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Advance Auto Parts Hokie Hotline Notes
, October 11, 2004
by Phil Noftsinger

The Hokie Hotline was broadcast live from Beamerís restaurant in Christiansburg, Virginia. Tonightís guests included Jim Weaver, Jim Cavanaugh and head coach Frank Beamer.

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

Monday night was the deadline for students to sign up for the student lottery for the Maryland game. Menís basketball season tickets are being sold for $5 per game for students. A signup has started and if demand exceeds supplies, a lottery will be implemented.

Techís menís soccer team knocked off #1 ranked Duke last Saturday in Durham.

Chase Harrison was named the ACC soccer player of the week.

Jim Cavanaugh

Roth mentioned that Techís defense has really played well so far this year. Coach Cavanaugh responded by saying that Wake Forest is a team that could have a much better record. Roth mentioned that five ACC games have been decided on the last play of the game. Coach Cavanaugh said that this is the best talent ever on a Wake Forest squad. Roth asked if ACC teams are good football teams, or is there just a lot of parity? Cavanaugh said that the juryís still out on the ACC, but that the talent level is very good. Coach said that more games this year are lost rather than won, with teams making a critical mistake at a critical time. There is also a lot of inconsistency with the teams week to week, so itís difficult to determine which team is going to show up.

Coach Cavanaugh said that last year the defense would make crucial mistakes during the fourth quarter. Over the off-season the coaches went through, evaluated those mistakes, and felt like the team wasnít that far off base last year. Now with some minor adjustments the defense is playing much better. Roth said that last year when things went wrong things seemed to snowball, but this year the team seems to rally together more and overcome a missed field goal or turnover. Coach Cavanaugh said that this year we have great seniors this year, with some serious experience. These seniors have a lot of reps under their belt, and they play as a team.

After the break Roth talked about the recruiting so far this season. Coach said that each year there is a different group of guys. Coach said that Penn State started this early recruitment about 5 years ago. Coach said heís not a big proponent of that, but if it exists then heís going to take advantage of that. The recruits are a little more exposed to what you have on your football team, with the camps and early visits. Coach said that the ones that have committed thus far have visited the campus.

Roth asked Coach Cavanaugh how he has been so successful in the recruiting arena. Coach said that heís worked in this state for a long time, and on his second generation of high school coaches. After a while these coaches start to get to know you, and they understand that if you say something then they know that heís going to follow through on it. A lot of young college coaches are afraid to tell a high school coach when they're not interested in a particular player. Each coach in college coaching has a reputation, good bad or indifferent. Coach Cavanaugh said there is one high school coach who he has visited 22 years in a row, and to date that school has not produced a player. However, he is going to continue to visit that coach, build that relationship, and when a player does emerge, he hopes to have an opportunity to recruit that player.

Roth mentioned the night Michael Vick committed to Tech, and he asked if it ever gets old. Coach Cavanaugh said that there are long nights, when youíre driving back, after a kid has told you heís going to another school. Coach said that each year, we get more rules by administrators who have never spent a season recruiting. Coach continued that in the old days you were gone all year, recruiting. Now there are rules that wonít allow you to be around the kids as much, so you donít really know as much as you need. This decreases your margin of error on selection of potential players. With the new academic rules, you can tell if a kid is qualified, but you donít have as much time to look into a kidís heart and understand as much as you need to about a player. You have to rely on the high school coachís ability to evaluate the talent a lot more.

Todd from Christiansburg, who was in the audience, asked if this was going to be a cardiac team all year. Coach Cavanaugh said that he thought it would be, but not because of our football team. There is so much parity that there are a lot of good teams out there. The evolution of the passing game has changed college football, and teams move up and down the field more quickly. There have been a lot of changes in college football. Who would have ever thought that Nebraska could get beat as bad as they did by Texas Tech (70-10)?

After the break, Roth asked Coach Cavanaugh, who was the player that after he committed he was the happiest about and who was the one player that he was most disappointed to lose. Coach Cavanaugh said that he likes them all who have committed, but the most disappointment was when he was coaching at UNC and lost Anthony Poindexter to Virginia.

Richard in Roanoke called in and he asked the coach to describe the ďwheel routeĒ. Coach Cavanaugh said that the wheel route is when two receivers are split to one side, the first receiver runs like he is going to run to the flat, and he ďwheelsĒ and turns up the side line. The receiver outside of him will run a curl or post to remove the corner from the edge. Some people do it with the tight end, but they are typically not fast enough.

Roth mentioned that on Wake Forestís final drive James Griffin re-injured his ankle, and that Mike Daniels had to come in and play an important position at a critical time. Coach Cavanaugh said that Mike has done a great job this season in a utility role. Mike jumps in and is an old style football player. Coach Cavanaugh said that Mike has played there more often than people probably realize. The drive at the end of the third quarter Mike made a crucial tackle on a third down. Mike also did some good things in coverage. Heís a good tackler, and with the zone coverage itís probably more geared to his style of play.

Jim Weaver

Jim Weaver said that there is one reason why Coach Cavanaugh is a great recruiter, and thatís because the coaches and parents trust him. Heís a trustworthy guy.

Gary from Roanoke writes in that the drive to Winston Salem was a great (short) distance and wanted to know if Boston College will become a yearly rival rather than Wake Forest. Weaver confirmed that Boston College would become our annual cross-over from the other ACC division. They will be a permanent opponent.

Austin in Los Angeles wrote in and suggested that VT play Kansas State out of conference. Weaver said that K-State is just now starting to play an equity opponent out of conference, and we would consider playing them. As it stands right now we are not looking for an equity opponent to fill our current schedule, but as we work on years out farther teams like K-State will be on the schedule. Roth mentioned that K-State takes soft scheduling to a new level, but it seems that they are starting to play tougher out of conference opponents looking forward.

Kevin in Dulles Virginia asked if Tech was 6-6 would they be bowl eligible. Weaver said that Tech must be 7-5 to be bowl eligible this year. Weaver said that the 6-6 rule must be re-instated every year prior to 12 game seasons. Roth said that a team that is 6-6 shouldnít go to a bowl. Weaver said that the ADís were a little surprised last year when the rule was instituted, which he added was brought to the floor by the PAC-10 conference.

Josh from Blacksburg who was in the audience, wondered if Tech was planning on getting end zone nets. Weaver said that they were planning on having end zone nets this year and at the very last minute the various conferences in conjunction with television stations put a hold on that. Weaver said that next year there would be end zone nets. Weaver said that the nets would be put up so there is little visual interference.

Don from Fredericksburg wondered if there would be more commercials played on the jumbo-tron during the game. Weaver said that we currently have a good balance, and there is no plan to increase the number of commercials.

Roth asked if there was any report from the ACC meetings last week. Weaver said that there were many discussions on scheduling of various sports, but in all of those cases no decisions were made due to a lack of total information. Weaver did say that they were much further down the road than he had anticipated at this juncture. Weaver said that with regard to basketball they are trying to balance RPI concerns with total number of games. Roth asked why ice-hockey and baseball teams can play forty games, but basketball is limited to 29.

Jeremy from Christiansburg who was in the audience asked Bill Roth what happened to the letters from fans on the Kroger Roth Report, and he also asked Jim Weaver to comment on Jefferson Pilot selecting VT games over in-state rivals such as NC State vs UNC. Weaver said that we had the highest rating that JP ever had with our Duke game, and that had spoke volumes to the JP executives about the Hokie Nation. Roth said that he started the mailbag a few years ago, but right now they are trying to change things up.

Andy in Roanoke called in wondered if there would be any more pre-game flyovers. Weaver said that we are to have at least one more flyover this year. The rumor is that next year there will be a wing of Apache helicopters.

James in Roanoke called in and wondered if there would be anything done for John Dobbins, who was the first black football player at Virginia Tech, and if we would do anything for the 1966-1968 football players who Frank Beamer was a member of. Weaver said that when there are football reunions he tries to make sure those teams are introduced. Weaver said that he is aware of John Dobbinís passing, and they will look into it.

Jeff from Knoxville called in and wanted to know how much Tech will pay Florida A&M for the game this Saturday. Weaver said that the primary reason that the Rattlers are on the schedule was because they were the only 1-A team that was available. Because they decided to forego moving up to 1-A and remained at 1-AA for now, the Hokies re-negotiated their contract to only pay them $200K.

Frank Beamer

Roth returned from the break by congratulating Frank Beamer on the win last Saturday. Roth asked what it says about this team that three weeks in a row the team has made the plays down the stretch to possibly win the game. Coach said that those late drives are great confidence builders. Roth said that the last two weeks Imoh has given us back to back great games. Coach said that we still want to see Hamilton and Humes get better, but that Mike has given the running game new life and has done a great job.

Roth asked Beamer to give the listeners an injury update. Beamer said that Noland Burchette would be out this week, and hopefully be back for the Georgia Tech game. Mike Daniels is in Blue today, but will play this weekend. Xavier Adibi will not play this weekend, but will return for the Georgia Tech game.

Roth asked if Imoh can stand up to the pounding, playing as many snaps plus punt returns and running the ball. Beamer said that he talked with Coach Hite about that and he was confident that Imoh was handling the playing time well. Beamer said that with Eddie Royal back there too, it takes some of the heat off. As long as Imoh remains productive you have to get the ball in his hands.

Roth asked about the mental status of Cedric Humes who after a great run, fumbled the ball down near the goal line. Beamer said that heís going to be okay, heís a good person with good character. Beamer said that he was giving great effort, bounced off of a guy, but just coughed it up.

Jeff from Palmyra wrote in and wanted to know how Shane Beamer was doing down at Mississippi State. Beamer said that wins and losses are a little rough right now, but that heís with a great staff down there. Right now itís the first year, but they are going to be okay in the future.

Randy in Mosely Virginia wrote in asking Beamer if he is concerned about the offenseís inability to finish the job, falling short of the goal line several times in the past couple weeks. Beamer said that Randyís assessment is true, but the positive thing is that we did drive the ball down the field. There were a couple things that kept us from scoring, but overall our offensive performance was good.

Keith in Bluefield West Virginia wanted to know what was going on in the kicking game which seems to be more erratic, and wanted to know where Nic Schmittís status stood. Beamer said that they moved the ball over to the left hash for Jared Develli, and this week he got it just to the goal line but the kicks are low. Beamer said that they worked on it today. Roth asked about Vinnie Burns, who had a great game statistically. Beamer said that he tried to rush his kick on that one play last week. Beamer said they worked with him today.

Josh from Pittsburgh wrote in and said that the while in the shotgun the snaps have been high. Beamer said that they are trying to work on that, and that any time youíre worried about the snap youíre not thinking about the play. Beamer said that they are aware of that situation and are working to correct that as well.

Gene in Farmville Virginia wrote in and wondered why we donít pass more to set up the run, like we did against USC. Beamer said that it gets into whether or not you need to pound a team a little bit. Overall being unpredictable is the important goal.

Roth asked when you looked at the Boston College versus Wake, you come away with the feeling that if they ran the ball more they might have won that game. Beamer said that you want to keep that offense off the field, and that he felt like they were better offensively than West Virginia.

Chris from Salem who was in the audience asked about the last drive where Randall ran from the shotgun and if it was a designed play. Beamer said that the last play was designed run, but the other two were pass plays where he came out to make a play. Roth pointed out that there have been times where Randall has missed open receivers, but when the game is on the line Randall has been very accurate.

Roth asked Beamer about Aaron Rodgers, quarterback for Cal, and his play against USC this past weekend. Roth pointed out that fans were critical of the defense during the bowl game last year, but the same quarterback also picked apart the USC defense on Saturday. Beamer agreed that Rogers is an excellent quarterback.

ISP Intern Dallas with the NFL update:

DE John Engleberger in his 5th year, has 10 tackles and one forced fumble on the year for the 49ers.

Pierson Prioleau in his 6th year with the Bills had 6 tackles and a fumble recovery last weekend.

Cory Bird has 22 tackles for the Colts in his 4th year.

Michael Vick threw for almost 200 yards and almost pulled out the win.

Andre Davis for the Browns had 5 catches for 101 yards and a touchdown against Jacksonville.

Ernest Wilford is has 130 yards and two touchdowns.

Ernest Wilford called in and Roth said that the Hokie Nation is really proud of him. Beamer said that he talks to the Jacksonville scouts about him. Wilford said Jacksonville is a great place to live, and he noticed that during the Hokies visits there for the Gator Bowl. Roth asked Wilford what was the biggest difference for him from college to the NFL. Wilford said the speed of the game is the biggest difference, itís very fast, everyone is very competitive. You have to be ready to play every week, and that every opponent is as good as the previous one. Beamer said that heís very proud of him and to keep it up.

Roth asked about his latest purchase. Wilford said that heís just completed his first walk-through on his first house. Wilford continued to say that the Lord has continued to work through him and that everything has fallen into place for him so far. Heís thankful to Frank Beamer as a coach, for his patience and is so thankful to have had Frank Beamer as a head coach. Beamer said that when Ernest came in he thought he was going to be one of the great defensive ends at Virginia Tech. However, he didnít get the weight on him like he needed to, and about half way through his freshman year, Wilford came to him and said that he really thought he was a wide receiver. Beamer said that he started practicing with the wideouts.

Mohammed from Sterling Virginia called in and asked if we could have Bryan Randall on the show. Roth said that thereís no rule about it, but that it would have to be a surprise visit. You are not permitted by NCAA regulations to promote his appearance. Beamer said that might be a possibility. Roth said that they do that for the bowl shows.

Roth mentioned the number of Hokie fans at the Wake game. Beamer said it was great that the home team was struggling to call plays in their own stadium. Beamer continued by saying that Hokie fans are smart, they know when to make noise.

Roth asked about the lineup change that will happen this weekend (with Burchette out, Jim Davis will move back to DE and Carlton Powell will start in Davis' place at DT). Beamer said that Carlton Powell, who has moved into the starting position, is one of many players who have stood out on the defensive line. Beamer said that Kory Robertson will also be good in the future. Roth said that Tech has eight defensive lineman to rotate in. Beamer said that having depth there is critical in the upcoming schedule. Beamer continued that the loss of some defensive lineman was part of the difficulty last year.

Barek in Blacksburg called in and wondered how some of the red-shirting guys are getting along so far this year. Beamer said that Brandon Ore and Jeremy Gilcrest are performing. Cory Holt was the quarterback in the scrimmage, he threw a couple of interceptions, but heís progressing. Roth asked about Kent Hicks. Beamer said that he will probably move to free safety rather than rover. A couple of the freshman corners may move to free safety, but that will be an area of concern next spring.

Junior in Shawsville Virginia called in and was concerned about the offense, and wondered why we werenít getting the ball to the receivers. Beamer said that a couple times we didnít have time to get the ball out there. In this last game the run game was the focus. Beamer said that the offense is developing, and there is some real potential. Coach said that there are some great tight ends, and the offensive line battles real good. Beamer really liked the potential of the offense.

Brent from Pinehurst North Carolina talked about the unusual punt formation. Roth said that they give up a lot of yards in coverage. Beamer said that you free up your snapper from protection, but the three guys behind the line do not factor in protection. Beamer said that the team was real close to getting a good return, and against that formation the return is the higher percentage. Roth mentioned that Florida A&M has struggled in the kicking game. Beamer said that their punter has boomed some kicks too.

Mike in Germantown Maryland called in and wondered if the pass could be used to open up the run, whereas the contrary is normally accepted. Beamer said that you plan your offense based upon what the defense is dictating and you react to that. Beamer said that his philosophy is that you do what your percentages are so you can win the football game. Beamer said that he doesnít care how many passing or running yards you have. He is concerned with winning the game, and you have to be able to do both.

Jane in Culpepper wrote in and wondered why Randall had to take a timeout during the first quarter. Beamer said that the official was very fast in starting the clock. Beamer said that when he took the timeout he mentioned it to the official, and it seemed to get better.

Roth said that Florida A&M has a quarterback call the plays. Roth said that this team throws the ball all over the field. Beamer said that they have played three quarterbacks, they have five wideout sets, and they have great ability. Beamer said that they are dangerous with their passing attack.

Roth asked if this weekís preparation is more about the Hokies than the opponent. Beamer said that you have to respect every opponent, and that so far the team feels pretty good. The key is to get better every week. Beamer said that he refuses to allow his players to be slow on the field, he wants them to think fast, play fast, and be fast.

Joe from Rual Retreat who was in the audience wondered how you teach your wide receivers to block down field. Beamer said that itís kind of a gift, and that Eddie Royal does a good job, and you try to get your wide out to chop block. As a defensive back you are focused on getting after the runner and itís much harder to come off a chop block. Tony Ball has done a good job coaching, but Eddie just "gets it."

Ben in Salem called in and wondered how Beamer felt about walk-on freshman. Ben is a Senior in high school. Beamer said that we have had great success with the walk-on program, and that Ben should come on out and sign up. Beamer said he will get his chance.

Roth asked Beamer if he is surprised that Cory Bird is a great NFL player. Beamer said no, he was a great college player. Beamer said that you find that the NFL guys are the unselfish, quality guys. Roth said that he felt that Cory was one of the most underrated players to have come through Tech. Beamer said that he wants them all to come back for the Spring game next year.

Jim in Massapequa called in and wondered about the tight end position, and if there was more to come from passing to the tight ends. Jim also wanted to know if Tech focuses on New York in recruiting. Beamer said that Mazzetta made a great catch on Saturday and King had three catches. Beamer said they will be actively involved in the offense. Beamer said that their recruiting focus has been in a radius of about five hours, and within that radius we can get the players that can win a national championship. Beamer said they will travel to New York in special cases.

Roth wrapped up the show by asking the coach what we will see on Saturday. Beamer said that he is hopeful there will be a great crowd there on Saturday. He said that the team will try to get some things squared away on the offense and kicking games.

Monday was day 9 of Virginia Techís continuous possession of the Black Diamond Trophy.

-- Phil


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