"I Didn't Coach Well Enough"

Fuente took full blame for the loss, taking the pressure off the kids and the coaching staff.

The healing process begins now. Still a lot to play for.

DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.

Comments

Step 1: Fire Corn.

Agree but on the broadcast it looked like Fuente was on the head set a whole lot while Tech was on offense. I am starting to believe Corn is calling the same plays Fuente would call. I don't think firing just Corn is going to fix the problems.

I don't know how you can watch that and not empathize with Fuente.

That said, he's right. It's his job to get this team ready to play. And he's also right, they looked better in the second half. Still, not good enough. Some things on offense aren't meshing. The defense was intense, but there were some misses there that Pitt was able to take advantage of, too.

If it was Year 1, I'd have more empathy, but this is Year 6 for a staff that benches players for simple mistakes.

This is my school
This is home

and runs off talented players

Who did he run off?

Nester, Hudson, QP, Hooker

Dragon.

Free Hugh

Where did 'Dragon' come from for McMillan?

A TKP-ism autocorrect that we stuck with.

Back when TKP and VT Football was more fun and enjoyable. Those were the days...

I was just talking with a buddy yesterday about how I miss dork magic and pussy touchdowns.

If you feel the leather in your hand let it rip.

Man, I had forgotten about pussy touchdowns. Will never forget Kenny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That is clearly before my time - what's a pussy touchdown???

Ah ok. It sounds like a nickname someone would give themselves lol

Kumah, Cunningham, Alleyne, and others

PDXHokie

Blackshear, Nolley, Cone, Radford, Maddox Bamisile...

Maddox literally didn't even transfer, you'll be seeing him on the court for VT this year...

The others had pretty valid reasons and were generally unrelated to the coach

It's a little weird that the basketball team has lost a ton of talent as well but no one feels the same way about CMY.

I guess when you snag a 10 seed in the tournament, you get carte blanche.

I guess when you snag a 10 seed in the tournament, you get carte blanche.

Yes, you do. Because CMY is winning. Year six with Fu and we are on a downhill slide. If those football players are leaving and we are 5-1 and #15 in the country with some streaks still intact, no one would give a shit if Hooker is balling out at Tennessee

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

CMY's winning percentage: .574
Fuente's winning percentage: .586

CMY has only won 57.4% of his games as Head Coach of the football team? If so, I guess he isn't as good of a football coach as Fuente.

"Vick, dashing back . . . here he comes again . . . Electrifying . . . and have you ever seen anything like this?"

Sorry, last year was Year Zero for Fuente, so 2016-19 don't count. Take it up with Whit.

lol fair

I mean Mike Young also inherited a team that lost 90% of it's players after Buzz left and like their top 8 scorers (not sure if it's actually top 8, i'd have to look it up but it makes my point more dramatic). I would say Fuente had a far more favorable foundation to work with. And the ACC in basketball is significantly more punishing than the ACC in football. And we have a lot more success/expectations in football. Also Mike Young's team is trending upwards while Fuente's team has flatlined for years now.

Yeah yeah I know. But fandom is fickle, no? After Year 2, Fuente was 19-8, a ACC COY award and an ACC championship appearance (and damn close to winning the game).

I think everyone is piling on the CMY love and I totally get that we're on a upward trajectory, but it's weird to me that there's a ton of talent transferring away from the basketball team over the past three years at probably the same rate as the football team (including the best player from the year before in Blackshear, Nolley and Boots). No one seems to care because lol popcorn and we got a 10 seed.

If CMY starts winning less/his program is revealed to be unclean, I'll care more.

If Fuente was winning more, I'd care less. It's not that deep

21st century QBs Undefeated vs UVA:
MV7, MV5, LT3, Braxton Burmeister, Ryan Willis, Josh Jackson, Jerod Evans, Michael Brewer, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon, and Grant Noel. That's right, UVA. You couldn't beat Grant Noel.

But even after year two there were warning signs. 2016: 'cuse and GT 2017: Delaware (Offense only scored 20), Miami (game got ugly), GT, UVA (only scored 10)

None of those players were recruited by Young out of high school and the fact that he got Nolley to stay even one year was huge. Radford went back to Buzz after his DUI situation in Blacksburg. Blackshear transferred to a premier program. None of those are even comparable to what Fuente has seen leave.

That's a valid point. And you are right the departing talent on the basketball team is definitely concerning.

But I think the reason you don't hear the same criticisms is that they are in different stages of their tenure. We don't know really know how these departures will effect the basketball team yet. If Fuente, with all the departures and attrition he's dealt with, still turned around and won 9-10 games every season I think people would not care nearly as much.

But your point about the fanbase being fickle is absolutely true. If Mike Young hovers between 14-19 wins over the next 4 seasons with no ncaa tournament appearances, marquee wins against ranked teams or even decent NIT showings (basically equivalent to Fuente's success in football) I bet you'll start hearing people singing a different tune pretty quick.

Is it? Attrition of good players in college basketball is very common when you have a bunch of really talented players jockeying for PT in a 8-9 man rotation. If you look a bit closer at these departures, I think you will realize that this is an apples to oranges comparison:

Blackshear - He wasn't coming back to Blacksburg to an unproven team when he had an opportunity to start just about anywhere.

Nolley - He didn't fit here plain and simple. I think most die hard fans were glad Nolley left, and it's nice he found a good home in Memphis

Cone - Wasn't physically built for the ACC. Again, I think most die hard fans are okay with him leaving.

Boots - Sounds like his chances at VT ran dry, and CMY dealt with him fairly. I think both parties would have liked him to return but it wasn't happening.

Bamisile - I'm disappointed he didn't stick around, but he wasn't going to play this year and might not have played much next year either. We shouldn't be surprised he left.

If you need any further convincing, consider that none of these players have anything bad to say about Mike Young. Fuente has been blasted by former players more times than I can count. These situations are not the same.

Put in Donlon

I would have loved for Nolley to have stayed and we schemed around him a bit more. We literally ran the entire offense through him for a season and I think with less pressure on him to do it all he would have excelled.

Nolley did not play defense. Had some incredible, and streaky, scoring talent but was so frustrating to watch for a full game.

He didn't run those folks off. They decided to leave.

I agree with the sentiment that he should have been able to talk either Hooker or QP into staying, but some of the narratives on this site are just made up narratives that have been so oft repeated that they've become fact.

But do I really need to point out that folks were throwing garbage on the field at Tennessee yesterday, after Tennessee's third loss?

the narrative that they simply decided to leave is just as made up. Context is key,

Well, no.

They did decide to leave. The characterization is the part that's made up, not the context.

But this board has made up it's mind, and will fill in the characterization as desired.

well, no. you have no proof of that. Only belief in the narrative given.

They left, and it was their choice to leave. That's narrative-free.

This is my school
This is home

just say you have no proof. It's easier, factual and obvious.

I'm saying you have no proof for the characterization you're making.

It's easier, factual, and obvious.

I'm pointing out the truth. But it doesn't really go along with the narrative here, so I fully expect the downvotes.

So congratulations. You've successfully annoyed me to the point where I'll leave, and let you make up whatever narrative you want.

So congratulations. You've successfully annoyed me to the point where I'll leave, and let you make up whatever narrative you want.

Nobody is asking you to be a martyr, just asking you for a little background on the things you claimed are truth.

This is my school
This is home

I claimed they left, and it was their choice.

Those things are true.

What you guys are claiming is that he ran all those players off. I'm pointing out that this is a characterization, and one based entirely on rumor and innuendo.

Neither is a verified fact. Acting like either scenario is more valid than the other is disingenuous at best and trying to control the narrative at worst.

This is my school
This is home

They left, and it was their choice to leave.

Is either of those really in dispute?

If you're saying it wasn't their choice to leave, the burden of proof is on that statement.

You don't know why they left. Anything you say is pure conjecture. Assuming anything is truth over their intentions when the intentions aren't known is misleading.

This is my school
This is home

I'm not claiming to know why they left. You're the one making that claim (that Fuente ran them off).

Lol

This is my school
This is home

🤣

If they were told they wouldn't play again at Tech and they left, was it really their choice? I guess from a very strict sense, sure, but being given no choice isn't really much of a choice. If they want to play, they have to leave. You're leaving out the part where they may have been told something that they felt they had no choice, and that's the other side to they just left because they wanted to. And that's where people have no idea which it was and it's just narrative one way or the other. I'm sure there are lots of possibilities, but the only one that isn't a bad reflection on the coaches is if the players that left didn't have the talent the coaches thought they had (but if that happens enough, even that reflects poorly on the coaches for not being able to evaluate talent well). Other stuff like coaches arbitrarily telling players they won't play anymore for Tech (like if Fuente said that to HH after the Clemson game last year - nobody knows that one way or another), or if players think they won't get the coaching they need to develop to their potential. I guess if players want playing time rather than waiting, that's the one reason that probably doesn't reflect poorly on the coaches, but it probably means they'd have to go to a less competitive school anyway. So basically, nobody has any real proof of any reason, but two talented QBs in HH and QP leaving, especially after QP waited so long as QB2, really looks bad.

If they were told they wouldn't play again at Tech and they left, was it really their choice?

The problem I have with this argument is that it's fabricated. It's a possibility, sure, but it's not fact.

The burden of proof is on those who insist that it's fact, and then repeat it as if it were.

https://www.knoxnews.com/story/sports/college/university-of-tennessee/fo...

Hooker said during Sunday's radio interview that he was looking for a destination where he would communicate well with the head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

"It's been a long journey, and I wanted to go somewhere where I'm needed and loved," Hooker said during the interview. "That was something I could feel was genuine from the jump, and that's something I really appreciated."

https://www.si.com/college/westvirginia/football/doug-nester-details-his...

The reason I decided to transfer - it was a lot of factors, but mostly my relationship with the coaching staff was not very well and playing time," said Nester. "I was getting rotated a lot without really ever given a reason to why. So, that ultimately led me to transferring."

Too lazy to find quotes for other players but I feel like it's been pretty well documented that multiple players that left (Kumah, Cunningham, etc) also had problems with the coaching staff. So, I agree they might have not been explicitly told they "would never play at Tech again", but a lot of good players have left this program citing their relationship with the coaching staff, which is not a good look and a major red flag. We could've definitely used Nester, Hooker/QP, Hudson, etc this year

I expect anyone who enters the transfer portal feels this way.

And if you take the time to read my posts, you'll see that I indicated that Fuente should have done more to convince Hooker and QP to stay.

But that's different from saying the coach "chased them off".

The problem is in trying to demonize Fuente, just because you don't like his results. If VT were winning, we wouldn't even be having this conversation.

I'm not trying to demonize Fuente, I'm just saying if there are multiple good players leaving the program and citing the coaching staff as a problem, then it it's up to the coaching staff to rectify that.

And I kinda agree, yes if we were winning no one would bat an eye, but we're not. We're not Bama or another blue blood, we can't afford to have so many good players leaving the program because of issues with the coaching staff. Fuente ain't Saban he can't have the same "my way is the highway" attitude when we're thin at so many positions, getting blown out by Pitt and barely scraping by FCS teams

you:

The burden of proof is on those who insist that it's fact

also you:

I'm pointing out the truth

🤣🤣🤣

There is no point trying to have a constructive conversation here.

It's just baiting you to a contest of shifting narratives and word games.

Oh I know. It's been the same thing for years. Make a statement, claim its fact, never have proof. that's why I just 🤣 now.

Sure it's fabricated, but not any more so than the players that transferred randomly deciding for no reason to go somewhere else. My point is you said it was their choice, as if that blanket statement was true without allowing even the possibility that some players were told they wouldn't play anymore, whether it was that outright (as in a "you were cold? That's just soft - you're not going to start anymore for me.") or something more along the lines of "given your development and position on the depth chart, and incoming recruits, just wanted to let you know you probably won't be seeing playing time, so you may want to transfer if you do want PT."

lol... poor attempt at deflection my guy. I never said I have proof. I said both have no proof and are both just narratives that people believe. You are the one saying your words are true.

I'm pointing out the truth

By all means, prove us all wrong. Prove the truth your pointing out. We're waiting.

You're not looking for the truth. You're looking to win an argument.

This is my school
This is home

lol, I literally asked for it. But I'll take the second attempt at delfection as a hard "no, I don'thave proof" on your part.

But do I really need to point out that folks were throwing garbage on the field at Tennessee yesterday, after Tennessee's third loss?

What does that matter with the current conversation?

This is my school
This is home

Absolutely nothing. It's Fuente deflecting at this point.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

I was pointing out how Hooker's new fanbase is treating their coaches and players.

Sometimes it's easy for fans to forget that the coaches and players are people.

They were throwing garbage at the Ole Miss team and sideline and on the field generally. They were fed up with what they perceived as several bad calls by the officials. While it is certainly rude and behavior that reflects poorly on the team and coaches...it wasn't directed at them at all.

Go Hokies!!

also, the hate for Lane Kiffin runs deep among Traffic Cone Nation

21st century QBs Undefeated vs UVA:
MV7, MV5, LT3, Braxton Burmeister, Ryan Willis, Josh Jackson, Jerod Evans, Michael Brewer, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon, and Grant Noel. That's right, UVA. You couldn't beat Grant Noel.

Lane Kiffin got hit by a golf ball.

Doesn't seem all that random.

I never said it was. Quite the opposite in fact

21st century QBs Undefeated vs UVA:
MV7, MV5, LT3, Braxton Burmeister, Ryan Willis, Josh Jackson, Jerod Evans, Michael Brewer, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon, and Grant Noel. That's right, UVA. You couldn't beat Grant Noel.

Sorry, that response was to the comment before yours (that said the trash wasn't directed towards the coaches and players).

Lane Kiffin got hit by a golf ball.

That's it? I would've expected a bowling pin.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

The point was that it wasn't random, but yeah, the Tennessee fan base isn't known for subtlety.

Evans

"... I think he played his nuts off. And you can quote me on that shit."

I don't know how you can watch that and not empathize with Fuente.

I just feel bad. I can tell he cares deeply about what's going on. He needs to make real changes.

Agreed. It's clear that some changes need to be made.

I feel bad for him a little bit. It definitely seems like he wants to do better - but it also seems clear that he just doesn't know how to, and that he realizes he doesn't know how to. So as a human who seems like he's probably taking it hard that he doesn't know what to do, I feel bad. But he is paid a lot of money, and it is his job, and like any job, if you don't perform you're likely to get the axe. To me, it looked like he probably expects to get the boot.

Humility is a medicine some people refuse to take.

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

He looked humbled in this one to me. In others I've seen he looked more confident and willing to say they needed to work on things or dismiss shortcomings in coaching staff. This one he admitted he didn't have answers and looked down a lot - like he didn't want to make eye contact. He knows he's failing and knows he doesn't have the answers.

As the CEO of this team his inability to consistently make the right decisions is what will cost him his job. This is a business, and his leadership and decision making has resulted in multiple years of perpetual dwindling returns. I'm glad he cares, but he can't make a management decision to save his job.

I generally don't have empathy for arsonists.

What does empathy have to do with it? I don't doubt that Fuente wants (desperately) to win, but he's clearly unable to.

Some things on offense aren't meshing.

Nothing on offense is consistently meshing. Nothing.

The defense was intense, but there were some misses there that Pitt was able to take advantage of, too.

Our defense held the 11th best offense in the country (per SP+) to 28 points. That's fine. Our offense could only muster 7 TDs against the 29th best defense in the country right now. The defense did plenty. In 2021, you can't expect a perfect defensive performance.

Twitter me

Especially after our defense was on the field all freakin night. Never more than 5min breaks between them having to hit the field. .I'd say they played very well considering.

offense could only muster 7 TDs against the 29th best defense in the country right now.

IF ONLY we could score seven TDs....lol

From the 2018 VT-uva game-"This is when LEGENDS are made!"

I don't know how you can watch that and not empathize with Fuente.

I only have so many fucks to give much empathy and choose to use it when I feel necessary. This is not one of those times when I'll waste said limited empathy on a millionaire who is shitty at his job and has finally gotten around to pointing the finger at himself.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

It's now morphing into sadness and sympathy for a program that is clearly lost and adrift.

He expects players to put the team first.

He puts his loyalty to Corn above the team.

Chases off good players for no reason.

At this level, I have no sympathy. He's not your coworker and some salary man, he's the ceo of this team and making millions. You don't get sympathy at the top. You put up or shut up

Agreed.

I feel sympathy for the single parent working their ass of to barely make ends meet.

For a Football coach who is making millions and has a silver parachute waiting for him for failing to excel at his job...not so much. In fact, none really at all.

The guy isn't a good enough coach at this level period. He doesn't have good enough people around him, he doesn't make good on-field decisions, and he is (at best) polarizing to the players and fans.

Fu failed this team two and a half years ago when he failed to fire his buddy who is entirely incompetent. Everything that has happened since has been essentially an inevitable decline. Now it's too late to fix, and it's just time for you to leave town.

Totally agree. I don't feel bad for people who have a multi-million dollar parachute waiting for them for failing at their job. It's a tough business and results-driven.

I agree 100% with this, but to spend your whole life building a career and get hit with the realization that you suck at it and are failing miserably is probably not a fun thing to go through

Which funny thing in sports, failure happens all the time and yet you can succeed in the future, it doesn't mean you can succeed, it just means you can succeed at the exact task right now. Lane Kiffin tanked his first couple of jobs, but he seems like he grew up and is doing alright. Ed Orgeron tanked his first HC job, won a national title.

Failures happen in life, we need to learn from them so we can make all new mistakes in the future!

It is my opinion that Fuente let pride get in the way of his career. Ultimately, that's on him. This type of set-back has to sting a lot for a coach but it's also an opportunity for him to do some reflection and learn what might have gone wrong. Should he be let go, it will, hopefully, be a humbling experience for him. An experience from which he will learn and grow. An experience that will teach him something he can use to perform better in his next position. I don't want Fuente to fail. I would have liked to see him succeed in Blacksburg but that's just not in the cards at this point. I hope he learns from this failure instead of letting it defeat him. I hope he moves on and finds success elsewhere. Ultimately, that'll be on him. Funny thing about humility - you can have terrible experiences that humble you, if you let them. Or you can blame those experiences on everyone else and learn nothing. Up to him how he handles it. I genuinely hope it's the former.

Onward and upward

I mean I feel a little sympathy. Obviously he wanted to make it work and he wanted to win. But he just doesn't have what it takes, at least in Blacksburg. I don't know if he'll do better elsewhere but he may want to go back to G5 if he wants to be HC. Or really reflect on what went wrong here and check his ego at the door. Stuck with too many ineffective assistants and his recruiting (not just in star levels but even just in areas where we were thin) and development of players at this level left a lot to be desired.

But at the same time I am on board with your point of view. He's making $4-5 mil a season, and there are tons of coaches out there who'd love the opportunity to coach here. At some point you have to give us a reason why we should stick with you. And since 2016 he hasn't given any. No bowl wins, hasn't won the coastal, hasn't recruited well and hasn't gotten any real marquee wins against teams that were ranked by the end of the season. There's little base here to build optimism from. And you can't wait forever for the stars to align and for the offense and defense to get it together at the same time.

He lost me at what's the fix - 'I don't know'. 4 MILLION a year and you don't know the solution in year six. We have the worst offense in the ACC. Everyone but Justin knows the answer - a decent offense. And watching what Heupel has done with Tennessee's leftovers and Hendon Hooker versus what Corn has accomplished in six years just highlights how sad our offense is.

The LewDew, Professional Golf Bum

'I don't know' vs 'I don't want to make the changes'....
If he truly doesn't know, then it's time to hand the keys back.
If he wants to have a chance at staying, then he has to make a change now.

Honestly I am on his side of not knowing what he can do to fix this for next week or the week after.

So people want Cornelson gone, which should help, and there are some times he looks terrible, but other times he makes a perfect call and the players don't execute it, which is back on the staff for calling plays they cant execute, but if they didn't do that then we'd have a pretty small play book.

Why aren't the players executing? On the coaches right? But then you say Burmiester needs to give the recievers a chance to catch the ball and you get a Robinson TD grab ... and like 16 drops.

Attacking Pitts DBs and making them commit PI is a solid game plan, until they don't call PI.

So new OC, doesn't fix that Fuente chases points when he shouldn't. doesn't fix going for 2 for pride.

I'm rambling, but I don't know what Fuente cam do to fix this for this season.

I'd say the execution problems are due to either the coaches not understanding which plays that they players can or can't run, or the coaches not properly teaching the players so they can run them.

But I've also noticed that most of our best drives are in the early part of the game, likely when Fuente has had input on the scripted plays during the gameplanning.

Fire Corn and give the offense or playcalling to Fuente. That at least shows that they aren't happy with their current situation and they will change it.

If the coaches are calling plays that the players successfully executed in practice, but then fail to execute those same plays during the game, whose fault is that? (Please note, I am not saying this has happened. I do not know, but I have yet to see coaches on the sidelines drawing up plays in the grass like some sandlot game.)

Ut Prosim Ad Dei Gloriam

You're probably right about having run the plays in practice, but my guess is that they weren't running the plays at game speed - maybe more just drills. I can't imagine the constant execution problems otherwise. I remember when Bud was the DC and they made our O play against our D in practice. I remember hearing that the speed our guys came at the QB was more than enough to get them ready for any other pressure we faced during the year. And since they don't let anybody watch practice, we'll never know what they do and what the issues are.

At the end of the day he recruits the players that need to execute and he coaches him up to do just that. If they can't execute Corn's very basic offensive scheme in year 6 then i'd say it's perfectly justified to blame him for it.

Even the excuse that we have 0 qbs behind Burm doesn't sit right with me. We all knew for years something was gonna give when we had QP, Hooker and Burm in the same QB room and 2 of them would transfer (even when it was just QP and Hooker). The fact Fu couldn't successfully recruit/hold on to any marquee qbs in the last 2-3 seasons in preparation for this is on him frankly.

The fact that the only QB we took in over the offseason was an "athlete" was a huge red flag that everyone saw coming. So fucking stupid. One of the most stupid things I've seen this staff do.

Free Hugh

Translation: "I have a boat payment due November 1, so if you wanna give me that buyout now Whit, that would be cool."

I'm not in the habit of feeling bad for millionaires, particularly millionaires who are ruining something that I love.

From where I'm sitting, he's already been paid at least 2 years' salary more than he deserves for wasting all of our time. That's on top of whatever he gets in a buyout. To hell with him.

Yes it's his fault and I'm glad he can recognize it. Unfortunately, I don't think he knows how to fix it.

Yes,that's the Hokie Bird riding a camel. Why'd you ask?

Yeah, I think this is where we're at.

What I meant by my post above is that I don't hate the guy. But he needs answers that he doesn't seem to have.

Apathetic and numb to the dumb shit. What a day day as a Vt Fan.

How about "put up or shut up"?

You think you know what's wrong and how to fix it, then do it. You believe in yourself, then do it. Remove your own buyout and coach at full risk for your job.

We put the K in Kwality

That quote in the thread subject, what game was that quote after? =^/

If you're not sure if my comment warrants a "/s", it probably does.

Lip. Service.

Onward and upward

He AND Corn need to go. No use just firing Corn. The poison starts at the top

What we do in life, echoes in eternity

this whole presser is a giant eye-roll. learned nothing. Great he said it's his fault, but every loss is the HC fault in the end no matter what.

Most of these questions are softball sound bites, and the journalists all seem timid to ask anything of substance. I don't get the open ended questions that leave room for interpretation either. Ask something that will illicit an answer, not an interpretation. Or just ask what everyone wants to know. It's not personal. Here's the elephant in the room question that should be asked every game:

"This offense is torpid. There is ridiculously poor performance on offense, not just this year but consistently season to season. Are you still blindly loyal to an OC that hasn't performed well since Year 1 with Beamer's recruits?"

bonus follow-up:

"Given the Quaterback room VT had with QP, HH and seeing their performances in other programs, in hindsight what decisions should you have changed to retain this talent in Blacksburg?"

This whole season is a wash. Nobody seems to care.

I would have loved to have someone ask something like why is the offense so bad or why is Cornelson still here or how can you justify getting in excess of $4,000,000 to have a consistently underperforming team or ... anything to actually press .

Recovering scientist working in business consulting

I think that was the entire subtext of the press conference, to the point where it didn't need to be asked like that.

lol... yes because good journalism is to not ask tough questions and let subtext do the work. 🤣🤣🤣

Good journalism does effectively use context.

Anyone who watched that game knows the state of the program. It wasn't the time to pull out a Bazooka to blast Fuente with, even if the fans are standing around with torches and pitchforks.

lol.... The context is obviously about Fuente making poor choices.

It's not a gotcha question and it's not a bazooka. It's about asking the right question, and asking the right question, no matter how tough, is as important as the answer that may or may not given. Besides being asked tough questions comes with any job of leadership. If he can't handle them then it's another huge red flag. Treating him like a child that need protecting does nobody any good.

The context is that VT football isn't good right now.

I get that some fans would prefer rudeness, but it's simply not necessary, and doesn't make the situation any better.

Fuente is in the hot seat. Everybody in the room knows that. And nothing he says, short of some believable plan of how it's going to get better is going to change that. At a certain point, performance is measured by results, and we're not seeing those.

It's not about rudeness. I want to hear an honest answer and SPECIFIC answer on why he thinks the offense is struggling and why he continues to think that his employee is the best fit for the job.

It would be better to hear him say "I am loyal to my friend and refuse to fire him" or "I am scared of change and feel like we can still make this work" or "I let it get this bad and nobody worth a shit will take this job now" instead of "ludicrous crap" that we got. That was insulting. That was rude. That was dishonest.

Free Hugh

bingo

I'm OK with asking honest questions.

Asking him about Hooker, raising comparisons with "Beamer's recruits", and pointing out how poor the offense is performing, on the other hand (which is what Fernley suggested he wanted to see), are obvious, insulting attempts to poke the cornered bear if asked after the game we saw at Pitt.

There are ways of asking Fuente's actual opinions, but that's different from just taking angry swipes at the guy after a tough loss, or trying to provoke a reaction. If you actually watched the film, above, you know this press conference wasn't the time for that. And if you watch Fuente's pressers in general you know that Fuente just clams up when you make him mad.

But I get that this doesn't satisfy Jack's raging bile duct.

If you watch that presser, you do get something. I don't think you can watch that and not get that Fuente doesn't seem to know (or doesn't want to say) what he thinks is the real problem. But it's not like he doesn't know there IS a problem that needs to be addressed immediately. All around, he looks pretty lost, and that's not a great sign. You wonder if he sort of knows what to do (fire Cornelson) and just doesn't want to do it. But that's the job.

I think the more interesting questions at this point would be to Whit.

Just curious, what questions would you ask?

Here are some things I would like to know:
1. What is his honest diagnosis for why the offense is struggling so much?
2. What sort of challenges have been identified by Brad Cornelsen as areas that are holding the offense back?
3. What strategy is the team trying to employ to rectify the offensive struggles and why was that strategy selected?
4. During the Bye week, did the coaching staff sit down and do a SWOT analysis? What has the team identified as Strengths and Weaknesses of each unit? How is the coaching staff mitigating the weaknesses and emphasizing the strengths?
5. There are talented players on the roster - how have the coaches tried to get the ball into the hands of those players?

and, finally, a couple simple questions.

6. What is your expectation for this offense?
7. Is that expectation being met?
8. Why or why not?

Onward and upward

I think every single one of those are fair questions. I don't know if they've been asked during the previous few weeks or not, as I haven't seen his other pressers.

please, this is ridiculous.

There are millions of reasons why a HC doesn't need to be coddled in the manner you suggest. He's not a cornered bear, he's an extremely well paid employee that has a responsibility to answer for his decisions.

If he can't defend his decisions then why have press conferences at all.

I'm not suggesting to coddle him.

As usual, you mis-characterized my statement so you could better refute it. I'm saying ask actual questions, not to just take swipes at him to satisfy the critics. It's worth asking in a way you think will get an answer, not in a way to just make him mad.

These journalists work for a living, and they have to come back next week. Their job isn't to take pot shots from the cheap seats.

Nobody is taking cheap shots. You're just taking it personally. Anyway, as always, agree to disagree. Until next time 👍

Well, there's coddling, then there's also the difference between "why does your offense suck" and "how are you addressing the offensive struggles such as pass completion % and yards per carry?" The first is more likely to get a snarky response in return. But you're right, someone paid a lot of money should be able to answer tough questions about performance without getting overly defensive. If someone questions Cornelson's abilities, because he's Fuente's friend, he seems to get more emotional and defensive in his responses (like it's a personal insult instead of a valid question) rather than "I know our performance hasn't been great and Brad has a plan that I don't think we've seen the results it's capable of providing because x, y, and z." And he may not like the questions and doing that part of the job, but he should have someone who can prep him for that type of question so he gives better answers and is more comfortable giving them, and it doesn't seem like he has a person like that or has that kind of prep. And so you get an on camera presentation that's similar to the on field results. Not great.

Sure.

I think the questions provided above by VPIHokieME were all fair game. Professional journalists should have the ability to read the room and determine if the timing is right to have that conversation, or ask the particular question.

But if you're just there to take a swipe at the coach, maybe this wasn't the right career choice.

*cough* Berman *cough* (not football related)

Personally, I believe there are big differences in asking tough questions at a time when every decision matters and taking swipes. For example, when the beat writers had a collective hissy fit when Buzz dared prioritize his team over them, they took swipes. Unprofessional comments because they had to wait an hour. Even journalists that weren't there took swipes. It was a pivitol moment and proved all of those childish swipes wrong by turning around the season from that very moment.

Now had Buzz done that and continued to do that without the desired result then asking tough questions about his decision to do so makes sense. And, had the season continue to go downhill, at that point why would anyone expect tough questions to be held back?

The fact is, CornFu's offense does suck. At this point there's no point shying around it. Call it out and ask for an answer.

I have seen Fuente get mad and clam up. He may continue to do so. But asking the question is as powerful as the answer. Otherwise no need to have press conferences the rest of the season because who cares if he accepts blame at this point. The only meaningful thing would be to understand his motivation behind the elephant in the room.

Buzz flat lied about Kadym Sy. That pissed the beat guys off. Bellichick can lie to a reporters face, but in SWVA you aren't getting a pass for that. IIWII, IMO

Admittedly I don't remember this much but totally agree. But they should have just challenged him on that, not make childish comments about waiting an hour for a presser.

Let's face it, nothing he says would satisfy his deep critics here.

And the questions you started this thread with:

"This offense is torpid. There is ridiculously poor performance on offense, not just this year but consistently season to season. Are you still blindly loyal to an OC that hasn't performed well since Year 1 with Beamer's recruits?"

"Given the Quaterback room VT had with QP, HH and seeing their performances in other programs, in hindsight what decisions should you have changed to retain this talent in Blacksburg?"

These aren't serious quests for information, these are potshots at the coach.

Doesn't matter. Like I said somewhere else recently "Performance is measured by results." At this point he needs to convince Whit that it's worth continuing his employment. So either VT needs to start winning, or he needs to demonstrate some reason why they're going to start pretty soon.

The scariest thing from the Pitt presser to me is that Justin Fuente has no unearthly idea how to fix this, and he knows it. He is out of answers. For that, I honestly feel bad for him. He doesn't have a clue how to fix this- that is obvious from the presser. For example, If Tony Bennett lost 4 straight home ACC games and looked ugly doing it, got stomped by BC or Wake... nobody on earth would think he couldn't figure something out and get UVA hoops competitive again. I honestly think FU is out of answers and I feel for him on that.

Again, here I am agreeing with dcwilson40.

We did get something out of that press conference, and it's that Fuente doesn't seem to have the answers he needs.

Again, here I am agreeing with dcwilson40

weird, right?

I kid. I agree with dcwilson40 quite a lot but his delivery can, at times, be off-putting. Other times I just flat out disagree but that's what makes this place interesting.

Onward and upward

Heck, copy from the competition. Tenn is lining up their splits very wide and that is opening their running game. It also opens more area for crossing routes. That opens up a lot of additional room that the defense has to cover.

What could it hurt to try something new???

Have you watched the other post-games? I haven't (well, one or two, but not many at all) but have seen the quotes on here, so I apologize if I don't get this exactly right. I agree with the tough questions, BUT I think they've asked some of those before and gotten the sorta snarky "we didn't forget how to coach offense" or whatever it was Fuente said. They may have been trying to ask in a more tactful way because Fuente hasn't responded well to tough but fair questions in the past. So they're try to ask in a way they'll get a thoughtful answer rather than sarcasm. And again, that's on the coach for not being able to handle criticism and tough questions well. At least that would be my take.

Pretty sure I have seen every presser this season. Neither of these questions have come up as per my recollection. I could be mistaken though and apologies if I am.

I thought someone asked about moving on from Cornelson or something similar and basically Fuente dismissed the question. I can't remember if it was that question, but I definitely remember watching Fuente get mad at a question and not answer/said something snarky. I'm much better remembering something that happened, unfortunately not good at all remembering WHEN it happened for me to try to go find it again. I know that's not much help, but that recollection is what makes me think the reporters were trying to soften the question so they'd get an answer rather than a deflection.

It's a great call out though.

I've watched a handful of these pressers, and you're right.

If you push Fuente in a press conference he just responds with snark and clams up. He's not the type of guy who is going to "spill the beans" if you make him mad. Just the opposite.

This sort of reaction in public makes you wonder how he reacts in private to players.

Makes me think he doesn't trust/know how to utilize the media.

You're just now figuring this out?!

Darryl Tapp is one of the most genuine and pro-VT people you'll ever be lucky enough to meet. He's a great guy and a fantastic ambassador for Hokie Nation. And Fu is the fucking idiot who literally WOULD NOT LET Darryl Tapp speak to the media as a VT assistant. All the free exposure, all the potential good will with fans, donors, and recruits, wasted.

Saying that he doesn't know how to utilize the media is a gross understatement. He is utterly incompetent when it comes to media relations, and even that's being polite about it.

"Those who jump into the void owe no explanation to those who stand and watch."
--unknown

No, I'm not just figuring it out.

And nobody else here is, either.

I do not disagree but also such questions now will accomplish little. Fu is going through an attitude change. Rather than fire back angry denials and defending his record he is now openly admitting he is failing. He knows. It's over for him in January

Maybe I missed it. But I heard, he only admitted that he failed to prepare the team today, not that he is failing in general.

I think it was that he admitted he failed, but when asked how to fix it and he responded that he didn't know. I think that's more of the "in general" sense of failure. Watching him, to me, he looked lost, and that he understood he was lost, and didn't have answers. From what he said and how he looked, I think he realizes he's probably gone sometime this season (or right after).

I've always liked CJF's hard-nosed approach and rooted for him to succeed. But there's been no upward trend in the program in five years. We've been in a slow steady decline as witnessed today. We've all been watching Groundhog Day over and over for five years. Unless CJF can find a way to go 5-1 the rest of the way, this deal has to be done. Please just beat UVA

Please just beat UVA

Remember all those hypothetical threads, "would you go 10-1 and lose to UVA or go 6-6 and beat UVA"?

We will likely play UVA with an interim coach.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

I wish. I'd be pretty surprised to get an interim coach

Onward and upward

No shit Sherlock

Can't wait for Hokie Basketball. Hell yes, Mike Young, bring it. I'm over VT football this year.

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

One pretty good year, one ok year, one UVA broke year and 2.5 bad years mean change is coming.
I just hope we are not heading into cycle of one bad coach after another. I for one don't trust Babcock to make the right call on hiring a football coach.

Why don't you trust Babcock to hire a football coach? The one football coach he hired, everyone lauded as a great hire at the time and again after the first season. Throughout the athletic department he has continued to make good and great hires.

Fast forward to last December. Babcock's boneheaded defense of Fuente tanked my trust in him picking a coach.

Other than Fuente, who was universally acclaimed as a good pick at the time, Babcock has a pretty good track record of choosing and hiring coaches.

I agree he has done a great job hiring coaches for the other sports. However Babcock's handling of Fuente's tenure makes me nervous concerning the hiring of a head football coach.

He hired him OK.

It just didn't work out the way we'd hoped it would.

I have no problem with the initial hire, seemed like a good idea at the time. The ridiculous extension and buyout after one ok season got us into the current predicament we are in now. That combined with presser last fall has me questioning Whit's competence at the only sport most of us care about. I know it is unpopular opinion but most people would say get rid of all sports outside of Football and Men's basketball so doing well hiring for Olympic sports does not open up the wallet...

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
“I served in the United States Navy"

One okay season? We got 10 wins, did VERY well against Clemson in the ACCCG (35 points against them, compared to Ohio State who got shut out in the playoffs), and that comeback win in the bowl game against Arkansas. Not saying the contract extension was the best idea, but it certainly looked a lot like we were heading in the right direction.

Any hate towards Babcock is dumb.

The guy has made GREAT hires for every sport at VT. Soccer teams are top 25, wrestling has won a title, I've never been excited about basketball before Buzz Williams/Mike Young, women basketball is top 25, track and field/swimming, etc. Those sports are all in WAY better spots than they probably ever have been.

Obviously, the bread and butter of football has not had success in close to a decade (going back to the last few Beamer years). Fuente was thought to be a great hire and the steal of that offseason. After the first season with him, EVERYBODY thought Babcock hit a home run.

Beamer's last few years had a huge dropoff in recruiting (I pin a lot of this on Beamer letting Coach Cav go. That guy knew everybody in the state and he was NOT happy when he was let go) and that showed up with Bud's defenses and Fuente's offenses after that first year. Recruiting continued to struggle up until this current year where I think it's gotten markedly better (still not good enough but way better than Fuente's earlier years).

I personally wanted Fuente for another 2 years so that JHam can get the experience he needs to take over. I think losing JHam would be an awful loss for our program. I don't think Fuente is a bad figurehead but I do think that he's lost with how to fix the offense's problems. To me, the lack of execution (the ol' Beamer "one block away" offenses) is a product of an OC not being a good OC. Firing Corn and bringing in a "JHam for the offense" (someone with VT/VA school roots) is the best move forward. Firing Fuente means we lose money in the buyout and pin our hopes on the outside chance that the next coach is an actual home run. That's a pretty huge gamble.

I would argue that not firing Fuente and hoping that he'll actually part ways with his literal best man and find an OC who can complement JHam is an equally large gamble. Fuente is completely lost. You say so yourself. What makes you think he'll figure it out in the next two years? I agree that losing JHam is going to hurt. But I'm certain that if Fuente is retained for another two years this program is going to fall even further than it already has. It's falling and picking up speed in the wrong direction. Not moving on from Fuente is going to be the death knoll for this program. That's a pretty huge gamble.

Onward and upward

I have seen several posters advocating (or at least willing to listen to) the idea of keeping Fuente if changes are made on the offensive side of the ball. Specifically the OC and often times mentioned is the WR coach. That idea certainly has the advantage of keeping JHam and possibly turning the reigns over to him in a year or two. I am high on JHam also, however I wonder if I would be as high on him if I took off my O&M glasses. How does he stack up against other young coordinators around the country?

To be the man you gotta beat the man!

The issues with keeping Fuente at this point to continue to let JHam get experience is that it will destroy recruiting most likely. Even if we make sweeping changes to the offense, most everybody will know that Fuente is either a lame duck coach waiting for buyout to get lower or a perpetual hot seat if performance doesn't improve.

The play that epitomizes the Fuente era...fourth and one and we can't convert. It was the right call and if made possibly leads to points. Ever since he arrived he's preached "grit" or whatever and in his postgame said something to the effect of the team didn't have "it".

Well coach that's on you to recruit players who will make a yard on pure toughness...I may not be better than the other guy, but on this one play I'm going to impose my will on you.

Some teams have "it" and some teams don't...occasionally you get a glimmer of "it" from his teams, not nearly enough though.

It's the "it" that beats WVU, that holds off Notre Dame, and countless other examples.

Fourth and one...is his legacy!

"Take care of the little things and the big things will come."

Last night I dreamt that both Corn and Fu pulled a Tommy Bowden. It was a good dream

Now finish up them taters; I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.

I'm going to be honest, yesterday I spent time outside and then watched a movie with my kids. Didn't watch a second of the game, didn't know what happened until someone started texting me last night to vent. I am an optimist at heart, which seems difficult to keep alive this season. But I'm redirecting it to the long term. My expectations are:

  • Whit is working the phones with donors to get the buyout straightened out.
  • Whit recognizes that waiting until it drops again in December is going to put Virginia Tech football at a bigger disadvantage in the long run than getting this situation sorted out with the best possible outcome (restoring confidence of his fan base that he knows what the fuck he's doing, keeping his donors' wallets open, holding onto the best pieces of this recruiting class)
  • Whit is simultaneously pulling together his list of replacements and putting out very quiet feelers to gauge interest in the job and negotiate salary

I don't expect Fuente to last the rest of the season. I look at the schedule and see *maybe* two wins. I'm not planning on watching any of it as long as Fuente is in charge, because even when we win, it's not fun. At this point, wins are just a thin veneer that don't fully mask the dysfunction underneath. I wish Fuente all the best, I DO begrudge him the millions he is going to be given to go away, but recognize that's the price of college football today. This isn't a reaction to a loss, this is the realization that the highest expectations we can have with the current staff is hoping for a winning record. Not this year, EVERY year.

I say all this as someone who for YEARS spent hours every week writing (stupid) things about this program because I loved it. If it has driven me to this point, I can only imagine the apathy it has inspired in casual fans and folks with disposable income that they are now choosing to spend on other things.

Also, brace yourselves, UVA is going to beat the piss out of us this year, and that's going to be very not enjoyable.

No interim coach is going to save this season or the recruiting class, work the phones behind the scenes and wait until the buyout drops.

I am not sure what to do with my hands now

Interim coach does three things.
1a. Gives someone like Jham a shot to show what he can do. 1b. Gives Tech an opportunity to kick the tires on Jham.

2. Sends a message to the angry and unsatisfied fan base that the administration is serious about making changes to get better. This fan base badly needs such a message after the infamous press conference.

3. Opens the position officially giving VT an advantage on the market so we can scoop up and announce a hot commodity coach before other jobs become available.

Onward and upward

This

We all expected the end of season firing last year after the buyout dropped, and it didn't happen. A termination any point now is just going to cost us the same as it did in December, and we were all clamoring for the firing 10 months ago, so I dont buy the "lets wait for it to drop" argument any more.

as for the other points - firing now sends a clear message (albeit late), and announces to the college football world that we officially have a job opening. This is espcially important this year because lots of people assumed it would be open last year (and we can presume there were feelers out there for sourcing the next coach), but ultimately that opening never happened. Firing Fuente now removes that ambiguity and tells all of the potential candidates that this is a serious job discussion.

I don't know exactly how hiring works related to head college football coaches, but I've got to believe people are aware that there is a potential opening at VT.

Absolutely. Whit's phone is being hit with agents for coaches looking at the potential to opening (to move up or look for better opportunity) and those looking to leverage their current contract form a better deal.

Whit won't admit it, but he biggest skill is his ability to back-channel and be ready for changes when they come (Buzz and Tommy T we're good examples).

We put the K in Kwality

Except for the first paragraph (I went to the game and a good time, as I went in knowing this one was going to be bad, and was focused on enjoying the tailgate, entrance, and friends) this more or less sums up my thoughts and feelings exactly. This is not what I want for the future, but I longer have faith in Fu to change it. I have faith Whit recognizes the shift in fan attitude is gaining momentum.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

For me the moment that Fuente fully lost me was the Cam Goode "situation" in 2018.

The kid showed up out of shape, reportedly with a bad attitude, and we sent him packing less than a month after his arrival on campus.

The way this all went down gave me completely bad feelings about Fuente going forward. It goes against so many of the values a good coach should have...

After barely a week of workouts Fuente decided there was nothing he could do to remedy the situation or get him motivated and to buy in.

So is Fuente...
A good motivator?....NO
Going to stand with you when things get tough?...NO
Have the patience to problem solve thoughfully?...NO

Not really surprised about where we are with his leadership at this point

There's always a bit more to the story, which pisses me off more cause he can't just come clean and be honest. Goode was a turning point in that locker room, it resonated all the way through the mass exodus in the post season.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

But sometimes you can't fix a bad attitude. I can't remember what year it was, but the guys who wanted to lose the last game so they wouldn't HAVE to go play a bowl game? Seriously? That's not the type of attitude that is easily (if at all) fixable. And that was before our bowl streak had ended. They didn't care about the bowl streak, didn't care about being able to have extra practice to get better, stay in a hotel, get swag, etc. Go read the book "The No Asshole Rule." It does a great job of explaining how getting rid of bad attitudes can greatly elevate performance. Fuente may have given him a chance to change his attitude, but if he was unwilling, I think it's better coaching to get rid of guys who will ruin your locker room.

I agree with your sentiment, sometimes you cannot fix a situation and a bad attitude can spread.

My issue is not that Fuente couldn't fix the situation, its that he made the decision to cut Goode so quickly that its very hard to imagine that any real effort was put forward to resolve it. It was officially announced he was leaving before Fall camp even started.

These are 18-22 y/o kids, its hard to envision that every year there aren't at least 3-4 guys who come in out of shape or have attitudes that need an adjustment...hell, a good portion of them have been treated like semi-celebrities since puberty. More than a few programs are extending Scholarship offers to friggin 8th Graders.

A month isn't long enough to really work through these types of issues, its just not. If that is your expectation or the limit of your patience, it suggests heavily to me that you, as a Coach, don't have the time or the motivation to really get involved with your players beyond a basic level. And that extends into other parts of the Program, that attitude is just as damaging as a player who is not bought-in.

I think you see that attitude reflected in Fuente's unwillingness to be candid about or even answer basic questions about the obvious deficiencies in his Offense---the "ludicrous crap," if you will. You see it borne out by the continual Transfer Portal exodus that has occurred under his watch. You see it clearly with Cornelson's ho-hum comments about knowing they were going to lose 2/3 QBs and not really showing any level of concern about it.

Turkey Bacon and goofy "N.B.A." T-shirts don't fix these kind of issues....

All fair points. And I was probably more willing to give Fuente the benefit of the doubt when it happened. Yes, before fall camp wasn't long at all, but who knows, maybe something happened that was bad enough to warrant it, or maybe Fuente just didn't have the patience to deal with it. At this point, after Fuente admitting he made a game call because he was pissed off, opens the door to more stuff I wouldn't have thought he'd do before. And yes, 2 talented QBs leaving in one year is bad. And all the players leaving in the transfer portal is bad - after the one year, I think it was the Roanoke time that kept a running tally of the performance of the kids that left, and it was not good. So that looks a lot like the coaches, and almost exclusively on offense, cannot identify talent properly or recruit the talent they need. And rather than try to develop them, it seems like they just try to replace them in the next recruiting cycle, all while Fuente says he wants to be the best development program in the country.

In regards to the perceived attitude we've gotten from some players, I'll use one of my favorite lines from a 'sports' movie:

“Also, a microwave has never danced it's ass off to Jackie Wilson.” - AssPocketFullOWhiskey

So this is an interesting point. To HokieinFLA's point, some of the guys may come in with attitude problems. So that's not an immediate reflection of leadership, but there's what you do with the attitude that also defines a leader. There's the kind that Ted Lasso worked through with Jamie Tartt, which didn't work immediately, but Ted didn't give up on Jamie. There's getting rid of the problem, which may be valid depending on the circumstances (probably factors of just how bad it is to start and how much it's affecting the team) - but suspending the person from the team can get them away from the players while giving the coach(es) time to work with the player. The tough thing is I get the sense Fuente wouldn't air dirty laundry about players' attitudes, which I agree with. But at the same time, were all those guys who left after the wanting to lose the last game on purpose attitude problems? And if so, did Fuente tell them to leave? And how much did Fuente try to change their attitudes vs showing them the door? At this point I don't care really. There's enough reasons all around for Fuente to go, so I'm not going to dwell on it.

I've been thinking about this this morning.

Remember how awful the 2017-2018 offseason was? This, the Tahj Capeheart thing, a whole host of other recruiting misses and off-field issues? I can't come close to recalling all of them but there were a bunch, and at the time I thought it was just an anomalous string of bad luck.

Instead, it was downward momentum that has never been fully overcome. Say what you want about the people that got "ran off" by this staff, but time has shown us that they aren't able to sell the program effectively. And I feel like their reputation is poor enough that they are being held responsible for little things - things that wouldn't necessarily matter if they were better thought of.

21st century QBs Undefeated vs UVA:
MV7, MV5, LT3, Braxton Burmeister, Ryan Willis, Josh Jackson, Jerod Evans, Michael Brewer, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon, and Grant Noel. That's right, UVA. You couldn't beat Grant Noel.

Did not watch 1 second.

Even when you get skunked; fishing never lets you down. 🎣

It's not play calling, Cornelsen, game mgmt, or offense/defense/special teams scheme. It is all of those and more. Our program under CJF has far reaching, systemic problems. I like CJF and feel bad for him, but he is clearly in over his head. From my son at Auburn who is hurting for me: "Hokies need to get rid of Fuente. An offensive and defensive embarrassment at home." And he really loves the Hokies too. I hope Whit doesn't end up being the last guy to figure this out.

I wish his next presser was an episode of Between the Ferns. The questions would be gold lol

VTMidge

I'm glad that people are realizing the problems will not go away by firing Cornelsen. The playcalling is bad, but the whole playbook is a joke. Every play we run looks remarkably easy to stop. The entire offensive playbook needs to be burned and replaced, while bringing in both a new head coach & a new OC

If only they used the whole playbook. Or even a decent chunk of it.

It seems like they're so fearful of getting BB injured that they're essentially telling defenses what plays they will - and won't - be running.

That wouldn't be so bad if BB had a great arm. But he doesn't. So effectively what Fuente and/or Cornelson have done is turn BB into has a slow QB with a below avg arm.

It's not rocket surgery to defend against a slow QB with a below average arm.

I understand being cautious with BB. But it seems like that has actually become the goal and not just a means to an end. I'm not saying they should be GT under Paul Johnson. Or take on LBs on every play. But unless they're willing to roll the dice a little bit, you might as well give defensive coordinators a map for the handful of spots on the field where the ball could go.

The predictably predates any injury to BB3 and BB3 himself.

The basic playbook has had nearly no evolution since 2016. Better defenses routinely look like they know what is coming, particularly in the passing game.

Moreover, if we specifically crafted a gameplan to avoid getting BB3 hit, Corn did a piss poor job of it yesterday (huge shock, I know). Burmeister took 4-5 hard shots, more than I can recall in any single game this year.

It's much worse this year. MUCH worse. And Saturday was a couple of notches worse than that.

The easiest complaints by arm-chair coaches is play calling and offensive scheme. I've rarely, if ever criticized, Cornelson's play-calling and scheme because...well, it's too easy and it wasn't as bad as all of the complainers made it to be.

But Saturday was the first time I can remember where even if the execution was almost perfect, the scheme and playcalling were so bad, the VT offense had no chance. Opening the game with 7 straight pass plays? In steady 15-20 mph winds. What kind of opening script is that? Starting 7 of 9 first half drives with a pass? Again...in steady 15-20mph winds?

Just look at Pitt's second touchdown. A nice little play and play call, but it's not genius level play design. Hell, VT's run a variation of that play a number of times under Cornelson. And it's not as though Cornelson/Fuente haven't run creative plays. Yet there was literally nothing even as imaginative as that Pitt scoring play on Saturday. And since the opening couple drives of the UNC, it's become progressively less creative and more risk averse - culminating in the debacle on Saturday.

I don't mind losing to a Pitt team which started 15 seniors - and all but one of those a redshirt senior (including their QB). They should be a tough out this year - and they'll get theirs next year when those guys are gone.

But to lose it in a fashion where the coaches didn't put the offense in a position to possibly have any success - and thus the defense too - from what appears to be progressively increasing fear is pathetic.

We have 1.5 serviceable WR's and an anemic running game. Our opponents know this. That's why we stuggle to score touchdowns against the likes of Richmond. There is certainly a Jimmy/Joe's component to Corn's issues. Fuente has done a poor job recruiting/developing/keeping ACC level WRs and RB's. Any offense will struggle in that scenario

but but but...we have 10 rbs!

Onward and upward

This is mostly because the line sucks and the WR's aren't getting any coaching. Turner Robinson and probably Payoute would be stars in another offense. Blackshear and Holston could definitely start and do better at a ton of other P5 schools.

Payoute doesn't have a catch this year bro... can we slow down that hype train? I'm not sure zero catches in 5 games would translate to beast elsewhere. Holston is averaging 3.8 YPC and has 1 TD. Yeah that's not all on the O Line.

He was a high four star, I think you would agree that him and Holston aren't getting near the development they could be somewhere else.

Could we get more talent? Sure. But I'm not sure at how much higher a level VT could sustainably recruit.

This staff is god awful at developing players (offense especially), and strength and conditioning looks to be a huge factor. Look at how we got blown off the line by Pitt's offense multiple times then couldn't QB sneak one yard under center (and it wasn't just Pitt, both lines had some trouble with undersized Middle Tennesee and Richmond).

I fully realize what he did in high school. I also realize that when he is on the field, he can't get separation and the staff won't even throw him a bubble screen. All I'm saying is let's slow the hype a bit until he performs in games. the reason why we can't compete with Pittsburgh right now is not all on play calling or scheme.

no pay out from Payoute?

VT Marketing Class of 2009
Current Roanoke-Hokie
Go Hokies!

Feels like designing your entire run offense around read-option plays when your QB isn't going to keep it is a mistake. But I am a mere mortal and not a galaxy brain genius playcaller.

The problem is they haven't designed the offense around read-option plays this year. And they few they have run, it's clear they've instructed BB it's not really an option play.

Basically if BB3 gets hurt (and he already seems to be playing hurt) there is no QB ready to step up and play at the FBS level. That's due to extremely poor roster management. Fuente couldn't convince HH or QP to stay but he should have at least found a serviceable QB in the transfer portal.

VT's not the only program in this predicament though. QBs are transferring like crazy. I don't know Pitt or Wake or NCSt's roster, but I'm gonna guess if any of their QBs down, it's not a good situation. And those are the best teams in the conf right now.

Do you think Clemson, Uva, Fla St, UNC, Miami, Louisville, etc are brimming with QB options right now?

Not many "serviceable" QBs are transferring somewhere to be a "serviceable" QB.

Right now, the coaches don't even trust anyone who is not BB3 to throw a pass. Of course there is going to be a drop off between the starting QB and the backup, but it's not unreasonable to expect a semi decent backup.

Yes QBs are transferring like crazy but most teams at least have decent developmental prospects waiting in the wings. Knox has been the program since 2019 and the coaches can't even trust him to throw passes in high pressure situations.

On the mark... Fuente's offenses will only succeed if he has a battering ram at QB who happens to have a little QB in him.

I just hope Whit is at home agonizing as much as the fanbase is. Because otherwise this just isn't fair. He made an ultimatum-like statement last December for Fuente, and Fuente himself is admitting that he is failing. So now Whit needs to admit he, too, failed, and make the right decisions.

These are year one growing pains though! /s

"Take care of the little things and the big things will come."

Fuente is the in-between guy, you can't replace the legend

Hokies, Local Soccer, AFC Ajax, Ravens

I dont like fuente's coaching, I've said it before-he shits the bed 3 times a game with bad decisions.
But the main issue with this team is talent. Take every skill position on offense and tech was less talented than Pittsburgh. Our o line is not as good as last year, and maybe is a little more exposed with lesser talent in the backfield.
Defense is certainly better than last year, but they cant stay on the field forever with our offense constantly going 3 and out. I think our talent on d is good, but depth is certainly an issue.
Fuente dug the hole with talent, no one else. The level of talent exaggerates his ineptness with coaching and game decisions.

Totally agree with this. Our depth at just about every position is shallow.

We knew depth was going to be an issue this year. We were told that even after losing Darrisaw, Nestor, and Hudson, our OL was going to be fine, but shallow. I for one was not too concerned because I bought in that we'd be ok. We haven't been. We lost Herbert, but Blackshear and Holston were up to the task. Tough to run when the line can't open holes. Turner and Robinsons, along with Smith, were good, and we were told Payoute, Lofton and Jones were showing lots of potential. But what good is that if your QB can't get the ball to you consistently (Separation has also been an issue). Losing Mitchell hurt but we had experience there. How many times have you heard Gallo's or Deluliis' name called this year?

And of course, QB. This has been discussed ad nauseum. Throughout the summer, we all knew that we were going to be in a world of trouble if Burmeister went down. And he has played tough. Can't say enough about his "want to". But after losing Hooker and Patterson, why do you go to the transfer portal and bring in a guy to be your back-up when he hasn't played QB for over two years? smh

We lack depth on the DL. LBs have been serviceable and the DBs and Safeties have played well enough. You can't be too critical of our defense, but again, depth has been a concern.

Our coaches have failed to retain highly rated players on our roster and have failed to replace those players with recruits of the same or better quality. I know stars don't matter (/s), but since when did recruiting 83 and 84's become commonplace, and acceptable? Sure, there are diamonds in the rough out there that have been brought in and developed, but we can't get back to where we expect to be if we can't get back to recruiting the way we have in the past.

So here we are.

What bothers me the most about the depth "excuse" is that Fuente has stated over and over is the "we want to be the best developmental program in the country". Yet, he doesn't retain and develop talent. Additionally he doesn't build depth for "project" players (who were underrated and needed time to develop)...few very select examples.

We put the K in Kwality

To me, depth on the DL is a factor of two things - one is that it's the second year with a new D-line coach, so there's not a lot of time to get the players he wants/needs to succeed. The second makes that first point worse - how scholarships seem to go to getting a lot of WRs every year. I get that Fuente wanted a lot of receivers, but where's the development in talent for the ones he's gotten? We got 4 DL guys in the 2020 class, and given the size of that class, that's pretty good. But in the 2021 class, it looks like we got 2 plus a transfer, compared to 3 CBs, 4 RBs plus one listed as a RB transfer!!!!. That's just recruiting, scholarship, and roster mismanagement. I think we're building depth on defense, but the QB, WR, and RB scholarships seem to have dominated our recruiting.

Edited - typo for clarity.

Pitt started 14 redshirt seniors and a 4th year senior.

Do you Pitt will look like they have more talent next year?

22 days to Hokie Basketball! Bring it!

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

Fuente loses sleep because we lost or Fuente loses sleep because he might be fired? It takes time (days?) sometimes as a fan to get over a loss. I get that as a coach you have to move forward and get your team ready but I don't think we moved on from that Notre Dame loss. Even with bad coaching no way we shit the bed that bad against Pitt. No offense to the Panthers but we played some bad football and they only scored that much? Buh-bye Fuente.

VTMidge

After a loss like Saturday's, I came home from the game and sat on the coach thinking for a couple minutes and made the decision I wasn't going to touch the website until Monday morning. I didn't want hot blood influencing what I wrote or my thinking.

Going into that game, I thought we had about a 2% chance of winning. Honestly I hoped we would stay within 2 TD's of Pitt. Unfortunately the game played out along my thoughts. Our defense which is getting better did a good job of slowing down the Pitt offense. We didn't get a lot of pressure and it showed as Kenny P picked apart the defense at times. As always, our opponent fixed their running game against us. The score and yards would have been a lot worse if #11 on their offense could have caught the ball. We watched it hit his hands and drop at least 5 times.

Our offense looks like a monkey humping a football more often or not. We knew their secondary had to be attacked to try and move the ball. We threw it deep again and again. Some were close, some were not, and at least one play either the WR or the QB was on the wrong play. The officials overlooked a LOT of PI by Pitt and that didn't help the balls that were close. I would have liked to have seen a lot more 10-20 yard passes and cut down on the 30+ yard passes. Watching us trying to run the ball up the middle again and again was frustrating. Where were the outside stretches, wheel routes, etc that have worked in other games?

Pitt lined up knowing they could get 4 & 1 -4 and just out muscled us in the trenches. Our team doesn't seem to have that drive.

Fuente admitted this one on him. He is right. I was wondering if the shutout streak was also going to end under Fuente's watch. I hope Whit is moving behind the scenes. I just don't know if Fuente will be relieved of duties (to be let go officially after the buyout drops) or if Whit will run the course. As it is going, I am not sure if Duke might not be our only remaining win.

Worse of all, I was sitting in the stands for the first time since the 1995 shutout game thinking I have other things I could be doing and I am not enjoying coming anymore.

Whit,
If you are reading, I am pretty sure my season tickets will be up for grabs if Fuente is still the coach next year. He has refused to address issues for years and our team has continued to get worse not better. I will continue to donate to the Hokie Club and support the basketball team, but my football days might be numbered.

Signed Concerned Alumni...

Me thinks the reason why Corn isn't being fired because Corn in practice is the proxy OC. Fuente is the one who really controls the offense and Corn is just Mr. Smithers.

no way of knowing for sure. All we do know is that the offense stinks and the Head Coach doesn't know what to do about it. Fuente should be fired. I can understand Whit wanting to wait a bit but if we lose to Syracuse at home this coming Saturday I would want to see Fuente fired on the 24th.

Onward and upward

Agree. If Fuente were to announce a change and take over play calling duties and the offense still doesn't improve he can only hurt his stock. By keeping Corn in the OC role it gives him a scapegoat.

If that is truly the case then not only is Fuente not the coach we thought he was, he also wouldn't be the man we thought he was.

I hope he is not that cynical on top of being a poor coach.

The definition of insanity is trying the same thing and expecting different results. This is what Fuente's last four years have been. There isn't anything more to say at this point.

Becoming a punch line in ACC Media circles isn't exactly a great thing.

This is my school
This is home

You could also add in Bronco Mendenhall.

But at the end of the day you're picking the team with the best offense.

I would argue that clock management is a distinct skill, but that if you don't have any offense at all, it doesn't matter.

I had to legit stop and think about who I would trust to not screw this up and I think clock management/situation play has been equally but differently awful for all of them.

Dino does so much bone headed clock management stuff but seeming gets his team on the verge of winning before stealing it away.

The situational play calling for VT has obviously been atrocious, the offense itself can't move the ball so might be the worst bet.

Manny Diaz is a wild card.

(add if applicable) /s

Hey Fuente leads the way! He's winning something. Positive momentum-carry it into Saturday

Onward and upward

Gimme Mike London

Fuente says the offense needs to be more confident. Well, I can tell you, when you don't have confidence in the players to do their jobs, they're not going to have any confidence to do their jobs either. This offense looks like it is playing scared. Afraid to mess up. Afraid to fail. Fuente has to learn the lesson here - Fear is no way to find success. He needs to stop inciting fear in the players for making mistakes. He needs to stop restricting his playbook based on fears that the players will make mistakes. He needs to stop predicating every aspect of this offense on fear. That is why it is failing so miserably. Scared into paralysis.

Onward and upward

Soooooooooo much this. If a coach doesn't have confidence in the players, that really has to affect the players confidence in themselves. Given plays that are called and how players are benched so very fast for turnovers has to completely erode confidence. And playing with the thought "oh God, I can't fuck up" running through your head is much worse than "I know I can make this play." And that HAS to be affecting on field performance. Everything I've ever heard about coaching is if a player makes a mistake, the coach tells them, "Don't worry, you got this" goes so far in the player's confidence and that in turn helps them perform better.

Granted, I think it's more than that causing our O to fail, but this really can't help.

Edit: plays that are called refers to Corny saying he only gives players stuff they can handle. Which by itself means - I don't think you can handle more than this, or that, even if players say what they think they can handle, that can be affected by the coaches. Why don't the coaches say, "Hey, I think you can do this, you have the talent to do it, let's give it a shot." And if it doesn't work, rather than benching them, or just saying "okay, you couldn't handle it, let's give you something simpler." Say "don't worry, that one can be tough, we'll work on it until you can rock it." Plus the constant post games where Fuente has blamed stuff on execution can't instill confidence. And if you don't think it affects performance, just imagine your boss telling you every day "clearly you can't handle that, I'm going to give you something easier." Sooner or later that shit will wear on you and you'll believe it.

The amazing thing is, we all saw this the very first year with Fuente. It's been there the entire time, since he benched McMillian (sp?) for fumbling in year one (maybe game one, against UT?), who subsequently transferred out. It was a red flag that everybody caught, and it has rolled downhill for six years culminating in the offensive performance we see now.

I don't have a larger point except to pile on and say that all the fans could tell 6 yrs ago this was a terrible thing to instill in your offense and yet...here we are. Fuente didn't fix it and the administration tolerated it.

The signs were there but we didn't really see it collapse until 2018, and then saw the off-season that followed. Transfer portal, suspensions, kicking players off the team, and what got me then, and still gets me now, is how Fuente gets all Bill Belicheck with the media. After 2018, we deserved an explanation.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

What? An explanation?

That's the most ludicrous crap I've ever heard

This is my school
This is home

We're not owed an explanation.

We're owed results. Well, at least if we're going to continue down this path.

Yes we are owed results and are not getting the results. But instead of promptly jettisoning, the civilized approach is to ask why, so that we don't act in haste. And all that we have received for years now is excuses, with no hard reasons nor recovery plan. That is why he has to go and should have gone before last year but at least at the infamous mid-December presser.

Except that, in reality, Whit's question of "Why?" is the only one who matters, not the fans'.

We don't know what he's told Whit, and while we would like to have all those reasons and answers, we aren't the decision makers on whether he stays, goes or is forced to make major changes to his staff.

It can't help the confidence of guys like Jaden Payoute, Dawain Lofton, Marco Lee, Devon Hunter, etc. who he hypes up all offseason in his limited press availabilities and then doesn't give any of them any snaps whatsoever to prove themselves, all while the "starters" aren't exactly lighting the world on fire.

Not sure if he thinks he's just misdirecting the media to fake out opponents or what but it can't be helping the confidence of players like that to hear their names thrown out in press conferences and then not get to play at all. And I named those guys specifically because they're who come to mind this season but this has definitely been a trend in past years with other players under Fuente too.

I told him I’d crawl on my hands and knees to be the DL coach at Virginia Tech. Now, all of a sudden, I’m sitting in this chair and I told him I’d still crawl on my hands and knees to work here. I just want to be here.
JC Price

I bet Fuente wishes he spent less time watching the Masters and more time figuring out how to make his team more competitive. By his own admission he said that the team had a lot of work to do. He was right about that. But, golf, y'know?

Onward and upward

Fuente is not performing close to our minimums expectations and at this point should be fired because of it. But he can't have a light weekend in the middle of the off-season? Seriously? He's clearly working his ass off, he just doesn't have the answers (compare some pictures from when he was hired to now).

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

my comment was TIC

also, Fuente has said repeatedly that his favorite time of year is spring. He says this is because that is when he believes the most coaching occurs. I think it's because he's not playing games that he can lose. I want a coach who's favorite time of is Fall. I want a coach who relishes the competition. I want a coach who wants to go out there and beat other teams September through December. I'm not interested in a guy who just wants to coach guys in the spring and watch the Masters with his best friend when they know they have a lot of work to do.

Onward and upward

Here is another way we know he has to go. Remember how CFB would deliver coach-speak post-game to the point that we would wonder if CFB saw the same game we did? And how it got worse toward the end? And remember how, early on in the CJF tenure, Fuente's post-game conference comments seemed to jive with what most of us had just seen on the field? I found that so refreshing! But lately (as in the last 3+ years) those post game comments have aligned less and less with what our own eyes are telling us to where it has mostly devolved into excuses that we are no longer buying. Maybe this is ludicrous crap but it is what I am seeing.