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Advance Auto Parts Hokie Hotline Notes
Monday, November 8, 2004
by Phil Noftsinger

Tonightís Hokie Hotline was broadcast live from Beamerís restaurant in Christiansburg, VA. Guests included Tech offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring and head coach Frank Beamer. In tonightís show Bill Roth speaks with Tech Womenís soccer coach Kelly Cagle about her team's first ever selection to the NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament. Also Mike Imoh calls into the show to talk about his record setting performance against UNC.

The Hokie news of the day included:

  • Techís womenís soccer team was selected for the NCAA Tournament for the first time (Tech is one of seven ACC teams selected).

  • Tech tailback Mike Imoh was selected as the ACC Tailback of the week, and he sets VT's single-game rushing record, after a recalculation of stats revealed that Imoh was originally not credited for seven yards.

  • BCS rankings dropped Utah to 7th and that removes them from automatic consideration from the BCS bowl selections for the time being.

Bryan Stinespring

Bill Roth opened the interview portion of the show commenting on the play of Mike Imoh. Stinespring said that he had 97 yards after contact, continuing that Mike did an excellent job. Coach said that the players collectively really executed the game plan very well. Specifically Bryan Randall, who checked into the correct plays based upon the defensive sets.

Bill Roth asked about some of the dropped passes we saw on Saturday. Coach said that last week in Atlanta the receivers were very consistent. This game could have been put away a lot earlier if some of those passes were caught.

Roth said that there was a lot more option run in this game than in previous games, and wondered what the Coach may have seen in North Carolinaís defense that prompted him to run the option so often. Stinespring said that after the staff put in the speed option they really were looking for opportunities to put it in based upon what the film shows. It really depends on the advantage that it gives the team. There were a couple plays where the option was run into the boundary (short side of the field), and that was due to an overshift the coaches were seeing by the UNC defense earlier in the game.

Carolina was able to get four sacks on the Hokies offense on Saturday, and Bill Roth asked the coach if he was concerned about the number of sacks given up by his offense. Only Duke has allowed more sacks than the Hokies among ACC teams. Coach said that he was absolutely concerned, but that there was one game that threw the stats for total sacks out of whack. Three of the four sacks came on quick game operations. Normally when youíre giving up sacks youíre looking for deeper passes, but on a couple of plays the call was for shorter passes. One came on a check at the line where not everyone heard the check. Another one was just a failure to pick up the defensive pressure. Roth mentioned that Randall got clobbered on one play, transitioning to Cedric Humes. Stinespring said that on the first play was an option to side, and Cedric did not pick up the delay on the cadence. On the next play the defense brought the strong safety and Cedric missed the pick-up. Roth questioned whether the coaching staff went back to Imoh after those two plays because Mike was so hot on Saturday. Coach Stinespring reminded Roth of when the Hokies had both Lee Suggs and Kevin Jones in the backfield, and how the Hokies would stay with the back who was having a good day. Stinespring specifically pointed out the run in the second half where Imoh broke through several potential tackles and went for 47 yards.

Roth mentioned that statistically Carolina has one of the worst defenses in the conference, and that the schedule is going to start getting a lot tougher from here on out. Specifically Bill wondered if the coaching staff has started looking at the Terps' defense. Stinespring said that they started looking at them yesterday, after they graded out the film from Saturday. Coach said that they are very talented on defense, specifically the play from their linebacker positions.

After the break, Roth mentioned that Menís basketball opens on Friday night of next week, the day after the Hokies face Maryland in football.

Jeff in Richmond called in and asked about passes to the tight ends during the UNC game. Stinespring said that there were a few passes to the tight ends that were not completed, due to more coverage packages on the tight ends. Stinespring said that the UNC defense was keeping a defensive player back to cover tight ends coming off the line, and thatís mainly because the Hokies have had some success getting the ball to the tight ends this year. This helps open up the running game with one less player in the box. Roth said that there were two plays to the tight end that were not picked up by the quarterback.

Mohammed from Sterling wrote in asking about the use of trick plays and why we donít seem to run any. Stinespring said that there have been a couple trick plays called early in the year, and each time they are run thereís an opportunity to check to something else based upon what the defense is showing. Stinespring agreed that we probably should run a few more, but you have to have a play that you feel you can be successful with. Stinespring mentioned the play earlier in the year where Richard Johnson threw a touchdown pass. Against UNC the run was so effective that the coaches felt like that was their best option.

Bill Roth asked about the fullback position with regard to injuries. Stinespring said that Kinzer got a stinger on Saturday. He had an MRI Monday, and we will know more Tuesday on his status. Jesse Allen has done a nice job for the Hokies in relief, but that he almost caused us to get a delay of game penalty. Roth said that Jesse was lying on his back and flipped up without putting his hands down on the ground. Stinespring said it was pretty neat to watch, but the officials were winding the clock and the Hokies had to hurry back to the line for the next play. (Editor's Note: Huh? I think he actually got up quicker with that little move than if he'd done something else. Click here to view the video of it, a 1.57 Mbyte MPEG download, and decide for yourself. Ė Will)

Dave in Chesapeake called in regarding play calling before a field goal attempt, and we ran the ball to the right which left the field goal attempt from the hash mark as opposed to the middle of the field. Stinespring said that the screen pass that we called failed to get a defense split like we wanted then the ball should have taken up inside. The play calling does try to get it in the middle of the field for the attempts. Good defenses will keep you on the hashes as itís more difficult to kick.

Roth said that on the play where Jim Davis sacked Durant for a loss, pushing the field goal attempt out of range, that the Tar Heels were going for the win. Roth asked Coach if he would have made the same call. Stinespring said that he would have set up the field goal, rather than risk losing the attempt. Stinespring said that when you have a good play dialed up, you're going to try and run it and take your chances. Really what happened was that Bud Foster had a great defensive call for that play.

Roth mentioned that the Hokies lead the ACC in red-zone defense, pointing out that Georgia Tech ran five plays inside the red zone. Coach said that this team is playing like a team and that the team is really pulling for each other. He said that heís seen some amazing things take place at half time. This football team is finding a way to win.

After the break Roth checked in with the Hokie Menís basketball game, and the Hokies were up 30 to 14. Burnop, who was calling the game, said that Carlos Dixon looked good in his first start in a couple years.

Mike Imoh joined the show via telephone, and Bill Roth introduced him by congratulating him on setting the single game rushing record last Saturday. Imoh said that heís really feeling good about the teamís performance thus far. Roth asked about the attitude on the team right now, specifically referencing the half-time atmosphere. Imoh said that the coach hit the nail on the head, the team has a lot of chemistry right now. Mike said that you can feel it in the locker room and itís a lot of fun.

Roth asked about Imohís playing time and how heís holding up. Mike said that the offensive line is doing such a good job that heís not taking a lot of hard shots. Imoh said that he talked with Kevin Jones right after the game, at that time he thought he was short of the record, and he had to come up with an excuse as to why he didnít get the record. Roth asked him what he felt like when he realized that he got the record. Imoh said that he thanks the people who realized the error, and that getting that record sets the stage for these next three games. Imoh said that he left a message for KJ on his phone, and he expects that Kevin will have something to say about it. Roth asked what Imoh learned from Kevin, mentioning that Imoh is averaging 123 yards a game with different styles than his two predecessors. Imoh said that having Kevin and Lee in front of him, you try to take a little from each back. Specifically he took Leeís approach to the game and Kevinís never say die attitude.

After the break, Roth talked about the womenís soccer team which was selected for its first ever NCAA Tournament. The team will face off with William and Mary in the first round and if they advance they will play #1 North Carolina, which had seven players on the US Olympic team. The top four seeds were #1 North Carolina, #2 Penn State, #3 Virginia, and #4 Notre Dame.

Coach Cagle called in to the program, and Bill Roth asked if she was surprised to get the news of the NCAA bid. She said that she was surprised, but that the team really deserved the bid. She said the team is very, very excited. Bill Roth said there were seven teams selected from the ACC, and asked if that the ACC was the best soccer conference in the country. Coach said that she thought it was the best conference in the country, and it was the strength of schedule that the conference provides as to why they did receive a bid. Coach Cagle corrected Roth in that there were actually 8 teams selected. Coach said that the ACC conference bid has really helped with recruiting and helped catapult the team to the next level. Roth asked about William and Mary, and Coach Cagle said that the Tribe has been very good about getting themselves into the postseason and advancing from there. She said that they are really working to match their experience.

Moving on to write in questions, one fan wrote in and wondered what the relationship is between the radio broadcasters within the ACC. Bill Roth said that they are all great guys, and itís amazing to see so many people who have had such longevity at their respective schools. The ACC is remarkable in the lack of turnover in the broadcasting positions. Bill mentioned that in the Big East there were always a few new guys each year.

Frank Beamer

Roth introduced the head coach, asking once again if every game is going to be like this last few. Coach said that the toughest part was that there were a few opportunities to get the game moving in the right direction. Just like at Georgia Tech the team hung in there to get the win. The players really gave great effort, and you see things that make you think you can do a few things better.

Roth asked what things the coach would like to see done better, mentioning the Hokies' dropped passes against UNC. Coach said that Josh Hyman really had a tough night, but that he has great confidence in him. Heís been a real steady performance for the team. When youíre playing a good team you're only going to get a few chances.

Roth asked about the special teams play. Beamer said that the good part is that you can see how that can be corrected very quickly. Beamer said that the blocked punt was a mistake on one position, and it shouldnít have been an issue. The punt return and the fake reverse got the team again like it has a couple times this year. Beamer said that we have a few to many people biting on the fake. The team is going to work on that this week. On that play the VT players didnít keep proper leverage on that play and had three guys lined up right behind each other.

Roth asked about UVA and Virginia Tech tied for first place, and in August it was Miami and Florida State who were picked for the league title. Roth asked how we got there. Beamer said that they have helped make things go their way, with some big-time players making some big-time plays. Beamer said that the big issue is what to do from here, and that he doesnít want to hear about bowls or rankings or whatever, tied for firstÖletís just think about Maryland because thatís the only thing that matters.

Roth pointed out that there have been 33 conference games played in the ACC this year and 15 of those games have been decided by 7 points or less. Roth asked if thereís any reason to believe that the next three will be just like that. Beamer said that he believed that if we hold up our end of the deal they will be. Heís not sure what happened with Miami, they lost a lot of players on defense, but when you play Miami there sure isnít a lack of talent. Virginia has been solid, except for the one ball game in Tallahassee. Itís a very balanced league.

After the break Bill Roth talked about the student newspaper at Chapel Hill, which had a prediction column on the game. The pre-game lowdown mentioned Virginia Techís rushing game and predicted the score, which ended up being the final score. Beamer said that they have some smart students at UNC, and that Bill should call him to find out what is going to happen next week.

Horace in Maryland called in mentioning that Auburnís football players' pictures on TV are with them in suits and how they look really sharp. Horace also asked about the status of Vinnie Fuller who left the UNC game with a shoulder injury. Coach said that he doesnít think thatís a bad way to do it, but that he tried to stress that the team is all the same regardless of your status on the team. This year there has been more stress on that than ever before. When the team travels they all wear the same thing too. Coach also said that some players donít come from the same economic background, so you have to think about that, too.

Bonnie from Christiansburg who was in the audience wanted to know what the advantages or disadvantages were with regard to coaching against one of his good buddies (Maryland coach Ralph Freidgen). Beamer said that itís true that Ralph and he are friends, as are their families. Coach said that Ralph tried to take him out twice on the golf course this summer by hitting him with a golf ball, so heís not sure what to think about that. Beamer said heís got a lot of respect for the Maryland coach, and he will have his guys ready when they come down here.

Beamer said that Shane (his son) called after the game on Saturday and as a concerned alum wanted to know who was responsible for the kickoff team, and could it be the same guy who was responsible for the punt protection team. If it was, something might need to be done.

Reggie from Chester wrote in calling this team the heart attack Hokies, and wanted to know if Beamer had a chance to catch up with former Tech offensive coordinator Ricky Bustle. Beamer said some of the staff talks to him more than others, and felt bad that his team couldnít pull their last game out against North Texas.

Claude in Roanoke wrote in congratulating the team on no personal fouls, no celebrations, and clean play. Beamer said that thereís not consistency right now on the celebration penalties, and if you donít know how they are going to call it you donít want to put the game in the hands of the officials.

Roth asked about the chop block call on Will Montgomery. Beamer said that he thought it was a good call, and what happened was that Will didnít realize that Murphy was on him, because he was behind him. Beamer said that it didnít seem intentional, but that it was a good call.

David from Glen Allen wrote in and mentioned that the PA system at UNC was still playing while Bryan Randall was trying to call plays at the line of scrimmage (Editor's Note: specifically, the UNC PA played a gonging bell sound as the Hokies were at the line Ė Will). Beamer said that he needs to check on that, and he though he heard it also. Coach said that it was a rule in the Big East, and that he will be checking on that with the ACC office.

Mark from LA wrote in and wondered what might be the biggest adjustment or challenge offensively this season. Beamer said that itís been fun, thinking that the receivers might be the biggest challenge, but they have really come along. Also our running back was a little up in the air there for a while. The fun has been watching these guys progress as a team. Beamer said that we arenít super talented in our offensive line, but that we have been playing well at that position.

Roth asked about the status of Vince Fuller. Beamer said that different kids react different ways, and that heís still questionable for the Maryland game. How stable is the shoulder and how much strength he has will depend on if heís in the game. Beamer said that he doesnít put a timeline on it, but he needs to get out there and get some licks prior to getting him in a game situation.

After the break Roth asked Beamer about Mike Imoh, pointing out his humility regarding getting the single game record. Beamer said that he was proud of all the backs.

Shawn in Radford called in and asked if the all maroon jerseys would be used one more time before the end of the season. Beamer said that he tries to stay out of that, if things are going pretty good. He said that rather than the uniforms he will worry about Maryland. Shawn asked Beamer if he though Ralph would run some trick plays on him. Beamer said that this is a very important game for both teams. He said that he doesnít really like going up against good friends because the business is so cruel. If youíre in this business this long, almost everyone is a good friend.

Roth mentioned that Bobby Bowden has had to play against his son several times, and heís on the hot seat. Beamer said that anymore a loss is more devastating than it used to be, and when it gets ugly itís a tough way to make a living.

Charles in Roanoke called in and asked about the defense in the first half where we stripped the ball that was a clean strip that was called an incomplete pass. Beamer said that he thought it was a catch and a fumble, but it was very close. He said that they sent that play in for the officials to review. Overall coach felt like the officials did a good job, but that he didnít like that first call (a sideline catch by Josh Hyman) where the officials changed the call. Beamer felt like if he had caught it in the end zone it might have been a touchdown, but that it was close and it could go either way.

Roth asked about Fuller not playing, does Mike Daniels play every snap. Beamer said that Jimmy Williams will work at safety a little this week, as they have a little more depth at the corner position with Roland Minor.

After the break Roth asked Beamer about the chemistry on the team, and the half-time attitude that had been talked about so much this year. Beamer said that the coaches and the team have been wearing their wrist bands at every practice and every game. Coach continued to say that the fans are wearing theirs too and that the fans are part of the team and they help us win. Beamer hopes that the fans and the players will continue to wear their bands as we are going to need to continue to play as a team with the schedule coming up.

NFL Update:

  • Six Hokies started last week
  • Jake Grove started for the Raiders last week at Carolina
  • Kevin Jones had 12 carries for 20 yards and 1 reception for 30 yards
  • Shayne Graham was 4 for 4 on field goals with a long of 47 yards
  • Andre Davis was shaken up after trying to make a touchdown grab
  • Lee Suggs rushed 18 times for 60 yards against the Baltimore defense
  • John Engelberger posted 2 tackles and 1 sack

Roth mentioned that the Thursday night Georgia Tech game was the 2nd highest rated weeknight game of the year. The Louisville vs. Miami game was the highest thus far.

Jim in Massapequa called in and asked how the coach likes the ACC so far. Beamer said that itís a great league, very well run, and the competition is better than what the coaches thought it would be. Over the last few years the Hokies have only matched up against Virginia. Itís a very competitive league thatís only going to get better, and will be recognized as the best league in the country. Coach said that we will always be appreciative of the Big East, and they gave the team an avenue to get to where they have.

Roth reviewed the BCS rankings noting that Utah has moved to 7th, outside the automatic bid range for the BCS bowls. Beamer said that their conference schedule makes it tough for them to stay in the top six. Coach said that as you go down the stretch teams play better against you, you think you know how itís going to turn out, then thereís a shakeup at the top. Coach insinuated that the seasonís not totally written yet for Utah, so they just need to hang on and wait to see what happens around the country.

After the break Roth asked about this week's schedule for the team. Beamer said that the team will take tomorrow off, and that they will get after it on Wednesday. Beamer said that the practice fields are in great shape. The JV team will play on Friday against Hargrave. Coach said that some of the players that will be playing on Friday are some exciting players.

Roth signed off by wishing the coach a good week of practice.

Monday was day 37 of Virginia Techís continuous possession of the Black Diamond Trophy.

-- Phil

          

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