The microscope will be on the offensive line this season, and Virginia Tech must improve its pass protection schemes.
The Hokies erased bad memories of past close games to win their second game against a ranked opponent on the road.
I have watched the film of the Hokies baffling loss to Maryland three times, and it is one of the strangest losses I have ever had to do a film review on. In the preview I pointed out that Maryland would have to do two absolutely critical things if it wanted to be competitive in the football game.
- The Terrapins needed to get the Hokies to abandon the running game, and then play man coverage behind a wide variety of blitzes and stunts from a multitude of alignments.
- With Bud Foster committed to man coverage, the Virginia Tech pass rush had to put C.J. Brown on the ground without him breaking contain.
I have never had less fun being right. Maryland put together two scoring drives—one at the end of the first half and another to start the second—largely on the back of Brown's scrambles that caught the Hokies in man coverage downfield. Offensively, as soon as the Hokies started to get some momentum back in the fourth quarter, Maryland was able to generate tremendous pass rush off a wide variety of stunts and blitzes that confused the offensive line.
I haven't rewatched the film, but I have slobbered over the boxscore. The defense played well; an understatement for sure. Before last night's game, Georgia Tech averaged 345.3 rushing yards a game. Virginia Tech held them to a buck-twenty-nine. That eclipses the 192 yards rushing Virginia Tech held Georgia Tech to last year, and is now an all-time best for Bud Foster against Paul Johnson which ranks among other epic stymieings of Georgia Tech's offense under Johnson. Who knows how the rest of this season will play out, but I'm going to enjoy watching Foster's group ball. Aggressive defense is such a rarity in college football, and it was highly enjoyable to watch those kids trust each other to do their jobs, and fly forward every snap.
Why? Because I saw it happen and figured we all needed a laugh. It's after the jump to preserve our sanity for the week.
"Don't be messing with my kicker." Beamer's tone was both playful and serious, although his face read with a dismissive, "just fucking try me." That was the conclusion to an anecdote about an over-coached punter that regressed on his watch at Murray State told during the Duke week presser. Special teams are the Frankinator's baby. They're an integral component of his brand of football, BeamerBall. A lot of other coaches try not to lose with special teams, Beamer tries to win with them.
Special teams were a liability this season, and that's on no one else but Frank Beamer.
The Hokies were ranked 108th nationally in net punting (33.6 yards/punt) in 2011. Scott Demler and Michael Branthover struggled to find consistency, routinely shanked balls and flipped field position out of favor. Danny Coale was more reliable and averaged 6.7 more yards a punt than the team. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed #Coale4Punter because it enhanced his legacy, it hurt the team because it detracted from him playing receiver.
The Hokies only made 72% of their field goals last season. Compare that to 95-, 87-, 79-, 81- and 95-percent success rates in 2010 back to 2006 respectively.
Reality check, a Frank Beamer coached team didn't have a dependable punter or kicker.
It's hate week, and it's a good one. Virginia beat Florida State in Doak late Saturday night, a venue where they'd previously been 0-8. The Hokies didn't clinch the ACC Coastal, and there'll be a lot of Hoos creeping out of the woodwork. From my observations on Twitter most of you were rooting for Florida State. I was in the minority then. I wasn't actively rooting for Virginia, but I wasn't upset they won. Honestly, I spent most of the game relaxing and cackling on my couch as UVa and FSU each tried to bumble away the game, with FSU ultimately proving to be most futile.
Stereotypically speaking the Hoos and Hokies are polar opposites. Uncultured wild rednecks who take pride in always supporting their football team contrasted against the couth white-collar upper-middle class obsessed with the Director's Cup. We both think we're better than each other, and the hate starts there. However, this week we both have a few things in common. Virginia hasn't won anything, and neither has Virginia Tech, but we both have hope.
Is the Frankinator consulting with comedian Bill Cosby about the kicking game and how to proceed under the hypothetical situation that Cody Journell can't play? I don't know, you tell me!
You seeeeeeeeee, the Myer has, to, kick, the ball more consistently. It pewwwwwwwwwwwww goes the distance, just doesn't always split the bars.
When asked about how his chat with Cosby went, Beamer responded:
Real strong comedian right there, good staff of writers around him.
/raises his two fists to his chest and slowly pumps them back and forth in short bursts.
He's always well-prepared, has that "want-to". His sets are real consistent: great intro, punchlines always get after ya, finishes strong.
Great comedians make great jokes, and that's what Bill's always done.
*And just subtle amounts of orange, Lester please take note.
As camp starts today, we're waiting for so many questions to be answered. This year seems so different, doesn't it? Last year's camp had one of the most celebrated Virginia Tech players of all time leading our offense. We had the utmost confidence in our 1,600+ yard running back. We had John Graves, who was the latest installment of Bud Foster's defense personified. Those are the kind of guys that had you feeling at ease when you thought about leadership and production.
The next generation of those cornerstones are taking the field today, and we have a pretty good idea of who they are, but it's not 100%. Nothing is 100% right now.
And that's why today is so exciting. Logan Thomas takes over as QB1. David Wilson takes control of the backfield. Jayron Hosely is going to show us how agile he is on ESPN Sports Science.
But, again, there are so many questions to be answered the next 30 days.
Here are some Hokies we should be keeping an eye on this month, as their development could pay big dividends this fall:
I don't know why I find our coaches pitching local products and services so amusing, but I do. My reactions are after the jump.
via: @Nik_A_Bando | "...AND SEND A KID TO CAMP."**
DRINK A 1/5 BOTTLE OF COACH BEAMER'S FAVORITE SAUCE TO CLEAR YOUR INSIDES OUT, AIN'T NO MORE STRAINING AFTER THIS BLEND OF CHILIS, HERBS AND SOY GOES DOWN;
IT KILLS ANTS;
APPLY A NICKLE-SIZED AMOUNT OF COACH BEAMER'S FAVORITE SAUCE TO BLEMISHES, CUTS, SCRAPES, BRUISES, BLOODY NOSES, BROKEN BONES, CHAPPED LIPS OR LIGAMENT TEARS TO SPEED UP THE HEALING PROCESS;
BRING OUT THAT DEEP, RICH, ORIGINAL FEEL FROM YOUR HARD FURNITURE WITH COACH BEAMER'S FAVORITE SAUCE;
GOT A TOUGH STAIN ON YOUR FAVORITE SUIT? DAB A LITTLE BIT OF COACH BEAMER'S FAVORITE SAUCE ON YOUR LINENS, HOLD WITH WATER, THEN DAB A LITTLE MORE TO CLEAN LIKE NEW;
COACH BEAMER'S FAVORITE SAUCE CAN LUBE UP THAT SQUEAKY BIKE WHEEL;
IT'LL BOND ANYTHING!;
It's OK to wake up, you're not dreaming. On Monday afternoon Hokie Nation got exactly what we've been clamoring for since the Orange Bowl thumping and recruiting disaster(s), change. It was only one change, but to be overly dramatic, yet precisely accurate, it's a "Change We Can Believe In".
Billy Hite was the longest tenured football coach at Virginia Tech. He's been coaching running backs since 1980, under then head coach Bill Dooley. The backs Hite mentored and developed decorate the Hokies' record book–ten of eleven season rushing leaders, nine of eleven career rushing leaders and 26 of his backs inked NFL contracts. Ut Prosim, "That I May Serve", and Coach Hite did so loyally, professionally and successfully for 33 years as a coach and will continue to do so as assistant to the head coach and senior advisor.
By all accounts Shane Beamer is a tremendous young coach, relatable, well-versed, and he recruits like an animal.
Shane Beamer's first class as the recruiting coordinator (2009) for the Gamecocks was ranked as the nation's 12th-best class by both Rivals.com and Scout.com. South Carolina's 2010 class included running back Marcus Lattimore, the No. 10 player in the country according to Rivals.com, and the 2011 class was highlighted by Jadeveon Clowney, the consensus No. 1 player in the nation.
While there isn't an official release from the Maxwell Football Club Jimmy Robertson announced on Twitter that the Frankinator won the inaugural Joseph V. Paterno Award. The award recognizes excellence both on and off the field.
The award, the first of its kind, is designed to honor the spirit of Coach Paterno, whose long-time success on the field has been matched only by his impact away from it. Through a nomination process, each current head coach has been evaluated since the summer based on his school's performance on the field, in the classroom, and within the community. For almost half a century, Coach Paterno has demanded all-around excellence from his student-athletes, as will an award that carries his name.
Beamer was selected over finalists Troy Calhoun of Air Force, Pat Fitzgerald of Northwestern and Chris Petersen of Boise State.
After running off eleven consecutive wins, including a 4th ACC Championship, and for his work in the community, like with Herma's Readers, the award is most well deserved. Congratulations!