Tech Talk Live Notes for September 30, 2013

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Jim Weaver

Turnovers were huge in the Georgia Tech game, and Logan Thomas had a terrific game.  He continues to get better in terms of his mechanics.

Weaver has already talked to the person who is responsible for scheduling at the conference level.  Weaver told him Tech would like to play two Thursday night games next year, one at home and one on the road.  He told him that Tech doesn’t want to play Thursday night games on only five days rest.

Weaver reiterated once again that the TV networks decide game start times.  He has no control over the Pitt game starting at noon.  He hopes the fans will show up and support the team no matter what time the game begins.

Weaver doesn’t personally believe in firing coaches in the middle of the season, but he’s sure the AD’s at USC and UConn had a good reason.  But on a personal level, he doesn’t like the disruption it causes in the middle of the season.

Logan Thomas has put up big numbers at Tech.  He’s about to break Tyrod Taylor’s passing yardage record.  He’s a proven winner.

The ACC meetings are coming up.  Weaver doesn’t think there is anything worth talking about right now, but he will update everyone next Monday.

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Torrian Gray

It was a great team win at Georgia Tech.  That’s a tough team to play, particularly with their offense.

It’s encouraging and satisfying as a coach to see Kendall Fuller and Brandon Facyson playing well.  Lots of kids are talented, but they have translated it to the field very early in their careers.

Brandon Facyson’s interception against Georgia Tech was amazing.  Gray didn’t think there was any chance he made the pick, until he saw the replay.

With Kendall Fuller, you expect a guy with a 5-star rating to come in and be talented, but Fuller has an “it” factor to him and a great mental understanding of the game.

It’s easier to play defensive back with a great pass rush, and the Hokies certainly have that.

Antone Exum went to see Dr. Andrews on Monday.  He has been cleared by Dr. Andrews to play.  That doesn’t mean he’ll play against UNC.  They’ll get to together as a staff and decide how to approach things.  He’ll have to be eased into the rotation.

Detrick Bonner made some great plays against Georgia Tech, but overall it wasn’t his best game.

Against Georgia Tech, you have to be able to take on cut blocks and tackle.  It’s a game where you can do special things, such as putting Kyle Fuller at the whip spot.  He’ll be back at boundary corner this week.

Tech is only five games in, so they’ll have to wait until the end of the season to see how they compare to past seasons at the end of the year.  They aren’t a finished product yet.

UNC puts up a lot of yards and a lot of points.  The Hokies have to correct some errors that they made against the Tar Heels last season.

Gray stayed in Atlanta on Thursday night and then flew to Lakeland, FL on Friday.  He saw a game with a couple of recruits that the Hokies have either offered or are recruiting.

Gray likes the guys who have committed for 2014 class.  They are battling for a few more guys who could put them over the top.

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Derrick Hopkins

After the first drive against Georgia Tech, you get used to their system.  It becomes more fun after playing that first drive.

Hopkins’ focus against Georgia Tech is to stop the dive play and clog up the middle.  He was the ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week.

Hopkins is much more experienced now.  He’s played a lot.  He’s also learned to watch film on his own time, so he can better learn tendencies.  For example, whether a lineman is light on his hands, whether he’s leaning forward, etc.

For Hopkins, playing spread teams like ECU and Marshall is harder than playing Georgia Tech.  You have to prepare for more things.

Tech’s depth up front is really helping them.  The experience of the starters is also very important.  That experience is one of the reasons they were able to play so well against Georgia Tech.  Hopkins and the GT offensive linemen know each other so well that they were having conversations on the field during breaks in play.

Hopkins said the defense was complacent for the first half of the 2012 season, but that experience helped them grow up.  They can’t just expect to go out and win.

Hopkins will graduate in December.  His major is Consumer Studies.

Hopkins would like to pursue professional football, and he would also like to start a business of his own one day.

UNC’s offensive line is pretty good, and Bryn Renner is experienced.  They have talent across the board.

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James Gayle

Gayle feels like the whole defensive line has stepped up this year.  Offenses don’t just have to worry about just one guy.

The depth on the line is great this year.  It helps keep everybody fresh.  Coach Wiles does a great job of rotating people.

Last year, Gayle missed a few big plays because of bad technique and bad recognition.  Improvements in those areas helped him make the game-sealing play against East Carolina.

Bud Foster is part of the reason Gayle wanted to come to Virginia Tech.  He always puts you in the best position to win.

The best offense Gayle has played against might have been Stanford.  This year, it was probably Marshall.  That might surprise some people, but they were very good, and Rakeem Cato is a very good player.

UNC embarassed Tech last year.  The Hokies have to go into this game with a chip on their shoulders.

The only bad thing about playing at home is that all the games are at noon.  That means wake up call is at 5am.

Bryn Renner is a very good quarterback.  The Hokies have to do what they’ve been doing all year and get pressure on him.

Gayle was always a fan of Virginia Tech, even though he’s not originally from Virginia.  Jim Cavanaugh came in to recruit him, and he was a straightforward guy.  Gayle fell in love with Tech on his camp visit.  Tech was his first and last visit, because he knew where he wanted to go.

People always say that Gayle is a good recruiter when players visit, but he just considers himself honest.  He hosted Wyatt Teller on his visits, and some other guys as well.

Gayle wouldn’t mind being a coach one day, if Virginia Tech wants to hire him.

Gayle tries to tune out the NFL.  That’s irrelevant until it actually happens.

Frank Beamer

Part of the fun of coaching is watching guys mature off the field, such as Derrick Hopkins and James Gayle .

Kyle Fuller is a very instinctive guy.  The Hokies used him in a number of ways.  He put doubt in Georgia Tech’s mind.  He had a tremendous game.

The Georgia Tech game was a game of adjustments.  Both sides made adjustments, and ultimately it took Georgia Tec out of rythym.  It helped create some Georgia Tech false starts, because sometimes they snap the ball based on their motion man.  Tech’s movements delayed the motion man, and that created some false starts.

Tech had a great game defensively.  Offensively, they had a great gameplan and they are getting better.  The offense did a great job of playing to their strengths.  The touchdown pass to D.J. Coles was a great call.

Tech still has a lot of young guys on their team, but the attitude is good, the coaching staff is good, and they are getting better as a team.

Tech has a new challenge this week.  UNC gave the Hokies a beating last year.  They have a lot of talent.

A.J. Hughes is doing a very good job.  He pinned Georgia Tech deep on the final drive of the game, and that was a big play.

Beamer told his players not to dance on the field because it’s insulting to the other team, so his players told him to show them what he’s got in the lockerroom.  Beamer got Kyshoen Jarrett to show him some moves, but he decided to fire him.  The dance move that made it on video after the GT game was an impersonation of Kris Harley.

Cody Journell is fine.  His miss against GT wasn’t a bad kick.  It was just a little bit off.  He kicked fine the next day.

Eddie D’Antuono handled the long snapping duties against Georgia Tech.  He’s a good snapper.  He gives the Hokies a little more size as well.

UNC had a disappointing week against ECU.  Beamer knows they will come back and be ready to play against the Hokies.

Kalvin Cline is an excellent prospect.  He made some nice catches against GT.  He’s a smart guy.  Tech has a complicated system, so it’s impressive that he’s able to play so much this early.

The passing game took a step forward against Georgia Tech.  They were consistent, and the receivers caught the ball well.  Hopefully that will help the running game.

Logan Thomas feels okay about his health, so Beamer feels okay about it, too.  He’s a great leader, very smart, and very tough.

Frank Beamer really liked the Hokie Stone helmets.  It was a great statement.  Hokie Stone means a lot to the school, and so does the War Memorial.  It was a very meaningful helmet.

Tech is going to have to play well against UNC.  The Tar Heels outplayed the Hokies on offense, defense and special teams last year.

Monday was Day 3,230 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of The Commonwealth Cup.

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11 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Monday was Day 1,420 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of The TKO Cup (TECH-NICAL KNOCKOUT).

  2. Kyle Fuller’s injuries made a big difference with the 2012 D. Before the season, many were saying his coverage skills weren’t that good (wrong) and that he struggled because hadn’t played corner before (again, wrong).

    When he was moderately healthy (early and late in the season), the 2012 D didn’t look that different from this year’s D. This year’s D is deeper though and that helps in maintaining the pressure in the second half — of games and, hopefully, the season.

  3. VT 2012 defense was not focused. 2013 defense is focused, and the #4 national D ranking proves it. Add “revenge” for last year’s beatdown by UNC and I am confident we win this game at home with them this year. Renner scares me a little, but we handled Cato (Marshall), so even though I suspect Renner is better because of his competition and level of play, I think we’ll be okay against him. Our offense is not there yet, but I see a lot of improvement in the passing game. LT is running well although I’d rather see our running backs carry the load. So I think our offense is maybe about 50% of where it will be by the end of the year, or where it should be.

    1. I think we’ll be OK, too, because Renner is a bit easier to contain than Cato was. Cato’s explosive running ability combined with accurate passing keeps the defenses on their heels because they have to defend both the run and the pass all the time. With Renner, I feel like he’s more of a pocket passer, but with a bigger arm. So as long as our DBs play good coverage, stay away from the pass interference calls, and the D-line gets good pressure, we’ll be able to slow UNC down a lot.

    2. I don’t think Renner’s supporting cast this year is as good as it was last year. Specifically, he doesn’t have Giovanni Bernard any more. That kid was/is good.

    1. That really is hard to believe. I know one day we’ll lose to those Hoos (just like ending the 10 win streak), but in the here and now I can’t imagine losing a game to the wine and cheese bunch. Hopefully a long time yet.

      1. The unfortunate thing is that the day we do finally lose to the Hoos again is the day that all of a sudden UVa fans start running their mouths about how fantastic the UVa football team is and how much they dominate the Hokies. They’ll have complete amnesia to the 9+ years they never saw a W next to Virginia Tech on their schedules. It would be nice to see the streak continue until at least when Beamer retires…would be one of the many good notes he can step down with.

      2. I’ve tried to prepare my children that, within their lifetimes, Tech will lose to the Hoos. Probably not in mine (I’m 56), but probably in theirs.

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