The Hokie Hotline (football and basketball season)
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Advance Auto Parts Hokie Hotline Notes
Monday, November 1, 2004
by Phil Noftsinger

Tonightís show was broadcast live from Beamerís restaurant in Christiansburg, VA. Guests for tonightís show included Charley Wiles, Jim Weaver, and Hokies head coach Frank Beamer. In the program, Roth dropped a bomb, with a quote about the Hokies football teams in the late 90ís by the Rutgers Athletic Director. Charley Wiles discussed the Hokies' upcoming matchup with UNCís explosive offense, and Frank Beamer discussed the response to the personal fouls and celebration penalties the Hokies have been receiving.

Bill Roth opened the show by noting that the Hokies have moved up to #18 in both polls, having won 6 of their last 7 games. Next week the Hokies will face the Tar Heels of North Carolina, who upset 3rd ranked Miami last weekend. Game time is set for 12:00 pm and will be televised nationally on ESPN2. Hokies cornerback Roland Minor was named the ACC Defensive player of the week.


Charley Wiles

Roth noted that the Hokies defensive line has been exceptional all year long, and seems to be getting better as the year progresses. Coach Wiles said that it helps when you have as many experienced players as he does to rotate in and keep fresh. Roth mentioned the play of Jim Davis. Coach said that Jim is a playmaker and that Jimís ability to move to defensive tackle allowed the Hokies to get the best players on the field. Roth asked about Jonathan Lewis who has started 24 straight games at the tackle position. Last year it seemed he wore down at the end of last year. Coach said that Lewis has played four of his best games recently. Having the ability to spell him during a game has really helped.

Roth asked about the production from the defensive ends, specifically Darryl Tapp. Coach said that when you watch the game tape, you donít see a guy thatís more productive than Darryl Tapp. Coach said he needs to finish the season strong, just as the rest of the defense. Roth mentioned Noland Burchette on the other end of the defensive line, and Chris Ellis who had a safety in the Georgia Tech game. Coach said that the safety turned the game around for the Hokies. Coach Wiles said that running the naked bootleg was not something that they expected in such quantity. Coach said that they coached that up on the sidelines, and as the game wore on the defense was able to pick it up much better.

Roth said that when the ends did lose containment, Xavier Adibi was there to step up. Coach said that it was amazing that Xavier could return from that type of injury, and to play as well as he did in his first game back. Roth said that he had only played one-half of a college game, and he had two sacks and a forced fumble against GT. Coach said that heís instinctive and can run. Heís an exciting player, and his return is going to take the defense up a notch.

Roth asked about how the Hokies will defend against North Carolina. Coach said that the Hokies defense is different than Miamiís, in that we donít play a lot of man. The defense is more of a zone or man-zone with one guy free in the middle. The coaching staff feels like they can get four-man pressure.

Coach said that you turn on the video and you understand that North Carolina is explosive on offense. Fortunately with the upset over Miami, the coaches donít need to spend all week convincing the team that UNC can beat the Hokies. Coach said the plan is to win the line of scrimmage, and that they are similar to GT in that they have to be able to run the ball. If you watch everybody they have played, they have been able to move the football, and they end up shooting themselves in the foot with a turnover or penalties. The center for UNC will go extremely high in the draft; heís athletic just like their whole offensive line. The tailback that played against Miami is their third string tailback, so that helps you understand how effective their offensive line is. Roth pointed out that the tailback's name is Chad Scott and he ran for 175 yards against the Hurricanes.

Roth asked if Coach Wiles felt like the Hurricanes failed to take UNC seriously. Wiles said that heís not sure, but Miami has some guys hurt. Also, Miami has had 20 guys selected in the draft in the last few years, and that has a tendency to dilute a football team. Last year you were matching up against the Dallas Cowboys, but now they may not be as good as they have been in the past.

Roth asked about the emotion in the locker room after the big win on Thursday night. Wiles said that it was very similar to the West Virginia game where Shayne Graham kicked the winning field goal with time expiring in 1999. Right now, the team knew there was going to be a lot of close games, and the coaches knew that having a close-knit team was going to be important to win football games in the fourth quarter. Coach said that the players are being very unselfish, like Tim Sandidge who only played three snaps on Thursday, but they were three really good snaps.

David from Norfolk wrote in and wondered how often the defensive coaches study the Hokies offensive game film and offer advice on how the offense should attack defenses. Coach Wiles said that during the season there isnít a lot of that, but in the offseason there are periods where the coaching staff will evaluate the opposing side of the ball. Also, the coaches will visit other schools. Itís so important to spend your time studying your opponent that the coaching staff, much like the players, need to focus on their assignments.

Roth asked Wiles what was the best offense his team has faced so far this year, suggesting USC. Coach said that USC was very explosive, and they have gotten better and better as the year went on. Every week you think that the next team may be the best; right now it looks like UNC is the most explosive.

John in Midlothian wrote in that Miami went into that game thinking that UNC was a 2nd tier Big East team, and were surprised to learn that week to week any ACC team can beat you. Coach said that Miami stepped on the land mine first, and advised the team as to how tough the UNC team is. Coach said that the league is turning out exactly how the conference folks wanted it to, tough top to bottom, and it makes for great TV.

Roth mentioned that last week Rich Rodriguez of West Virginia was getting ready to coach his team at Rutgers, and no matter what he showed on the film and no matter what he said, there was no way his kids would believe that they would lose. Roth said that in this league you donít really have that problem. Coach said thatís very true and pointed to Wake Forest who, minus a couple plays, could be undefeated in conference play. Excluding Duke, the league is really solid top to bottom.

Jim from Blacksburg who was in the audience noted how in the last couple of games the opponents have kicked us in the ribs out of the gate. Jim said itís fun to win the games, but itís not very fun in the first quarter. Coach agreed that the first quarter hasnít been all too pleasant, and you really want to be ready to go from the first gun. When you give the opponent a short field you have to stop their offense. Itís tough to do that when you are playing tough teams.

Patrick in Richmond wrote in and asked about Wiles plan to stop the tailback, Scott. Wiles said that in the Hokies game against North Carolina all three UNC tailbacks will be healthy. Wiles told Hokie fans to watch #44 also, who played defense originally, who now plays at Fullback and Tailback. Wiles said that thereís going to have to be good tackling and it takes 11 to stop the run and 11 to stop the pass. Wiles said you canít miss tackles.

Roth asked what Coach Gary Tranquill (offensive coordinator for UNC), who is a former offensive coordinator for the Hokies, does with his pass protection schemes that are so good, noting that the Hokies still used some of his schemes for two years after his departure. Wiles said that they are going to be good at picking up overloads, and they have a built-in throw if someone does come unblocked. Wiles said their big scheme is running the ball, play action, and bootlegs. Wiles said that Gary knows Virginia Tech, and knows how we play, and he will have his kids ready.

After the break, Roth said that womenís basketball gets started at 2pm in Cassell on November 7th. The men get started one week from tonight, playing EA Sports.

John in Roanoke called in and asked about the taunting that seemed to be going on during the end of the game. Coach Wiles said that there was some of that going on, and Coach Beamer addressed that today. Wiles said that you canít have any interaction with the fans as a player. Wiles said that the coaches donít want to have that kind of program, and itís embarrassing. The Hokies want to be known as an aggressive, hard hitting football team, and one that leaves it on the field after the whistle. Coach said that they addressed that with the team, and they will continue to work on that.

Roth pointed out that this year they are announcing who is responsible. Now everybody knows who is responsible. Coach Wiles said that the coaches have a penalty tape that they review with the team. Coach said that it is both sides, and the second guy is the one that gets caught.

Bonnie from Christiansburg who was in the audience mentioned that the team has been more interactive during the walk, and who is responsible for resurrection of the lunch pail. Coach said that they donít do a lot of work with regard to how the kids get ready for the game. Coach said that the Hokies have a huge home field advantage and perhaps the kids are just responding to that. Coach did say that Georgia Tech has a great college football atmosphere, but it doesnít even touch Lane Stadium. Coach said that the lunch pail, in the past, always goes to the most productive guy. Last week that player was Xavier Adibi, but that Darryl Tapp has had the pail since the start of the season, and heís not sure if heís going to give it up.


Jim Weaver

Roth started out Weaverís portion of the show calling Jim Weaver the Athletic Director of a soccer power, noting that the Hokies had beaten #1 Duke and #2 UVA, and that the women had beaten Miami and have a school record 11 wins. Weaver said that he watched the Hokies get their first win ever against UVA, and the women will play UVA in the quarterfinals on Wednesday at noon. Roth pointed out that Ashley Stinson of the womenís soccer team was named the ACC Rookie of the Year. Roth pointed out that itís going to be a long road for the Tech teams to get to the same level, but that the teams have performed well in their first year.

Regarding football, Roth asked Weaver if it was good or not good that both Florida State and Miami both lost on the road last weekend. Weaver said that itís good for the conference because it shows the power of all the teams in this league. Weaver said that you have to bring your ďAĒ game week to week. Roth said that every once in a while you have that special player that can make a team stand out. Roth said that in the ACC there are just a couple of plays that separate one team from another. Weaver said that you have to play intelligently and win the kicking game. Those are the things that allow you to win in November. Weaver said that we are in the position to have a nice successful season, but the results remain the responsibility of the team and coaches in these upcoming games.

Greg from Dublin who was in the audience asked if it was possible to bring the Hokie soccer coaches on the Hotline to show the fans appreciation. Weaver said that was a great suggestion.

Albert in Blacksburg wrote in and asked what happened to Virginia Tech playing Auburn in 2008. Weaver said that the Hokies did have a home game with Auburn scheduled for 2010 and 2011, but Auburn decided to opt out of the games within the stipulations of the contract. Auburn is trying to go to a format where they play all their non-conference games at home (seven home games a year).

Another e-mail came in and asked why the football schedule for 2005 has not been set yet. Weaver said that we will not receive next year football schedule until the 15th of January, which is the way the ACC works its scheduling. The ACC works with television on the scheduling to maximize coverage. Weaver did say that the team will open at home on September 17th against Marshall, Ohio University will come to Lane Stadium on the 24th of September, and the team will visit West Virginia on October 1st. (Note: TSL's Future Schedules page has been updated to reflect this information.)

Roth brought up a breaking news story that had not hit the papers yet. Apparently at a radio station for Rutgers, a student named Ross Schwarzber interviewed athletic director Bob Mulcahy on one of their student radio shows. Roth conceded that Rutgers had been losing and thereís lots of frustration around the program. The interviewer asked the AD why Rutgers isnít winning, and the AD said (a quote):

ďYou have to look at the academics. I mean, why are we here? We are basically here to have these young people, whether they are men or women in our athletic program to get a degree. And you know people forget about that. They think that we are going to bring in a bunch of thugs just to win. Thatís what Virginia Tech did to get over the hump. We are trying to do this the right way, and you know what, it takes a little longer.Ē

Roth said that he was talking about our 1999 team. Roth then listed off a dozen of players or so from that team. Roth mentioned that later the AD put out a press release to apologize for the comment, which Roth read to the audience.

ďI would like to apologize for any remarks that were derogatory to Virginia Tech and those associated with the University that I made in a recent radio interview. I have the greatest level of respect for Virginia Tech as an institution, and for athletic director Jim Weaver and head football coach Frank Beamer. I have been friends with both of them for several years. Virginia Tech was a valuable member of our conference for years, and we enjoyed a fine relationship during that time. I look forward to engaging in athletic competition with them in the future.Ē

Roth asked for Weaverís comments. Weaver said that he didnít know anything about it until he returned a call from him this morning. Weaver said that during that call, Bob said that he put out a press release apologizing for his comments and that they were made out of frustration. Mulcahy continued by referencing several off the field incidents the team had during the mid-nineties, and he again apologized for making reference to our football team and program.

Weaver said that when he makes reference to getting degrees, Virginia Tech's graduation rate in the athletic department is 67% this year and the VT football program has graduated 10 of the 19 seniors prior to the start of the season. Weaver also referenced the USA Today article, which took the Top 25 and ranked them by graduation rates for football, and VT was # 4 or 5. Weaver said that we give our student athletes all the tools they need to graduate. Weaver said that every Thursday morning at 9am the coaches meet with the academic staff to go over every single playerís academic record for the previous week.

Roth said that the Rutgers AD is blaming his admissions people for the lack of football success, and that the comments go farther than just what he said about Tech. Weaver said he doesnít want to get into their business, because he has enough to do with his current job.

Erin in Timberville called in and wanted to know the status of continuing the game with West Virginia. Weaver said that the Hokies have a contract to play WVU next year in Morgantown. The two schools have talked about the potential of continuing the rivalry, but the only way it would happen would be if the NCAA would pass a 12th game legislation, and the probability of that is 50/50.

Roth said that the ACC and the Big East have a couple bowl tie-ins (Gator and Continental Tire), and wondered if there is any type of hesitation of scheduling Tech or Miami against a former Big East team? Weaver said not at all.

Ray in Ashland wrote in and wanted to know when basketball season tickets are being mailed. Weaver said he didnít know exactly, but they will be mailed prior to the beginning of the regular season.

Roth mentioned that the band is going to Chapel Hill and wanted to know who makes that decision. Weaver said that the band makes the decisions as to which away games they will attend, based upon the budget provided to them.

Roth said that here we are again in November, and wanted Weaverís thoughts on whatís coming down the stretch. Weaver said that the team chemistry is great, and you have to have that along with some other ingredients. Weaver said that the team has played all 60 minutes in every game this year, and the only letdown was the missed field goal against NC State. Weaver said that he spoke with Jonathan and Kevin Lewis today at lunch and they said, ďMr. Weaver, we just figure every week itís going down to the wire, and you get ready for that.Ē Weaver said thatís the kind of balance in this conference. Roth said itís the most exciting season he can remember. Roth said well, were going into November in 1st place, so thatís a great place to be.


Frank Beamer

Roth opened the last hour by looking into the latest BCS rankings, in this order, USC, Oklahoma, Auburn, California, Wisconsin, and Utah. Roth pointed out that if Utah stays at #6 they are guaranteed a BSC bowl game.

Roth told Frank Beamer that it was nice Thursday night in Atlanta. Beamer said that heís doing great. Beamer said that we had a lot of fans there in Atlanta. Beamer said that he told the people in North Carolina that there will be a lot of our fans there on Saturday as well. He mentioned that he appreciates the fans ability to travel with the team, and their support.

Roth said that last Thursdayís game really demonstrated this teamís chemistry. Roth said that holding GT to the field goal was really key. Beamer mentioned Xavier Adibiís sack, which forced that field goal, and Royal's catch which led to the touchdown. Beamer did say that Randall made a terrific play on the two-point conversion, which was not designed to go to Johnson. Beamer said that the next touchdown with Josh Morgan really showed how much he has progressed. Overall the team hanging in there was very gratifying.

Roth asked Beamer to touch on the half-time talk which some of the seniors led. Beamer said that traditionally they break up into offense and defense, and he wanted to address the football team as a whole. Beamer said that he felt the only people who were going to beat us were ourselves. Defensively the only play that was really hurting us was the bootleg, so the Coach felt like the team was beating itself a little. When he got into the locker room he noticed that a few of the seniors had the team huddled up, and he learned along time ago that the best way to get things done with a football team is to let them do it. Coach said that the team played hard throughout the game, and it was never a question of effort.

Roth asked about the personal fouls, and that Kirk Herbstreet made some comments about that on television. Beamer said that they talked about that in the team meeting today, and that they had 6 personal fouls called on them on Thursday. Beamer said that anything happening after the whistle is not helping the team. Beamer said that the team needs to show their toughness before the whistles. Beamer calls it intelligent recklessness, always under control. Coach said that when youíre pushing and shoving after the whistle youíre not helping yourselves. The team reviews all the penalties on Monday with the team, and sometimes the penalties shouldnít have been called. In the past the team used to run a hundred yards for every yard of penalty, and they are going to start doing that again at 6am on Wednesday (thatís fifteen 100 yard sprints for each personal foul or unsportsmanlike conductÖall run in a row).

Beamer said that the officials are not necessarily consistent in the issuance of celebration penalties, so itís easy to get in trouble. Beamer said that it is more uniform than it used to be, but that itís difficult. All the games are too close and too tough to have to overcome those penalties. Coach pointed out that the team is about to face a squad who beat the #3 team in the country, then play a team that beat the #5 team in the country, then play a team thatís #13 team in the country, and then they play the #10 team in the country, so every yard is valuable.

Jeff in Knoxville called in and wanted to know if this last game would be one of the games which would make the great moments in Tech history on the jumbotron. Jeff wanted Beamer to address how much input he gets from his players when they face a fourth down. Beamer said that he talks with Billy Hite, and he makes the decision. Jeff mentioned that the game will be re-broadcast on Comcast SportsNet on Tuesday night.

John in Raleigh wrote in and asked if Beamer was surprised that GT used the squib kick to suppress Techís kick returns. Beamer said that GT had been having some trouble covering kicks, and the team hoped that was going to be an advantage. Beamer said that part of the squib kick was due to their coverage ability. The other aspect was the punt returns, and their kicker did a nice job punting away from the returners.

Melinda from Roanoke who was in the audience wanted to know what the plan was to build depth in the tailback position. Beamer said that Justin Hamilton is very dependable and Cedric Humes had his best week of practice last week. Coach said that fans are going to see all three of those guys, and the coaching staff feels comfortable with the tailbacks we have.

Sam wrote in and asked why we didnít call a timeout with a minute left on the clock when Georgia Tech was kicking a field goal, to preserve some clock. Roth and Beamer were trying to remember the game situation prior to the half and couldnít. Beamer did say that he has been very aware of timeout usage since the Pitt game last year.

Pablo from Puebla Mexico who was in the audience, Pablo has spent the last 12 weeks in Blacksburg for training, mentioning that he has learned a lot about him, the team, and our school colors. Pabloís was really excited to participate in the Hokie Hotline and congratulated the team on their last win. Roth mentioned that now the Hokies have a recruiting network established in Puebla Mexico.

Stanley from Martinsville who was in the audience wanted to know who Frank Beamer was going to vote for in the general election. Beamer said that issues like that are probably better kept on a personal level. Beamer did say that whomever wins, half the people like it and half the people donít, and he has enough people upset with him already.

Roth pointed out that WVU interviewed their players, and the players talked about who they were voting for. Beamer said that voters need to look at the candidates issues and make their own decisions.

Steve in Midlothian called in and asked about an ďelephant crewĒ who would play fullback and push the tailback over the goal line. Beamer said that itís illegal to help or aid a runner, but there are some teams that do that. Beamer said that heís comfortable with our ability to score from the goal line. Roth pointed out that itís going to become more important to score from the red zone in the upcoming games. Beamer said that you have to keep the defense guessing with enough play-action passes so that they can be caught off guard.

Roth asked about the way the defense has been playing, referencing several great stands by the defense. Beamer said that the defense is playing with confidence and thereís great chemistry from Jim Davis, mentioning others as well. Beamer said that Coach Foster is very pleased with the way things are going on defense.

Roth pointed out that Randall has been a great fourth quarter passer this year. Beamer said that heís really excelled under pressure this year, and the football team knows that heís going to perform in the fourth quarter.

Bob in Fort Lauderdale called in and commented on the excitement of the players after the game. His question was regarding how our punt receivers continue to let short punts bounce in front of them. Beamer said that we have always have one guy back deep and punters started punting away from them, so they started putting two guys back there. Beamer said that the kicker for Georgia Tech did a great job with putting the ball exactly where the Hokies were not, and in places which are not natural given his kicking foot. Beamer said that it takes time to break in a good punt returner.

Roth said that it looked like Daryl Tapp was about to block a punt and got held.

Rich from Springfield who was in the audience said that there seems to be a lot of footballs knocked down at the line of scrimmage, specifically UNC, and are we going to do anything about this? Beamer said that there are a couple of variables involved in that, whether they are coming after the quarterback or waiting to time their jump. Beamer said that the taller you are the better off you are. If you donít have the height you have to find a lane, and thatís difficult in a timing offense. Beamer said that defensive lineman are taller than they used to be. The game is getting bigger and faster as the years go on. One of the guys who knocked down Berlinís pass on Saturday is 6í6Ē.

Beamer said that the UNC offense is very potent with a lot of misdirection. Their quarterback is very good, and they continue to get better defensively. Beamer said that UNC really got after Miami, and that win was not a fluke. Beamer said that the punter averages 41 yards a punt and their field goal kicker got the winning field goal.

Tommy in Roanoke called in and asked about Roland Minorís last interception, and if he was celebrating on his run to the end zone. Beamer said that he was trying to get the ball out over the goal line, but you have to use two hands. Beamer did agree that he actually fumbled the ball and it should have been Georgia Techís ball on the 20. Beamer said that itís a lesson learned.

Barek from Blacksburg who was in the audience wanted to comment on Reggie Ball, and what 2nd half adjustments were made to stop him, and if there would be a similar game plan for Durant. Beamer said that Ball has been a hot and cold QB, and he put us in a bind several times in the first half. Coach said that getting Ball in a place where he has to throw the ball, you take away a lot of his ability, and thatís how you beat him. Durant is probably better because of his experience. Heís very accurate in the big ballgames, and the team expects him to be very good this week. Coach Tranquill will make you account for the QB.

Dallas with the NFL Update:

  • Tailback Kevin Jones 11 times for 36 yards and caught four passes for 11 yards and a touchdown.
  • Shayne Graham was perfect on field goals at 2-for-2.
  • Michael Vick dominated the Denver Broncos, throwing for 252 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 10 yards per completion. He also rushed for 115 yards and averaged 9.5 yards per carry.

Tony in Los Angeles called in regarding the first and goal. He wanted to know why they went to a sweep play that failed earlier in the game. Beamer said that you game plan what you saw on video all week long. Sometimes they change that up, and get you. Beamer said that they really thought the sweep play was going to be a good one for this ball game. Beamer did say that you donít want to get into a lot of checking into other plays at the goal line, because of false starts.

Dale in Ashburn called in and asked about the health of Xavier after the game. Beamer said that heís been doing well. Coach said that Vince Hall is hampered a little, but he will be all right. Beamer said that Imoh was in blue today, but he is also going to be okay. Overall the team is really healthy.

Roth talked about how the team watched our next two opponents both have big wins this past weekend. Beamer said that they did, and that both teams played exceptionally well. However, he did mention that this team knows itís a tough road ahead, but that the future success of the team is in our hands. What we do with that is totally up to us. Beamer said itís a tough stretch, but that the team needs to only be thinking about North Carolina, because what we do in that game will create the reality of what follows it.

Roth concluded the show by wishing the coaches and team luck against UNC next Saturday afternoon.

Monday was day 30 of Virginia Techís continuous possession of the Black Diamond Trophy.

-- Phil

          

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