Hokie Tracks Did Not Attend 2016 ACC Kickoff

Fuente, Ekanem, and Rogers represented the Hokies at the 2016 ACC Kickoff.


Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente, defensive end Ken Ekanem, and fullback Sam Rogers represented the Hokies at ACC Kickoff. Although the major news in Charlotte on Thursday was the announcement of the ACC Network, Fuente, Ekanem, and Rogers provided a bit of insight into Virginia Tech's upcoming season. And "a bit" might be too generous. Tech's tapped Ekanem and Rogers as its player representatives at almost every major recent media engagement I can remember. The pair are plenty seasoned in deflecting questions, and that jives with Fuente's glimpse-behind-the-curtain, first-year media management philosophy. At the very least, Frank Beamer's legacy of coach-speak will live on this season.

Tech's envoy answered questions from the podium. Fuente's response to the three traits a quarterback has to have to be successful (6:26), yielded the most substance. If you've TKPed hard enough, most of the rest of the Q&A will sound familiar — common questions, mundane answers. (If you're waking up from an offseason hibernation, it's worth your time to watch all three.)

Teel delivers more information on the ACC Network. Teel's been all over the ACC Network story, and his latest dispatch includes some financial details courtesy of ACC commissioner John Swofford.

"The time frame of 2019 takes into account a variety of factors," Skipper said, "including the content we have currently licensed. ... We wanted to provide ourselves a runway to plan the network, to get the distribution deals done and figure out the staffing."

"A little delayed gratification I think was good strategy," Babcock said.

And lest you think waiting on ACC Network revenue until 2019 will compromise the league financially: Say hello to what Swofford calls "the channel clause."

Written into the ACC's previous agreement with ESPN, signed after the additions of Pitt, Syracuse and Notre Dame, the clause guaranteed the league additional rights fees absent a channel.

"There will be a (rights fees) bump in these next years until we get to the linear channel," Swofford said during an exclusive interview hours after the formal announcement.

Also during that one-on-one, Swofford said that Notre Dame, an ACC member for sports other than football, will receive a full share of ACC Network revenue. The Fighting Irish receive one-fifth of a full share of the conference's guaranteed rights fees from ESPN.

Sam Rogers picked up some dance moves from Frank.

Bigger, healthier Ken Ekanem embraces unsung role (via Daily Press).

As a sophomore starter two seasons ago, he was second in the ACC with 9 1/2 sacks. He had surgery on a bum shoulder after the '14 season, struggled to get back to 100 percent in the early portion of last season and finished the season with just 4 1/2 sacks.

Now, with his shoulder fully healed and with 15 extra pounds on his 6-foot-3, 255-pound frame, he's setting his sights this season on what he admits is a lofty goal of 16 sacks, which would give him 30 for his career. He's also expected to mentor young defensive ends Vinny Mihota, Trevon Hill, Houshun Gaines, Darius Fullwood and Jimmie Taylor.

After struggling to get sacks last season, Ekanem has gotten comfortable with being unheralded heading into this fall.

"I kind of like the under-the-radar feel to it," Ekanem said. "I remember when I first started back in 2014, no one was really talking about me. I liked it. In interviews, I talked about Dadi (Nicolas) and Luther (Maddy) and Corey (Marshall). I was completely fine with it. I was like, 'All right, this is cool. I'll just throw out things like, yeah, Dadi can do this really well and Corey does this really well, they'll get double-teamed and I'll get left one-on-one.' That was cool about it. Now, I get a little bit more attention than I usually get, so it should be interesting going into the fall."

Decline in sack production considered, Ekenam was Tech's best defensive end last season. There are two endings to the offseason weight gain narrative: 1) Player X added good weight for his frame, and 2) Player X got fat. If it's the latter, the Hokies' depth at defensive end is even more worrisome. If it's the former, Ekanem will be an All-ACC performer.

Time to go hard on my embed Tweet game.

Carson Lydon transfer speculation, and go! No, please don't do that.

Juice back?

In any event, Williams is not letting any opportunity for motivation pass him by.

Rogers reenforces the notion that Ben Hilgart is Fuente's eyes and ears in the offseason.

Hate to be a tease, but both Koma and French have much more coming regarding Tech's zone schemes.

The Key Players Club march to 1,000 members continues. Triple digits! Thank you for your support of TKP, I still owe y'all stats on the initial guests in the club. Soon... For those of you wondering what the hell a The Key Players Club is: more information.


Lots of good tidbits assembled by Andy Bitter:


This stood out to me, as the situation regarding McMillian has been a topic of considerable interest and speculation:

"I will say this: Travon has had a really good summer," Fuente said. "I'm really excited about the progress he's made through the summer. I see him moving with more confidence. There was just something there in the spring that he didn't ... he was uncertain or unsure or wasn't completely healthy or whatever it was, but I've seen kind of rekindled in him a little bit this summer that's got me excited about him. Not that I wasn't excited about him before, but he's had a good summer and he looks good."

Information overload today.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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Yeah, from a business perspective, TKP would have gained nothing from going to this. Good call.

I did listen to a few other team's media time to learn a little about them. For example, I heard the unfortunate news that Paul Johnson still has a job.

I don't begrudge the man for having a job.

I just don't want him to have a job in the ACC.


You shut your mouth!

Haters gonna hate, potatoes gonna potate, and hetzers gonna hetz

The man might be despicable, but I think he has the best agent and contract in the biz. His contract is fully guaranteed, and every time he has a good season, he tacks another 5 years on his contract. So when he tanks it the next year literally the school can't afford to fire him.

I think it's more that GT is really dumb, they have a history of terrible contracts.

Running back could be intriguing this year.

"I am probably too rational to be here"

We have 4 viable options, but thank goodness we have competent coaches to handle them this season.

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

I think they handled working McMillian up to the number 1 spot pretty well last year, so they did one thing right.

It's Time to go to Work

They finally got what they should have learned after week 2

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

He was the best runner by then but they had to get him up to speed on the rest of the nuances of running back.

It's Time to go to Work

Maybe so but my point is that it wasn't necessary or effective to continue rotating 4-5 RBs

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

Yeah, definitely would have liked to see him get more touches before he became an every down back.

It's Time to go to Work

Really excited about the new season. And both Ken and Sam are very well spoken individuals. But I also see they take after the coach and say a lot without saying a lot.

43 days to go....

VT 2016
Go Hokies

Part of that could just be we are looking for something new when quite often coaches say all the things that football everywhere has in common and that we've heard before: play smart and tough, your quarterback's first job is to hold onto the ball and not loose the game for you.

Rogers is so....wide.

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

"I want to punch people from UVA right in the neck." - Colin Cowherd

This gave me a good chuckle:
"It's like a laboratory there," he said. "Those mean defensive guys get in there and start drawing blitzes up all over the place. The next thing you know the water girl is blitzing off the bench. It's just, it's what those guys do. And it's been fun to watch them work."

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

I am going to guess 15#'s of QB destroying muscle and 17 sacks for the season! Let's go Hokies, off-season optimism at its highest!

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"


15 hashtags? /s

I had almost forgot about Marshawn.

#runningbackrotation #whatcouldgowrong #nosecondguessing #shane4life

So if Fuente, Burden and Cornelsen do a RB rotation is it then ok? Between rotating RB's and screens and jet sweeps a segment of the fan base is going to lose their minds.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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its all about the #how and not so much the #what

when you telegraph what you're about to do (sub in McMillian and put him in the slot with Malleck lined up as the HB on the other side...see if the defense knows that we're running a jet sweep...) by substituting backs for specific roles you run into problems. When all of your RBs can do the same job and they can still threaten all parts of the defense regardless of formation you begin to see advantages with rotating them. For how complicated Loeffler's offense appeared to be for the players never allowing a RB to get into a groove really hampered them IMO.

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

For the educated fan it won't matter for the fan who just sees: why don't we just run one back, why do we run jet sweeps and screens it will be more stadium coaches talking about how it should be done.

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At the end of the day, results are results. If Fuente uses a different back every play no one will care if we score points.

You say that, but I know sitting around Hokie fans during winning seasons, winning games etc that certain people can ALWAYS find something to complain about, especially if they think they can do it better.

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I would imagine a lot of them are just going to be confused by what a modern offense actually looks like. Any watching of Oregon, Baylor, or Clemson shows that sweeps and bubble screens are very effective. But someone who doesn't watch anything but VT will probably rally against it.

I will simply be happy if I can't, with some degree of confidence and accuracy, predict the plays VT is going to run. For not being an expert, it was previously, remarkably consistent...and disheartening.


One thing I think has been mentioned previously is that, although Fuente typically uses a few different RBs, he tends to give them an entire series and not substitute after every play. Considering he wants to play uptempo and no huddle, it makes sense to not slow the offense down by substituting so much during the drive.

When it comes right down to it, I couldn't care any less about how many RBs are in the rotation and how often they are subbed out. All I care about is the results.

If we gain 8 yards per by switching players every play, throwing nothing but screens and running nothing but jet sweeps, then great. If we gain a half yard per by leaving one player in the whole time, then not great at all.

I'm sure we've all heard that players like to get into the game and get a rhythm, but I can't help but think that the reason we hate running back rotations is because they just weren't successful. Had they been successful, I'm not sure we would have ever had a problem with them.

I, for one, will promise one full year of no bitching about the offense. (because it's going to be awesome! high five!)

But, for the record, I never bitched about RB rotations (talent problem, not a rotation problem) or WR screens (work fine if blocked and thrown accurately).


Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

"I had almost forgot about Marshawn."

A picture is worth a thousand words. A gif is worth a million.

Reading up on ACC media days, lets just be glad that we're not going to have to deal with the stuff that UNC will be dealing with after some of those Fedora comments yesterday...

Yeesh - Not good, Larry

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

Holy cringe, Batman.

This was gold though:

Media days—usually a three-day slog of coaches answering the same questions they answered in spring practice and reporters looking to score some free merch

Now we know why they do it.

Haven't seen or heard this on a single sports show yet. The UNC athletic dept has some serious issues.

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That was dumb. In fairness, the reporter (I think she's a reporter at least so we are going with that) tweeted that he apologized, said that was wrong, and never should have said that, but this is a sound bite that will haunt Fedora if it goes big.

I get what he was trying to say, but he said it with as little tact as possible.

Edit: Looked into it a bit more and she further explains what happened here http://www.brookepryor.com/reporting/2016/7/21/what-happened-when-i-beca...

The TL;DR is this article deals with a lot of hot button issues in the world today, being a female in a male dominated industry, but the tie back to Fedora is that he called the reporter/writer (she refers to herself as a writer a few times) to offer a sincere apology and it was foot in mouth.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

I read the link provided. I appreciate that he apologized and I agree that his comment was ill advised. However, I gather from [writer's] remarks that [generic college aged writer] does have some maturing to do of [pronoun] own, but I will not speculate on how long that will take, as I am no biologist/psychologist/behaviorist and everyone is different.

That is to say, a more experienced reporter, of either sex, may have finished the interview and stayed on track with intended line of questioning.


-What we do is, if we need that extra push, you know what we do? -Put it up to fully dipped? -Fully dipped. Exactly. It's dork magic.

In Larry's defense, Women's Studies requires actual thinking and thus is not offered at UNCheat

As a mother of three boys that have all gone/are going through that 17 – 22 yr maturity process, my wife would beg to differ with Coach Gangster Hat.

Leonard. Duh.

He must have gotten a heads up on an investigation report from the NCAA coming in, so is throwing up a smoke screen.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Well the good news is that UNC is quickly mobilizing. They are making coaches and players take a course on treating women in a professional, respectful manner.

The bad news is that it's being taught by their African and African-American Studies faculty.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Marshawn looks like he is in great shape! I hope his knee is in good shape too. I love for the kids to go out there and dominate, but as I get older I realize more and more that them enjoying the college experience and being healthy. I really hope that EVERYTHING has been done to minimize risk of re-injury, including full rehabilitation and patience with getting the knee right again.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

That's quite the transformation...

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My 2019 Season Challenge: only comment with Star Wars memes. (completed as of Nov. 29)