Tech Talk Live Notes for November 20, 2012

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Jim Weaver

Weaver was caught by surprise when Maryland announced they were moving to the Big Ten.  He believes it must have been money driven.

Weaver doesn’t think the ACC is vulnerable.  He thinks the Big Ten wanted to get to 14 teams to get more control over the eastern seaboard market.  They went after Maryland and Rutgers primarily for television markets.

Weaver thinks Maryland, Ohio State and Wisconsin will help Maryland fill their stadium the first time around.  However, if they don’t win, it won’t help attendance long term because fans want their teams to win.

The ACC thought about starting their own network, but they weren’t sure exactly how the Big Ten Network would work out.  Weaver doesn’t know if that will turn out to be a mistake or not.

Weaver doesn’t know whether Virginia Tech would be contacted by the SEC or not, if the SEC chooses to follow the Big Ten model.  He said he hasn’t thought about it, because the discussion has just come about in the last few days.  He thinks there could be potentially some interest from the SEC, but he doesn’t know how much. [editor’s note: don’t get worried about these comments.  They are just classic athletic director speak.  We all know very well that Weaver has thought about it.]

Weaver wasn’t surprised that Miami self-imposed a bowl ban again.  With Miami and UNC out of the bowl picture, a win over UVA Saturday could bump Tech up the bowl standings a bit.  Tech could potentially land in the Music City Bowl, the Sun Bowl, or the Russell Athletics Bowl.

Four different bowls will send representatives to Virginia Tech this weekend.  The Music City Bowl, the Belk Bowl, the Russell Athletics Bowl and the Sun Bowl will all send people.

Weaver and Dr. Steger meet once a month to discuss the landscape in athletics.  They will be prepared for whatever comes in the future.

Weaver was pleased about the clutch comeback at Boston College on Saturday.  That was a good win on the road.

Weaver is happy about basketball so far.  He is pleased that the team responded to adversity on the road.

Bryan Stinespring

There are times when Tech has played well, and other times when they haven’t played as well as expected.  That’s disappointing, and it grinds on you throughout each week.  No matter the result, coaches want to be able to say the team played as well as they could play at the end of each game, and that hasn’t happened enough.

Stinespring still doesn’t think Tech has played as well as they can play yet, and that’s wearing on everyone from the coaches to the players.

There’s a theory out there that the mechanics of Logan Thomas were thrown off when he took a trip to California to work with a quarterback specialist back in the spring.  Stinespring doesn’t think there is anything to that theory.

Tech needs to improve all around on offense.  As far as the passing game goes, Stinespring doesn’t feel like Thomas and the receivers have been on the same page at all times this season.  There are a lot of other little things that have held them back as well.

Marcus Davis had a difficult week last week.  It was good to see him come out with a big game against Boston College.  He made some big time catches.

Tech struggled in the first half offensively with BC, but they ended up scoring 30 points.  #1 Notre Dame scored 21 points on them the week before.  Tech was much better on first down in the second half than they were in the first half, particularly in the drive that tied the game.

The structure of BC’s defense is to bend but don’t break.  They don’t want to give up the big play.  They try to keep everything in front of them.  That gets even more difficult for offenses as they get into the redzone.

Tech is excited to play UVA on Saturday.  Getting to a bowl game is very important for Tech, and beating UVA is very important as well.

Martin Scales had a big part in the win.  He did a phenomenal job in short yardage situations.  He got one of them on his own, by sheer will and determination.  He wasn’t going to be denied.  Scales has done a great job getting reps at tailback and fullback.

The first Tech-UVA game Stinespring went to was in the early 1970’s.  He was a fan of the game long before he got into coaching.

Stinespring is expecting a dogfight on Saturday, and nothing short of it.  Every game has been a fourth quarter game, and he’s expecting nothing different this time around.  UVA has been very close to winning several other games, as has Virginia Tech.

James Johnson

Tech got off to a good start against UNC-Greensboro.  The Spartans fought back and played very well.  The Hokies were able to respond down the stretch.  They showed a lot of character and played very well down the stretch.  Jarell Eddie was a big time leader in the huddle.

Eddie and Erick Green both had career-highs against UNC-Greensbor0.  Everybody was talking about Green, but Johnson thought Eddie was going to have a big season.  He’s put himself into a position to have a good year.

UNC-Greensboro backed off Tech a little bit to prevent the drive to the basket, and that opened up the outside game.  They were able to get it inside to Cadarian Raines.  Jarell Eddie’s ability to put the ball on the floor and score is new.  He’s been working on that part of his game all year.

Will Johnston has been big for Tech.  Johnson isn’t sure why opposing coaches seem to be so surprised when Johnston hits three-pointers, because he’s clearly a good shooter.  He’s doing a great job and playing with a lot of confidence.  Johnson has given him the green light.

Marshall Wood had a big night on the glass against UNC-Greensboro.  He does a lot on the defensive end of the floor.  He is rotating well right now.  He’s playing very hard.  Hopefully his shots start to fall.  He’s a good shooter, they just aren’t falling right now.

Joey van Zegeren gives Tech a big body inside.  He’s much better on the glass at this point than Johnson thought he would be.  It’s important to rebound well, because that leads to fast break opportunities.

Johnson is happy with his 2013 signees.  He talked each of them specifically…

Donte Clark: He’s 6-4, and close to 180.  He’s a combo guard.  He’s long and athletic, and a good fit for Tech’s style of play.  He can score and create shots for others.  Tech can play him at either guard position.  He’s got a chance to be a really good defender.

Ben Emelogu: He committed on his visit to Tech.  He committed at dinner at Bull and Bones, and he loved the ribs there.  He’s a very strong, athletic guard.  He can shoot the ball with deep range.  A lot of teams missed him this summer because he had a broken hand and couldn’t play.  Tech saw him play after his hand healed and offered him.  Ben and his mom both fell in love with Tech.  He committed to Tech over Washington, which is a very good program.

Maurice Kirby: He’s 6-9, 230 or 235.  He’s a physical guy, but he’s very skilled.  He can play with his back to the basket.  The Hokies need to add more guys with size, and he’s got a college ready body right now.  In his first game of his senior year on Monday night, Kirby had 25 points and 15 rebounds.

Trevor Thompson: He’s originally from Virginia.  He went to South Lakes High School as a freshman.  He grew up a Virginia Tech fan.  He is a really athletic guy who can run the floor.  He will really fit into Tech’s  style of play.

Adam Smith is sitting out this year after transferring in.  He is a combo guard, but mostly a shooting guard.  He can really shoot.  He practices very hard.  He’ll be able to help next year.  All of the signees this year address a need, and they’ll bring depth to the program.  Johnson is excited about the class.

Johnson will probably sign one more player in the spring.  They will probably sign a guard, if they can find the right fit.

Tech will practice on Thursday, and Johnson will have Thanksgiving Dinner for the players at his house.  They’ll try to get to 5-0 on Friday against Appalachian State.

Randall Dunn

Dunn knew he was going to catch that touchdown pass, so he just focused on keeping his foot in bounds.  He told Coach Beamer after the play that he was definitely in bounds, so there was no reason to worry about the replay.

Everybody is ready to just get on the field and beat UVA.  It’s very important to beat UVA, and it’s very important to make a bowl game.  These seniors don’t want to go out by ending the bowl streak.

Lots of people in the 757 try to get recruits to attend their favorite school, either Tech or UVA.  Dunn has a friend from his high school who is at UVA.  Dunn tried to get him to come to Tech, but after he signed with UVA, Dunn just told him to be prepared to lose to Virginia Tech for the next few years.

Tech has had a good group of guys from the 757.  Even though they have to drive past UVA to get to Tech, they all liked the family environment at Virginia Tech better.

Dunn never would have thought Tech would be 5-6 at this point.  They are used to winning.  They have to stay focused on the small things.  They’ve been very close to having a much better record.  They’ve been better recently.  They have to put it all together consistently on Saturday.

Dunn has enjoyed his time at Tech.  He would have loved to have played more, but the team has won and that’s the main thing.

He got his degree in Sociology.  He’d love to be a captain of a Swat team one day.

James Gayle

The Hokies lead the ACC with 30 sacks.  Gayle didn’t realize it.  The Hokies have had a ton of sacks recently.  They weren’t getting to the quarterback earlier this season.  They’ve been blitzing a lot more.

Gayle feels like this season has brought the team closer.  Nobody likes to lose.  This UVA game is very important.  They have to win it to make a bowl game.

Gayle always expects to win at Virginia Tech.  They need to win this week, win the bowl game, and get some momentum going into next season.

Morgan Moses and Gayle are good friends.  Moses is injured right now, but Gayle would like to see him play on Saturday.  They haven’t talked this week, but Gayle will probably talk to him later in the week.

Gayle is into Twitter.  The coaches make it very clear what is acceptable and what is not acceptable to say.  You are representing your school and program.

Saturday’s game is very important, and it’s not just about the bowl game.  He doesn’t want to lose to UVA.  Gayle was always a Tech fan growing up.  According to Gayle (jokingly), he “never even knew about Virginia.”

His college decision probably came down to Virginia Tech and Ohio State.  His father and uncle played at Ohio State.  He just wanted to do his own thing.  He was a big Tech fan, and he loved the family atmosphere.  It’s hard to not fall in love with Blacksburg.

Nobody likes to get beat by their rivals year after year, but according to Gayle, that’s just something UVA players might have to learn to accept.

Frank Beamer

Beamer was happy that the team played so strong in the second half against BC.  Randall Dunn made a great catch, and Logan Thomas had some great throws.  That last kickoff was the best kickoff of the game, and it was important.

Beamer was glad to see Marcus Davis answer the bell.  He was very instrumental in the win.

Everybody wants to play defense first in overtime.  When you get the ball first, it’s very important that you score a touchdown.  That puts a lot of pressure on the other team.  Tech was able to do that against BC.

Tech has been able to get a lot of pressure recently.  Coach Wiles has done a great job keeping his defensive line fresh.  The secondary has settled in a bit as well, and when wide receivers are covered better, it helps the defensive line and linebackers get more sacks.

Antone Exum is playing with confidence right now.  He has played very well recently.

Beamer doesn’t dwell too much on the past.  It is what it is.  You have to learn from it, get better from it, and play a great game against UVA.

Beamer was surprised when he heard that Maryland was leaving the ACC, particularly when you think about how much travel will be involved when playing in the Big Ten.  However, there is a lot of money involved, and he assumes that is what drove the deal.

Beamer thinks the leadership has done a great job of stabilizing the ACC.  Adding Pitt and Syracuse was good, and bringing in Notre Dame was a great day.  He has great confidence in the administration to make the right moves going forward.

Tech needed to stay healthy in the secondary this year, and that’s been an issue at times.  They just haven’t had the depth.  They are fairly healthy now, with the exception of Michael Cole.  Beamer believes that Desmond Frye is going to be a terrific player in the future.  They have some very good young players who are redshirting as well.

Greg Jones is a walk-on rover who is redshirting who stands out.  Der’Woun Greene looks good, as does Davion Tookes.  Beamer thinks highly of Dahman McKinnon at whip as well.

Tech is aware that they haven’t been as good in short yardage situations this year.  Beamer thinks that maybe they need to be more flexible on play calling, and he also said that defenses have been playing well also.

J.R. Collins has been getting reps at defensive tackle and he’s doing a good job.  The Hokies had a lot of guys playing well at defensive end, so they thought they could move Collins inside to get more athletic.  It has worked out.  He could play end and tackle against UVA this weekend.

Beamer doesn’t think Logan Thomas is hesitant.  He’s adjusting to different receivers this year.  The more you work with guys, the more confident you get.

Billy Hite and Jim Cavanaugh are still very important, even though they aren’t coaching a position.  Beamer still relies on them for advice quite a bit.

Mike Rocco is a very much in charge.  He is experienced, and he understands the game.  He’s a smart player.  Phillip Sims is a very talented guy.  They both bring a lot to the table.  They are both playing well.

There have been a lot of great games between Tech and UVA.  Beamer has always had great respect for George Welsh, Al Groh and Mike London.  Both programs do it the right way.  It’s great for the state of Virginia.

UVA has played well this year.  They’ve beaten NC State and Miami.  They do some things well.  They are going to come in and play hard.  They don’t want Tech to go to a bowl, and Tech wants to make a bowl.  That’s what it’s all about.

Tuesday was Day 2,917 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.  May the streak continue.

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2 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. quote: “Jarell Eddie’s ability to put the ball on the floor and score is new. He’s been working on that part of his game.”

    Hard to believe this is “NEW”! JE’s been playing hoops since he was a kid. Did he just stand around and shoot before? Why wait until your Jr. year to expand your game? Strange!

    1. Doing it in grade school and high school is much different than in college. You have to greatly improve your handle, learn to be strong with the ball, and make shots through contact. It took guys like AD and Zabian a couple of years to expand that part of their game as well.

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