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

Monday, October 8, 2001
by GalaxHokie

First question of the night for Jim Weaver: what impressed you most about the game at West Virginia?

"The fans leaving at halftime," he replied.

He was followed a short time later by Frank Beamer, the winningest active coach at Mountaineer Field, who admitted things went easier than he had anticipated in the 35-0 win over WVU. He said that after watching video of the game, he thought the offense played even better than he had thought. The offensive line blocked some plays well and there were situations in which the backs could have hit the hole better or made a different cut.

Beamer said he thought Noel did better at throwing the ball downfield. On one interception, the receiver should have continued his route. The other interception was Noelís fault. Another time he needed to loft the ball more to the fullback over the middle.

Bill Roth asked about Noel remaining in the game so long, rather than getting Bryan Randall some playing time. "We wanted to make sure the game was taken care of. Weíve had some people come back on us around here," Beamer replied.

Will there be games where we see Randall play much earlier, he was asked. "No, Grant Noel is our quarterback. Heís played well." Otherwise, they will try to get Randall as much experience as possible. He has come along well, does some "neat," natural things in the game.

In response to a question about protecting the ball, Beamer said Noel had a session Monday with Coach Bustle about tucking the ball away while heís running with it.

Will you open up the playbook more and do you have a halfback option pass, someone asked. Beamer said they havenít held much back so far and that, yes, there is a halfback pass Ė which was tried last year against Boston College.

According to Roth, the Tech defense gave up no yards after the catch or broken tackles to WVU. Beamer said the defense practices well, has great leadership and goes out and executes, is playing at a high level.

The coach praised the play of several guys, such as Luke Owens, who really got after the Mountaineers and had 11 knockdowns. Houseright played well and played in pain. FB said he never thought Houseright would be able to do what he did.

Weaver had several items of interest. One is that the athletics administration has developed a plan for retiring jerseys of players who meet certain criteria, such as winning a national award like the Lombardi Award. Roth said that sounded like an honor for Corey Moore, but Weaver didnít confirm anything. Four VT numbers have been retired and Weaver said the plan is to NOT retire any more numbers, just the jersey (with name on back) of certain players. Banners are up in the stadium honoring the four players whose numbers are retired, and Weaver said there are four more banners to go up eventually. It sounded like those to be honored have already been determined, although he did not say that specifically.

Weaver touched on the stadium construction and clarified plans for reseating ticket holders: No seating changes will be made until all construction phases are completed. He said that means the 2004 season. Construction is right on target, he said, (apparently referring to the end zone project) based on a very recent meeting with architects. The final west side phase will not be ready for 2003, however.

The stadiumís no re-entry rule applies again for the BC game. Weaver was questioned on how much safer this really makes things. He said police think that once the stadium is secure, itís easier to maintain than to have people go in and out and then be re-searched. No re- entry also reduces alcohol consumption by fans and students.

Roth and Weaver discussed the BCS poll which comes out next week for the first time this season. Weaver said the tweaking of the formula every year will drive college football closer to a playoff system because of teams getting left out. They talked about how Miami seemingly had a great strength of schedule potential going into 2001, only to have opponents Penn State drop and Florida State take an unexpected loss to UNC. Roth said if Miami were to go undefeated and get left out of the BCS championship again, weíll hear a cry from Canes followers about the Big East.

Weaver said there will be another four-year rotation of the present BCS bowls (2002-2005) before renegotiation of the format. He thinks things could change for the future within that four years.

As a former PSU assistant coach, Weaver was asked about the situation with Coach Paterno. Weaver speculated that Paterno never imagined in his wildest dreams it would come to where things are today. Itís important for any school to manage the transition in such a situation, he said. Uncertainty of the future is an issue that recruits want to know more about.

The BC game didnít get a lot of mention Monday night. Coach Beamer said the Eagles have a good, balanced offense, led by tailback Green who is playing well, a good offensive line, and quarterback St. Pierre. The VT defense will get challenged this week, he said, as he described BC as a team that can run it and throw it, and which has a more athletic defense than in the past.

Injuries: Fatherly may be out from kickoff team, Grove will be able to practice and should be better for the game, Hardee is recuperating slowly and may not be back, Houseright was in better shape than expected Sunday after playing in the WVU game, Richard Johnson sounded to be questionable but hopeful, Mazetta was tested for mono but results were negative. Beamer said Mazetta has been playing great on special teams.

Coach Beamer talked about a knot on his head that was sustained somehow when he leaned in from the steps of his practice tower to try to throw something away and he got bonked. He said he had not allowed himself to be placed on injured reserve, however.

He was not sure about the latest on Lee Suggs applying for a medical redshirt and said he will try to have an answer next week. Beamer thinks it will likely be granted because both years missed by Suggs were due to injuries.

Ben Taylor was named Big East co-defensive player of the week, and Andre Davis was named the conferenceís special teams player of the week.

Monday was Day 737 of Virginia Techís continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.

-- GalaxHokie


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