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When: every Tuesday from 7:05-8:30
Station:  AM 910 in Richmond


Monday, November 19, 2001
by GalaxHokie

Virginia Tech on Saturday executed its annual option on the Commonwealth Cup, and for Monday nightís radio show at GobblerTown Tavern, The Cup was on display at the head table, amid suggestions that it be filled with cheese dip or champagne.

The key comment of the evening was Jim Weaver saying that he is "cautiously optimistic that weíll have an opportunity to go back to the Gator Bowl."

Weaver had conversations Monday with Rick Catlett, executive director of the Toyota Gator Bowl, and he started out by trying to couch things a bit, saying the bowl scenario is still premature. But the more he talked the more it sounded like an all-but-done deal. The important key for VT with regard to the Gator Bowl was in beating Virginia, he said.

If a Gator Bowl bid is extended, Weaver said, it will mean that Virginia Tech has earned a New Yearís Day type bowl game in seven of the past eight years. (Some of those games werenít played on Jan. 1, but traditionally they have been, which is what he meant.) Weaver said thatís an important statement in the recruiting wars. No other bowl game possibilities for VT were even mentioned on the broadcast.

Wednesday noon is the deadline for bowl ticket applications. Response so far has been typical of recent years, Weaver said, and heís pleased with the response. He said that fan support has positioned the Hokies to the point where they not only are in the upper echelon of competition, but are seen as a priority with bowl executives because of the way VT supporters travel. Especially in view of the Sept. 11 events, Weaver said, the bowls this year want teams that will bring fans. "So we should be in good position come bowl decision time."

The former coach in Weaver came out when Bill Roth asked him if he was surprised that Virginia opened the game with five receivers and no backs, thereby inviting Tech to blitz. Weaver said he was indeed surprised, that it played in Techís favor. "That was part of the checkmate," he said. Ha! Roth noted that most teams have been successful with the opposite approach: maximum protect and use fewer receivers.

A number of fans called in to comment about their experiences at the game. One guy said he tried and tried to find the VT broadcast on his radio inside of Scott Stadium but couldnít and finally had to settle for the Virginia radio network, which had UVa grad and Sen. George Allen in the booth for an extended time as a guest. "I want you to know they spent the whole second quarter talking to George Allen about the economic stimulus package" while a 31-0 deficit unfolded.

Another said it seemed like "Blacksburg relocated to Charlottesville for the weekend," and that UVa fans couldnít believe the Hokiesí presence everywhere. Weaver said that everywhere he looked he saw maroon at Scott Stadium. "Our fans did find a way to get tickets." Coach Beamer also was clearly impressed with all the Hokie fans who were at the game.

Another commented on the "choke" gesture that Al Groh and Mike Groh made to the refs after a call. Weaver said Frank Beamer and his staff would never do that. Bill Roth said using that gesture is a penalty in the NFL and an automatic ejection in NCAA basketball.

Weaver claimed that the changes announced in Lane Stadiumís West side expansion were not a speed bump but merely a redesign. I believe he said they are dropping one level of luxury seats in favor of another configuration that will raise the West side by 18 feet(? -- Note: click here for a Roanoke Times article on the changes to the West Side design). The changes will accommodate more fans and should be in place for 2004. He confirmed again that seats wonít be reassigned in the stadium until the full expansion is completed for 2004. They anticipate some seating movement before then anyway with the opening of the South end zone project in 2002.

Coach Beamer said the teamís performance in pounding UVa for the third consecutive year looked even better on video. "I thought we were after them" offensively and defensively. "Those feet were moving fast."

Beamer was asked if Techís approach grew too conservative in the second half. "I may have gotten conservative. Coach Bustle wasnít of a conservative mind. Youíve got the game and the only way they can get in the game is if we fumble or throw interceptions." After VT had two turnovers and had a poor throw on a quick screen, the mindset was to take time off the clock and get the win. "I thought we were smart, to be honest with you. The way we ran the ball and took time off the clock was pretty impressive." "Iím proud of how our guys took the game over in the fourth quarter."

Beamer on passing up a field goal attempt late in the game: the one way they could beat us would be by blocking a kick and scoring and then recovering an onside kick, so "I was not gonna kick it there. Youíre giving them a chance to get back in the game." He noted that UVa had already blocked a kick earlier in the game. (At another point in the broadcast, Beamer expressed confidence in kicker Carter Warley.)

TECH NOTES

  • Bill Roth tried to get Beamer to pick the best defensive player he has seen on an opposing team. Roth offered the names Dwight Freeney, Warren Sapp and Ray Lewis. Beamer said they all can change a game, but that he couldnít pick one out of those three.
  • "Miami has maybe the best offensive line Iíve ever seen in college football," Beamer said. The goal is to get their quarterback moving around, but the Canes are very good at protecting him.
  • Jarrett Ferguson will get limited practice this week due to a lingering shoulder problem. Otherwise the team is in pretty good shape with injuries. Beamer singled out OL Matt Wincek for toughing it out and playing well against UVa despite a bad knee.
  • Roth said a manager at the team hotel (the Omni) in Charlottesville came up to Beamer and Roth during the weekend and said the Tech players were the best behaved/respectful of any teams theyíve hosted. A lot of yes sirs and no sirs. "As it should be," Beamer said. He said he relays comments like this to the team.
  • Beamer was asked about turnover on the defensive line after this season. He said that next year they expect redshirts Kevin Lewis and Jason Murphy to emerge, Tim Sandidge has a shot, Mark Costen is coming along and another player (defensive end?) will move to DT before itís over.
  • VT will claim its third consecutive Big East attendance championship with the Miami game, Roth said. Weaver said he couldnít believe that the top team in America (Miami) couldnít pack its own stadium for a conference championship game last Saturday.
  • Andre Davis will be the speaker on behalf of a national group of about 15 (?) players who received post-graduate scholarships. He will speak Dec. 11 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.
  • The Tech team will practice Tuesday and then Wednesday morning before breaking by 11:30 a.m. for players to head home for Thanksgiving. The will reassemble Sunday to begin Miami week preparations.
  • Monday was Day 779 of Virginia Techís continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup -- to be continued!

-- GalaxHokie


          

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