Independence Bowl Thoughts: Beamer, Clarke, Ford, and More

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55-52. Frank Beamer’s last game as Virginia Tech’s head coach was about as un-Beamer like as can possibly be imagined. The Hokies gained 598 yards of total offense, and in general could not be stopped. Tulsa racked up 563 yards on Bud’s defense, and hit a ton of big plays. Tech threw a pick, and fumbled the ball on a critical possession that would have iced the game. Yet through all that, the good guys came out on top and sent their legendary coach out with a win.

There were some eye-popping numbers in this football game, and we’ll get to those later. But first, I want to touch on what happened in the days leading up to the game.

Deon Clarke and Frank Beamer Show Their True Colors

I’ve never been a particularly huge fan of Deon Clarke. Ever since he lost about 15 pounds between his first and second semesters of college, I’ve questioned whether he had the maturity and willpower to succeed at the highest level of college football. He’s been undisciplined both on and off the field throughout his career. I’ve heard that Bud Foster was really frustrated with Clarke on multiple ocassions and wanted to bench him, but he didn’t have a decent backup to put in the game. Keep in mind that I like Deon personally. He’s a funny guy and a good interview. But I did not like him as a Virginia Tech football player.

If you recall, Clarke was suspended for the first quarter of the Georgia Tech game back on November 12. A quick search of the Virginia Court Cases website shows that Deontae Antoine Clarke (Clarke’s full name) was arrested for a DWI in Radford on November 10…just two days before the GT game. Actually, the arrest technically didn’t occur until November 11, though the offense was on November 10. That means Clarke was driving around drunk the night before the team was to fly to Atlanta for a huge ACC showdown.

At that point in time, Frank Beamer’s retirement had been announced. Obviously sending Beamer out the right way was not a priority for Tech’s starting backer in November, and he showed that it was still not a priority after he was sent home after one night in Shreveport. I don’t