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Advance Auto Parts Hokie Hotline Notes
Monday, October 18, 2004
by Wayne Clevenger
guests for Monday's Hokie Hotline radio show were offensive coordinator and
offensive line coach Bryan Stinespring, athletic director Jim Weaver, running
backs coach Billy Hite, and defensive backs coach Lorenzo Ward.
Bill Roth kicked off the broadcast
with the news of the day:
· Hokies are now 5-2 on the season and ranked 22nd
in the Coaches Poll and 23rd in the AP Poll
· Hokies are #1 in the ACC in scoring defense and
5th in the nation allowing just 11.5 ppg
· Hokies are #7 in the nation in total defense
allowing only 265 ypg
· Hokies men’s soccer team faces UNC in
Blacksburg on Wednesday night
· Hokies women’s soccer team is on the road
Wednesday night against UVA
· ISP broadcast of the VT-GT football game is set
to 102.9 FM in Atlanta
· VT has sold 4300 tickets to the VT-GT football
game with 700 tickets remaining as of 5pm on Monday – tickets can be
ordered by calling 800-VATECH4 or at hokietickets.com
· There are 350 season tickets left for VT men’s
basketball season and these can be ordered the same way as above if you are
a Hokie Club member.
· The ACC unveiled its new logo and official
divisions on Monday – they will be call “Atlantic” and “Coastal”
· VT has agreed to play a two game football series
with Syracuse - beginning in 2010 in Syracuse and the other game will be in
2011 in Blacksburg
· Friday at 1pm VT’s JV football squad will take
on Fork Union Military Academy
Bryan Stinespring – Offensive Coordinator / Offensive Line Coach
After introducing Stinespring, Roth asked for his comments on the FAMU
game. Stinespring said that “a win is a win” and that the team and coaches
are looking forward to their upcoming matchup with GT. He said that VT’s
offense and defense both played well against FAMU and executed the little
things well. He especially praised the defense and special teams performances
and singled out the outstanding effort of Darryl Tapp early in the game. Roth
asked Stinespring about the performance of Cedric Humes against FAMU.
Stinespring said that he really thought Humes was enjoying the game and tried
to get him a lot of touches. He said that Cedric’s recent problems running
the ball are all mental and hopefully this game helped him get past that
because the team really needs him.
Chris from Salem in the audience asked if we might be seeing more of
Kinzer at fullback. Stinespring said that Kinzer was bothered by a stinger he
suffered in practice a few days before the FAMU game so they decided to limit
his action a bit on Saturday. He said that Kinzer has been doing an excellent
job of adapting to the fullback role, but still is a work in progress.
Jeff in Roanoke called and apologized to Stinespring for some of the
calls he received during the Hotline show after the NCSU game. He said that
those callers who questioned Stinespring in that manner weren’t true Hokie
fans. Jeff went on to point out that GT and NCSU play similar defensive styles
with lots of zone blitzing and wondered how the VT might prepare to attack GT.
Stinespring agreed that there are a lot of similarities between the two, but
that VT should be better prepared to attack it this time around. He said that
there are a lot of ways to attack the creases in zone defenses and VT will
work hard on preparing for that during the upcoming practices.
Mike in Bristol wrote in and asked about the status of Mike Green.
Stinespring said that Green would hopefully be back in Blacksburg in January,
but no further information is available at this time.
A youngster name Dillon in Blacksburg called in and asked how
Glennon might handle play in the ACC next year if he were to end up the VT
starting QB. Stinespring chuckled and asked how old Dillon was. He then noted
that it was a very good question and went on to say that Glennon is a smart
player who’s showing improvement each week. He also praised Glennon’s play
against FAMU this past Saturday.
Tommy in Blacksburg called in and asked if VT might try more screen
passes against GT as a way of attacking their aggressive zone blitz schemes.
Stinespring agreed that the screen pass is one way to attack such pressure. He
noted that VT tried several screens against NCSU, but their quick safety
always seemed to have the play covered. He finished by saying that there are
many other plays VT will work on to try to attack zone pressure as well.
Frank in Manassas wrote in to ask why VT doesn’t try more quick slant
passes. Stinespring said that VT does attempt these types of pass plays, but
many times the defense gets them covered or the time is off. He said the
offense needs to execute these better down the stretch.
Roth noted that football fans love to second guess offensive play calling
and asked Stinespring if he ever did the same when he was younger before he
got into coaching. Stinespring laughed and admitted that he called many
perfect games while watching football as a youngster.
Kenny in Richmond called in and congratulated Stinespring on his play
called the past few games. He asked if Stinespring has one favorite play he
liked to call (regardless of down and distance) that VT executed particularly
well. Stinespring said that there were actually two such plays. He said that
both were run plays to the inside, but one called for zone blocking and the
other called for power man blocking. He said that VT has executed both very
consistently of late.
Jerry in Tazwell called and asked if the coaches are still working with
Randall on his timing and read progressions. Jerry noted that Randall seems to
hold the ball a second too long on some of his deep throws. Stinespring said
that Randall works with the receivers on deep patterns every Tuesday during
skeleton drills. He said that Coach Rogers works very closely with Randall on
his timing but that sometimes the receivers get held up in their routes and
that throws off the play.
In closing Stinespring noted that the VT offense has seen a lot of
different defensive looks thus far this season and that should help the
players in the remainder of the games this season.
Jim Weaver – Athletic Director
After a break, Roth introduced Weaver, who confirmed the two game series
between VT and Syracuse in 2010 and 2011. Roth asked if there will be any
other Big East teams showing up on future VT schedules. Weaver said maybe, but
there are no plans in the works as of yet. Weaver and Roth both discussed the
new ACC logo that’s now more oval than round so as to allow for the larger
geographic region from Massachusetts to South Florida. They also discussed the
new ACC divisional names, Atlantic and Coastal. Weaver said that all the ACC
Athletic Directors were in unison when they voted on these names because they
wanted names that reflected the name of the conference. Roth asked Weaver what
he thought about the recently released BCS standings that have USC #1, Miami
#2, and Oklahoma #3. Weaver said that the current system, while not perfect,
may be the best one yet. He said that it should all play out in the end.
Bill in Lynchburg called and asked about the current plans for Lane
Stadium seat reallocation. Weaver said that a mailer would go out this week to
all current season ticket holders that will thoroughly explain the process. A
separate Q&A publication will also be sent out as a follow up. After those
mailings have been received, Weaver said that remaining questions can be
directed to the regional Hokie Club offices or directly to the VT ticket
Jeremy from Christiansburg in the audience asked Weaver if he and
former VT Athletic Director (and current GT Athletic Director) Dave Braine
have any wagers on the VT-GT game. Weaver stated that NCAA rules prohibit
players, coaches and administrators from placing monetary wagers – but that
they might make a gentlemen’s handshake-type bet on the game.
Chris in Staunton called in to ask if there were plans to dress up the
field paint so it can look even better for VT’s upcoming televised games.
Weaver said that the VT athletic department consulted with a public relations
firm on this subject before the season began and they determined that the
white field paint is sufficient when contrasted against the maroon coloring
behind the end zones where both “Virginia Tech” and “Hokies” are
displayed as well.
Scott in Waynesboro called and asked about the possibility of VT and
WVU playing again in the near future. He also asked for Weaver’s thoughts on
the non-BCS conferences having access to play in the BCS Bowls. Weaver said
that he and WVU Athletic Director Ed Pastilong have had conversations about
continuing the series in the future but the only way it might happen that soon
is if the NCAA allows a 12th game. Weaver went on to say that the smaller
conference teams do have an outside chance at making it to BCS Bowls and
pointed out that there are many teams from these conferences that are
currently ranked. Both Roth and Weaver pointed out that Utah has a very good
chance at making it to a BCS Bowl game this year as an at-large team.
Jim in Buchanon called and asked why Worsham field looks so barren and
brown between the hash marks. Weaver stated that Blacksburg is between
climates in that it’s too far south for good Bluegrass growth and too far
north for good Bermuda growth. He said that Beamer prefers Bermuda grass
because it’s a faster playing surface but unfortunately it goes dormant
after September. The field system blows warm air up through the ground in an
attempt to compensate for this, but the wear and tear that’s taken between
the hash marks causes the Bermuda to go dormant there quicker.
Jim Ryan from Suffolk called and asked about the status of Xavier Adibi
for the GT game. Weaver said he was probably the wrong person to answer the
question, but that he knew Xavier had been participating in individual drills
and there’s tremendous optimism for him to play against GT.
Before going to break, Roth acknowledged the presence of the winningest
coach in VT history, Chuck Hartman. He asked Hartman for his analysis of the
MLB playoffs and Hartman said that the Yankees probably have the best team,
but anything can happen.
Billy Hite – Assistant Head Coach / Running Backs Coach
Lorenzo Ward – Defensive Backfield Coach
After a break Roth introduced Billy Hite and Lorenzo Ward and asked them
for their thoughts on the season thus far. Hite said that this VT team is very
enjoyable to coach. He said he likes what they’re all about and is very
pleased with the team chemistry. Ward added that he is excited about how the
team is improving going into the season’s home stretch.
Roth again noted that VT has the 7th best defense in the nation, allowing
only 265 ypg. Ward said this was a product of better execution and denying
opposing offense too many big plays. He added that VT is also getting good
pressure on opposing QB’s with their 4 man rush. Roth asked how the
Williams/Fuller position switch was coming along. Ward said that both are
getting very settled into their respective positions.
Hite noted the improved play of Cedric Humes in the game against FAMU and
said that he might be the key to the offensive potential as the season winds
down. He said that he thinks Humes is over his mental issues related to his
Spring injury. Hite also praised Imoh and Hamilton for their ongoing valuable
contributions to the VT offense.
Barek in Blacksburg in the audience asked about the progression of Kent
Hicks. Ward said that Hicks didn’t respond (as well as the coaches hoped) to
the Rover position. So they moved him to free safety where he seems to be
progressing much better. Hite also mentioned how well Ore and Bell are coming
along and said they both have future star potential.
Roth asked both Coaches what they thought about the Miami / NCSU matchup
this weekend. Both agreed that it should be a tough game for Miami and the
performance of Berlin might determine the outcome one way or another.
After a break, Roth went into some football rules clarifications with the
coaches. One clarification involved where a punt coverage player’s body can
be when downing a punt near the goal line. Hite confirmed that the it doesn’t
matter where the coverage player’s body is located, as long as the ball
itself doesn’t cross the plane of the goal line. In other words, a player
can be standing completely in the end zone and reach back into the field of
play to down the ball, as long as the ball never crosses into the end zone.
The other rule clarification involved kickoff rulings. If a kickoff goes
into the end zone and falls dead in the end zone without any player touching
the ball, then it is ruled a touchback once it crosses the plane of the goal
line. However, if a player on the receiving team fumbles the reception, while
standing either in or out of the end zone – then that player must recover
the ball. Roth brought up the fact that a FAMU player fumbled a kickoff
reception in the end zone and VT recovered, but had to kick over. Hite said
that was because a referee blew an inadvertent whistle on the play and it had
to be done over as a consequence.
Josh in Suffolk called and asked if both Bell and Ore would redshirt
this season. Hite confirmed that both would redshirt, but added that both
would be very special players for VT in the future.
Joe in Chesapeake called and asked about the status of Chris Clifton.
Hite said that Clifton is working very hard and making great contributions on
VT’s special teams. Hite also said that we’d most likely see Clifton back
on the field at wideout before the season is over with.
Roth asked what the coaches would be up to during the upcoming off week.
Hite said that Beamer, Cavanaugh and himself would be in Blacksburg this
weekend evaluating VT’s JV game against FUMA, while the rest of the coaches
would be out recruiting. Hite said that some Varsity players would play in the
JV game, but the red shirt players are not allowed to play.
Greg from Dublin in the audience said that his nephew met Coach Ward
and some of his players a few years ago. Greg’s nephew is now playing
cornerback for his middle school team and thinks the world of Ward after the
impression he made years ago. Greg said his nephew would like to know a brief
outline of Ward’s activities during the games while on the sideline. Ward
thanked Greg for his nephew’s kind words. Ward says that he gives Foster all
the coverage calls from the booth based on field position and situation. When
the offense is on the field, he collaborates with the other defense coaches on
adjustments that Foster can implement.
Roth noted that VT started in nickel coverage against FAMU with Roland
Minor in the game as an extra DB. Ward confirmed this and said that the
coaches wanted to negate FAMU’s tendency to use 4 wide receivers to spread
the field. Some wrote in to ask if Jimmy Williams might ever play both
boundary corner and field corner so that he could cover the taller opposing
receivers. Ward said that Williams would stay at boundary corner and that he
has the utmost confidence in Eric Green.
J.D. from Pulaski in the audience asked if VT’s defensive backs are
lining up further away from the receivers this year. Ward said that it depends
on what coverage VT is in. If they are in man coverage, then the defensive
backs will be closer to the receivers. If they are in one of their zone
coverages, then the defensive backs might give more cushion to the opposing
receivers. It all depends on the situation and the coverage that’s called.
Roth asked the coaches to single out the most accurate opposing passer they’ve
ever coached against, along with the best defensive player they have ever
coached against. Ward said that Byron Leftwich of Marshall was by the far the
best passer he’d ever had to defend against because of his ability to go
short or long accurately – depending on the coverage. Hite said the best
defender he’d ever coached against was Warren Sapp of Miami – hands down.
Roth asked the coaches what a realistic expectation for this VT team would
be as they enter the final 5 games of the season. Hite said that the most
important thing from both the coaches and the team was to focus only on the
task at hand, which is always the next game. He said the team is very focused
on GT right now, and are really coming together as a cohesive coachable unit.
Roth asked Ward what things the team can improve on. Ward said that there’s
always room for executional improvement and stated that the team strives to
get better every day in practice and with every game.
After a break, Kevin in Lynchburg called and asked about the status
of Stevie Ray Lloyd. Ward said that Lloyd has excelled in run coverage, but
still needs work in his pass coverage skills. He said that Beamer really likes
Lloyd’s play on special teams and predicted that he’ll be a great player
for VT in the future.
Roth noted the recent contributions by the versatile backup Mike Daniels
and noted how he made the game-saving play at the end of the WFU game. Coaches
both agreed that Daniels is a valuable contributor for the team. Roth noted
that VT will lose some valuable players in its defensive backfield after this
season. Ward agreed that losing the likes of Fuller, Green and Griffin will
make things tough, but added that there are some very good athletes waiting to
take over and battle for those jobs next spring.
Doug from Blacksburg in the audience asked Ward for analysis of GT and
their wide receivers. He also asked Hite if VT would run any two tailback
formations this season. Ward responded first by saying that GT does indeed
have talented wide receivers who are tall and like to go up and get the ball.
He also said that GT does a good job of using the run to set up the pass. He
compared them to WVU in these aspects. Hite responded to his question by
saying that VT does use a two back set that’s called the Pony Set. He said
it’s designed to get a lopsided defense to commit a linebacker to the weak
side and get a mismatch.
Roth asked Hite about GT’s defense. Hite said that they are outstanding.
He likened GT’s defense to NCSU’s defense. He said that they really don’t
have a discernable weakness and VT must play a near mistake-free offensive
game to have a chance at winning. He said it may well come down to the last
few minutes, just like the WVU and NCSU games. He also added that if VT could
eliminate offensive mistakes and really get on a roll, then the sky’s the
limit with the talent they have.
After a break, Mike in Blacksburg called and asked for the coaches
to comment on the offensive and defensive recruits this year. Hite apologized
and said that they aren’t allowed to talk about high school players on air,
per NCAA rules. Roth interjected by saying that in his opinion, Virginia has a
very talented pool of recruits this year.
Will in Chesapeake called and noted that the VT defense appeared to be
caught off-guard a few times on quick snaps by FAMU while they were still
looking to the sideline for the defensive call. Ward said that FAMU runs a no
huddle offense and they often change the play at the line based on the
perceived defensive coverage. As a result, VT tries to show them one coverage
initially, then change at the last second to cause confusion. He said that
sometimes this becomes such a chess match that the defense can get caught
slightly unprepared for the snap, but that’s a chance you take when you play
against the no huddle. Note: WFU and WVU also play no huddle, but GT does not.
Roth asked for Ward’s opinion on how this VT team must improve down the
stretch. He said that the team must continue to improve execution and exhibit
great leadership and unity. He said that if VT’s defense can continue to
prevent the big play, then they should be fine as the season wears on. Roth
asked Hite for similar comments regarding the offense. Hite said that
Hamilton, Imoh and Humes must continue to improve VT’s running game and get
the tough yards to open up the passing game. He also said that Kinzer and
Allen must keep improving at the fullback position because this is a critical
part of VT’s offensive execution.
Roth asked if this year’s VT team is more prepared “between the ears”
for a better stretch run than last year’s team. Hite said that team
chemistry will win out over team talent any day – and this team has
excellent unity and chemistry. He said that the team has great leadership and
is really staying together through the wins and the losses. Ward agreed with
Hite, but also asserted that the coaches must continue to get better and
promote that unity. Both noted the fact that the offensive and defensive
players room together during road trips and really get along great as a group.
Roth thanked Weaver and all the coaches for their time and signed off.
Monday was day 16 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Black
Hokie Hotline Note Archives