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Monday, November 16, 1998

BEAMER COMMENTS ON AUBURN JOB

The rumor about Coach Beamer interviewing for the Auburn job was addressed early in Beamer's segment in a question from Bill Roth. The Huntsville, Ala. newspaper reported Monday that Beamer will interview this week.

"That's news to me," Beamer said.

Do you think they will contact you? "I have no idea if they will. I have not been contacted by Auburn."

"I can assure Virginia Tech fans that my plan for this week is to get ready for Rutgers," Beamer said. He said it is critical for VT to get to an eighth win because of the bowl picture.

THE LOSS...

Coach Beamer said the Syracuse game was a "terrible loss" in a game in which the Hokies were playing for high stakes. "The plus is that we were playing for high stakes."

He said the players did some "fantastic things" to give the team a chance, but "we also didn't so some things you've got to do" to win a game like that.

Bill Roth said the defense worked against the scout team Thursday on the very play that decided the game. Vick was at quarterback and the defense defended the play.

Beamer said they talked about that play as a possibility in the timeout, and that Coach Foster said this is where they like to do a throwback. McNabb just threw the ball up there, as he did on the play just before the half which led to the field goal, Beamer noted.

"THE COMMENT"

The comment by Corey Moore in Saturday night's post-game show was addressed at length, and some explanation was offered about how the situation unfolded. Moore apparently remarked that the fair weather fans could go ahead and jump ship if that's how they felt.

(I did not hear that interview Saturday, and so I'm lacking context here.)

A caller tonight said he though that Moore lacked class by saying that.

Bill Roth said it was important to understand how it came about. He said Moore had just heard the first caller on the post-game show who had called the players "worthless."

Roth said this came just minutes after Moore had poured it all out in a great performance and crushing defeat, in which Moore had chased McNabb around all night.

So then a guy calls in and says he was the one who was the early caller Saturday and that he didn't think he had said anything that would warrant Moore's comments. He said he respects Corey and thought he played his heart out. Roth sensed this was heading nowhere and steered the conversation elsewhere.

Roth, Beamer and Rickey Bustle were quick to say that Moore is all heart and all class.

Bustle said that Moore had "just got his heart broken" and "then got stabbed" just before the interview.

"Corey is a class guy," Bustle said. "Corey Moore is all heart and wants what's best for Virginia Tech," Beamer said.

BUSTLE'S SEGMENT

Coach Bustle opened the show. Roth pointed out that Bustle had the honor of Monday night appearances following the Temple and Syracuse losses, and even joked that no plexiglass had been installed in front of him for the show at the Volume II bookstore.

Bustle had a range of thoughts about what happened: youth caught up with some of the guys and they tried to do too much; some guys tried to help out on blocks and then screwed up their own assignments; Al didn't throw well; the protection broke down; the offense couldn't get in sync; the offense didn't block schemes they've blocked against "a hundred thousand times." VT had receivers open but then got sacked. On one play, VT had Hall and Harrison wide open against one safety but Clark got sacked. Tech got SU in coverages it wanted at times in the second half, but couldn't get completions. He also said he was offering no excuses and that he takes responsibility for whatever happens.

In a big game atmosphere, the Hokies just didn't come through, he said. "We've played and blocked better defenses" this year.

Syracuse ran 88 plays to VT's 38. "We left the defense out there too long," Bustle said.

"They played their hearts out. The offense let down the defense and special teams."

Roth said it is a credit to the defense that it held SU to 28 points on 88 snaps. The Orangemen were averaging 42 points per about 50 snaps.

Bustle said a lot of time was spent talking in meetings early Monday so that the players could just get it out of their systems.

"It was one of the hardest meetings I've been through -- that when we leave this room, that game's over with." He said young players bounce back and that this staff "isn't going to rant and rave and point fingers" because "that's not the way to motivate these kids." How you handle motivation is part of coaching, too, he said.

The afternoon practice was great, Bustle said -- as good a Monday practice as ever, "maybe a little better." The team and coaches talked again around 3:30 and by then "it was obvious that it was time to put this behind us."

Caller asked why so few screens and option plays. Bustle said no option was in the game plan vs. WVU because of Clark's health. But it was in the plan for SU and was used 3-4 times. The long Ferguson touchdown was off the read option. In the fourth quarter a receiver missed an important block on an option play that could have gone big. VT didn't run screens against SU because of where it plays the corners.

OVERACHIEVING...

Several callers and Beamer alluded to fact that the Hokies have overachieved by far for a team that was generally picked 6-5 and fourth in the conference.

Beamer twice brought up the point that VT has a chance to win 10 games, like maybe he's trying to adopt that as a theme to close out the season. (That has happened only twice before. A third team, 1986, was 10-1-1 by virtue of a forfeit).

One caller said he was thinking back to sitting in the rain at the spring game and how he thought then that he'd "dance in the aisles" to go 7-4 again, and now the team has a chance to go 9-2 in a rebuilding year.

Another caller said those who are having a tough time dealing with the SU loss should "try to remember what it was like before Frank Beamer or Rickey Bustle."

And yet another caller said that if he knew before the season that VT would start out 7-2, "I would've been turning back flips, and now we're two plays away from the Top Five."

Roth said that only five teams in the country returned as few as three offensive starters, including VT. Of those, Washington State has lost 7 games, Nebraska has lost 3 and Alabama has lost 4.

Beamer: "For this football team to have a chance to win 10 games is pretty amazing."

OTHER STUFF...

Beamer said they try to use the tight end in the passing game and that the tight ends are young. Slowikowski is developing as a receiver. They don't run a lot of routes to the tight end, but the TE is in the reads that are available. "The more our receivers become threats, the more the tight end will be open," Beamer said.

In a scheduling comment, he said it's important to have a good blend of out-of-conference games to balance with the Big East games, and that the conference games not get overshadowed. "The conference games mean something." You know your program is going places by the number of people who watch you play, Beamer said in trying to drum up attendance for Saturday.

Rutgers is much improved from its opening game in 1997 vs. Tech, and QB McMahon is credited with leading the offense. Rutgers is 5-5 after going 0-11 in 1997.

Bustle said the defense is stabilized and faster, and Rutgers has done well at putting people in the right positions. The coaches mentioned two talented 6-foot-3 receivers.

Recruiting is going well. "You shouldn't be worried," Beamer told a questioner. "We are in on some really, really good players right now."

--GalaxHokie

          

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