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Monday, November 13, 2000
Frank Beamer was in Birmingham Monday night for a speaking appearance scheduled early this year with the Birmingham Touchdown Club -- the third year he has made such an appearance. Assistant head coach Billy Hite took his place on the radio show, along with Bud Foster.
Recorded comments from AD Jim Weaver were aired on two subjects: Alabama's interest in Frank Beamer for its coaching vacancy, and Virginia Tech's bowl prospects.
Weaver said that he has been working on an enhanced pay package for Beamer for about two weeks, in conjunction with President Steger. He said he believes Beamer wants to stay at VT and repeated his view that "Frank Beamer and Virginia Tech is as good a match as there is in college football." He thinks Alabama would not call him for permission to speak with Beamer until after the (regular?) season is over.
As for a BCS at-large bid, Weaver said the Hokies have "as good a chance as anyone" if they win out against UVa and have a healthy Michael Vick and team to show. He indicated that the Gator Bowl would be likely if the BCS doesn't happen.
The prospects sounded favorable on the injury front. Vick and Andre Davis are responding well to treatment and both are expected to return to practice in one week. Hite said "they'll be ready to play" against Virginia -- although it wasn't clear whether he meant physically and/or mentally.
Vick was able to raise up on his toes on Sunday for the first time since his injury, which Hite said trainer Mike Goforth said was a very good sign. Davis did not travel with the team to UCF and underwent 6-7 hours of treatment over the weekend.
Dave Meyer has a slight separation of ribs and will probably be ready for the Virginia game after two weeks of healing time, Hite said. Beasley is wearing a cast for a high ankle sprain to keep the ankle stationary. Nothing was said about his availability against Virginia.
CENTRAL FLORIDA GAME
Bud Foster said the Tech defense hit the UCF quarterback an incredible 28 times in Saturday's game. Bill Roth said the UCF coach alleged after the game that VT was trying to take his quarterback out. Foster said that wasn't the case, that it was good, clean football except for one cheap shot.
Foster said his response would be that the other team needed to protect its quarterback. (In a great line, Roth said the Hokies treated QB Ryan Schneider like "a human piņata at a fiesta.")
Roth said he had never before heard Coach Beamer refer to an opposing coach after a game. Hite said he was surprised himself at some of the comments the UCF coach had made about VT leading up to the game, which he said angered Beamer. What made Coach Beamer angry is that he questioned the character of the team and staff and schemes after the loss to Miami, Hite said.
Foster was candid in saying that he thought Tech's young defense played "scared" and with "no emotion" at Miami, as opposed to "pinning our ears back" against UCF and playing faster and with emotion. According to Roth, Cory Bird said the game was the most fun he'd had in a long time.
Roth noted that the Hokies lead the nation in interceptions, and Foster said they could have had three more last week "if we just play the coverage."
A caller asked about the personal foul penalties and Foster said they were addressed in a team film meeting as usual and that the team has to play with more discipline in that regard. Coach Beamer "got after" Ronyell Whitaker in the meeting about a personal foul penalty that was called on him, Foster said.
Hite said he knew Lee Suggs was going to be good, but never dreamed he would be "this good, this soon." No back in the country is better than Suggs, he said, whom he described as able to accelerate into the hole faster than anyone who's ever played at Tech.
Hite said he teased Rickey Bustle after the game that Tech's ground attack against UCF was like Bill Dooley football. He kidded something to the effect that Bustle usually likes to throw it too much.
Foster said Hardee will probably start at cornerback against Virginia.
Looking to the 2001 season, he said the staff will look at Deon Provitt at whip, and at Michael Crawford and walk-on Sam Fatherly at rover. Josh Spence has been considered at linebacker and has worked at tailback some this fall, could play either way, is up to about 220 pounds. He brought up the names of 2000 redshirts Vincent Fuller (corner or free safety) and Mike Daniels as other players who could soon figure in.
As for recruiting priorities for defense, Foster said they have three commitments for interior linemen and would like one more, have two commitments in the secondary and would like one more.
Hite said VT is recruiting three quarterbacks, including two in state besides the one they have a commitment from (presumably the QB from Arkansas).
Redshirt QB Jason Davis is running the scout team and still learning the system, Hite said. Fullback Joe Wilson is "living in the weight room," working hard, and has a chance to break into the 2- or 3-deep next year.
Foster said VT's present DL just needs to get bigger because they compare favorably at this early stage of their careers with where Corey Moore, Cornell Brown, John Engelberger and others were in their development.