Tech Talk Live Notes for August 25, 2014

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Whit Babcock

Babcock is very excited about the first game.  It’s a busy time of year, but it’s a fun.  He’s thrilled and excited, just like all Tech fans.  He wants to watch the Enter Sandman entrance from the field.  He can’t wait.

Babcock doesn’t think the game will sell out against William & Mary, but he thinks it will still be a great crowd.  He encouraged fans to buy their tickets at HokieTickets.com and support the team.  Everybody should be nice and ready by 4pm.

Babcock encouraged the fans to give feedback on the gameday experience on Saturday.  He hopes to improve that experience through time.  He hopes people will see incremental change without getting away from the Virginia Tech brand.  Tech has the best fans in the country, and they deserve to be treated as such.

The Tech Fan Village is free, and it starts at 12:30 PM.  The Wrestling team will be putting on a clinic.  Skipper the cannon will be firing during the event.  It should be a fun atmosphere for kids.

Tech will do some surveys and fan focus groups during the season.  The administration wants to hear feedback from the fans.

Babcock ultimately doesn’t know the dollar figure that the SEC Network will produce, but he knows it’s already a bigger network than ESPNU.  We need to root for the SEC Network to succeed so that it can lead to an ACC Network.  ESPN will make the call on an ACC Network in 2016.  The ACC sits in the most populated area of the country, so hopefully it works out.  Tech will not back down from the SEC, but Babcock would love to have an extra $20 million to work with.

Cincinnati is a pro sports town, so you can do things differently there.  However, you can also get lost in the shuffle behind the Bengals, Reds, etc.  In Blacksburg, all the focus is on the school.  Babcock is really enjoying working for Tech, and working in his home state.

For the right price, naming rights for the new Indoor Practice Facility are available.

Jim Weaver did a wonderful job with facilities.  However, you can’t stand pat.  If you aren’t moving forward, you are falling behind.  Probably the biggest needs right now are tennis and baseball, from a bricks and mortar standpoint.  Tech could use some work on English Field.

Tech will have a new sound system in Cassell Coliseum this season.  When that building is packed, it’s great.  They are trying to bring more energy to the building.  It can be the difference in a couple of wins.

Buzz Williams is off to a good start.  He works his tail off at an unhealthy level.  He has a great drive and motor.  He’s a grinder, and that’s what it takes at Virginia Tech.  The goal is to be in the NCAA Tournament while doing things the right way.

It’s tremendous to work with Frank Beamer.  He’s the real deal.  He’s humble, he cares about the school, and he cares about academics.  He’s better than advertised.  He’s first class.

Babcock will take a trip to Bristol with the Hokie Club on Tuesday to see donors.  The rest of his week is very busy.  He can’t wait for Saturday to get here.

Frank Beamer

It was a tough decision when it came down to choosing the starting quarterback.  Both guys played well in the preseason.  It was great competition.  Beamer feels like Brewer is the better choice.  He started at a major program in high school, and Beamer feels like he’s ready for the limelight.  Mark Leal really battled.  He’s a team guy.  They sat down and talked and Beamer made it clear that Tech will need him at some point.  He has to be ready when that time comes.  He has learned from the Sun Bowl experience.  He wasn’t as prepared as he needed to be.  Leal handled it with class and disappointment, as expected.

Brenden Motley is back now, and he needs to get back in a groove, too.

Shai McKenzie and Marshawn Williams will both play this year.  You get tired of tackling those guys.  They run with a lot of power.  J.C. Coleman will start, and Trey Edmunds will be in the game.  Tech will try to get their roles defined.  Beamer is excited about it.

Beamer hopes that all the new parts on offense will help the quarterback and running game.  The OL is a year older.  The tight ends are tough guys who can run.  There is more explosiveness at wide receiver.  Trey Edmunds was very good before he got hurt, and hopefully he can get back healthy.  His burst hasn’t returned yet.  He’s a great kid and a hard worker.  Beamer will keep him involved on kickoff coverage.  The medical people tell Beamer that Edmunds will get that burst back, but it will take time.

J.C. Coleman, Deon Newsome and Demitri Knowles will handle kickoffs.  Kyshoen Jarrett, Greg Stroman and Willie Byrn will handle punts.

Stacy Searels is a great addition to the staff.  He came highly recommended by Mack Brown.  Tech hired two new recruiting assistants in the offseason.  Sometimes doing both recruiting and coaching is too much for coaches, and it helps to have assistants who focus on recruiting all the time.  It’s really going to help the program.  Beamer appreciates the administration working with the program and providing those positions.

Beamer then did a true or false segment, with questions asked by Bill Roth…

Is the overall talent level in 2014 higher than it’s been in awhile?  True.  Even on defense, Tech has some exciting young players replacing all the guys who left last year.

Isaiah Ford and Cam Phillips are the most impressive true freshmen wide receivers since Eddie Royal?  True.  They do things naturally, and they make plays.

In Ryan Malleck, Kalvin Cline and Bucky Hodges, Tech has three NFL prospects at tight end?  True.  They are all tough kids who work hard to block, but they are also good in the passing game.  They can move in space.

William & Mary is a very good, experienced team.  They have a lot of seniors starting.  They have been a very consistent program over the years.  They play smart, and they don’t make mistakes.  They nearly beat UNC and West Virginia in recent years.  They will be a handful.

Beamer wants to see consistent play on Saturday.  He wants to see his team be efficient.  He doesn’t want penalties or ragged play.  That will help the coaching staff see exactly where they are as a team.

Monday was day 3,558 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.

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