The Hokie Hotline (football and basketball season)
When: every Monday from 7:00-8:30
Click here for a list of radio stations, and to find the link for listening to the show on the Internet (look to the right on the page that loads when you click the link)

Tech Sports Tonight (football season only)
(previously Tech Talk Tuesday)
When: every Tuesday from 7:00-8:30
Station:  WXGI AM 950 in Richmond
Internet: (click on WXGI LIVE!)
Local call-in number: 345-0950
Toll free call-in number: 877-994-4950

Monday, September 23, 2002
by Joel Kelly

Well, they’ve done it again. The Hokies have beaten their third straight ranked opponent. This time, however, they didn’t do it in the friendly confines of Lane Stadium, but at the site of the one of the biggest home field advantages for more than a decade. With the most exciting season unfolding since 1999, The Hokie Hotline was on the air this evening. Bill Roth took your calls and hosted Hokie Head Football Coach Frank Beamer from the Gobblertown Tavern. Also joining the broadcast this evening was Defensive Coordinator Bud Foster.

Bill started tonight’s Hotline with the news of the day. The Hokies have climbed to #5 in both the USAToday/ESPN Coaches' Poll and the AP Top 25. The Hokies came out of the Texas A&M tussle with a ding or two. Sophomore QB Brian Randall has a sore foot. He is in a protective boot and will not practice until at least Wednesday. He is, however, expected to play at Western Michigan this Saturday. R-Sophomore LB Mikal Baaqee also has an ankle sprain. He is also in a boot and will refrain from practice. These moves are seen as precautionary as both will be needed this weekend against the Broncos.

Not all the news was bad. R-Senior FS Willie Pile was named Big East Defensive Player of the Week. Willie "piled" up 10 tackles (5 of those solo), grabbed an interception that he returned 17 yards, and scooped up a fumble and returned it 31 yards.

Coach Foster's Segment

Bill’s first guest this evening was Defensive Coordinator Bud Foster. When asked for his comments about his unit’s play against Texas A&M, he commented on the passion that the players not only have for the game, but for each other. When Roth asked if he felt like the LB’s and DT’s were developing ahead of schedule, Coach Foster felt that they were. It was his hope that the team could pick up in fall where it left off in spring practice. He stated that r-Sophomore DT Kevin Lewis is playing as well as any defensive lineman that he has ever had.

Foster gave a lot of credit for this development to Defensive Line Coach Charlie Wilds, calling him, "the best defensive line coach in the country." When commenting on some standout players he pointed to r-Junior LB Vegas Robinson, calling him a "playmaker". He also stated that Sophomore CB DeAngelo Hall is the best all around corner the team has had in 15 years.

David in Lynchburg had the first question of the night, asking if the players ever listen to the show. Coach Foster said that they might, although at this time of the day, the players are cleaning up after practice and having dinner. Bill Roth stated that former players C Keith Short and DT John Engelberger used to call in from the locker room. Coach Foster joked that it wouldn’t surprise him if Short called in tonight.

BC in Wythe County called in, telling Coach Foster he wanted to see more blocked kicks. Coach Foster said he agreed and maybe he should call back later in the show when Coach Beamer was taking calls. BC also asked about Virginia Tech’s ability to match up with Miami. Coach Foster stated the team was focused on Western Michigan, but added he felt that the Hokies have the team speed to keep up with the Canes.

Mark from Roanoke called in, commenting on the Hokie rush defense (The Hokies are ranked 4th nationally, allowing 138 yards on 77 carries for a per game average of 46 yard per game and 1.8 yards and attempt.) He also asked after playing 3 ranked teams in the top 25 in consecutive weeks, how you keep the team focused on opponents that the Hokies should beat. Coach Foster stated that, unlike the NFL, you only get one shot at each team per year. With the current parity in college football, he believes that any team can be beaten on any given day. He believes that you should focus on the now, and that philosophy has carried over from past teams to the current one. He, as a coach, also doesn’t necessarily concern himself with the team that they are going to be playing, but on the preparation and precision of his own players.

Ivan in Blacksburg (Our own Russian Hokie!!!) called with the most direct question of the evening. It concerned the excellence of our coaching staff and the desire for those coaches by other universities and programs. Ivan directly asked if Coach Foster would ever consider leaving. Coach Foster was equally direct with his answer. He stated that he would never leave for another coordinating position. He did say he would consider a head coaching position, should the right opportunity present itself. He did offer that while he didn’t attend Virginia Tech, he considered himself a Hokie. He stated he had worked with Coach Beamer for 22 years, he foresees Coach Beamer remaining at Tech for some time and that he’d, "like to stick with him as long as I can." He also offered that maybe "he’d get a shot here one day", which was received by the applause of those in attendance.

Mike from Radford called asking about the current leadership of the team. Coach Foster stated that both Willie Pile and DeAngelo Hall have stepped up to that task. He felt both players lead by the examples of their play on the field and that Pile is bringing the experience and leadership that only a senior can bring.

A caller from Charlottesville asked about the coverage techniques of our secondary and pointed out that maybe the penalty that was called on r-Junior ROV Michael Crawford late in the 3rd quarter in Saturday’s game may have been avoided had he turned around. Coach Foster offered some astute insight concerning that very play: Crawford was beaten. He let the man get behind him, but Coach Foster stated the secondary is coached not to panic, but to close the distance between the defender and receiver. If you have the player pinned toward the sideline, you turn on the ball and try to make a play on the ball. If the defender is between the sideline and the receiver, then he makes a zone turn and plays the man. The play in question was called a "fake jail screen" which the A&M offense had used earlier in the game. In previous runs of the play, Crawford’s key had stayed back as a blocker. On the penalty call, Crawford’s man took off down field, and Crawford saved a touchdown with the interference penalty. The play only results in a fifteen yard penalty from the previous spot, not the point of the infraction as the rule states in the NFL.

Andrew from Roanoke Rapids called in with a question concerning this weekend’s opponent, the Broncos of Western Michigan, and their ability to move the ball. Although they are only returning 4 offensive starters from last year’s team (the Hokies won that game at home 31-0), Coach Foster thought they had moved around their personnel to the point where they are better than last year’s team. He stated that the offensive line is big and powerful, their receiving corps intact, and their running back had some big plays in a close game with Purdue (The Broncos lost that game 28-24). He went on to say they have a great TE and that he felt they were one of the better offensive teams in the country. Roth did some research and turned up the following passing yardage for the Bronco’s first three games: 330, 226, and 316. Coach Foster was certain that WMU Head Coach Gary Darnell was reviewing the Marshall-VT game tape and that WMU would continue their pass-to-run percentage of 75% to 25%.

Coach Beamer's Segment

After the break, Head Football Coach Frank Beamer joined the broadcast. His opening comments concerned the game atmosphere in Kyle Stadium. He stated that the Hokies fans that attended the game are a smart bunch in decking themselves out in orange garb, in direct contrast to the maroon which was awash in the majority of the stadium. When asked about the noise of Kyle Stadium vs. Lane Stadium, he thought that Lane had an advantage because the fans are right on top of the field while the fans in Kyle Stadium are about 15 yards away from the field.

The conversation changed swiftly to the injury situation. Coach Beamer said he felt both Randall and Baaqee will play on Saturday. However, Baaqee is a little more swollen than Randall as his injury is more of a high ankle sprain, while Randall’s injury is more in the foot. Coach Beamer had high praise for Randall’s play on Saturday offering that they had trusted him with a lot in that high pressure environment. Coach observed that Randall completed his final 10 passes with no interceptions and he didn’t put the ball on the ground. He felt the team played with poise with minimal penalties and that in large part was due to the Coach Foster, Coach Stinespring and the staff.

Bill Roth then hit Coach Beamer with some interesting stats. Coach Beamer has won 21 games in a row in September dating back to 1996. He is 33-9 in the last 42 road games. But the most telling statistic of all, and a favorite, is that discounting losses to Miami and Florida State, Virginia Tech is 34-2 since the Music City bowl win against Alabama in 1998. (The 2 losses came in last season’s home loss to Syracuse and away loss at Pittsburgh). Ever the class act, Coach deflected the praise from himself and said those impressive numbers belonged to the coaching staff, players, and fans.

Mike in Roanoke called with the line of the day stating "it’s not everyday you can call in and talk to the greatest coach in college football." He then asked about the future play of Freshman RB Mike Imoh and Freshman QB Marcus Vick. Coach stated that Imoh would be moved from wide receiver back to tailback, which was in the best interest of both Imoh and the team. He will be the 3rd string RB behind Suggs and Jones. Coach Beamer again stated his wish to keep Vick in redshirt status, although things could change quickly with the QB position literally on shaky legs. Coach did say that Vick threw several good balls in today’s scrimmage, including an 80 yard TD pass.

Stan in Marion asked Coach Beamer if, like many Hokie fans, he felt that Saturday’s win was one of the biggest in the program’s history. Coach Beamer preferred to call the win the 4th great win of this season. He had praise for personal friend and A&M Head Football Coach R.C. Slocum, whom he thinks ranks 6th in all time winning percentage. The Coach is more worried about this weekend’s contest against the Broncos than he is qualifying this win. The MAC conference has never hosted a time ranked as high the 5th ranked Hokies. He also stated there are reports out of Kalamazoo that the faithful there are calling September 28th "Black Saturday" and that all those attending the game should deck themselves out in black. Coach Beamer feels this is a good football team that will play their season’s best football this Saturday.

Jeannie from Pulaski called in with a compliment for the Hokie football team that is a little odd for a team that plays with such intensity and ferocity. Jeannie, and attendee of Coach Beamer’s Ladies’ Football Clinic, stated that, to a player, their manners were unsurpassed. Coach Beamer felt this was a big accomplishment for the program and offered he received similar praise from an Air Miami attendant who called the Hokies the most pleasant group she had hosted in 8 years of service.

Jamie from Radford called in asking about the apparent lack of punch of the Hokies’ offense inside the A&M red zone. Coach Beamer stated in the early going, the Hokies faced a 1st down and 5 to go. In normal situations, running backs Coach Billy Hite would want to run a patented "Hey-Diddle-Diddle, Let’s run it up the middle." They opted, however, for a play action pass. Randall was supposed to run the play to the left, but instead had the play going right. In Coach Beamer’s assessment of the result, it was part A&M defense and part us "screwing up." The Hokies field goal unit also missed two attempts. The first, Beamer felt, was at a tough angle and perhaps the team should have taken a penalty which would resulted in a longer kick but a better look at the goal posts. The second kick, which was blocked, was a result not so much of r-Junior K Carter Warley’s tender back, but a result of too many steps and a slow follow through. Coach Beamer assured all those listening that Warley would be a quicker kicker against WMU.

Bill Roth then took a moment to ask how Grant Noel was coping with the success of Bryan Randall, his lack of playing time, and his adaptation to his new role on the team. Coach Beamer felt he couldn’t say enough good things about Noel and his willingness to participate, offer suggestions, and generally support the team in its success.

Diana in Austin, Texas called in with a compliment for the sportsmanship shown by the Texas A&M fans. She also hoped that the Hokies fans would be more gracious when it comes to rooting against opposing teams that play in Lane Stadium. Coach Beamer stated that’s why he has enjoyed playing the Aggies and the Tigers of LSU in recent weeks as they let their hard nose play do their talking for them on the field.

Sue in Christiansburg called in telling Coach Beamer the kudos given him by yearly Notre Dame and Penn State cheerleader and ESPN analyst Beano Cook. She also asked if he had spoken with former Tech assistant Rickey Bustle since his first victory as Louisiana-Lafeyette’s Head Coach (his team defeated Alabama-Birmingham 34-0). He said he hadn’t spoken with Bustle but felt he had the program going in the right direction after playing a tough early schedule which has included Texas A&M, Minnesota, and Houston.

Mike in Sydney, Nebraska called in and stated he listened to part of the game via the Texas A&M internet feed. He asked if, like the A&M analysts, Coach Beamer was less than pleased with Big East officiating. Coach Beamer said he has had no problems with the officiating so far this season.

Jay in Greenville, SC called in asking who had the fumble on Saturday and where the Hokies rank in scoring defense. Coach Beamer stated that Sophomore TB Kevin Jones fumbled as a result of being stood up at the line and then having the ball stripped. Coach felt then when a player gets stood up in that fashion, he needs to find the ground in a hurry. As far as the scoring defense, the Hokies are ranked in the top 10 with a 9.75 per game in points allowed.

Jeff in Knoxville, Tennessee called in letting all those listening know that the streets in UT were full of tears. Jeff stated that was just fine with him, then backpedaled a bit when he offered, "…except for Shane." He then asked if the Hokies ever practice with a wet ball, referring to the rain soaked contest between Florida and Tennessee. Coach Beamer stated he doesn’t really prepare for foul weather contests. If it’s raining, he’ll move practice inside because he wants his team to focus on consistency and execution. Coach Beamer also thought that, with the number of game balls available to a team on game day and the frequency of their rotation, a waterlogged ball shouldn’t come into play.

The best story of the day came from security guard Edgar Hotkins. Edgar guards the Hokie practice facility and makes sure nobody gets past him unless he wants them to. This afternoon, around 5:30 PM, a young man pulled up to the practice gates in a nice car and asked Edgar if practice was still in progress. Edgar, ever on the lookout for an interloper, stated that it was and started to turn the young man away. He then thought the visitor may be a Tech professor, so he asked the gentleman to identify himself.

The young man turned out to be former Hokie standout and current Cleveland Brown WR Andre Davis. Davis, who was coming off 5 catches for 99 yards and 2 TDs against the Tennessee Titans, was enjoying an extra day off that Coach Butch Davis had given his team as a reward for its come from behind win on Sunday afternoon. Davis packed his car and drove from Cleveland to Blacksburg to give his beloved Hokies some well deserved pats on the back and some advice on handling the high expectations they have built for themselves so early in a long, tough season.

News and Notes:

  • Game time for Saturday’s tilt against Western Michigan is 12 noon. Radio coverage begins at 10:30 AM. The game will be broadcast regionally in Virginia, Florida, Tennessee and Michigan (see the press release for a station list) and is available on ESPN GamePlan.
  • Coach Beamer lauded the play of Aggie Defensive Lineman Ty Warren. He stated that he, like Davis, would be driving a nice car and playing on Sundays next year.
  • Where’s Waldo? The Broncos play in Waldo Stadium which is located in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
  • TSL's own Will Stewart will be on "Tech Sports Tonight" on Tuesday at 7:20 pm. Tune in to WXGI AM 950 in Richmond or on the internet at and click on Listen Live! The show will start at 7:05 pm and Will is scheduled to appear at 7:20 pm live. Call in at 345-0950 in Richmond or 1-877-994-4950 toll free. Also scheduled is a special guest from Western Michigan!
  • Monday was Day 1,087 of Virginia Tech's continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup, and Day 1,434 in possession of the Black Diamond Trophy.

-- JKHokie


Hokie Hotline Note Archives

TSL Home