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Advance Auto Parts Hokie Hotline Notes
, September 27, 2004
by Phil Noftsinger

The Hokie Hotline was broadcast live from Beamerís restaurant in Christiansburg, VA. Tonight's guests included Tech offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring, Athletic Director Jim Weaver, and Head Coach Frank Beamer.

Hokie News of the Day included:

  • Game Time for Wake Forest set for noon and will be televised by Jefferson Pilot
  • Florida AnM game will be played at 1pm.
  • Tech womenís volleyball team is currently in first place in the ACC after wins over Fla State and Miami over the weekend.

Bryan Stinespring

Roth started the interview with Coach Stinespring by asking him what happened to the Hokie offense last Saturday. Coach responded with a litany of reasons, foremost among them was NC Stateís great defense. Coach also talked about the "lost" points on drives that stalled in or just outside of the red-zone.

Roth asked specifically about the 10 sacks that occurred during the game, and the play of the offensive line. Stinespring mentioned that the O-Line graded out as only responsible for 1 sack on the day. The other sacks were tallied to the following: TE (1), WR(1), RB(3), QB(4). Roth asked how a QB is responsible for a sack. Coach said that there is an opportunity to pick up the blitzes and set the correct protection package at the snap of the ball. In the cases where the correct protection package wasnít set or hot reads werenít established based upon the blitz package by the defense, then the sack is attributed to the QB.

Roth asked how the team was able to move the ball in the fourth quarter versus the other three quarters. Coach Stinespring said that in the fourth quarter the blitz packages by NC State were the same as before, but they were being picked up, giving the passer more time.

Roth asked why these things happened and why we got handled up front. Stinespring pointed to a couple of specific cases where a center missed a key block on a run play or an offensive lineman made a mental error, but there didnít seem to be one over-ridding reason given for the inability to move the football. Roth asked why the quick game didnít seem to work either, as we were pressured even when we went to the quick passes. Stinespring said that not setting the proper protection or creating the proper hot-reads makes the quick passes ineffective. Stinespring also said that the speed and athleticism of the NC State defense was also a major factor.

Roth mentioned that the Hokies are likely to see this same blitz package on Saturday against West Virginia, and he asked Stinespring if the team will be ready to handle it. Stinespring said that "we dang well better be." It was apparent that Coach Stinespring was frustrated by the play of his offense on Saturday.

Drew in Roanoke Rapids called in and asked about the depth at the FB position, and specifically if the use of a TE might alleviate some of this. Coach said that they do use a three tight end set at times, but you donít want to use a TE on an ISO block play as thereís a different learning experience there, which would impact effectiveness.

Roth asked Stinespring if he was missing Doug Easlick. Coach said that Doug was a good football player, but that learning to pick up those blocks is just a matter of experience. Kinzer is learning where and how to set up his block and sometimes gets out of whack.

Roy called in from Vinton called in and wanted to know what makes Stinespring qualified to be an offensive coordinator, and if VTís program is to "advanced" to have a coordinator who is learning on the job. Roth pre-empted any response by Stinespring stating that no coach should have to answer to a fan about how heís qualified for his job. Roth continued to say that nobody asked these questions when Tech beat LSU or Miami, and that he wouldnít allow the fact that a player missed a field goal to create questions that were not appropriate. Stinespring answered the question anyway, stating that he works very hard, talks with other offensive coaches, and that he can look himself in the mirror and feel comfortable with the fact that heís doing everything he can to put the team in a position to win on Saturday.

Jeff in Knoxville called in and wanted to know how close the team was to not getting the field goal attempt off and also he wanted to know how you teach a Senior quarterback to avoid the mistakes that led to the sacks he was responsible for, alluding to what Stinespring mentioned earlier in the program. Stinespring said that you never quit coaching them, but that there were a couple times last weekend where Bryan Randall may have been pressing a little. Stinespring did state that Bryan has done an outstanding job, and that going into this game the preparation was outstanding. That preparation didnít materialize on the field on Saturday. Regarding the clock at the end of the game, Bryan was following standard procedure, in that you try to kill the clock with three seconds left so thereís no chance of a kick return after the field goal attempt.

Bonnie from Christiansburg who was in the audience asked what might be done in the stadium next week to recognize that Bryan Randall surpassed Maurice DeShaizoís passing record this past weekend. Stinespring said that heís been pre-occupied with what happened on Saturday, that he wasnít aware of Randall breaking the record. He indicated that he hadnít read to many papers or watched the news in the past couple of days and was not aware that Randall passed Maurice.

Roth asked Coach Stinespring to comment on the WVU team. Stinespring said that the team is ranked 7th in the country, and that they are a confident team. Defensively they are as physical as he has ever seen, and that their first goal is a collision rather than making a tackle.

Tim from Roanoke called in telling Stinespring that he did a good job on Saturday, and that the fans were emotionally into the game and everyone was disappointed. However, we were in the game with an opportunity to win the game.

Fred in Roanoke called in and asked about the use of the tight ends and using them more in the scheme. Stinespring said that we do, and that we are continuing to do things to get the ball in their hands more often. Fred had a follow-up question wondering if it was a surprise that the #1 defense in the country out-played our offensive line as much as they did. Stinespring said that it was a surprise, citing that our offensive line is talented.

John in Roanoke called in and wanted to commend the effort of the team. Stinespring thanked the caller, and said that he thought the team played extremely hard, but not extremely well. He also continued to comment saying that he understands where the responsibility ultimately resides and that comes with the territory.

Greg from Dublin who was in the audience wanted to comment that fans need to get over this loss as well and get out of this funk and beat West Virginia. Greg asked if playing a team you know like West Virginia can help a team re-bound easier than playing another team that you donít know. Stinespring said that watching the tape should get you out of the funk, because you will realize that you need to get out of it early. Stinespring said that the character of this team showed in the fourth quarter, and that practice went well today. Stinespring said that you donít need to do anything special to get your heart pumping when you have a team like WVU coming to town.

Roth asked about the change in RB position which led to Mike Imoh being announced as the starting back. Stinespring said that Imoh was able to make some people miss and get positive yards on Saturday, and thatís what we need from our starting running back.

Jim Weaver

Roth opened the interview portion with Techís athletic director, mentioning that there will probably be a lot of games in the ACC that will be as close as last Saturday. Weaver agreed pointing to Clemsonís loss to Georgia Tech a few weeks back. Roth continued to state that coaches continue to talk about special teams and how important they are, and if you miss two field goals you're not going to win a ball game, as the games will be very close. Roth said thatís the way itís supposed to be after the game.

Roth pointed out that people were upset with the number of NC State fans that were at the game, and where they were sitting at the game. Weaver said that the ACC has a rule that opponents get 4,000 tickets. If the team has extra tickets available, then the opponent can request more.

As far as location is concerned, there are five sections in the lower bowl of the south end zone. Two of those sections are occupied by the Corp of Cadets, and the furthest section to the left is occupied by the visiting band. When we opened two years ago we had Hokie fans in the two middle sections and we had some problems with Hokie fans and harassment of the opposing teamís band. So Weaver said that they put a visiting section to the right of the band. Then after last season and reviewing their notes from that season, the athletic department decided to put another section of opposing fans down there for a total of 1,240 opposing fans in those two sections. The way it was designed, the bands were put there for access to the field, and since there were people being hit with thrown objects, the decision was made for operational and security reasons. In the past, prior to the SEZ there were bleachers in that area, and there were over 2,000 seats available to opponents in that section. Weaver said that opposing fans in that section, in his opinion, did not have an effect on the field goal attempt. Those seats were occupied by students and general admission during the times when security problems arose.

Curtis in Wythville called in and asked about the quarterback draw as the 2nd to the last play of the game, and asked about the penalty calls not going our way since we are the new team to the league. Weaver said that he felt the officiating has been good, and he was giving the officials the benefit of the doubt on those calls which were questionable. Roth pointed out that Beamer said earlier today that the officiating was good on Saturday.

Weaver said that a good football team will battle back and get into a position to win, and thatís what this team did on Saturday. Roth pointed out that there were two instances on Saturday where the ball was spotted incorrectly, including the spot on the field goal attempt. However, they will get into that with Coach Beamer.

David in Chesapeake called in with a question about seating. Regarding the seating in the end zone, couldnít West Virginia fans throw objects just as easily as Tech fans? Weaver said that was possible, but the question was why we changed and thatís why they changed. David followed up stating that opposing fans in those sections will distract the players more than opposing fans in the nose-bleed sections. Weaver said that the seating arrangement is permanent for this year in that the tickets have been sent out already. Weaver said that they re-evaluate everything they do after each season, mentioning that he had a discussion earlier today with a good Hokie fan out of Richmond, assuring this individual that they would re-evaluate this situation at the end of the year.

Roth said that when Tech has played games against teams that have brought a lot of fans, Tech has won the game. This game is different and fans noticed the opposing fans this game because of the loss, theorizing that fans would have probably mentioned the LSU fans if Tech had lost that game.

John called in from Blacksburg and wanted to know why a single Tech fan threw a water bottle and how that incident changed the entire seating in that section. Also, John pointed out that you have to worry about what the TV cameraís show, and itís somewhat embarrassing having TV cameras showing our end zone and showing opposing fans celebrating that we lost the game. Weaver said there were several incidents, but that he pointed out that one incident. Weaver said that TV viewers are mature enough to figure out that if the opponents are cheering that we lost, that we would be cheering if we won.

Roth said that in the game against Marshall received 6,000 tickets and that was the most an opponent had received. However, against WVU the allocation had changed. Weaver said that the allocation had changed for this series, meaning this game and the game in Ď05, and that WVU would only receive 4,000. Roth asked if this series would continue after this year. Weaver said that the series would be discontinued after the Ď05 game unless the NCAA reverts back to a 12 game season. If that happens dialogue would begin about playing the game at a neutral site. Roth asked if Weaver wanted the game to continue. Weaver said that as long as the fans are safe and being treated with respect then it makes sense to continue the game, if not then thereís no reason to continue to schedule one another.

Jeff in Blacksburg called in and wondered how the student ticket allocation for students, specifically the switch from "camping out" for tickets and the lottery system in place now. Weaver said that in concert with the central administration, jointly with the central administration, the lottery was developed. Weaver said that thereís going to be some who canít get tickets, but that this again is a policy, like others, that will be reviewed at the end of the season for effectiveness.

Forrest in Bedford called in regarding the new construction, he wanted to know if the "Home of the Fighting Gobblers" would remain after the new construction is complete. Weaver said that it probably would not remain, there are plans to use those letters in the memorabilia area.

Roth asked Weaver how he feels about all this, with the frustration of the Hokie nation. Weaver said that as frustrated as the fans are, the players are more embarrassed and frustrated. Weaver said that this is a much different football team than last year, and these kids have chemistry and heart. Weaver continued to say that when he saw the punt end up on the five yard line, that was "gut-check" time, and the team did a heck of a job moving the ball 70 yards to be in a position to win.

Frank Beamer

Roth introduced Coach Beamer and asked if it was rough couple of days. Beamer said that he told his kids that he was impressed with the way the team fought back, and that we need to build off of that and go from there. Roth asked Beamer about the Stinespring comment about the offensive line only missing one block. Beamer said that things got off-kilter and that Randall may have been trying to make a play. Beamer said that he feels good about this football team and that itís a tough day and that thereís something to this team played considering they played as hard as they did when things werenít going well.

Roth asked about the ball being mis-spotted on the 26 yard line prior to the field goal. Beamer said that he wasnít quite sure what happened, and that the marker never moved. When the spike occurred on the 24 you were left wondering why it was spotted on the 26 yard line. Beamer suggested that the officials must have looked at the marker that didnít move after the run play from Bryan Randall to re-set the ball. Since that was incorrectly positioned, the ball was mis-spotted. However, Beamer did say that he didnít think that was a factor in missing the field goal. Roth pointed out that this wasnít the only time that the ball was mis-spotted, indicating that something was wrong with the operations on Saturday. Beamer said that you donít like to see things get messed up on a critical play, but that overall the officiating was good.

Roth said he hoped the team is thinking more about WVU than they were on the Hotline tonight. Beamer said that they are, and that this WVU squad is a good football team. They have a great back, and they got us last year when we went up there ranked in the Top 10.

Brad in Fort Chiswell called in wondered how you keep the intensity up week in and week out, he also wanted to know where our running game was and how we get it back, also we are getting beat on special teams and that used to be our strong suit, finally, used to be great at making adjustments at half-time and there were none this last weekend. Beamer said that there are more good football teams in the ACC and certainly NC State is a great defensive football team, but that intensity was also something required in the Big East.

Beamer felt like there is a great desire on this team to get it right. Beamer said that Mike Imoh will help out that running game, and that Cedric Humes hasnít been himself lately. Cedric needs to get back to where he was. Imoh gives us some quickness back there. Special teams? Beamer said that we had three punt returns for 100 yards, and we have missed blocking three kicks by almost 15 inches. You donít get into position to block kicks if you're not doing things right, so thatís a matter of opinion. Beamer did agree that results are the measure, but that he didnít think we were getting beat on special teams.

Regarding game adjustments, we didnít come out very good in the third quarter, but we did some positive things in the fourth quarter. There was some adjusting going on, but sometimes you just need to block people, rather than make an adjustment.

A caller from Maryland, whose cellular call was lost, commented positively on the play of Eddie Royal, the caller wanted to know about how Eddie Royal is lining up for punt returns. Beamer said that opposing kickers are charted and they put the punt returner in the most likely position based upon that charting. Two games ago, when Tech had the wind, they didnít do a very good job about getting him lined up properly. Beamer said itís difficult when you get these kickers kicking one kick 50 yards and the next 30 yards.

FW called in from Dinwiddie and asked about the seating of the fans, and said that if you have problem with the seating you need to call your Hokie club rep. FW said that by re-seating you just move the problem rather than solve it, mentioning that it was a sea of red in that end zone. FW said that at West Virginia, when he visited, he had cups and beverages thrown on him at the game as well as verbal "cursing". Overall it was a most un-enjoyable event, and he will never go back.

FW wanted to know how Beamer was going to protect his players and fans when we return. Beamer said that the people at Texas A&M had it figured out well. Beamer had two letters from a Western Michigan fan and an NC State fan praising the fans of Virginia Tech. Beamer said that the fans need to respect each other as well, when it gets dangerous, you're taking this thing too far. Beamer said that heís really proud of our fans. The NC State letter was from a fan who didnít like Virginia Tech too much, but that he was pleasantly surprised by the behavior. The NC State fan said that our fans were congratulatory and were the best fans he had been around at an away game.

Roth said that he appreciated the West Virginia rivalry, and that itís always a great game. Beamer said that he has respect for Coach Rodriguez, and he hopes that the fans will respect each other.

Jason in Arlington called in and said that he was disappointed that some of the same things are happening this year that happened last year, where there are little adjustments at half-time, and we only win when we put up a good margin before half-time. Beamer agreed with the caller regarding adjustments, and that things didnít go well in the third quarter. However, Beamer did say that the caller was losing sight of what happened in the fourth quarter. Beamer pointed out that you have a new center that makes a lot of calls for protection, things are happing real fast, thereís some things that even an educated football fan misses.

Blair in Columbus Ohio called in wanting to make two comments: first, West Virginia is a date that Hokie fans have circled on their calendars for a long time, and in the past there have been a lot of discussion as to when itís been the loudest at Lane Stadium...the caller stated that this weekend it will be the loudest itís ever been at Lane Stadium. Secondly, nobody better be sitting down! Everybody needs to stand on the East and West side, the SEZ, and the announcers in the booth should be standing.

Finally, he had a lot of comments about the ball game last year, and that we need to bring in the opposing fans and treat them with dignity and respect and show them what class is, and that we are going to beat them. Beamer said that it was embarrassing that we didnít play better against NC State, but that he is proud of the fact that we had a chance to beat them. Beamer pointed out that when Tech went to West Virginia with Michael Vick and lost the lead right at the end, they came back and put themselves in a position to win, made the field goal, and it was one of the greatest games ever. This one was the same way, but that you gotta look at how hard the team hung in there. There was the fourth down reception. These guys are trying to be good, and thereís a lot of people wanting to change this and that. The reality is that we have a good coaching staff and this is a good football team.

Horace (whose call was dropped earlier), called back, and wanted to know if Eddie was tipping off the defense inadvertently by his stance at the line of scrimmage. The caller said that heís in a track stance on passing plays and more upright on running plays. The callers second question regarding TA McLendon, and his juke moves seemed to blow our defense away. Beamer said that McLendon is an incredible back and that the Hokies handled him pretty good. Beamer said that the coaching staff had not noticed anything about Eddieís stance that would tip off a defense, but that he would have Tony Ball (receivers coach) look into the callerís observations.

Charles in Roanoke called in and wondered about the clock management and why we used up all our timeouts on defense prior to the last drive. The caller also wondered if the defense was keying on our snap counts. Beamer said that he also noticed that they were onto our snap counts and that Bryan is far enough along that we can change our cadence. Regarding the timeouts, Beamer said that you would like to save one, but that where we were, we needed to save as much time. It was the difference of having 1 minute and 1 timeout, rather than having 1.5 minutes. There are more options for an offense to control the clock than just timeouts, and the team did a good job of managing the extra time.

Roth asked about West Virginia and getting them out of their game plan. Beamer said you gotta stop them. They have a great offense with a ton of experience. The way you kill momentum is to get them in 2nd and 3rd and long, so the play calling becomes more predictable.

Jonathan from Dublin who was in the audience, wanted to know if Hunter Carpenter should be honored at Lane Stadium like Frank Beamerís and others. Beamer agreed and that he didnít have input on that topic, but that Hunter was a great player at Virginia Tech.

Jack in Roanoke called in and asked about offensive play calling, in the first three quarters we max protected a lot, and the defense blitzed from Eddie Royalís side of the field a lot. Jack wanted to know why it took so long for us to go to a four wide receiver set. Beamer said that when you bring a six man pressure and two people up the pipe, your backs better make a block. Beamer disagreed with the callerís comment that there was a lot of zone blitz coverage saying that there was a lot of man and free man coverage out there. Beamer continued to say that the coaches didnít just all of a sudden get dumb, we have been doing this for a long time. It gets down to execution, and that in some situations he agrees, but it comes down to execution. Beamer continued that what he really wants to see is better execution, insinuating that play calling seems to be the issue when execution is poor. The reality is that if one person misses an assignment, the play can go all to heck. Beamer said that execution is the issue from last week.

Dallas had the NFL update, noting that it was not a prolific day for NFL Hokies. Andre Davis had 3 catches for 33 yards. Shayne Graham scored all of Cincinnatiís points scoring on three field goals. Michael Vick elevated his team to a win. The biggest story in the NFL is the Jacksonville Jaguars, with Ernest Wilford scoring most of the touchdowns. Wilford has been instrumental in the Jaguarís success. Roth pointed out that Nick Sorensen is the special teams captain for Jacksonville.

John called in from Rhode Island saying the team fought really hard, but pointed out that max protect wasnít working, shutting down the receivers on man coverage. John pointed out that you spread out the offense you have the ability to get the ball out on a screen like in the fourth quarter. Beamer said that the one point regarding the experience NC State had in the secondary. Beamer said that the game shouldnít be played one on one outside, but we were able to do that in the fourth quarter.

Roth closed the show by asking fans to show up for the walk and be ready to cheer for the Hokies. Roth also asked all fans to respect the opponents and their fans.

-- Phil


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