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Advance Auto Parts Hokie Hotline Notes
Monday, November 22, 2004
by Phil Noftsinger

Tonight's show featured tight ends coach Danny Pearman, basketball head coach Seth Greenberg, and football head coach Frank Beamer.

Hokie News of the Day:

  • Fox TV and the BCS have signed a new four year, $80 million contract to televise all the BCS bowls except the Rose Bowl.

  • BCS Standings have Boise State up to 7th and Utah is 6th.  If Boise State moved to 6th it may bounce a BCS conference at-large bid out of the BCS picture.  Virginia Tech is ranked 14th in the BCS Standings.

  • Hokies offensive tackle Jimmy Martin was named the ACC offensive lineman of the week.

Danny Pearman

Roth recalled that both Jared Mazetta and Jeff King both had great games. Coach Pearman said that they worked real hard and with Bryan Randall. Coach also mentioned Duane Brown as a player thatís really starting to progress. Roth mentioned that King hauled in his third touchdown of the season, which is more touchdowns than any tight end in the last 14 years. Roth asked what makes King such a good tight end. Coach said that there were several things. First heís a good route runner with good hands for a big guy, and you can get a great mismatch. Roth mentioned that Mazetta ran an old Syracuse play later and caught a pass. Coach Pearman said that Mazetta is a player who is a fifth year senior who has already graduated.

Roth asked the coach when was the last time in Hokie history that two tight ends have caught touchdown passes in the same game. Pearman didnít know. Roth said that it was 1994 against Arkansas State, when Kevin Martin and Bryan Jennings both caught touchdown passes.

Roth asked the Coach if he had any idea that the game would turn out the way it did. Danny responded by saying that as a coach you're always a little pessimistic, and this is one that the coaches thought would be close since the beginning of the season. Coach Pearman said that they gave them a short field and the Hokies were able to knock them out early.

Roth asked for Coach Pearmanís thoughts on the situation at Clemson and South Carolina where the school presidents have essentially eliminated themselves from bowl consideration due to two different fights that broke out during their game. Coach Pearman, who is a Clemson guy, said that heís proud of the stand that they took. Pearman continued that if he was a senior on that team he would be pretty upset about that. After the Georgia Tech game the coaches have really tried to stress the importance of playing from snap to whistle. Pearman mentioned the VT vs. UVA rivalry, and that this is also a heated rivalry. Pearman said for a Clemson player, having the South Carolina players standing at the bottom of the hill disrupting their pre-game entrance would be like a bunch of UVA players standing at the end of the tunnel messing with the Hokies coming onto the field. Thereís a lot of pride that goes into your pre-game entrance, and itís inappropriate to mess with that.

Roth asked about the status of Mike Imoh during todayís practice. Coach said that Imoh did not practice, but in addition to his hamstring injury he also has a virus which is what kept him out of practice today. Coach said that the trainers will evaluate him tomorrow and we will know more then.

Roth asked how coach Pearman feels about the Tech vs. UVA rivalry, considering that he actually played at Clemson. Pearman said any time you play your rival, whether itís as a coach or a player, you get excited. These are the guys we compete with recruiting, but this Saturday it means more than just a rivalry. This weekend the championship of the ACC is on the line.

Joe in Buena Vista called in and wanted to get coachís opinion on what had to be done on offense to beat UVA. Coach Pearman said that we cannot turn the ball over and no penalties. The Hokies have to control the ball. The teams that have beaten them have controlled the pace of the game.

Roth asked the coach what he thought of UVAís tight end Heath Miller. Coach said that heís a good player no doubt. Coach said that he came to VT as a quarterback and they pegged him as a tight end as well.

Roth asked how many players come in as quarterbacks and end up playing tight end. Pearman said that if you can get on the field as a tight end, it beats standing on the sidelines. Thereís only one quarterback on the field at a time.

Roth said that Maryland showed some 4-3 and some 3-4, but itís unusual to play a team that runs the 3-4 defense exclusively. Pearman said thereís no difference, but that it does affect which guy has the ability to run off the edge. Thatís the advantage to a 3-4 defense. You have to be able to get off the line and block the edge on both of those defense. Roth asked if the rarity makes a difference. Pearman said that they have four extremely good linebackers. The team works against the 3-4 a little, but not as much. Schemes have a little to do with the success, but the ability of the players is more of a factor. Players win games.

Roth asked about the chemistry of the team versus the chemistry of other Hokie teams. Pearman said that the best Hokie teams are those that have a genuine care for each other. That shows in their play and their actions away from the field. Right now thatís where our team is. Currently our tight ends donít care how many receptions they have, they care about winning the game.

Clay from Galax who was in the audience asked about Jeff King and if the coaches altered the game plans for this year after the tight endís performance early on against USC. Pearman said that there havenít been a lot of changes, but that the ends have done a better job of getting open. Secondly what happened early in the year, Bryan probably had a little more confidence in throwing the ball to the tight ends. The Hokies have always had routes that look to the tight end first, but this year with the young receivers and the tight ends getting open more, there has been more of a focus on getting the ball to them.

Roth asked if Duane Brown would be the biggest tight end he has coached. Pearman said that he was. The sizes of the tight ends coming out of high school are bigger than in the past. Duane Brown is about 276 right now.

Roth asked how the Hokies can beat UVA this weekend. Coach said they have a good team and you gotta give them credit and they have played good this year. You start with individual matchups.

Roth said that the team has won six in a row, and asked if the confidence level was high. Coach said that it is high, but at todayís practice they really stressed not getting caught up in the big picture, especially in a game of this magnitude.

Carl in Richmond called in and said that a lot of UVA fans were saying that this team didnít have to play Florida State and Miami in the same year. Pearman said that just because we donít play a particular team doesnít make us better or worse than anyone else. What we do have to do is play the ones that are on our schedule. Pearman said that there are going to be years where we have to play both, and that Tech fans should let the UVA fans cackle right now, because you only have about five days more to listen to that.

Roth said thatís part of the rivalry that you hear it from the other fans, but that UVA didnít get to play USC or West Virginia, either. Roth said that the teams are very evenly matched and this will be a good ballgame.

Roth asked when you recruit a guy what determines if heís going to be a tackle or a tight end. Pearman said thereís several things, as they are similar in size, and the Hokies like to recruit tight ends because they can play both positions. The question is can they maintain the speed as they get heavier.

Roth said that last year UVAís tight end was the difference in the football game. Pearman said that hopefully this year our tight ends will be the difference, but it doesnít matter how many catches the tight ends make as long as we win the game.

Seth Greenberg

Roth mentioned that the Hokies opened their season last week with a big win over Loyola. Coach said that we had a bunch of high percentage shots by Deron Washington. Seth said that we took them out of their offense and we had one little lull where we had a few to many players who didnít start the game on the court. During the second half we attacked the zone a little better, we drove the ball a little more effectively against the zone, and Carlos stepped into a couple jump shots. For a first game we saw some positive things. Carlos came back after a year off and played well. Jamon Gordon had nine assists and seven steals.

Roth asked for the Coach's thoughts on Carlos, as this was the first time Greenberg had coached him in a game. Coach said that he did a nice job for the Hokies on Friday night. In the second half he was a little more relaxed. In the first half he was waiting on it, but he stepped into the shots better in the second half. Greenberg said that we need to get him a little hungrier and a little more tiger in his tank.

Roth said that thereís some bad news on the injury front. Greenberg said that Markus Sailes has re-injured his leg and a decision has to be made, but itís six to eight weeks regardless of the outcome. Greenberg said thatís too bad.

Brett in Roanoke called in and asked about the conference that the Hokies will play in. Greenberg said that each night the Hokies will have to play at their highest level, there are no rocking chair games in this league. The coach pointed to the Virginia game against #10 Arizona (a 78-60 UVa victory) as an example. This is a league that has magnificent back courts. Overall the league is at a level that very few leagues have ever been at.

Roth said that many columnist have said that Tech and Miami have picked the worst possible year to come into the ACC. Greenberg said that thereís no good year, thereís always going to be six or seven teams in the Top 25. The most important thing is that we are in the league. Now we have to elevate our program so thatís it competitive. It took 50 years to get in, but itís not going to take 50 years to build this program to the level it needs.

Roth asked about the new recruits that the ball team has received. Greenberg said that Terrance Vinson is a hard player, 6-8 kid, athletically a little like Deron Washington. Hyman Taylor is a work in progress on the offense end, but he had good instinct and can play great defense. Roth mentioned that Hyman was 6-0 two years ago and is 6-9 now. Roth asked if these are guys we try to redshirt. Greenberg said no, that they can help the team and will play. Greenberg said that thereís one scholarship left for a front court player.

Roth asked what Greenberg may have told his team about the Pacers and Pistons fight the other night in the NBA. Greenberg said that he told them it was a sad day for basketball and thereís no place for that. When youíre an athlete and you are on the floor, what happens around you, you canít react to that. The stands are their domain, and your domain is between the lines. If you cross that line it is a huge mistake. Greenberg said that they should shut the league down for a week and tell those guys that without those fans, you donít have a paycheck. Greenberg said ďWere the fans wrong? Without a doubt.Ē They have no right to do what they did, but as an athlete you do not leave the floor.

Roth asked when you have alcohol involved and there are fans are sitting right on top of the game, isnít it likely that you're going to have something happen eventually? Greenberg said look at pro baseball where you have a fan jumping out of the stands and running onto the field. Greenberg said that we are civilized society and itís a sad commentary that people can get so worked up and have so much anxiety that they are going to actually antagonize. Greenberg pointed out the fan that actually came onto the court and squared off with Jermaine OíNeal. Greenberg said that those people need to be prosecuted.

Roth said that kids like to emulate what they see on the television. If the pro players are dunking they want to dunk, if they are wearing long shorts, they want to wear long shorts.

Roth asked whatís going to happen when the Hokies play at Cameron Stadium and the fans are all over them. Greenberg said that it has crossed his mind. Roth said that isnít inevitable that a player will eventually have enough of the fans. Roth pointed out that Clemson football coach Tommy Bowden said that one of the catalyst for the Clemson fight was that the players watched the tape of the NBA fight all day long. Greenberg said that heís not a big believer in the theory that kids play video games and then they go out and commit similar crimes. The bottom line is that everyone knows the difference between right and wrong. Eventually the league will send something to the coaches to address to the players and the fans about staying on their appropriate sides of the stands and court. Greenberg said itís a sad day for the NBA.

Roth asked about the school presidents who gave up any bowl opportunity. Greenberg said that itís the right move. Greenberg made an excellent point about this weekendís UVA game, in that a precedent has been set that if you get into an altercation like the Clemson USC game, you can forget a bowl game. That was a big deal for two teams barely bowl eligible, but it would be a tragic deal for either UVA or Tech who are competing for BCS bowls. Greenberg said play hard, play to win, but in the end whatís the worst thing that can happenÖyou lose. In the end itís just a game.

Daniel from Salem who was in the audience wanted to know what the coach's expectations were for his freshman players. Greenberg said that Marquie Cooke was the one freshman who was ready to play, in terms of his strength and toughness. Deron Washington is in a position where he has to play because we have a need, and heís freakish athletically. Robert Krabbendam gets better in front of our eyes, but he has to keep his weight on. Wynton Whitherspoon is just waiting for the light to come on defensively. The two guys they signed recently, Taylor, and Vinson, will be competitive right away.

Roth asked about the Maryland Eastern Shore game. Greenberg said they play fast and they have guards that can shoot. They play very aggressively. They didnít shoot very well against Fresno State, but if a coach is letting guys shoot those shots, he expects those to go in. It's different than football, where thereís always great Thanksgiving rivalries, this is a hard time. For our guys, they will miss Thanksgiving and Christmas. Nobodyís on campus during the break, and itís a very lonely time. Roth asked how he handles that. Greenberg said that thereís a big Thanksgiving feast at the Greenbergs, and they try to give them a family away from home, that they appreciate and love them.

Roth asked about the William and Mary team that the Hokies will face on Sunday. Coach said that this is an improved team, Colefield is a beast who had 24 points and 10 rebounds last game. Their point guard is back, and then the Hokies are on the road for the first time. The team will watch the first half of the football game Saturday and get on the bus for Williamsburg.

Roth said that he hasnít seen a coach so excited to get a season going as Seth is this year. Coach said this is an interesting year for him, in that he didnít know a lot about this team. Heís still not sure who this team is right now, and the coaches are still trying to put some pieces together. There are a lot of unknowns with regard to players improving and when they will step up. Thereís still not a lot of personality, and they need to rebound and defend the post better

Frank Beamer

Beamer opened his portion of the interview by thanking all the fans who have sent cards and e-mails of condolence regarding his loss.

Roth asked Beamer to walk through the emotions of last week. Coach said that it was a critical ball game, and he assured the team that his mom would want him to be with that football team. Roth asked if he blocked all the other things out once the game started. Beamer said once the game started itís still there, but that isnít your main focus at the time. Regarding his relationship with Ralph Friedgen, he didnít think or hoped there werenít any hard feelings. Coach mentioned Lee Corsoís comments that Virginia Tech was running the score up before half, and said that heís never heard anyone make a comment like that prior to half time. Before the half you play football, and the coach said that heís seen too many teams make great comebacks in the second half. Coach mentioned Marylandís legendary comeback against Miami (in 1984, MD was down 31-0 at half time, came back to take a 42-34 lead, and won 42-40). Beamer said that he would never run the score up against anyone, and certainly not against his good friend. Coach said that one of us is going to lose and there was no way that both of them could feel good about the game afterward. Coach did mention that he hasnít seen or talked to Ralph since the game.

Roth, changing the subject, said that worrying about the hurt feelings of the opponentís coach will not be a problem this week. Beamer chuckled, and did mention that Al Groh had sent some flowers to his momís ceremony this week, and he said that was a nice gesture. Coach said that UVA has done a nice job and they are talented at some positions as any team in the country.

Roth asked about the injury situation. Beamer said that Imoh made some progress today, but that we wonít know more until Tuesday possibly Wednesday. At this point we are in a we-will-see stage.

Clay from Galax who was in the audience asked if the team was going to put special emphasis on the Florida State and Miami game tapes against UVA. Coach said that you always study whoís been successful, and you have to look at what tools they have too. Beamer complimented the play of quarterback Marques Hagans, and that heís got him out of some jams.

Roth mentioned that Jim Davis had a bug before the Maryland game, and asked what happened before kickoff. Beamer said that he didnít travel to the hotel room with the team, and that Charley Wiles told Beamer before the game that he wasnít sure he was going to make it. However, it means a lot to the team when someone steps it up and plays when they arenít feeling well. He played out of his mind too.

Barek in Blacksburg called in and asked about the UVA linebackers and wondered about the offensive scheme. Beamer said that you run away from them, but they have too many out there. Darryl Blackstock has got great speed, and heís really done well lately. Beamer also mentioned Dennis Haley, Ahmad Brooks, and Kai Parham. Coach said that since you canít run away from them, you have to block them.

Roth said that the Hoos have good players, and in the ACC you're more familiar with players, mentioning that most of the players who knew Maryland QB Jordan Steffy (who was recruited by VT) really rushed to his aid when he was hurt on Tech's sidelines during the Maryland game. Beamer said that we will get to know more and more of these players.

Sharon from Ashburn wrote in and asked if Beamer is enforcing his 6AM sprints if the penalty call was an error or questionable. Beamer said that he wants to be reasonable with the guys. The coaches looked at the tape and there was one that was correct, but the others the refs were just calling it both ways and moving on. Coach said that to be honest he couldnít see where the Hokies had committed a foul. It sounded like the coach was stating that the refs were making a statement by calling on both players so often.

Jay in Charlotte wrote in and asked if we can play Heath Miller the same way we played Kellen Winslow last year. Beamer said that itís a little different than last year as the UVA quarterback was more patient and taller. Coach said that Heath is still their leading receiver, but their style is a little different than last year. The key is to not let them get into a long passing game.

Delaney from Stafford who was in the audience, asked if we were going to beat UVA. Beamer asked Delaney what she thinks, and she says that we were. Delaney was a young child in the audience.

Wayne from Chesapeake asked the coach to compare this team to the Frank Loria team. Coach said that the team he played on was a lot slower overall than the guys on this team. Beamer said that you canít compare the teams, that team played hard and won more games than they should have. The game has changed so much since then, when they had one wide receiver, two at the most. The speed of the game has changed significantly. Beamer said that everything was in there tighter.

Bob in Saint Louis called in and asked about the heated rivalry with UVA and how the coach motivates the team, but keeps their emotions in check. Coach said that they go through this at the beginning of the year, in that if youíre dismissed from a game for fighting you miss that game and the next. Coach said that they talked to the team today as well. If youíre participating in activity after the whistle, itís not helping your team to win.

Beamer said thereís too much talking going on, and he likes what the NCAA has done with the celebration penalties. Roth asked if the coach has addressed it with the team. Coach said that he did today, but that they have been talking about this for weeks given some of the penalties. Roth asked if officials are going to be calling things close this week, and Beamer said that he thinks they should be. They should also call it consistent.

Johnny from Blacksburg who was in the audience asked about the rule change with regard to redshirting players, and wondered if there would be a chance to see Brandon Ore or George Bell on Saturday. Beamer said that we wouldnít take the redshirt off these guys right now, because you donít know exactly how this new rule is going to play out. Plus they are not prepared to play in a game like this. Roth said that the rule has not been changed yet.

Roth mentioned that Navy accepted a bowl bid today for the second year in a row, as one of the great football stories this year. Beamer said that Navy has beat some really good football teams this year. (Editor's Note: Navy whacked Rutgers 54-21 last Saturday to go to 8-2 on the year.)

Robert from Denver wrote in and asked if there was anyway that Tech could get Metallica to play "Enter Sandman" live at a Tech football game. Beamer said that when you get past Tammy Wynette, heís not much on music. Alabama, Shania Twain, Faith Hill, he knows those guys. Roth said, he didnít think that having Shania sing, ďI feel like a womanĒ would get the fans pumped up for a football game.

John from Harrisonburg called in and asked what Beamerís most memorable game against UVA has been. Coach said that thereís two that jump out, the year they were #1 in the country and played at Lane, and then 1995. Roth said that 1995 was his favorite. Beamer said that the football has only gotten better between the teams. Coach said that the state of Virginia is really the winner in that both programs are doing so well. Beamer said that this is the biggest game ever between these two teams.

Roth asked Beamer if that makes him shake his head. There have been teams that have struggled to win an ACC title for 50 years, and the Hokies have only been in for three months and have a shot at one. Beamer said that we are in position, but now we need to get out there and win it.

Greg from Dublin who was in the audience asked about the changes in the recruiting areas since the move to the ACC, and he asked how that has affected recruits coming to our games. Greg also asked the coach to talk about the walk for this week. Coach said that the walk is two hours before game time, and there was a great turnout last week. Beamer said that the recruiting for the ACC is going to get better for every school. For years the Florida schools have been better, but coach thinks that the other teams are starting to catch up now.

Roth asked Beamer to comment on the recent agreement between FOX and the BCS. Beamer asked if this is an increase over the ABC contract, and Roth confirmed that it was. Beamer said that he was concerned when ABC pulled out, but it may be that FOX already had it wrapped up. Roth said that itís not going to solve this yearís crisis with the BCS. Beamer said that it can happen that way, and that the current order is not how heís got them in his voting. Coach said that thereís a lot of football left to be played, and heís not so sure that if Auburn wins a championship game that they wonít jump ahead. Also, USC has a couple games left to play, and there are other ancillary games that will have an effect on the final numbers. Roth mentioned that if Texas loses to Texas A&M then both Boise State (#7 in the BCS) and Utah (#6) would be in. Roth joked that would make it difficult to sell tickets to the Michigan versus Boise game. Roth asked the coach if was good for college football? Coach said that it was good, but when you have coaches vote, it needs to be secret. Roth wondered if there are any ďagendasĒ such as trying to get a conference foe either in or out of the championship game.

Troy in Roanoke called in and asked how the coach gets this team ready to play unselfish ball, with no penalties for personal fouls or unsportsmanlike conduct. Beamer said that it goes back to preparation, it's not something you can turn on and off. Coach said that these habits were formed over the year.

Bentley in Windsor called in and asked what the coaches planned to do about Heath Miller. Coach said that it's important to play things correctly and make those tackles after he catches those two yard passes.

Tim from New Jersey who was in the audience asked what would replace the Team United bracelets next year. Beamer said that we would have them on this weekend and worry about next year later.

NFL Update:

  • John Engelberger had two solo tackles.

  • Three Hokies played on the Falcons.  D-Lo had four solo tackles.  Michael Vick rushed for over 100 yards and passed for 115 yards and two touchdowns.

  • Lee Suggs rushed for 17 times for 62 yards and caught three passes.

  • Kevin Jones rushed 19 times for 100 yards and caught three passes.

Roth asked Beamer about the fact that the Lions have been throwing the ball to Kevin a lot. Coach said that they worked on that while Kevin was here, and he definitely improved. Coach said that they probably should have thrown it to him more when he was here.

Kyle from Tuscaloosa wrote in and asked what the coach was going to do to keep the team focused on the Hoos rather than looking forward to Miami. Coach said that the team is very focused on UVA and they are not looking forward.

Monday was day 51 of Virginia Techís continuous possession of the Black Diamond Trophy.

-- Phil

          

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