Tuesday, October 14, 1997
Hokie Hotline Notes
Notes from tonight's Hokie Hotline, which featured defensive coordinator Bud Foster during the first half-hour...
Steve Tate is the Big East defensive player of the week, based on his Saturday performance of 15 tackles, 7 unassisted. (Not sure if they meant 15 total, or 15 + 7) (Note from Will: 15 total).
Foster was asked about the lack of sacks in recent games. He said the most recent opponents have been using 8-man pass protection and sending out only 2-3 receivers. VT blitzed only 5 times vs. BC. Said Foster: "I'm not gonna be hardheaded and blitz just to be blitzing."
BC converted only 2 of 13 third down situations, and our defense put them in a lot of second and 8, third and 6 situations, he said.
Listen to these defensive stats from Bill Roth: VT defense has been in 85 third down situations this year and allowed only 25 conversions. That's 29 percent, and best in the Big East. (The 1995 defense stopped 78 percent of third downs).
On offense, VT leads the BE by converting 45 percent of its third down possessions. On fourth downs, Tech is 1 out of 4; opponents one out of 6. The only one converted against VT was the fake field goal TD by Miami of Ohio.
Laguna Beach Hokie called to ask about the handoffs deep in the backfield as opposed to the quick hitter. Foster just said there are various ways of approaching it -- meaning it's a matter of philosophy. He said the deep handoff allows the back to cut if the hole isn't there.
Foster suggested the WVU game will resemble the BC game. "Three downs and a cloud of dust," cliche was invoked. WVU is physical, VT respects Coach Nehlen and their program as well as anyone we play, Foster said.
Caller noted that Syracuse has scored 238 points this year, yet only 3 vs. VT. Roth said the Orangemen had 615 yards vs. Rutgers last week.
Caller wondered about the VT tackling, said too many tackles have been missed and that tacklers aren't trying to "tear the sternum out" of opponents. Sternum?
Foster said that while defense hasn't missed that many tackles, it is a young group that still has things to learn. He said more people have been playing on defensive rotations than in recent years. Three whips played Saturday, and we're rotating the corners and front people. Rover is only exception.
Foster and Roth talked about the Florida defense. Foster said he likes to watch the way they play and said it's a program he'd like to visit for ideas during the off-season, if he's allowed.
Caller asked if Corey Moore could play linebacker. Foster said that move has been considered, but coaches think he doesn't have the lateral movement for LB. He's more of a straight ahead guy, Foster said. He noted Moore's potential, his explosiveness and 4.5 speed.
On the missed BC field goal, Foster said that had the kick been "better," it would have been blocked due to great VT penetration on the play.
Injuries: Scales and Stuewe should be back for WVU. Engleberger still not quite 100 percent, but close. Remley still out, so receiver depth is a concern. No mention of Cyrus' sprained knee.
A caller said he and his buddies have had a tradition on VT's big plays -- sacks and kick blocks -- to sing "God Save the Queen." But this year, he said, "I've about forgot the words." Roth didn't miss a beat and chimed in something about Mike Burnop singing "God Save the Dairy Queen."
Beamer talked up the long Al Clark pass against BC that came off the option: we've got to do show this when the safeties are coming up.
Pass protection? Not just any one thing is the problem, Beamer said. Against BC, the nose guy was very good. Coach talked like we'll show more play-action passes. Said VT needs to mix up WHERE Al throws from. He said a couple of sprint out passes are in the offense now, for example. And we're going to see more plays where Al runs.
Al has proven he's a threat, Beamer said. His talent is coming out, and now "we need to develop the offense behind him."
The starting OL played EVERY play in two hot games, and Beamer said the off week probably comes at a good time.
The holding calls against VT early in the game were good calls, Beamer said. Overall few penalties vs. BC and Syracuse showed we were sharp and focused in those games.
Beamer said Danny Wheel probably played his best game: 7 tackles, 4 assists. He also mentioned good games by Harrison and Engleberger.
Roth noted that Miami of Ohio had 18 votes (I think) in the poll this week -- more than Clemson and N.C. State, which were ranked previously.
Pegues: you'll see him more and more, Frank said.
Roth said the starters went to J.B. Grimes' house after the BC game and took him the game ball. Beamer said Grimes is recovering well.
Roth said VT-BC outdrew Pitt-Notre Dame.
Beamer was pleased how the team hung in there, especially after the game started out "the wrong way" -- fumbled interception, early score by BC, early penalties by VT.
A caller commented on success of walk-ons at VT. Beamer said its a program where there is true opportunity to EARN a scholarship, and where their hard work rubs off on the team. He said walk-ons should look at two programs' success in this regard: VT and Nebraska.
JV football game at home Friday, 2 p.m., vs. Fork Union. Emphasis will be on playing time for the second team varsity OL.
The Nov. 24 Hokie Hotline (UVa game week) will originate from Homer's in Richmond. Roth will drive down and then stay for Weds basketball game vs. William & Mary. Beamer will fly down after practice.
Next week, Beamer will offer up his all-time opponents list for the broadcast. This includes choosing from among opposing QBs such as Favre, Jeff Blake, Peter Tom Willis, Roth noted.
Trivia re Kibble's great punt placements this year: he has put 12 punts inside opponents' 20 yard line, while kicking only one into the end zone for a touchback. He leads the BE in punting.
Til next week....