Tech Tidbits: Beamer Back, Savoy Surging

Some scheduling thoughts as Frank Beamer promotes the WVU game, and a few notes on a promising freshman WR.

[Mark Umansky]

Just a week and a half left until the season, all, and I've got three words for you.

Frank. Beamer. Back.

Sure, it's just as part of the dog and pony show to promote the return of the Black Diamond rivalry game, but it's nice to have the guy around all the same. If Wednesday's media availability proves anything, it's that he hasn't lost his touch for a good folksy quote.

Rivalry Renewed?

Case in point; Beamer had plenty of old memories to share about the old Black Diamond days — including the understatement of the century in "Sometimes our fans didn't get along so well" — but it was this little nugget that caught my eye.

"I think it's a game that needs to be played as often as possible, because again, you're the next state over and we both have great fan bases," Beamer told reporters. "They're going to fill our stadium and we're going to fill their stadium. There are so many positives about playing this game that I'm glad to see it back on the schedule and hope it'll come back as often as it fits into both schools' schedule."

But as Andy Bitter of the Roanoke Times notes, the two squads won't have a chance to reignite this rivalry until a home-and-home in 2021 and 2022, and then things get tricky.

Tech's non-conference schedule is awful packed through the end of the 2020s (yes, anytime you discuss college football schedules, you have to reckon with the inevitably of time marching on) and West Virginia's dance card is filling up as well — out-of-conference dates with Penn State and Pittsburgh occupy much of the latter half of the Eers' 2020s.

While Beamer was probably going for more of a generic statement about how old rivalries are good, he happens to elucidate a scheduling viewpoint that I think is worth highlighting.

Former AD Jim Weaver and Whit Babcock plainly hold some similar views about the value of scheduling nontraditional opponents, and that's evident in some of the more unexpected choices on Tech's future schedules (Arizona! BYU! Wisconsin!).

But there's a lot to be said for using the non-conference schedule to rekindle old rivalries undone by the chaotic days of college football realignment, particularly when it's structured as a home-and-home series rather than a sterile neutral site game (looking at you, FedEx).

I've been thinking a lot about that point these last few years with the Tennessee game and now this West Virginia matchup on the horizon. A one-off renewal of a rivalry is cool and generates buzz, but why not dedicate your scheduling efforts to building some sort of consistent schedule of games to really engage a pair of fan bases that once had some real history with one another?

I'm not going to pretend to understand all the factors Babcock and his fellow ADs have to deal with as they construct schedules. Even thinking about this stuff normally gives me a headache.

But I don't think it can be said often enough that fans appreciate a college's administrators showing some willingness to listen to them in making scheduling decisions, instead of just going after the best business partnership or the snuggest scheduling fit.

I'm with Frank on this: give us more West Virginia games, and if that comes at the expense of fewer games against, say, Maryland, so be it.

Savvy Sean Savoy?

Just a few days ago in this space, I suggested that the simplicity of the offense (and the team's lack of clarity at WR) might open the door to an inexperienced receiver getting some major reps this year.

Clearly, some of the folks on the beat were thinking the same thing.

When asked about true freshman WR Sean Savoy Wednesday, Justin Fuente said he "could earn significant playing time if he continues to improve." That praise may be qualified, but it sure seems as if our very own Brian Marcolini hit the nail on the head with his pick of Savoy as a breakout player this year.

Savoy fits the bill as a guy Fuente identified very early on as a receiver who might fit his system — the Hokies offered him in February 2016, just a few months after Fuente took over for Beamer, becoming one of Savoy's first Power 5 offers in the process.

From there, big schools like Miami and Penn State jumped on board, and if I recall correctly, both the Canes and the Terps made a late push for Savoy's services.

But he stayed with Tech, no doubt hearing the whole time from the coaching staff that he'd likely have a chance to contribute quickly.

Now, here we are — Fuente says he's "a little more filled out" since he first got to campus, a fact borne out by his listing at 188 pounds, up from 177 as a senior, and the head Hokie says he "looks good with the ball in his hands."

At 5'9", he may not be the biggest dude, but he could certainly fit the bill as a slot receiver in Fuente's offense.
That is, if he can somehow fit his hair under a helmet. I hadn't checked out his headshot since he signed, and holy moly, his hair just goes straight vertical.

I leave you today with Frank's finest quote from today's presser when asked about the VT-WVU comic book cover. I've covered some quotable folks in my (brief) career, but I'll always have a soft spot for Beamer-isms like this.

"The ol' Hokie has got this Mountaineer on the run. Looks like his knees are buckling a little bit. I think we got him right there. Don't you?"

TALK #Hokies

A post shared by The Key Play (@thekeyplay) on


Cool info. For my money, I'd love to see an annual out of conference schedule that includes West Virginia and Tennessee, leaving two spots which could be filled with a strategic FBS opponent (if we must) and an interesting P5 opponent with whom we have little to no history. The West Virginia and Tennessee games would be awesome to look forward to every year. Easy to access away games with fan bases we love to hate against teams that traditionally field a quality squad offering marquee matchups. I think it would be awesome. I doubt I live long enough to see it happen. Hell I doubt I live to see a season without ECU...

Thanks for the write up.

is savoy #9? if so he would appear to be getting a ton of 1st team reps. if not then whoever #9 is is getting the reps lols. cant wait to see these guys in action though I think all our WRs bring something to the table and although unknown right now throughout the season they will be a major strength for us.

twitter @smithey_daniel
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Savoy is #9 according to the Media Guide.

"I don't know what a Hokie is, but God is one of them. Go Virginia Tech." -Lee

Update- according to Instagram he got Changed to no 15 today.

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

So then what number is Drake Deluliis wearing now? Or does that cement a redshirt for him and a number assignment later?

I would be up for scheduling Tenn and WVU on a home and away every other year so something like:

YR 1 Tenn H
YR 3 Tenn A

That would allow a little more wiggle room for games against the likes of Penn St, Mich, Wisc, etc.

I am not sure what to do with my hands now

I'm on board with that.

Let's write to Whit and suggest it.

I know that many here might disagree, but if the ACC expands I would like WVU to get the invite. It makes a ton of geographic sense and slotting them into the Coastal division would reignite two great annual rivalries: our battle over the Black Diamond Trophy and the Backyard Brawl with Pitt.

I also am realistic as to why they might not be invited - the biggest issue WVU faces is shifting population demographics (i.e. down) in an era where the ACC Network will be looking to boost subscriber numbers. Many will point to academic standards or fan behavior, and while that may be a portion of the consideration, at the end of the day, $$$$$ talks.

The ACC made it clear that the academic standards excuse was just hot air when they picked up Louisville.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

UNCHEAT concurs

I want WVU to make it obvious that they are lobbying to get into the ACC. Then I want the ACC to move forward towards admittance and get WVU to sever ties with the Big 12. Then I want the head office to slam the door in their couch-burning, battery-throwing, brother-loving faces as they are relegated to G5 obscurity...

please read in this voice:

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 love Frank in his new official role as University Grandpa.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

Reading through that thread just bums me out. Multiple posters hype about Capehart (I don't even need to bother going into that situation again) and Farley (RIP his knee).

Savoy is 5'9" but 6'4" with the afro. It's like he's wearing two helmets, so a concussion is less likely for him. Wise.

No, no, no... he's our next 6' 7" wide receiver

(insert Fletch reference here)

Next 6'7" wide receiver? Ohhh you're thinking of 8'5" wideout Bucky Hodges I see now.

Wasn't it kicked around that he could be a QB?

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

For the record, it wasn't conference realignment that killed the WVU rivalry, it was their shithead fans.

Mincing no words, if their fans weren't so bad to our fans in the 1999, 2001, 2003, and 2005 games in Morgantown, this rivalry would still be going on, but alas they couldn't. The stories of items like batteries, bags of urine, metal trash cans, etc raining down on the VT sections during those games were rampant through those years. Then, the last game the team buses returned with a trashed exterior and shattered windows due to what was thrown at them on the way to and from the stadium, and Weaver had enough.

This is a rivalry that should stay dead.

I just want Saturdays to be fun again.

I've heard stories from older MVs that the fans were abhorrent to anything that looked like it was related to the team after that last game - including the band.

Rumor is the VTubas may or may not have been told to use pieces of their instruments in self-defense, and after that the director said he wouldn't dare set foot in Morgantown with the band again. Can't say I blame him when you're charged with the safety of 350+ college kids that can only defend themselves but so much...

Conference realignment was a but-for cause. If VT and WVU were still in the same conference, the rivalry would still be alive. In other words, but for VT and WVU leaving the Big East, they would still be conference rivals playing each other on a yearly basis.

🦃 🦃 🦃

we still continued the series after the realignment happened. We were in the ACC in both 2004 and 2005, and managed to keep the series alive. Both sides had full intentions of continuing it forward before Weaver pulled the plug on it all after the 2005 game.

I just want Saturdays to be fun again.

I believe that there was no agreement in place, presumably because Weaver wanted to see how the first home-and-home went. It wasn't just the 2005 game that made him end the series, but it was the final straw, and then about a few dozen more.

West Virginia's AD said it was because the West Virginia governor mandated that WVU and Marshall play every year. Which was about the easiest excuse to pick apart that he could have come up with.

You're not kidding.

Worst fight I saw at Lane was WV fan vs VT fan

Both women. It was brutal.

Well, who won?

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

The guys watching.

This is why I have no interest in this game. Hopefully we destroy them in Fedex to retain the trophy and scratch this itch Whit apparently had, and then we never play them again. You couldn't pay me to travel to morganhole for a game.

I thought Beamer made it pretty clear he felt the same way Weaver did at the time, although maybe I'm making that up? If so, it's a little disappointing to read his quote above in my opinion.

Probably wasn't a good look for Frank to disagree with his boss at the time.

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

We don't love dem Hoos.

That's an interesting way to look at it. I took it at face value that Beamer just agreed with Weaver.

This game was scheduled well before Whit was the AD.

I know that because I put deposits down on my tickets when I was still living in a dorm.

Edit: Or did you mean the home and home we scheduled?

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

I had to brush up on the timeline a little bit. This game was not announced until July 2014, after whit took over, but the home and home was announced the year before by weaver and Beamer, so you are correct in that Whit didn't bring the rivalry back on his own, just added the neutral site matchup. Honestly, I'd forgotten we had the home and home down the line. Yay.

I could have sworn this game was announced even earlier than 2014. The home and home was actually announced in 2013. Maybe that's what I was thinking of.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

I agree this rivalry needs to stay dead.

I really think this neutral site game is a way for Whit to test the waters. If shit goes south and he wants to pull the plug, there is time to fill the open dates in 2021-2022.

I am very happy that I will be on the field and not in the stands for this one, but I feel like I should bring a helmet anyway...

Can you still take pictures in something like this? You need the armor for the batteries, but probably want the full seal just in case any of the bags of urine burst on you.

I must have this.

Just to add to the WVU discussion, I'll pose a question. Is there any reason to believe West By Gawd fans have...evolved any in the decade plus since our last meeting? Any hope for a civil rivalry? I can't see Whit withstanding the level of BS that Weaver wouldn't, so if they're no better than before is it safe to assume the rivalry will stay on life support if not die altogether after these three (I think) upcoming games?

Well, as an anecdote I have read a couple of threads on Reddit where traveling Big 12 fans have expressed shock that Morgantown had a bad reputation. Lots of Pitt and VT fans were expressing their feelings to some rather apologetic WV fans.

An occasional Texas Tech (similar reputation to WV) and KState fans were saying "but you guys were so hospitable to us when we were there..."

The only thing the West Virginia fans could say for certain is that when they moved into the greater Ursa Minor conference, their sudden severance from their rivals did have a bit of a hushing affect of their most outspoken assclowns.

However, even those fans expressed some amount of uncertainty over whether or not that sentiment had truly left their fan base.

I've seen articles from publications covering various Big XII schools that have made it clear that WVU fans are still up to their old tricks