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Tech Talk Tuesday (football season only)
When: every Tuesday from 7:05-8:30
Station:  AM 910 in Richmond

Monday, September 24, 2001
by GalaxHokie

Athletic Director Jim Weaver was on for the first half-hour, and he detailed security changes at Lane Stadium.

He started by saying that information had come from the federal government indicating that sports venues could be possible targets for terrorist attacks. For that reason, security will be tightened at Lane Stadium, in the interest of protecting the fans.

Tech is not going to allow backpacks or tote bags into the stadium. Weaver said that if fans bring a child, and they have to have a diaper bag or toy bag, that VT understands that, but the fans have to understand that that bag is going to be searched. Every bag is going to be searched. Mr. Weaver told fans to come early to allow time for bags to be searched.

No re-entry will be allowed, meaning that if you leave the stadium, you can't come back in, unless you obtain a brand new "unexecuted" ticket and go through the normal entry process.

Special pre-game ceremonies to honor the victims of the terrorist attacks will include the Corps of Cadets on the field, a 21-gun salute, a moment of reflection, the national anthem, and the playing of Taps.

In response to the inevitable schedule question (this one was, "If VT goes 11-0, do you think they'll make the championship game?"), Mr. Weaver reiterated recent comments about Central Florida and Western Michigan being underrated teams. He pointed out that Connecticut was scheduled because it had "conference membership implications," and that when trying to schedule six home games a year, many 2-for-1 deals are required, and "equity conference" opponents won't play 2-for-1's.

Coach Beamer's Segment

Coach Beamer talked at length about the Central Florida team and pointed out similarities to the situation in 1998 when the Hokies allowed the Temple upset to happen.

He called UCF a very athletic team that lost by just 11 to Syracuse at the Dome. He compared that to an 18-point Syracuse win Saturday over Auburn. UCF beat Alabama last year, had Georgia Tech on the ropes last year, and then had Clemson on the ropes this season. UCF is capable of making the long pass plays, and at the same time, didnít give up a lot of points to Clemson or Syracuse.

Then coach talked about 1998 when VT started the season 5-0 and was ranked 10th, had outscored its opponents 146-30, and had just shut out Boston College when Temple came to town. Very similar to 2001 Ė VT coming off the shutout at Rutgers and outscoring its opponents by a wide margin to date. He said he talked to the team about this and made the point that "you canít just think things will happen the was they should happen. Youíve got to make them happen."

Coach Beamer gave his assessment on the problem areas of the Rutgers game after having the benefit of reviewing the video. He said he felt better after seeing things on film and was positive about the effort put forth. As for the 20 or so offensive plays that went for virtually no gain, FB said it was, as often is, the case: 10 guys are executing right and one guy isnít.

Carter Warley will kick more against the rush in practice, at his request. FB said VT probably should have taken a penalty before the 20-yard attempt that Warley missed, in order to improve the kicking angle. He said he knows that Carter can get the job done. As for the major penalties, coach said several of them were away from the ball, and the interference call on Whitaker was questionable/borderline.

The coach declined to draw a comparison between the 2001 and 1999 defense, saying it remains to be seen how good this yearís team will be. But he said the current defense has good leadership and coaches, is businesslike, practices well, plays fast. Rover (Kevin McCadam) and Whip (Deon Provitt) positions need to develop depth and McCadam needs to be more consistent. Provitt could be very good. Willie Pile is "a Mike Gentry story" in how he has developed his body so that he now turns running backs the other direction.

He praised Kevin Jones for good effort in the Rutgers game, and gave an example of how he blocked well across the field from a completion to the fullback. He talked about KJís toughness, said he still needs to be "one move and letís go," and not trying two or three moves.

A questioner asked Beamer to project the program four years out. FB said 2001 will go down as the Hokiesí best recruiting year, followed by 2000, and then 1999. That will show up down the road. The program is getting to where it has better depth than ever before, and also is able to get into the homes of more great players during recruiting consideration. He mentioned that Cedric Humes had some great runs in a scrimmage after practice Monday, and Justin Hamilton also looked good.

Bill Roth replayed a post game interview with Brian Welch from Saturday, in which Brian and Mike Burnop talked about him leading the team onto the field with the U.S. flag, and about his feelings of playing well on such an emotional day. (Brianís father was in the military and was killed in a terrorist bombing in Beirut when Brian was 6 years old.) Trying to describe the interview here wouldnít do it justice. One comment Welch made in talking about his interception Saturday was that his mother always told him to do a Forrest Gump while running the ball after an interception. After hearing the replay, Coach Beamer said guys like Brian make it all worthwhile.

A caller asked why VT uses Peaslee, a backup punter, as holder on field goals, rather than a backup quarterback. Beamer explained the quarterbacks are generally tied up in other practice drills while some of the kicking is going on. Plus, he likes how Peaslee gets the ball down quickly. Beamer noted that he was a holder in college himself, and that not everybody can hold well on kicks. He said Peaslee can throw well enough and is a good enough athlete if VT ever needed to try a fake.

A few light moments from the show included:

1.) "Norma Jean" calling in from Columbus, Ohio and the conversation turning to discussions of following the Hokies from afar on and Beamer went along and mentioned the two web sites as well.

2.) The report that a fan gave Regis Philbin a Beamer-autographed football on his show last week and that Regis seemed to know all about Virginia Tech.

Tech Notes:

  • QB Grant Noel was named Big East co-player of the week on offense for his four touchdown passes last Saturday.
  • Michael Vick is expected to be at one of VTís home games this season, Beamer said. No details.
  • West Virginia game will have a noon kickoff and be on ESPN2. Weaver also speculated the Pittsburgh game may be at noon. Still a chance for a night game broadcast for BC or Syracuse.
  • Injuries: Billy Hardee will miss one or two games with a stretched ligament in his leg. Wayne Ward (bruised ribs) is probable for UCF game but will not be involved in contact in practice early in the week. DeAngelo Hall has a cast on his fractured finger. He can play, but it affects his ability to catch the ball.
  • Monday was Day 723 in Virginia Techís continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.

-- GalaxHokie


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