Tech Talk Live notes for September 29, 2014

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Whit Babcock

Babcock thanked the fans who have attended games this year.  The William & Mary game was very special for him, as that was his first game as AD and the team gave him a game ball afterwards.

Babcock has been impressed with Tech fans so far.  He has gotten a lot of great compliments from visiting ADs about the Tech fanbase.

Babcock generally gets better feedback on the gameday experience after a win.  The biggest complaint has been about music, and the staff is still trying to find their sweet spot there.  They try to listen to everyone’s opinions.  He’s gotten a lot of positive feedback on the gameday atmosphere from Cheryl Beamer.

Tech has lobbied, and will continue to lobby, for later kickoff times.  However, it’s really out of the hands of athletic directors.  Hopefully all the ADs can come together in the offseason and try to come up with a better agreement with the networks.  Babcock seemed to not like the fact that there were three straight kickoffs at noon or 12:30.  He agrees with the sentiment of Tech fans, and he doesn’t like those early kickoffs either.

Kevin Jones has been mentoring Shai McKenzie, and Babcock told him after the game that he really has to kick it in now.  Babcock plans to visit McKenzie too.  Tech is counting on him to bounce back, and Babcock is praying that he does.

Tech has reached out to Metallica to try to get them to play at Lane Stadium.  The reply was that they are booked up for a year.

Tech is making a concerted effort to break their own news.  Tech’s hits on HokieSports.com are way up.  They are making use of video, and they aren’t waiting for the traditional media to cover the Olympic sports teams.  They are doing it themselves.

Babcock doesn’t know of any flyovers planned this year.  He’ll check on it.  (Note from CC: Flyovers are very unlikely to impossible this year, thanks to Federal budget cuts.)

The loser of Saturday’s game is 0-2 in the ACC.  That’s what makes college football great, the fact that each week is a big game.  Babcock looks forward to going down to Chapel Hill and getting a win.

Babcock does something different each game.  He has gone by tailgates, he has met with the staff, he has met with the officials, the corps, etc.  It gives him a feel for the fanbase and it shortens his learning curve.  The pregames have been great.  Selfishly, he tries to be on the field for Enter Sandman.

Babcock thinks there should be more TVs around the concession stands so fans can watch the game while they get food.  Hopefully that’s something they can fix for next season.

Tech wants to sell out every game, but he wasn’t disappointed in the crowds over the last three weeks.  It’s really tough to make three straight games, and the early time slots hurt as well.  He thinks everybody will be anxious for a home game by the time Miami comes to town.

ESPN requested that the kickoff time of the Miami game moved back for 27 minutes.  Babcock said yes, because he wanted to make sure kickoff was seen and not preempted by ESPN for the baseball playoffs.  Babcock politely requested fewer noon games in the future as a return, or at least not three noon games in a row.

Babock wakes up around 4:45 or 5am every morning.  He likes to have quiet time before his wife and kids get up.  He takes his kids to school, and then goes to work.  He had meetings this morning at 9am about naming rights and donations, he had a conference call with the ACC, they had a senior staff meeting in the afternoon, and then he and Kevin Jones went to watch the softball practice.  After such a long day, he did Tech Talk Live, and then he’s going home.

Frank Beamer

Beamer thought the year would be up and down to a certain extent.  Every touchdown scored on Saturday was by a freshman.  They aren’t where they need to be, but the important thing is for them to keep working and become a more consistent football team.

The kickoff coverage team has been very good this year.  However, they have to make sure they don’t kick the ball out of bounds.  That has happened a couple of times this year.  It’s a part of maturing as a football team.

Tech is getting too many penalties.  The players have to use better judgement.  Don’t hit defenders in the back, etc.  Youth has something to do with it.  The coaches are now making the team do up-downs on Sundays for every penalty yard during the previous game.  Tech had a substitution penalty on Sunday, but that was Beamer’s fault.  He was trying to take a guy out of the game who had just gotten called for a personal foul.

Tech is trying to get their best five offensive linemen on the field.  They did some experimenting in the Western Michigan game.  Stacy Searels has a good mindset, and they’re going to keep getting after it.

Beamer thinks the fans have been tremendous during the games this year.  The Orange Effect was great on Saturday, and he has also gotten compliments from opposing fans about Tech fans.  He’s happy about that.

Shai McKenzie was in the team meeting on Sunday.  He’s a very popular player, and he works so hard.  Everybody hates it for him.  Tech will support him as much as they can, and hopefully there will be a better time for him.

Tech would like to get Wyatt Teller in the lineup.  He looks the part, and he plays the part for part of the time.  They want him to do it all the time.  He’s working very hard.

Michael Brewer is a guy who hasn’t played a lot.  He does a lot of good things.  Beamer is banking on his turnovers improving.  He thinks that’s what will happen.  He gives you some things on the field that you really like.

North Carolina has given up too many long plays on defense, like the Hokies.  Those long plays are killers.  They certainly have the talent.  They’ll make two or three good plays in a row, and then give up a big play.  They are a good team.  They are very athletic.

Marquise Williams is a very talented quarterback.  They have a couple of quarterbacks they feel very good about.  UNC has moved the ball very well.

Ryan Switzer returned five punts for touchdowns a year ago.  He led the country in return yardage.  He’s a real talent.  They do a great job with their special teams at UNC.  The Hokies have to have a good game plan for Switzer.

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7 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. “Tech has reached out to Metallica to try to get them to play at Lane Stadium. The reply was that they are booked up for a year.”

    Boom! At least we’re trying to make it happen!

    1. My sentiments exactly! Go ahead and schedule them, Whit, before they plan another album or tour! I’d be VERY interested to know how they’d plan to do that in terms of execution? A stage in the center of the field? If so, I suggest that they have the “tunnel” of cadets and cheerleaders fan out to the stage and then have them all collect and start jumping with the rest of the crowd (no injured ankles, please!) next to the stage. Sounds will also be an issue because trying to pump that only through the jumbotron will make things deafening for the NEZ crowd in order for the SEZ crowd to enjoy as well (not to mention time delays because of the distances involved).

  2. I appreciate Whit’s commentary on so much of this. It demonstrates that he’s not only viewing this from business perspective but also a fan’s perspective. Noon games, while an occasional fact of life, have become an unacceptable norm. They are bad for ticket sales, bad for energy levels and have lower TV ratings in general. They are JV level in terms of college football. UVA has Pitt this weekend at 730pm. We have UNC at Noon. Really? Something’s wrong and it needs to be fixed.
    Coincidentally, i noted the lack of TVs in the stadium near the concessions this past weekend and that the ones there are small and of the 1990s vintage. Past time to upgrade. I am glad Whit noticed this. It’s darker than the bat cave inside this stadium. Add some LED lighting inside the stadium as well. Solar powered would be a great idea. I hear we have some pretty smart kids at this school that could probably build and install all of it as part of their research.
    Lastly, the WMU Shout video was probably the best video i have ever seen at a VT game. What a great way to get the crowd, lazing in the 3rd quarter-post-buzz heat, back into action. Let’s keep using that new Jumbotron with more exciting visual media ideas like that. I can’t take much more of the 1940s Big Band era legacy stuff that seems to dominate half time.

    1. As with the basketball environment in Cassell, the 1940’s big band stuff and stale old cheers need to go!! I totally agree with this comment!! I went to the Governor’s Classic basketball game this past year at the Richmond Coliseum and VCU’s band was LOUD and impressive, it made Cassell look like a morgue, and I think the same thing needs to be done in Lane!! We need to upgrade our music, and our cheers to get energy into the crowds for both sports!! Don’t get weighed down in mediocrity when it comes to fan excitement!! Sure, do some of the old stuff, but mix in some modern music and chants that get kids that are coming to the games into the atmosphere.

    2. The way to get rid of noon kick offs is to win (!!!). Then you get fans across the region and nation who want to see VT play watching their TVs. I wonder when the last time Alabama had a noon kick off? Winning also gets more fannies in the seats which produces the game day experience that the TV people want to put on the air.

      Noon kick offs are for losers and local alumni who can’t make it to the game or don’t want to go. We had a great run of 10 game winning seasons and sell out games until the last two years and this year when we have become barely a .500 team. No one outside the Tech community cares any more. We didn’t get a single vote in the polls this week, even after beating Ohio State a few weeks ago. We didn’t capitalize on that big win. We’ve become irrelevant in the sports fans’ mind. And so we’re relegated to noon kick offs. We have to start winning again to get out of this rut.

      It’s simple: WIN = NO NOON KICK OFFS. solve for x.

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