The Hokie Hotline (football and basketball season)
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Tech Sports Tonight (football season only)
August 26, 2002
Bill Roth opened the show with this welcome for new offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring: "We always like to have the offensive coordinator in after scoring 63 points."
Stiney went on to say the lopsided Arkansas State game was important in getting playing time for so many people. For example, two offensive tackles got 35 snaps each, which should pay dividends later.
Grant Noel had a good game, he said. Stiney wishes he could have converted the first third down situation of the game. He noted that Bryan Randall led some drives, made some third down conversions and had a nice third down pass to Shawn Witten and TD pass to Mike Imoh.
Stinespring and Beamer gave the same pat answer about the quarterback situation for the LSU game this Sunday. "Grant is our starter and thatís the way we are approaching this game," Stiney said. And Beamer: "The only thing weíre saying this week is that Grant Noel is the starting quarterback, and thatís it."
Roth asked Stinespring about suddenly being up 35-0 in the first quarter against ASU. Is it hard to call plays? "You werenít really prepared for that," Stinespring said. "You run your bread and butter plays, the stuff you put in during the first and second day of practice." Even with that lead, Stiney wanted Randall to have the chance to throw some.
He told of an exchange he had from the press box on the headphones with some of the other coaches. At that point, the offense had taken only 17 snaps, yet VT had built a lead with contributions from special teams and defense. Stiney said he called down and told somebody to ask Coach Beamer if it was OK "if we [the offense] played a little bit."
Roth asked Stiney to talk about how things go for the offensive coordinator during the game. In other words, things are moving fast as the referee spots the ball and the 25-second clock starts. Stiney said he likes to consult with the other coaches and script out about 20 plays at the start, although the game situation could alter what he does. A game plan sheet lists the plays for the various down and distance situations. A lot of preparation goes into setting up that sheet during the week and then he refers to it as the situations come up. Is there a different set of plays for each quarterback? The basic plays are the same, but Stiney said there is probably a "lean to" sheet of plays for each individual QB.
A caller asked about a formation VT used against ASU in which the tight end was split off the line and lined up in the slot. Stiney: we want to move the tight end around and use motion, get leverage on the defense. They will get a Keith Willis out in space and matched up on a linebacker when they can. Stiney said he jokes with TE Jeff King about developing into an offensive lineman who can play for him. King jokingly told him after his touchdown catch Sunday that heís too valuable as a receiver to play OL.
As for the stellar game turned in by DeAngelo Hall, Roth pointed out that he was recruited by Stinespring. The coach said that Hall was offered the January of his junior year and that there was no question then that he had talent.
Stiney took a question about what kind of runner Lee Suggs is. He said that rather than classify him as a Barry Sanders or Emmitt Smith, he likes to say that Lee Suggs "is a Lee Suggs type." He said Suggs looked like a slalom skier changing directions in the 2002 opener.
Speaking later of freshman Mike Imoh, Stinespring guessed his size at 5-9 and 170 pounds and said he reminds you of Shyrone Stith. Itís hard to get a shot on him. Imoh will continue to play at both receiver and tailback. "Hope youíll see more of what we intend to do with him here in the next week or so," Stinespring said.
Another question was how Kevin Jones wound up on special teams. "Frank Beamer didnít ask my opinion. I looked up and he was out there." (Laughter). The Beamer philosophy is you get your best players on the field on special teams, he said, noting that Wilford and Adibi, for example, took more snaps Sunday on special teams than in their position roles.
Coach Beamer had no great revelations for LSU week during his hour on-air, but there were a couple of interesting moments.
The first came at 8:10 p.m., when Bill Roth broke in with word that Andre Davis had just returned the opening kickoff for a Cleveland touchdown on Monday Night Football. He noticed they had lost the audience when everybody at Gobblertown Tavern, site of the radio show, paused to watch the play on television.
Another moment was the phone call from Chuck Zatarain (sp?) in New Orleans, who is/was one of the Nokia Sugar Bowl executives. Zatarain, a graduate of LSU, became a follower of the VT program through the bowl association with VT, and his daughter is a recent Tech graduate. He announced that this Sunday he will be "wearing orange and maroon, cheering for the Hokies in the privacy of my own home."
"We owe him another game in the Sugar Bowl," Roth said.
Coach Beamer said there were no glaring shortcomings in the Hokiesí play against ASU. He mentioned that kickoff coverage got a little sloppy, but otherwise, the team just needs "in general to get better" as it heads into week two.
Beamer repeated his recent comments that LSU will represent a big difference in speed and size. The Tigers are a serious team from a serious league, he said.
Roth said he read that an LSU assistant coach had been to Lane Stadium some years back while on the Kentucky staff and that Blacksburg offered "an SEC atmosphere." Said Beamer: "Thatís our program and our fans theyíre complimenting."
A questioner asked Beamer how the staff prepares for a team that it canít scout. The idea is to get film from last season and approach it that even though personnel has changed, the opponent will do a lot of the same things. Is there an advantage to having played a game before LSU has? It goes back to how much experience you have on your own team, Beamer said. When there are as many new guys dressing as VT has this year, itís good to have the game. "No question it was a good move for us."
Beamer said he hardly heard a word spoken during the pregame meal for ASU. "I kind of like it like that." While he wasnít sure what it meant, he attributed it at the time to the degree of youth on the team.
A caller asked about the playing surface at Lane Stadium, saying it felt spongy when he had the chance to walk on the field recently. Beamer disagreed with that description and said itís a fast track. "Itís different and we use it in recruiting. If it was a soft field it would favor the guys who donít have the speed. I consider it a fast track." He said there are plans to get a heating unit to warm the sod roots this winter.
Not much was said about LSUís personnel, other than that QB Matt Mauck is a good athlete. What do Beamerís coach friends such as Phil Fulmer say about LSU, Roth asked. "The sense I get is you better tie your hat on." Louisiana is a great state for football talent, he said. Roth noted that LSU is used to playing in 11 stadiums larger than Lane Stadium. Only Arkansasí stadium is smaller within the SEC than Lane.
Editor's note from Will Stewart: That is incorrect. Ole Miss (60,580), Mississippi State (52,884), and Vanderbilt (42,000) all have smaller stadiums than Lane Stadium, while Arkansas' stadium was expanded to 72,000 seats prior to the 2001 season.
The team came out of the first game in good shape with injuries. DT Mark Costen suffered a bruised kidney and should be able to return in a few days. The coaching staff had a 9:30 p.m. meeting Monday and was to get an injury report then from trainer Mike Goforth.
JUCO defensive tackle Jimmy Williams has completed all of his course work. The wait now is for it to be graded so that he can get his junior college degree and then be eligible to join the VT team for practice. Everything looks good in that regard, Beamer said. Will it be days now, Roth asked. "I would think, yes."
A comment came in about the play of fullback Josh Spence in the first game. "All of Floyd County should be proud of Josh Spence yesterday. That guy played hard and played well," Beamer said. Spence even filled in as headhunter on kickoff coverage and made a great play. "The ones Iíve been coaching arenít doing as well as ones asked to step in," Beamer quipped. He said Spence earned a spot on kickoff coverage next week.
Beamer explained to another caller how decisions are made on using available scholarships, how they track how many people they have in the program at each position, etc. "The last few years were great recruiting years and weíre on our way to another great recruiting year," Beamer said. "I really like our position with people from Virginia. Weíre in there on the best ones."
The coach thought the push rush was fairly good against ASU. Kevin Lewis played well with good technique. Tim Sandidge "really showed some quickness." Coaches have discussed using more of the ends at tackle to enhance the pass rush. Jonathan Lewis is still bothered by a hamstring pull when heís in on successive plays. Beamer was asked how the secondary is going to hold up and he said that will be determined by what pass rush the defense gets. DeAngelo Hall should go back and thank Mikal Baaqee for the pressure he put on the quarterback to force Hallís TD interception vs. ASU, he said.
'Eer now, Hoos Counting? Monday was Day 1,059 in Tech's continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup, and day 1,406 in possession of the Black Diamond Trophy.