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Monday,October 2, 2000
WIN OVER BC, VT #3!
Coach Beamer said it is a compliment to Virginia Tech's program that it is ranked number three. It's early to be worrying about rankings, he said, and the BC game showed that the Hokies need to get better to hold that ranking.
He and Bud Foster acknowledged there were areas in the BC game that need work, and both said there was a lot of good to point to in the game.
Beamer cited the offense keeping the ball for 6 minutes in the fourth quarter, Vick continuing to run the play clock down to one second before the snap, Lee Suggs getting yards; the way the offense responded after BC tied the game -- in fact, Beamer said, VT has responded with a score every time but once this year after an opponent scored; only one BC play went for more than 20 yards. Foster mentioned the goal line stand.
The defense needs to do better at playing individual responsibilities and "staying in their gaps," and problems in those areas last week were partly an experience factor compared to what Engelberger and Moore were able to do last year, Beamer said. In the passing game, he wants to take better advantage of 1 on 1 coverage.
Bill Roth said that Vick's 82-yard touchdown run late in the game is the longest run ever made by a Big East quarterback. That's "the" highlight play of MV they'll be playing 20 years from now, Roth said. To which Beamer responded: "I think there's another one yet to be made."
The punt return for a touchdown by Andre Davis was described as "amazing" by Beamer because he had a guy bearing down on him just as he caught the ball, got away from two guys initially and then pulled away from three defenders who had an angle on him. Davis and the Hokies lead the nation in punt returns and Davis was named Big East special teams player of the week. Guess who won the Big East honor for offense.
Beamer reiterated that the punt block threat opens up the return game. He said this punt return team could be VT's best ever. Roth related how Temple Coach Bobby Wallace said Monday that teams are intimidated when VT puts that special teams aspect on the field. Wallace contends that a team can over-prepare for VT's punt blocking and it becomes a disservice to their players by making them think about it too much.
Tech gave up 287 yards against the Eagles, just 40 more yards than it allowed Rutgers in a shutout the game before. The difference was field position after the turnovers. Foster said he was disappointed in VT's "quick change" defense when it was called upon after the turnovers, and again said it is part of the experience factor.
The Hokies weren't able to get to Hasselbeck, but they did pressure him and didn't allow any long completions. Foster thought the coverage concentration was better and it gave up few yards after the catch. The longest completion was something like 13 yards. VT played hard, but not smart at times, he said. BC was credited by Foster for having probably the best offensive line the Hokies will face.
Larry Austin suffered at least a sprained knee at BC and is very questionable for the Temple game. An MRI will be done on the knee at 7 a.m. Tuesday. It's a "potential ACL" injury, said Foster, but likely a sprain. I was interrupted at this point but I believe Foster said it's possible Austin could miss 4-6 weeks.
(Note from Will Stewart of HokieCentral.com: The Roanoke Times reported in a Monday article that Austin will be out 4-5 weeks.)
True freshman Eric Green will start at field corner vs. Temple and Ronyell Whitaker moves to boundary corner (Austin's spot). Billy Hardee played well, said Foster, although he strained his groin and was bothered by it late in the game. He did not practice Monday. DL Channing Reed also was slowed by a groin strain.
Temple is better than two years ago when it pulled the upset at Lane Stadium behind the same quarterback, Devin Scott, Beamer said. A JUCO quarterback named Frost also is playing a lot and there seemed to be a question about the degree to which Scott may have been injured last week when a player rolled into him.
The coach talked about Scott's accuracy and the team's overall athleticism: "The video doesn't lie."
"I hope that between what happened two years ago and turning on the video [for the team to see Temple's ability] that we'll be prepared to play well."
Bud Foster said Temple is a 50-50 team as far as its run-pass philosophy. The Owls are a lot like BC with their two-back look. He said tailback Tanardo Sharps has speed, balance, quickness.