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Advance Auto Parts Hokie Hotline Notes
Monday
, October 4, 2004
by Phil Noftsinger

Tonightís Hokie Hotline was live from Beamerís restaurant in Christiansburg, Virginia, and the guests were Bud Foster, Jim Weaver, and Frank Beamer.

Bill Roth opened tonightís show by reviewing the Hokie news of the day:

  • Techís free safety Vincent Fuller was announced as one of four finalist for this weeks ESPN Pontiac Game Changing Performance Award. Visit http://www.espn.com/pontiac/ to vote for Fuller.

  • Fuller was also honored by the ACC by being named the Defensive Back of the week, the first such honor for a Tech football player.

  • Tech kicker Brandon Pace was announced as one of this weeks Lou Groza Awardís Starís of the week.

  • Tickets are now available for the homecoming game against Florida A&M.


Bud Foster

Roth introduced Coach Foster by reviewing that Techís defense shut down the 9th rated rushing offense in the nation. Roth asked Foster when he knew that his defense was ready to take on West Virginia. Foster said that he knew that on Monday, possibly Sunday a week ago. Foster said that the Hokie squad was ready for this WVU team, after falling to the Mountaineers the last two years. Roth pointed out that the defense pitched a shut-out on third down. Foster said that this was two weeks in a row where the defense put up a good effort on third down.

Roth pointed out that Chris Henry (wide receiver for WVU) has had 23 catches in four games and a touchdown in the last six games in a row. Roth asked what the team did to take Henry away from the WVU offense. Foster said that WVU has really been using Henry as a deep threat, by throwing the ball down the field, and that the Hokie game plan was to make Rasheed Marshall (WVU quarterback) beat them by throwing the ball. Foster said that we didnít want to give them anything cheap deep down the field. The defense played off him a little bit with some zone and zone blitz packages, and took away the deep ball.

Roth asked what Foster wants to see improvement wise from his defense this week. Coach said that each guy can get better technique wise, but that the teamís effort is right where they want it. There are a few mental errors, 9 this week over 13 last week, and those have to continue to decrease for this team to continue progressing. Carlton Powell played a lot against West Virginia, and you see him make plays each week. He is one of the guys that can continue to get better each week.

Roth said that this game had a lot of penalties. Coach said that there was one roughing the passer, and he was blocked into the passer. Coach said that Tapp indicated that he was trying to pull off the guy and he was cut blocked into the passer. Coach said that the team did need to eliminate those penalties, and that they are not in a position to give up free yards to any offense.

Brant in Hoboken, NJ who submitted his question via hokiesports.com (a new addition to the format where fans can submit their questions on-line), and he wanted to know if the preparation for Wake Forest would be the same given the misdirection that the Deacons like to employ. Foster said that the preparation would be very similar, and that the coaches have tremendous respect for the Deacons. Foster said that their game play on offense is very similar to West Virginia with the no-huddle offense.

Jamie from Radford who was in the audience asked about the play where the West Virginia receiver dropped the ball on the two yard line. Jamie said that it appeared that WVU lined up in the same formation as the play before, and why it appeared that the coverage was blown on that play. Foster said that the team dodged a bullet there in that the coverage was supposed to roll to that side, and the play was designed to have someone in that area and the defender just didnít sink deep enough on that play.

Paul called in with a question asked about the shot to the head on Jared Mazzetta which resulted in a penalty and an altercation that seemed to occur between Jimmy Williams and Vincent Fuller on the sideline. Foster said that the flag on the play where Jared was hit in the head was a result of the headshot, and that is something that the officials are trying to crack down on, to protect the players. The situation with Fuller and Williams was the play where Richard Johnson was hit on the punt return. According to Foster, Fuller and Green were trying to calm Williams down, who was frustrated by West Virginia players who were punching on him after he was on the ground. Foster said that he talked with Green and Fuller, and he is satisfied that the other two were simply taking a leadership role trying to calm Williams down to avoid a penalty. Foster did admit that the announcers seemed to make a lot out of the discussion between those three players, but that overall the players handled it as they should have.

Roth asked if Foster thought it was unusual that after the play where Johnson was hit early on the punt return, the WVU coach admonished the offending player, and then his teammates proceeded to give the player high-fives. Roth continued that he is not insinuating that the coach had lost control of his team, but that he was concerned about the danger that type of attitude presents in a physical game such as this one. Foster said that was early in the game and they were trying to set the tone, but that player was lucky he wasnít ejected from the game.

Jerry from Fredericksburg wrote in indicating that Wake Forest has one of the most underrated coaching staffs in the country which has been giving other defenses fits this season. Foster said that Coach Grobe and his staff do a great job, and he hoped that the game with West Virginia who has a similar style has helped prepare them for what they will see from the Deacons.

Roth returned from the break discussing the progress of Tech defender Xavier Adibi who was hurt in the game against USC. Foster said that today he put shoulder pads on and he went through the three man sled, block protection and footwork drills. He had a little soreness, but thatís to be expected.

Tommy from Blacksburg who was in the audience asked about Wake Forest and what kind of weapons they have on offense. Foster said that their skill guys are very talented, Chris Barclay #28, has great quickness and acceleration. Their receivers are outstanding, and their quarterbacks can run. These guys are going to be very similar to West Virginia, and they ran the ball for 200 yards against NC State. Roth said that last year Chris Barclay was named the 2nd team all ACC tailback, three year starter, and a 2,000 yard career rusher.

Roth asked Foster if he was surprised at how well Mike Imoh played in his first career start for the Hokies. Foster said that he wasnít that Mike had great preparation this summer. He took his penalty for his behavior and that during that time he got in there and ran hard on the scout team. Foster said that when the defense goes against the scout team they take the play all the way to the end and Mike has been impressive during those drills.


Jim Weaver

Roth opened Jimís interview portion by asking about the ACC Athletic Directors meeting which will take place this week in Raleigh, North Carolina. Roth pointed out that 2005 scheduling will be a topic at this meeting. Weaver said that was correct and that we will know more after this meeting and that he anticipated that BC will visit Tech next year at home. Weaver said that basketball tournament issues as well as eligibility issues will be discussed.

Roth asked for Weaverís thoughts on the WVU game. Weaver said that it was a great game, and that the Hokies dominated the ballgame. However, he was concerned that the team wasnít getting the ball in the end zone enough to really control the game.

Roth asked about the behavior of the fans in the stands. Weaver said that he has not received any indication that there were any problems. Weaver said that he was disappointed in some of the fans who were throwing items at the opposing fans after the game, but that he isnít sure who instigated that event. Weaver did say that he didnít have a problem with the fans wanting to celebrate with the team after a big victory, and that after police officers asked the fans to move back to the middle of the field they were responsive. Overall Weaver sounded as if that small incident after the game did not override the positive behavior he saw from the entire Hokie population on Saturday.

Roth asked about Wake Forest ticket information regarding this week's game. Weaver said that there are still tickets available to Wake Forest through 5pm tomorrow. For tickets after tomorrow, you have to call Wake Forest.

Jonathan from Dublin who was in the audience asked about the 100th anniversary of the 1905 team and asked why Hunter Carpenterís name was not among the honored names around the stadium. Weaver said that he would check on that, the playerís names that appear on the flags also won national awards, so that may be in the mix there.

Mark from Floyd wrote in regarding ticket scalping and that people are trying to sell tickets prior to the game at double face value. Weaver said that they have no control over that activity and that the police are watching for that, but he did not believe that activity represented a misdemeanor or felony in the state of Virginia.

Greg from Dublin who was in the audience wanted to comment that one of the things that got the West Virginia fans upset was that it appeared the officials were ACC officials and perhaps giving the Hokies preferential treatment. Apparently the yardage officials were wearing ACC smocks. Weaver said that the officials were Big East officials, but that they are required to wear the logo of the home team conference. Most of the time the visiting teamís conference officials are employed for out of conference games.

Jeff called in from Knoxville Tennessee and pointed out that at the exit behind the student entrance there are ďrenegadesĒ selling non-licensed merchandise with obscenities printed on the t-shirts. Not only do these present a bad image for Tech, but that they also jam up the exit from the stadium. Jeff also mentioned that at the University of Tennessee the city of Knoxville issues licenses to the scalpers to help control their pricing. Weaver said that the police officers are stationed inside the stadium, and that he would address that with his operations team.

Tim from Christiansburg who was in the audience, had a different perspective on the situation in the South End zone after the game. Tim said that the WVU fans waited in their seats to taunt our fans as they celebrated. Tim continued to say that if they were not sitting in that section this would not have happened. Weaver said that next year they are working on ways to move the visiting team fans out of the sections behind the goal posts.

Bill from Roanoke Virginia called in and said that West Virginia was an important rivalry and wanted to know what the possibility would be of keeping the games going. Weaver said that there has been much discussion regarding this issue. Next year the Hokies will visit WVU, and that is the last currently scheduled game. Weaver and the WVU AD have had discussions, but the only way that the rivalry will continue after next year for the foreseeable future is if the NCAA passes a 12th game for every year. Both teams do not have open dates in the next few years. The final vote on 12-game seasons will occur in April, and the sentiment is 50/50.


Frank Beamer

Frank Beamer said that the game against WVU was a great effort by everyone. Beamer wanted a little bit better execution, but was pleased overall. Roth asked if Beamer was worried about the game at any point. Beamer said that we didnít have the game well in hand at any point, and was worried that it might end up where you had the game well in hand but a few plays beat you. Beamer said that the team did the things at the end to win the game and thatís important.

Roth asked Beamer about the penalties in the game, and that some of those were not legitimate, such as the holding call on Jimmy Williams. Coach Beamer said that he hasnít been in a game where there were so many calls that he didnít think were penalties.

Roth asked about the extra curricular activity going on after the whistle. Beamer said that the Imoh was at the 6 yard line and the pile moves to the 9 yard line after the whistle had blown. The offensive line jumped in to protect the running back and Coach felt that there should have been offsetting penalties since the WVU defense didnít let up after the first whistle. Beamer pointed out that John Dunn was on the ground being punched by a WVU player, and Beamer said that Dunn didnít respond physically, but told the WVU player that he would be right back in 25 seconds to settle up. Beamer did point out that for the most part the sportsmanship was good and that there were probably some situations where our guys participated in that too.

Roth pointed out that the Hokies are 2-0 against Top 10 teams in the last two years (I assume this was at-home since USC was ranked #1 when the Hokies played them earlier this year). Virginia Tech is now 7-1 at home against ranked teams.

Sidney from Grayson County who was in the audience asked about what is done about poor penalties or non-calls. Beamer said that these were Big East officials, and that he was surprised how this game went. Beamer said that he did file a report today about the officiating, and that he planned to follow up that report with a phone call. Beamer said that when you get in a dog fight like this, sometimes the officials are making calls ďbeforeĒ something happens. You canít let that dictate the game though.

Gene in Geneva Switzerland wrote in and felt like the team is progressing well, and seemed to be playing with a team attitude. Gene wanted to know who is helping to make that happen. Beamer said that the team and the seniors have worked very hard to help make that happen. When you play a team sport it takes all phases to work together, and some of our experiences last year helped keep the team together. Beamer said that the players really understand that and Reverend Suggs really emphasized that during the pre-game meeting.

Buford in Fort Chiswell Virginia called in and felt like the team was headed in the right direction, and wanted to discuss the discipline and getting into the end zone. Beamer said that last year we were very good at scoring touchdowns, but that the philosophy is still good just the execution has to occur. Roth pointed out that there have been penalties in the red-zone that push the Hokies out of better scoring opportunities.

Roth pointed out that Randall seemed to show good leadership after the interception coming back and throwing the ball with confidence. Beamer agreed stating that Bryan didnít let the poor play shake his confidence, even after a few balls were dropped after that interception.

Ivan from Christiansburg who was in the audience asked about Mike Imoh and Bryan Randall seemed to be limping and iced down after the game. Beamer said that Imoh was a little banged up and was in blue today for practice, but that he will be fine. Randall got hit near the end of the game, but that he is also fine. Ivan also asked Hokie fans to be on the lookout for a fund-raiser sponsored by the Triad Hokie Club, who will be selling shirts at the Wake Forest game. These shirts are to sponsor a Tech student.

Roth reviewed the stats of Imoh during the WVU game, the biggest of which was 15 broken tackles. Beamer said that Mike is a good smart football player. Beamer said that he makes a difference, and that he also has his hopes up for Humes and Hamilton as well.

Tom from West Virginia wrote in indicating that he is the happiest man in West Virginia.

Rusty in Richmond said that the win helped heal the loss to NC State.

Mitch wrote in and asked about the two punt returners which has been the standard this year. Beamer said that the opponents are trying to punt away from the returners, and having two guys back there we can get the ball caught and started back up field. Beamer was disappointed that we werenít getting more yardage, but getting the ball caught is the first priority.

Will from Glendale California wrote in and wanted to know what we need to do to make bigger plays downfield. Beamer said that the team is going to continue to throw the ball deep and that we will start seeing some more production in the deep passing game.

Matt in Brookline Massachusetts wrote in and wanted to know which game during his tenure is Beamer most proud of and what is the best compliment he has received from a former or current player. Beamer said that there are two games. The Pittsburgh game in 1993 and Miami in 1995 after an 0-2 start. Beamer said that his best compliment is when a kid has said that the Coach has affected his life. Roth said that when you have a brother following his elder to Tech is a great testament to the program. Beamer agreed and said thatís a good recruiting tool as well.

Bill in Virginia Beach called and said that Randall seems to roll out to his left most of the times, and wondered also if Humes would play better at fullback. Beamer said that Kinzer is really playing well at the fullback position. Beamer said that he really thinks the Humes is going to come back and that heís practicing really hard and the Coach is really pulling for him.

Dean from Abingdon wrote in that after the blocked field goal returned for a touchdown, that Brandon Pace was the kickoff guy and he only got it to the 40 yard line. Beamer said that what should have happened was that Brandon should have popped the ball up around the 20 yard line. Instead we kicked it to the thirty yard line and they caught it on the run and returned it to the forty.

Steve in Richmond called in and wanted to know who the officiating crew would be when we visit WVU in 2005. Beamer said that there would be ACC officials in that game. Beamer said that he didnít think the game was officiated very well for either team. Beamer said that he thinks highly of Big East officials, but that some of the calls were questionable. Roth pointed out that this wasnít one of the top crews from the Big East, and they probably use those crews for in-conference games.

Eric in Salem called in and wanted to congratulate the Coach on his success against WVU. Beamer thanked the caller and hoped that we can get on a good streak after this big win.

Steve in Radford wrote in and wanted to know the timetable for Xavier Adibiís return. Beamer felt like the Florida A&M (Oct. 16th) game was a possibility, and that if he didnít he would have a week and a half to get back for the Georgia Tech game on Thursday, October 28th.

Randy in Daleville called in and said that Eddie Royal was the best looking VT freshman he has ever seen, and that the announcers made a big deal about the Williams/Fuller incident discussed earlier and wanted to know how the coach addressed that. Beamer said that he didnít know about it, and that Green and Fuller were just trying to get Williams calmed down. Beamer said that those three are very tight and things get a little emotional out there.

Barek from Blacksburg who was in the audience asked about the defense of Wake Forest. Beamer said that they are well coached and play real hard. Eric King their DB is a senior, their defensive tackle Scales is a really good player. They have some talent, and they are hardly ever out of position. Beamer pointed out that Wake defeated Clemson who later defeated Florida State last year, and this year they have lost two conference games in overtime. This is a very good football team we are playing this week.

Jeremy in Shawsville called in and wanted to comment on how good the defense has played so far this year. Beamer said that Eric Green has been a solid player and a good leader. Beamer complimented all the defensive coaches.

Roth asked what was going on with Vinnie Burns. Beamer said that Burns just missed the first punt, but that he got better as the day went on. Beamer said that he was working with Vinnie today, and that he will be fine.

Roth asked how Redskins fans felt when Lee Suggs scored the game winning touchdown for Cleveland last Sunday. Beamer said that he likes the Redskins, but you have to root for Lee.

The NFL update consisted of:

  • Ernest Wilford had 6 receptions for 54 yards.

  • Michael Vick totaled 183 yards for their fourth victory of the season.

  • Chad Beasley and Ben Taylor are on the IR for the Cleveland Browns

  • Andre Davis caught three passes for 93 yards.

  • Lee Suggs had 82 yards rushing and a touchdown.

Keith from Morgantown West Virginia wrote in and asked about Coach Rodriguezís play calling which seemed to be predictable and lacked underneath passing. Beamer said that the WVU coach had a good game plan, and that typically what the fan sees in the stands is symptomatic of what the other team is doing as well.

Mark in Blacksburg wrote in and asked if the opponents in the ACC are more challenging than the teams in the Big East. Beamer said that the ACC is a good league right now, and that the level of competition is strong in the league. NC State had some good players, and so does Wake Forest.

Ken in Smith Mountain Lake called in asked about whether Adibi might play at the safety position next year to replace Vince Fuller. Beamer said that Adibi would stay at the linebacker position, where he has shown excellent ability.

Chris from Salem who was in the audience asked about the tight ends and if we were going to get them in the game a little more this week. Beamer said that we have to continue to mix our tight ends in the game. The more you get them involved the better chance you have at winning.

Monday was Day 2 of Tech's continuous possession of the Black Diamond Trophy.

-- Phil

          

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