Tech had a scrimmage with South Carolina on Sunday, but Buzz isn’t allowed to comment much on it. A scrimmage is better than an exhibition, because an exhibition has to be against a non-Division I team. Williams’ Marquette teams have scrimmaged Frank Martin’s teams in the past. Tech will have another scrimmage this weekend.
Tech was absolutely manhandled in the morning sessions. The physicality of South Carolina shook the Hokies. It was a really good lesson. However, they grew in the afternoon and played much better in the afternoon.
In a scrimmage, you don’t necessarily play a game. You set up certain scenarios that both coaches want to work on. Overall, Buzz didn’t see anything that he didn’t expect. The Hokies are breaking in a lot of players who have never played before. Williams said he managed to hold his tongue better than he expected in the morning session. The Hokies were on their heels at the start, but they responded well in the later session.
This team is still evolving into how they want to play. They are going to have to play faster because of their size. However, that makes things tough because they don’t have a lot of depth. They are trying to find out how much space they need to play with, etc. Buzz can’t coach too fast, because there are so many freshmen. Also, the veterans still aren’t used to some of the things he is teaching. For example, the Hokies still haven’t put in their zone offense yet. It’s a process.
Buzz feels like Tech has been really efficient in the way they’ve used the 30 days they’ve been allowed to practice in the preseason. Every day after a day off, they have an “early bird” practice. Tech’s players will never go more than 24 hours without Buzz seeing them.
Buzz hasn’t watched tape of the Hokies in the past. He thinks it is pointless to watch film of his players who were playing under another coach’s philosophies. It leads to preconceived notions, and he doesn’t get into that.
Malik Mueller is a really good player. He’s not a great player, but he could turn into one. He’s a guard. He’s not a true point, and he’s not a 2. He’s just a guard. He can be good at many things, and Buzz doesn’t think he’ll be bad at anything. He’s gotten a lot better in the last 6-8 practices. Buzz was pleased with how he scrimmaged. He’s going to have a really good career.
Tech needs to look forward to getting better week by week. He always thought they would go through growing pains, even before they had so many injuries. Something like one-third of their projected starters aren’t playing. They are who they are, and they have to keep working at it.
Tech could have won any of the three recent games they lost. It was a little bit of this, and a little bit of that. They just have to look forward and work through it. A freshman fumbled a kickoff. A freshman kicker had a kick go a little low on the field goal block. They’ll get better.
Defensively, it was big plays that bit the Hokies. They have to get the little things corrected and move on.
Beamer remembers a year where they started all 22 players in all games, with the exception of one wide receiver in one game. Other years are like this one where there are a ton of injuries and you have multiple starters.
Andrew Motuapuaka will continue to get better. He can run, he’s a smart guy, and he’s tough. Every time he plays, he will continue to get better.
Beamer is very appreciative of the fans for still coming out. He knows they are giving a great effort.
Different officials work at different speeds, and Michael Brewer thought he had plenty of time to get the play off on the first play from scrimmage. Apparently he did not. That’s why he had to call a timeout. That’s on Tech. They have to do a better job there.
Beamer never reads the paper or watches TV during a season, good or bad. He doesn’t want to be influenced by anyone, good or bad. He’s more interested on what he sees from his team. If they have a problem, they have to correct it from within. They have to stay together. The problems can only be solved by the coaches and the players.
BC had three different things they did on punts, and Tech had different things they would do against each thing BC did. Beamer decided to go for the block several times early. He wanted to speed up the punter and force him to get it off quickly. Unfortunately the BC punter was great and pinned the Hokies deep several times. Beamer had Bucky Hodges on the punt block team, but he took him off the team on Saturday to give him a rest. The backup (Corey Marshall) isn’t quite as athletic, and in hindsight Beamer thinks Hodges could have blocked one had he been in there. One of those punts went right through Marshall’s hands.
Luther Maddy is a tremendous player. Nobody is going to block him one-on-one, so he’s a big loss. Beamer wishes he could be on the field with Corey Marshall.
Recruiting is tremendously important to Tech right now. Some of the coaches have been out on the road this week. They had a great group of visitors over the weekend as well.
There is a lot of football left to be played. They have to be improve. They are growing right now. The future is really bright with all the young players who are getting time. They have to go full speed ahead.