Hokies looking for consistency despite youth

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If more Tech fans listened to local Green Bay sports radio, maybe Willie Byrn wouldn’t have to deliver the same reassuring message that Aaron Rodgers dropped on Packers fans in late September.

R-E-L-A-X.

While Rodgers spelled it out fans of the then-1-2 Packers, Byrn opted to use his words to let Tech fans know the recent struggles aren’t a sign of the apocalypse.

“I was just as excited and just as eager to play Thursday as all the fans were and we let them down, and they left early and everything like that,” the senior wide receiver said.  “But it’s not the end of the world. Virginia Tech football is going to go on. We’re going to win games.”

For a program that has traditionally been treated to success, and a team that experienced an early-season win over a top-ten Ohio State team, fan expectations –  reasonably or not – were high.

Byrn, head coach Frank Beamer and the rest of the Hokies are not satisfied with the 4-4 record they own. But they aren’t blown away by it, either.

From the season’s onset, Beamer forecasted some rough waters with his team.

“I said from the very beginning that we were going to go through some growing pains, and we are,” Beamer said at his press conference Monday. “Now we’re far enough along, as I said, that there needs to be less growing pains.”

“But as I told you from the very beginning, I think we’ve got some really good offensive skill people that are freshmen – all our touchdowns for the most part have been scored by freshmen. I think our skill level is good, and with some experience we’re going to be a really good football team. But starting out this year, I told you, we were going to grow through some growing pains.”

Offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler knew a win over Ohio State on the road didn’t mean the offense was where it needed to be. There would be more rough waters, more growing pains. When Loeffler was asked on Tuesday if he expected fewer “consistency” issues, he said he didn’t.

“Not with all the youth,” Tech’s second-year play-caller said. “Not with all the youth.”

And, according to defensive coordinator Bud Foster, the youth has factored in more ways than one.

“You got a lot of young guys,” Foster said. “You got a lot of young guys that in my opinion are playing not to screw up rather than to go play fast and make things happen on all sides. You can’t play that way. You got to go play to be a factor in the game, and we’ve done that for the most part.”

To players and coaches, whether or not anyone saw the team at 4-4 eight games through the year, needing a pair of wins in the final four games to extend the bowl streak to 22 does not matter – it’s where they go from here.

“Right now we’re talking about being focused on one day at a time,” quarterback Michael Brewer said. “(Tuesday), our first goal this week was to have a good Tuesday practice. We had a good Tuesday practice. (Wednesday) our goal will be to have an even better Wednesday practice and continue doing that throughout the week. Just cancelling out all outside distractions and focusing on that one day with the task at hand.”

“At the end of the day you’ve got to worry about what you can control,” Loeffler said. “You’ve got to try to get better, you’ve got to try to encourage your kids that at the end of the day we’re going to improve and there’s light at the end of the tunnel.”

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23 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. What makes the past two weeks so tough to swallow as a fan isn’t the fact that the Hokies lost or made youthful mistakes. It is the fact that the team is regressing. Most fans can accept mistakes made due to youth but the mistakes don’t appear to be mistakes due to youth (or injuries for that matter).

    I think most didn’t expect a dominant performance on D by the Hokies against Miami last week. I did expect to see the offense come out with a pulse and being able to put some points on the board to make it a game.

    We as fans aren’t looking for perfection (although that would be great to see), we are just looking for progress at this point. I know the quotes are largely coach speak but I have a real hard time seeing how this teams becomes pretty good when they are trending in the wrong direction.

  2. I hear a lot about “wait and see” and all about the freshmen. Funny, all last night I heard about FSU freshmen playing and contributing. Quite a difference in results, yet the Hokies and Seminoles were nearly even a few short years ago. I have to admit as a fan that it gets old to hear promises.

    I will cheer for VT no matter the score or record, but please, shut up and let your actions and results on the field speak.

  3. Should we recruit a passer who can run, or a running back who can throw? Ans: Recruit some really big, talented offensive linemen and teach them how to block, and either QB can win. Does our O-line have blocking schemes so complex that they have to THINK too much? Are our O-linemen too small? All too often it seems our opponent knows what’s coming. My thinking is win out, get a bowl, have a great signing day and spring practice, and I’ll be ready for a new day in Tech football! Go Hokies!

  4. Youth, inexperience, and injuries … yes … but in recent weeks the opposition has looked bigger, faster, and stronger. After watching running and passing QBs run wild on us, I’m convinced that we should always have a dual threat playing that key position. Brewer, for all his good qualities, is not a running threat, so our opponents can tee off on our RB.

  5. Glad to read a few optimistic comments; I also think we will see our team enjoy many great wins in the near future. I hope the conversation with the players they are recruiting is, we need you to help bring a championship to this great university!
    I was also at the Miami game and it was hard to watch our offense struggle (again) and our D get carved up by Duke J. I Also left with 9 minutes to go in the game…..just hated to see our team struggle 2 weeks in a row on national TV. After we did not make 1yd to get the 1st down on the first possession, coach Searels was livid on the sideline. I hope Searels stays with us a gets our O-line where it needs to be…BIG! I’d like to see a new RB coach, I just don’t see Shane as the best option. Rather, Shane can focus on other important team assignments.
    My 1st ever Bowl game was the 1993 Independence Bowl against Indiana and I hate to see the streak end, I don’t believe it will. Hokies fans need to stay positive and I hope our players have the determination to make the big plays and finish this season strong!

    1. Amen to a new RB coach. A few folks keep giving him a pass because he had one good back his first year, but he inherited him and downhill ever since.

  6. Sorry not buying it. Please stop.
    I’ll be at all four games in person to cheer on the Hokies win or lose. I hope to lose my voice in the 4th quarter like last Thursday. ( yes I yelled so much it was gone for my grumpy drive home) But please stop with the excuses and esp. Blaming the youth. That not accurate.
    Losing games happen, sometimes teams are flat, kids miss tackles or blocks, turn the ball over. It happens. BUT stop blaming the youth. The vast majority of blown coverages, missed blocking assignments, poor throws, dropped balls AND PENALTIES have been made by our upper classmen. 85% of our offensive is coming for the youth.

    Behind closed doors it’s time to call out the returning starters from last years squad to step up their game or take on a smaller role & support their teammates from the sidelines. Intensity matters and it’s time to take our frustration out on the Golden Eagles from BC from the start and not after having a ‘coming to Jesus meeting’ during halftime. Love the positive tone & comments but something a good swift kick in the backside is the proper motivation and that time is NOW!!!

    When All elements show up for this game and it’s not even close as BC is one dimensional. Run and stop run. That’s it folks. When we get ahead and make them play catch up BC will lose. There’s a reason Themis QB is not in Florida this year, even with their troubles on offense. Time for the mojo to go our way in Saturday. Let’s get a win!!!

    Let’s Go…Hokies!!!

    1. Amen, I’m sick of the “youth” line. Willie Byrne is a great hokie but I sense no urgency, lack of senior leadership based on three tears of .500 football leads to that. I still think this team has potential but when the coaches make excuses it infects the whole team.

  7. This is going to be a real good football team…got to give it a little time. Patience is needed. They have more overall young talent than they’ve ever had in my opinion. Got to give this coaching staff some time to mold this young talent. Willie said it best…this team is going to win a lot of games. PATIENCE!!!

    GO HOKIES!!

  8. It’s one thing to have growing pains, but another very different thing to regress the way we have these past couple of weeks, on both offense and defense. We all know that injuries have played a major role, as well as youth, which has caused mistake after mistake, but it’s the continuing lack of enthusiasm and emotion you see on the part of the players during the game that is most concerning. Hoping for a big turnaround this week. Hoping.

  9. The growing pains have been a lot more painful the last two weeks than they were the first six. Perhaps incorrectly, I expected some improvement. To VT’s credit, all the injuries haven’t helped.

  10. This article is timely… on the boards, they are questioning Coach Beamer’s vitality, Coach Loeffler’s playcalling, and Coach Foster’s recruiting of smaller, faster guys. The real deal is this: the defense has lost three key starters in Maddy, Facyson, and Williams; the offense has two potential 1000 yard running backs in the training room in Edmunds and McKenzie; the offensive line is mediocre; and Brewer has thrown too many interceptions. Could we have a better record with a few breaks? Sure, but we are young, thin, and injured. I think we should be glad that we have a consistent winning program that represents our university well on a daily basis; no indictments, no scandals, no paper course As. This team is going to contend for a playoff spot sometime soon (2015 if Searls gets some stud freshment or JC linemen; 2016 if they don’t) and the boards will be saying Beamer is a great old guy; Loeffler is an offensive genius; and Foster is the best in the nation.

  11. So I am not sure the take on this? Is it basically providing quotes from Beamer, Foster, Byrn…. acknowledging the youth and such. I am not sure if this is an analytical agreement with Beamer, a message to fans to be patient, etc.

    1. Agree, don’t know how to take it either, if it was an anomaly from the past 5 years it would be easier to swallow. Was that the problem at the Sugar Bowl also. Seems like same old excuse making to me.

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