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

Tuesday, December 4, 2001
by GalaxHokie


Jim Weaver said the Miami contest provided the best game day atmosphere he had experienced in his five years at Virginia Tech. He spent much of the game on the sideline and said his thoughts as a former coach were that the Hokies had great preparation from the coaching staff.

Associate head coach Billy Hite filled in for Coach Beamer on the radio show. He said the players all feel good about themselves, that it was a shame to come up short in a game that was very emotional and in which the players fought and fought for 60 minutes. The Miami players were complimented by Hite for reportedly giving the Tech team an ovation among themselves in their locker room. Weaver said he was overwhelmed by the "interfacing" of the teams after the game and called this Miami team the classiest in years. In a recruiting observation, Hite said the exciting atmosphere at Lane Stadium last Saturday surely "sold the mothers."

Five callers made their cases against any VT fans who booed the offensive frustration against Miami. (The booing advocates were no- shows on the radio call-in.) Hite said that while some people booed, thatís not typical of our fans, whom he called the greatest fans in the world. The coach contended that Grant Noel gave it his best on the field and he liked how the team stood up for Noel afterward. The program had recruits on official visits, plus 80 other prospects in the stadium, and, Hite asked of the booing, "did it affect their view of things?"

The nightís first caller said she was appalled at the booing she hard of Noel and Ernest Wilford. "What is the definition of a fan?" she asked. Weaver said he agreed, that he didnít like to see the booing. Weaver said thereís no guarantee that Tech would have won even if Wilford had caught the PAT to tie the score.

A Tech fan of 60 years called to say it was out of order to boo at players whom he called "kids." "Iím proud to be a Hokie. Shame on those people who booed our team. Our team and program are a class act, and booing is not a class act." What kind of impression was left with recruits, he asked. Another caller said he knew that no fans felt any worse than the players on the field did.

A comment that was e-mailed to the show said that the boos werenít for Noel, but for offensive coordinator Rickey Bustle. Hite laughed and said to boo the coaches all you want, and boo professional players, but not college players.

A fan in the crowd said he took an in-law from Nebraska to the game and he thought it was one of the most exciting games he had seen and told his host that he had never heard boos at a Nebraska game. Fans need to remember when recruits are present, the VT fan said.

On the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty by Colas that led to a Miami field goal, Hite said the film showed the quarterback got up and pushed our player, the player pushed him back, and the referee saw only the retaliation. "We tell our players the refs never see the first one," Hite said.

The close game with Miami is not a moral victory for VT, considering the level of the program today, Hite said. The game was no fluke, and the Tech defense created its situations. He said Bud Foster said beforehand that VT would be coming after Miami the whole game, and that Foster said "Either our band is going to be playing, or their band is going to be playing" as a result of what he had planned on defense.


Ticket manager Sandy Smith reported that well over 11,000 Gator Bowl tickets have been sold in six days. Weaver said he is "ecstatic" with the sales, although they are typical of Hokie fans. VT is committed to sell 12,500 and Weaver said it is important to sell that allotment.

The VT ticket office has better seats available now than the bowl office is selling. They are $40 and have good sight lines, he said. To purchase, see or call 800-VATECH4. When Smith gave the phone number and pronounced it as VAH Tech, Weaver promptly chimed it that itís not actually VAH Tech that you dial, and that "we get too much of that [VAH Tech] from the national media right now."

(Florida State has sold 3,000 to 4,000 tickets, according to a TSL post from the show. I missed hearing that actual statement.)

Bill Roth reported that UCLA turned down its opportunity to go to a bowl because it couldnít sell its 5,000-ticket allotment. This from a 7-4 team with a student body of 40,000 Ė although it is the Humanitarian Bowl in Boise, Idaho. Meanwhile, Clemson accepted a bid to replace UCLA and committed to buy 13,500 tickets to tropical Boise. Weaver said he was "flabbergasted" to hear that UCLA couldnít sell 5,000 tickets, and said he was surprised as well that Maryland has sold only 3,000 Orange Bowl tickets after the Terpsí long bowl drought.


Coach Hite said VT will take a good look at Chris Clifton at quarterback in spring practice. In scrimmage situations most Mondays this fall, Clifton showed he can throw down field and can pull the ball down and run. When opposing defenses stack 8, 9, 10 players up front, the Hokies have to be able to throw the ball, he said.

Hite was rather candid in saying that for backup Brian Randall to win the quarterback job, he would have to improve his arm strength a great deal. Randall would have struggled against Miami, and "if somebody is not ready to go in, you donít put him in." Similarly, Kevin Jones wasnít really ready to play in the first seven weeks, and Hite said it would not have been fair to Randall to play him against the Canes, regardless of what the starter in front of him had done. "I donít know that he could have gotten the job done throwing the ball," Hite said. Randall won the number two job in August because he was best at learning the offensive system, he said.

Tech is recruiting some good quarterbacks, and Hite said there would be an interest in signing a junior college QB, but "we havenít found one." Hite said it was his experience that, for a junior college player to transfer to VT, they better have taken some courses with some substance to them or they wonít qualify for admission.

He laughed in saying that Michael Vick placed VT in this quarterback situation. With Vick, the Hokies might be playing in the Rose Bowl. The staff did not know Vick would leave so early and that affected recruiting for the position. Tech couldnít have signed a top QB anyway after Vickís 1999 performance and three years of eligibility left, Hite surmised. He compared it to Miami right now Ė saying he hadnít heard of Miami going out signing a top QB, what with Ken Dorsey still having a year of eligibility after 2001. In response to a question, Hite said he doubts that VT would move Richard Johnson from receiver to quarterback. While Johnson played QB in high school, heís probably not tall enough to stand in the pocket.

Would Frank Beamer start a quarterback who has never started a game before (such as a Clifton) against LSU next fall, Roth asked. "Why not?" Hite replied.

As for the tailback situation, Hite said he will give them all a shot in the spring. After evaluations, someone possibly could move to another position. He wasnít specific, but he was answering a question posed by Roth as to whether redshirt freshman Justin Hamilton might be moved from amid a depth chart of Lee Suggs, Keith Burnell, Kevin Jones, Cedric Humes and Hamilton.

Suggs ran past Hiteís car the other day, prompting the coach to roll down his window and tell him, "Donít be teasing me." Trainer Mike Goforth says that Suggsí rehab has been so remarkable that he could probably play in the Gator Bowl if they wanted him to. Pause. "But we donít," Hite said. The plan will be to play him a bit in the spring and get him used to things again.


Weaver pointed out that four Top 25 teams from 2001 plus some other good opponents are on Techís 2002 schedule. "All that hoopla about our schedule can be put to rest in a New York second."

And with the exception of UVa, Weaver said, all of VTís future out- of-conference opponents are bowl bound this year Ė Illinois, UNC, LSU, etc. A team must schedule for success, and until recently, Weaver said, VT was not ready to take such big steps in scheduling.

Roth said the Hokiesí 2002 schedule may be their most challenging ever. It will take a Top 25 team to win seven games against that schedule, he said. Tech will play 12 games in each of the next three seasons.


  • KJ suffered a second grade separation of his shoulder but will be back for the Gator Bowl. He was injured near the goal line while running "up too high in the air." Hite said KJ has to learn to run behind his pads.
  • The outgoing seniors make up the winningest class in VT football history, Hite noted.
  • Tech will host another 10-12 recruiting prospects this weekend.
  • Tuesdayís Hotline was the last regular football show. Three football bowl shows are planned from Jacksonville. The Hotline will turn its emphasis to basketball beginning next week and will feature coaches Stokes and Henrickson. GalaxHokie will stand down for a break, now that the football hotlines are over. Thanks to all for your interest and kind words in these reports this fall -- it's been a pleasure.
  • Tuesday was Day 794 in Virginia Techís continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.

-- GalaxHokie


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