsin will be tough. We play Bama next year and it sounds like another Big 10 team is a possibility. I think the team has it’s hands full and the focus should be on more success with theae out of conference games.

      1. Agree.
        Besides… we don’t win vs the “big name” teams anyways; scheduling a “whos-who” and winning them are 2 different things.

    2. I agree 350%. Mundane little details about where you fly out of pale in comparison to what you said: fan enjoyment. Also, I think the national spotlight for the home & away would be huge in comparison to the already-played-out-before VT/ECU series. There are a lot of decisions that I think Jim Weaver has made that were fantastic and great for the program, but this one stinks like the stuff they spray the VT farms with every few months.

    3. BYU!?! Really? I don’t see the draw. They’re not a name team, like tOSU or Wisconsin, so beating them doesn’t give the same bump, and losing to them looks worse. While they carry more cachet than ECU, I’d rather see a PAC-12 team on the schedule than either BYU or ECU. Based on Weaver’s logistical comments, that seems unlikely.

  10. Come on Frank. I’ve been a supporter of you but I’m sick of it. “We’re 4 plays away”. Heck, taken to the extreme, that’s 24 points. ANYBODY, and I mean ANYBODY can rationalize being 24 points from victory in ANY game. Come on Frank, you’re better than that. Don’t insult our intelligence.

    1. Couldn’t agree more. If we were 6 plays away two weeks ago, we should be able to improve by 2 plays this week and be 4 plays away. Next week, we should be 2 plays away. Then after that we should be “there”. That tells me the coaches aren’t doing their jobs.

  11. So how far west can we go without having to fly out of Greensboro? I’m curious about what other teams we could possibly play OOC that are west of us.

    1. They could even fly out of Charlotte… it’s not like it is much further at all from Blacksburg.

    2. if we hired saban to be AD & Head FB coach……I guarantee the runway would be extended to meet length of any large city- a new terminal would be put in at BBurg Airport–BBurg would have more flights coming in /out due to close WVA city connections……and have its own multi-carrier service.

      local populations & economy would boom due to airport expansion/terminal construction, expansion of stadium to 100,000; building of 4 or 5 parking garages over existing flatspace lots—- housing expansion as alums move back “home” to bburg with the completion of Legends…..and construction of Legends 2, 3, — road expansions,
      hotels / townhouse,/condos construction / expansion. Construction of new ch 10 -nbc
      and ch7- cbs affiliate stations (moving from Roanoke to “where the action is”)
      tripling of police & fire dept staffs, etc etc.—

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