Wednesday, December 3, 1997

Hokie Hotline Notes - Tuesday, December 2, 1997
(by GalaxHokie)

The show was split between Frank Beamer and Bobby Hussey. I listened only to the football report, which lasted 45 minutes.

Bill Roth said to tune in for a bowl situation report around 9 p.m. Saturday just before the Tech basketball game. He will have Gator Bowl Exec Director Rick Catlett on for a live interview about all the bowl happenings after Saturday's games.

Beamer said he told the team that its definite purpose during the weeks of bowl practice will be to improve on the play of the past 9 quarters.

The program is where they are not used to what's happening, he said. It comes down to people just not making plays.

He said they tried double coverage on Crowell in the Virginia game, which left them susceptible to the run in certain situations. The long Jones TD run had three guys there to make the play. They didn't, and what he called an 8 or 9 yard play went for 60 yards. He talked about Crowell being a potential first round draft pick and said it's not every day you have to defend a 6-foot-4 guy who can run like he does.

Beamer said he felt good overall about the season. They played a lot of young people, had a lot of injuries, finished second outright in a season when nobody picked Hokies higher than third.

He said that, considering all the players who were lost to injuries, it was tough to overcome. Prioleau was in a new position at whip a lot in the final games due to injuries, and a redshirt freshman took his Prioleau's usual spot. The effect could be seen on two positions of the perimeter defense. Overall, the whole secondary group didn't play to its capabilities.

Roth and Beamer agreed they couldn't recall the last time VT allowed a 50+ yard run in three straight games.

We lost effectiveness of being able to throw the ball because of the receivers' injuries, Beamer said. Last year VT was successful throwing the ball short and having the completions turn into long plays and TDs, he said. Steuwe did that last year several times, but was ineffective this year.

A quarterback change was never considered at the half vs. UVa. Beamer said he and Bustle talked before the game about taking Al out if he was not physically able. But Beamer said Al didn't play that bad a first half, ran well enough as the game went along and played "courageously." So it never came to the point of being considered. "If we had the receiver corps of last year, it would be different all the way around."

As for bowl preparation, Beamer said: "Mark it down, we will be better." Shawn Scales will be back, altho Beamer acknowledged there's a question of how much practice time he can get in, and how sharp he will be. On defense, a certain tackling drill "will take on new meaning in the bowl practices."

Beamer said Loren Johnson may be better suited to play corner on the other side of the field -- the field cover side -- next year. Then Midget, who is "thicker," could play on the boundary cover side.

Charlton missed Monday and Tuesday practices before the UVa game and was not sharp on offense. And it looked like Steuwe and Harrison would be back Saturday, so Charlton's lack of practice, etc., pretty much kept him out of the offensive plan.

Had VT kept the Pitt and UVa game to a throwing game by the opponent, VT would have been OK, Beamer said. But then the opponents executed the run and had more than one dimension going. He said several times that the Jones run killed Tech. He complimented Virginia's offensive coordinator with doing a good job of calling plays and keeping the defense off balance.

Roth asked about Big East honors coming out Wednesday (?). Beamer said Zereoue probably will be offensive player of the year; Darius of SU probably the defensive player. Beamer said Walt Harris probably deserves coach of the year, but that Pasqualoni deserves credit for the situation he brought Syracuse back from to get 8 straight wins.

Beamer said if they had known at the beginning about the injuries that would befall the receivers this year, there is no question they would have played Ricky Hall and Andre Davis.

Recruiting: Beamer twice said that VT is on its way to another very strong recruiting year. He seemed to feel very good about how it's unfolding. He again said that last year was the best recruiting year in the program and that a lot of good players redshirted this year who people are going to like.

He and Roth listed some players they think have been coming along. Roth said he wished that Hall, Davis and Slowikowski were active right now. Beamer immediately added Lomax to that group. Then he mentioned Cook, Samuel, Austin and Beasley as others who have stood out.

Roth repeated the news that Bruce Arians and Mike Gottfried interviewed for the Temple vacancy. Roth noted that Arians got fired at Alabama one week after moving into a new house. Beamer said Arians had some success while at Temple previously. Also said he was surprised Gottfried may be considering giving up broadcast career, which he does well.

Beamer responded to a caller by saying the team played as hard against UVa as it did against Syracuse. It wasn't the effort, he said -- "sometimes it's more than that," which he elaborated on elsewhere in this report.

There was little new on the bowl front. Roth said the possible trade scenario makes some sense. I believe he also said that VT is one of only 11 teams that have played in a bowl the past 5 years. If UVa doesn't get a bid, it would be only 10 teams in 5 years.


Notes added by Steve in Baltimore:

Beamer stressed the importance of fans going to the bowl and continuing our strong bowl attendance showing.

Hussey said Clint McPherson is redshirting. He has already sat down and talked to Clint and his parents and decided it is the right decision.

Hussey has played South Carolina many times when he was coach at Davidson. He is going to take his players to Charlotte a day early to get used to the Coliseum. None have ever played there before.


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