Tone-Deaf

The aftermath of Pitt blasting Virginia Tech.

For those playing along at home, and that's less and less of the fanbase each week, mark a 47-14 ass whooping at Pitt on your Hokie bingo card. That's the same Virginia Tech squad that closed as a 6.5-point favorite, the one that SP+ predicted a near 6-point Tech win. Obliterated by a fellow, then-4-and-4 squad.

It was more of the same for Tech. A hollow defensive performance punctuated by a La-Z-Boy soft coverage cushion which allowed 404 passing yards. Fun fact: Pitt embarked on six scoring drives of 65-or-more yards. And the offense, well, it managed to get out its own way and exhibited brief signs of life in the second quarter before flatlining down the stretch.

It was, quite simply, embarrassing football, put forth by a head coach in over his head, wrapped up by a tone-deaf post-game press conference.

That was a blend of aloof, defensive and condescending that settles the stomach about as well as a chili-cheese dog seconds before a four mile jog.

Perhaps the low point was Justin Fuente's response when he was grilled on Tech's abysmal performance on money downs — 3/11 and 0/3, on third and fourth down, respectively.

"Yeah on 4th-and-1, that's a play we've been running for four years, it's been pretty good for us. It worked pretty good every time we run it through the history of time for us."

Consider me shocked that perhaps the play calling tendency of the QB power might help Pitt overcome an otherwise 8-against-10 disadvantage with one-yard to defend.

Right before the play ran, ACCN's Eric Wood said, "I would bet Hendon Hooker keeps the ball in his hands here with Khalil Herbert running in front of him to block."

And... yup:

That analysis also glossed over Tech couldn't win a plus-two matchup and the only (attempted) goal-to-go touch for Herbert was a dead on arrival pass out of the backfield instead of letting the man cook from one-yard out.

And for good measure, Fuente proceeded to follow a line of thinking that led him to provide an insightful look at a failed attempt against Miami.

"Versus Miami, it's 3rd-and-8 and we called the inside zone into Cover 2 and our right guard got his ass whooped by the three-technique."

Seemingly, this was supposed to evidence why another purported good play call — run against two-high/softer box —failed. When in reality it was another example of passing the buck.

Or maybe it bottomed out when Fuente was asked if he was cognizant of the fanbase's frustration.

"No," said Fuente. "I mean, I'm sure people are upset, but I mean guys we're playing football in the middle of a pandemic. The most extraordinary of circumstances we've ever seen. I couldn't be more proud of our guys and how they've hung in there through the entire thing. Do we expect to play and win? Yes, absolutely."

Unfortunately, the pandemic does not excuse the coaching malpractice that bungled away the Liberty game, nor the coward-ass offensive approach against Miami that wasted an inspired defensive effort, the downward recruiting trend — which now includes an in-state commit flipping to Boston College — and any and every mismanagement of the program, the media that covers it and its fanbase. Hey, remember when Tech, which has rifled long field goal attempts all season, decided to run Quincy Patterson on 3rd-and-26 from the Pitt 39 instead of trying to pick up some yards for a manageable field goal attempt. Those shortcomings have been consistent, pandemic or not.

"The notion that something terrible is wrong or whatever is just ridiculous."

(It's not fine.)

No, the worst part of that was Fuente's flippant response when asked if he might consider taking over offensive play calling.

"No, that's the most ludicrous crap I've ever heard. Next question."

It was a fair question, although perhaps Fuente's right that it doesn't make much sense for him to grab the sticks from Brad Cornelsen on a week's notice. The unsettling part is what's between the words.

Fuente's going to do things his way, to a fault. He won't change, and that's exactly why Virginia Tech must.

Comments

"The notion that something terrible is wrong or whatever is just ridiculous."

Guys, don't worry. Losing more games and getting worse recruits are how all the recent national champions got to where they are now. Fuente said we are going to be like Clemson and we are right there!

If you can't handle my shit posts, you don't deserve my memes

I think Fu may have let us see into his mindset a little with the play-calling response. He is perfectly happy with the offensive game plan and play calling. I'm beginning to think we might have been a little too harsh on Corny. He is doing exactly what Fu wants him to do. The problem may be the head whistle, not the OC.

We all think because Fu stands like a statue showing no emotion during the game that he is not involved. I think he may be dictating both the O and D over the headset. I think he definitely held Bud Foster back. I don't have the same confidence about the O; but it's possible Corny could be a better OC than Fu lets him show.

Doesn't matter if it's cake or pie as long as it's chocolate.

This is an interesting possibility...you found the words to describe what i couldnt quite put my finger on....that possibly fuente is actually holding corny back.

My wife takes the kids and leaves the house while I watch my Hokie games.........nuff said

Yeah, definitely worth thinking about. Thanks for that.. If Fuente's strategy rolls down like you think it would and he is so damn hard headed and everyone knows it, maybe all the coaches are more yes men than they would be somewhere else. Reminds me of politics but can happen in any organization.

He didn't hold Bud back - Bud did his thing. Let's argue about his recruiting, his PR skills, his confidence in Corn. But let's not invent crap about him holding Bud back.

So, you don't think overrecruiting wide receivers and under recruiting dline held Bud back?

Doesn't matter if it's cake or pie as long as it's chocolate.

Especially since none of those WR are any good

Or still on the roster

"That's it guys. Let's get out of here. That cold drink's waitin' on us, let's go." - Mike Young after win no. 300.

I would believe that if I hadn't heard that Jerry Kill - Cornelsen story...

Please, where can I find said story? Or could you explain?

Kill and Cornelsen almost got to fighting because Kill had said that Cornelsen and Burden didn't know how to break down film...that was the story overall, but i'm pretty sure there may have been more to it than that...

Thanks. This should be good

Hey Fuente: The only way to earn your shitty fan service is by winning.

Get lost.

Pandemic? Call Indiana, C Carolina, OSu, ND. 🐘💩!

"Hey Bud, you wont have to hold the opponent to 17 points anymore."

Call Liberty and now Pitt.

Overheard as Duke assistant coaches took elevator down from press box: “Guys, they stopped the run with a three-man front.” - David Teel Tweet 2018

The Pandemic is such a BS excuse. But let's play into Fuente's excuse here and give him this point.

So ok Mr. Fuente, let's say the Pandemic is an issue, but tell me, was the Pandemic which started in 2020, a reason for the program's steady and noticeable decline every season after your first? The same steady and noticeable decline that just happens follow the same trajectory as the results of this season?

Forget the pandemic, everyone has to deal with it. He did bring us a much improved O-line and RBs, but the D is like a bucket without a bottom, especially the secondary. No pass coverage, attempts to block tackle (fearing to use their arms), and letting the receivers make the catch, then 'try' to catch/tackle them. Not an effective defense plan. JHAM needed to get tough and DEMAND them to execute. They need to learn, but they must be taught since they are 3 star at best....we must recruit better.

I thought we were tanking for the #1 recruiticorn, isn't that how this works?

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"

KCCO

#MakeTheMove

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

Where are all the Fuente apologists? This guy has done so much damage to VT name recognition and program. We haven't even bottomed out yet, as we will have to rebuild from the bottom again. We've all been duped! Make the move and punt on the season. We need every available coach to be focused on recruiting and taking the state of Virginia back.

I don't want to hear from some out of state North Texas guy and his Oklahoma lackeys that recruiting the state of VA isn't as important as the past. If you're one of those fans who agrees, you truly don't understand how you must start regionally before you can cast a wider net in recruiting.

Pour some Beer on it

Fuente apologist here. Im not saying he's the right guy for the job going forward. But I watched the same press conference and I saw two things:

1) A coach who defended his players. "And they played their tails off, I don't want this to be interpreted as us saying anything about them" when describing the effort and lack of experience at DB which forced us to play soft coverage the whole game.
2) A coach beleaguered with the effects of the pandemic who clearly sees this year as a write-off

The moments quoted in the article were obviously in there too, and I agree some were not a great look, as he is clearly frustrated by the whole situation. I agree the pandemic is not an acceptable excuse either, as more or less every team is dealing with it and some are finding success.

I simply reel at the insinuation made repeatedly that Fuente is a maleficent actor who could care less about what happens to the program. He may be in over his head, or he may just not have the right charisma to get guys jacked up and make them believe they are capable of winning in any situation. But whatever the cause for our losses, I think he is doing what he thinks is right by the players and his staff. I think he prioritizes them over us, and we respond by belittling his character.

Plus 100 if I could. The writing is on the wall. Constantly belittling Fuente and making everything so personal is classless.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

Agreed. It's nothing personal, and we shouldn't resort to ad hominems. He will not be the coach in 2021, the writing is on the wall. Let's just look ahead to the future.

2) A coach beleaguered with the effects of the pandemic who clearly sees this year as a write-off

Do I really need to list off all the Pitt starters out with covid and covid issues Pitt has been dealing with?

Hokie Club member since 2017

Pitt whipped our ass with their backups. Stew on that Fu.

We put the K in Kwality

Might not have kept reading after point 2, but I did mention I didnt think it was a good excuse. While I empathize with Fuente and would feel exhausted from all of the hurdles as well, I do think the expectation of someone in his position is that he finds away to hide his frustration and keep guys engaged.

I totally think its fair to critique him for writing the season off. I just do think we need to be so nasty in our attack of someone who is by most accounts a decent person and who is giving the job what they have.

Yes, Fuente is a good guy thinking he is doing the right thing by continuing to do terrible things unbeknownst to himself. Or he is too embarrassed at this point to change b/c he is a terrible leader.

If anyone said Fuente can't coach and lead based solely on his character then I missed it or those <1% of people are idiots.

Can't have it both ways. Defending awfulness (to the many points you mentioned) through justification of someone's personality or character is a contradiction. E.G., if he puts injured players out too early b/c he thinks they can rep, and truly believes it, and they continue to injure themselves is not good character.

A coach who defended his players.

"At some point we have to cover and tackle"

To me, that sounds like a coach waiting for his players to get better on their own. Not a coach who is coaching them to be better. And then blaming the players for the shortcomings.

(paraphrasing) "we had the right play call there we just missed an assignment"

That doesn't sound like defending the players to me. That sounds like blaming the players and not taking accountability for having the most predictable playbook in the ACC.

"We've been running that play for four years"

Yeah, which is exactly why everyone in America knew that play was coming and why Pitt was able to stop it.

You know what the most ludicrous crap I've ever heard is? This coach making all these dumb excuses and low key blaming the players for the team's shortcomings.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

How many times have comments been made on this site like "There goes Corn with unnecessarily cute plays - just give it to KH or HH and we would score" Often, followed by, "Everybody knows we were going to run KH or HH up the middle; why do that?" when they do that on the next play.

I may be as frustrated by these losses as the next guy, but what when I see comments like I saw yesterday ("I hope they [pitt] score 50 points."), I am disappointed. When we start cheering against our own team, we have taken a wrong turn as a fan base.

Ut Prosim Ad Dei Gloriam

Was thinking the same things. Lots of monday morning quarterbacking going on. We are fanbase (probably not much different than most) who feels personally assaulted when we don't win, but also has a pretty bad track record of doing our part (monetary support for the program). Instead of looking in the mirror, we're content to denigrate those in charge. Which is natural human behavior. But its not gonna fix anything in the end.

"There goes Corn with unnecessarily cute plays - just give it to KH or HH and we would score" Often, followed by, "Everybody knows we were going to run KH or HH up the middle; why do that?"

there is a big difference between handing the ball off to the most talented player on your team on 1st and 2nd down and running a QB draw from shotgun on 3rd and 6. You can't just cherry pick and say that our fans want the ball in the best players hands and then complain when we do that and it doesn't work. The lack of creativity and cohesion in the play calling is what people are upset about. It's not about who gets the ball when and whether or not it works. It's about how everyone in the stadium knows what's coming on critical plays. I don't care if everyone knows KH is getting the ball on 1st and 10 or 2nd and 7. It bothers me much, much more when everyone knows what we're doing when moving the chains is absolutely critical. Especially when it's a play that we have failed to demonstrate that we can execute effectively most of the time.

When we start cheering against our own team, we have taken a wrong turn as a fan base.

I don't agree with rooting against our team. However, one must ask why our own fans are resorting to this. I believe the answer is that they recognize this team is no good and not getting any better and they want to cut the head off the snake. The best way to justify cutting the head off the snake is if the team loses big and loses often. So if that happens those fans can feel justified in their cries for Justin's head.

Personally I think Fuente should be fired. I don't blame the players for the losses (he does, though not in so many words) but this team is bad right now. Recruiting has been going in the wrong direction. The players don't appear to have been developing. I would expect Hooker, in year 3 of this program, to have a better command of the offense than he does. Again, I'm not blaming Hooker here. The fact he hasn't taken measurable steps forward as a QB is telling of the quality of coaching that young man is receiving. I feel badly for him, and everyone else on the offense. Our OLine's run blocking looked much better at the beginning of the season and that was promising. But they still struggle mightily with pass protection and the run blocking seems to have regressed, if anything. We've recruited a thousand WRs and none of them have really done much in their time here. They either transfer out or just straight up fizzle. Big Play Tre makes a few plays here and there but he's not consistently getting separation and doing damage to opposing defenses. We're just not very good at the WR position and I don't see any real development of the players there. Again, not the fault of the players. Coaching just doesn't seem to be happening. I really wonder what the heck goes on at practice.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Nice guy, he cares, he just can't recruit or coach at this level. Iiwii

Maybe he's right...the play calling is the least of the issues.

We've been hearing from him for 3 seasons now that you have to execute (tackle and cover etc..)

If it's not the play calling, then it has to be the guys on the field. And if that's the case, then Fu hasn't developed any of those players to execute his offensive vision nor has he recruited nor developed the talent to run his machine.

He just doesn't realize what he's saying is their are bigger issues than Corny.

Overheard as Duke assistant coaches took elevator down from press box: “Guys, they stopped the run with a three-man front.” - David Teel Tweet 2018

"No, that's the most ludicrous crap I've ever heard. Next question." seeeeeems..a-holish to me.

Cheri
Virginia Tech alumna
twitter.com/AnimatedHokie
Hokies, Redskins, Capitals, D.C. United, Orioles, A.S. Roma

Thanks Joe! This is part of why I joined this site last year. Having a community to discuss your disappointment with the downward trajectory of the program is kind of like going to an anonymous support group to keep your spirits up.

Hokie Club member since 2017

His response to taking over the play calls does lead me to believe he is already dictating what to do on offense.

He did mention one thing about the defense that concerns me. He said they need to teach the call better. After all the rumors about Kill going off on some coaches last year I was hoping these defensive coaches would be able to teach the Xs and Os along with the techniques. If they can't teach then they shouldn't be coaches.

As a fan of dysfunctional sports organizations (Mets, NY Giants) it will be very concerning if Whit does not make some moves or statements this season. If he does not, he is part of the problem.

I'm hoping that since Whit's last tweet was Nov. 6th he is working on the situation behind closed doors.

Apparently Vice did not know how to review film either and Kill had to teach him. If that was the case, what the hell was Fuente doing when looking at film and was he not aware how his coaches approached that? For me, this just re-enforces the notion that he is an isolationist and would rather sit in his office by himself analyzing film the wrong way than lead a program (coaches, players, donors, community, fans, school leadership, etc.).

Vice too? I suppose it wouldn't surprise me since he was one of the guys that came with Fuente but I have a pretty positive overall view of the work he's done for us.

Hey now! Our G-men are right where they need to be to start their epic Super Bowl run...they're sneaking up on the rest of the NFC so they catch them unawares...at least that's what I keep telling myself.

I'll be in my corner crying. Why is watching football pain this year? Why????

Can't wait to see how Gettleman pisses away the draft picks this year.

I don't think he gets the chance. All signs are pointing to a new GM.

likely (aka pls) kevin abrams with gettleman taking a "retirement"

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

"No, that's the most ludicrous crap I've ever heard. Next question."

Wouldn't be surprised if someone got there press credentials pulled this week.

"Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our heart with tolerance."
-Stan Lee

"Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing."
-Ron Swanson

"11-0, bro"
-Hunter Carpenter (probably)

Mike Barber asked the question. I'd love to see Fuente even try to pull those credentials. The backlash would be extraordinary

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

#MakeTheMove

I think if I had to pick a word to describe this era of VT football, even at the peak moments, tone-deaf would be it. Beyond even the on the field product- the lack of public accessibility, the awful timing and messaging in social media snippets, handling relationships with the local media, the big news stories about the cancers being removed from the locker room (I still can't believe the coach and SID allowed that- talk about painting yourself into a corner)... the list goes on and on. And I am being measured in this response.

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

Agree 100%. The results on the field are becoming atrocious but the off-the-field stuff has been a mess for years now. Like I said in another thread, you can act like Belechick if you are winning like him. But if you are going 6-6 then you should probably cultivate relationships. Instead Fuente is playing mean games with people, including the nonsense with the 1999 team last year during Duke week.

please ...what happened with the 99 team. are those the ones on the sideline Fu never acknowledged or spoke to??

Shelley w

Affirmative.

The optics of Torian Gray and Charley Wiles getting pay cuts, the seeming lack of Hokie Club evolution (not sure how much that is Fuente's fault, but I would have liked to have seen him more omnipresent in their public functions), etc. You can't make those blunders unless you are winning (then generally all is foregiven.) But if your crutch is that you don't have the infrastructure to be competitive, shouldn't your first instinct be to an active participant in gaining that infrastructure.

I was happy about the hire. I advocated for it. I actually like the offensive system (even though it is poorly called.) But the failure to build on that system, especially advancing the structure of the passing game; the lack of commitment to building up the defensive front seven; scholarship allocation (especially misses at WR); the overall lack of player development; Hilgartification not translating to the on the field product etc etc. The presumed strengths of this brain trust haven't been as good as expected, while the perceived weaknesses haven't been addressed or improved.

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

Not going to lie, if this overall system had the passing concepts and route structures of Loeffler's offense, combined with better situational awareness and playcalling, it would actually be pretty formidable.

In my opinion and without getting into specifics, I get the sense that Hilgart is one of the biggest problems.

All that work sure has not translated into on the field improvements in functional strength and speed. Plus, lots of key guys don't look like they buy in or are being required to buy in.

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

Your second sentence is mind-boggling for me. How do you not get kids on scholarship to buy-in to the various aspects of your program. How do you not demand it?

I get it, getting buy-in is difficult. I deal with it every day on my construction site when it comes to safety. But you lay out the reasons why it needs to be done, you give them the plusses and minuses, and then you enforce the rules. You know how much buy-in I can get from a quarterly safety lunch that costs me MAYBE $10/person?

How do you not get kids on scholarship to buy-in to the various aspects of your program.

Turkey bacon.

Lmao.

There is probably not a more apt example of the absurdity and mismanagement of the Fuente era than the Turkey Bacon fiasco.

When the obit on the Fuente era is written on TKP, "Turkey Bacon" should be its title.

Wait, what?

people like to make fun of the program starting to offer turkey bacon as a healthier alternative to regular pork bacon at team meals. It was one of the player requests that Fuente granted in 2018-2019 to try and include the players in more decisions. A strategy that many deem a failure due to the slow start to the 2019 season and the "getting back to the way I'm used to doing things" commentary from Fuente in late September/early October 2019.

IMO turkey bacon is delicious and should always be an available option for a variety of reasons

There's a bit more to it than that.

In the SI article on how Fuente was supposedly reinvigorating a Locker Room culture that was toxic in 2018, offering Turkey Bacon was used as an example of one of the changes or points of contention.

It was...largely humiliating.

I don't think it was humiliating at all. He was trying to be more of a "players coach" or whatever, and be more accommodating of player requests. That was one of the requests the players made. Updating the menu is an easy win.

As early 2019 season would attest, the overall approach did not lead to great success but I don't see anything humiliating about trying something different when it was clear that attrition was getting out of hand during the 18-19 offseason.

I'll just say that if the story is that the locker room is complaining about not having turkey bacon, the problem is not the food.

You are asking the wrong questions if turkey bacon is ever the answer for why your team is unhappy.

Also if the same story had been written about loluva, TKP would be rolling like we do when they break the "rock".

100% No, 800% correct.

Offering Turkey Bacon should be a mundane task, not a talking point for you turning around your football program.

The exchange should go something like this:
-"Hey coach, we'd really like some Turkey bacon at breakfast"
-"No problem"
...and a few days later, there's Turkey Bacon.

When Turkey Bacon is a major example you have of how you are a transforming the culture and trajectory of your Football Program, it means you have absolutely nothing that is tangible to point to.

that's a fair point, but it's also another case of blasting Fuente for opening up and providing some details about what's going on in the program. Ya know, the very thing that people constantly complain about him not doing enough of...

Absolutely. Are you kidding me with this turkey bacon talk. I know the fanbase has moved into the pre divorce stage where everything about your partner irritates you, but come on.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

I think the pre divorce stage your are attributing to the fans now is more an apt analysis of that locker room then.

The lead up to divorce isn't about toothpaste lids or toilet seats.

There are always deeper issues that you need to communicate for a healthy union.

My point is that the locker room issues were never going to be fixed by addressing a non issue like bacon variety.

What helped fix the locker room was giving the players a voice on some decisions. They chose to make it about turkey bacon, which is sort of funny. Definitely not something that still matters today.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

But if your crutch is that you don't have the infrastructure to be competitive, shouldn't your first instinct be to an active participant in gaining that infrastructure

So perfectly put, French. This has always been my problem with the "VT can't compete because of money/facilities/dorms/ect, ect, ect.

Save a T. Boone Pickens type figure in your donor base, the way that Programs with medium-sized Donor bases compete is by engaging as many fans and donors as possible. The Head Coach absolutely has to take on the responsibility of being the "Rah Rah guy," to make this work. To be unwilling or unable to be that guy is dooming yourself for failure from the start.

From the get-go Fuente clearly seemed to lie somewhere between detached and frankly antagonistic towards fans and donors. It was just an illogical attitude and illogical approach.

At some point, you are either part of the problem or part of the solution. Fuente was much more of the former than the latter.

So as Recruiting losses piled up under this Staff and the "excuse Rolodex" continued to be rolled out for why each Recruit chose to go elsewhere, I could never shake the feeling that we were focusing on the wrong things. Rather than rehashing all of VTs supposed shortcomings, maybe we should have been focusing on what our HC was doing to try and address or fix them. The answer was not nearly enough and even when he "tried"-- his public flirtation with a Baylor (supposedly a ploy to get more support from VT) was equal parts ham-handed and undermining to his own Program.

When Dabo took over at Clemson their revenues and his budget were below VT. Never heard him complain.

Well Dabo complains all the time, just not about that stuff. Dabo is the kind of guy who isn't afraid to ask someone for a couple million dollars a month after they've just given the school a couple million dollars.

I used to say things like, "I think he's a good guy, he's just a bad coach."

I don't even think he's a good guy anymore. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Player attrition is coming, we won't have a full roster by the time we play UVA, possibly even Clemson

#sauces

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

#sauceguru, so many of those this week on delicious foods

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"

KCCO

Maybe we can just Forfeit the rest of the year

My lips are moving but there's no sound
Someday somebody's gonna get run down

This has me worried and would be a really bad look. It's really the perfect storm with the timing of the bye week, and then having to play Clemson, a walking dead coach and the fact that the classes have switched to virtual for the remainder of the semester.

Anyone that is entering the portal could see this as an opportunity to "opt out" and head home 3 weeks early.

Clemson will have a field day with us, our team has lost heart, and then UVA... oh this is not going to be fun, or tolerable. It will take a masterful coaching effort to finish the year with our heads up. (Stong showing against Clemson, and a win against UVA)

We are going to get humiliated by Clemson

question, how would losing to Clemson by 40 or 50 be worse than losing to Pitt by 33?

Expectations (fan base aside, Vegas had VT favored over PItt) were that we were equivalent if not a fair bit better than Pitt. So it was quite the negative swing when VT lost by 5 scores.

Nobody expects VT to keep it close with Clemson, even if we were 7-2 right now, Clemson would be favored by 3-4 scores.

Not sure they have lost heart, some where definitely still playing hard even at the end of that debacle.

Coach Fu is starting to feel the seat heat up underneath him, that is the only way I can justify his flippant answers at the post game drilling. His arrogance is going to piss off just enough people to get his ass ushered out the door. Hopefully sooner than later.

Maybe that's the angle he's playing for.... just hoping to get canned before Dec 16 for that extra $$$ per year as part of the buyout.

Well said, Joe

Whit, Pls!

VT '10--My avatar will flip, when things are right at VT again.

Rick Monday... You Made a Great Play...

Romanes Eunt Domus

Whit pls

If Tech does not move on quickly, I'm very concerned we're gonna truly know where rock bottom is.

Amateur superstar and idiot extraordinaire.

I agree. Would be great to have an interim coach in place to rally the kids around for the remainder of the season (whatever that consists of). Hate to see some of these kids we route for disappear (if there is a chance of retaining them).

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

Well if we go 0-12 next year we get Dabo, pretty sure that is how this works

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"

KCCO

I'm onto your ruse, you Rogue you! #LayDownForDabo

It just might work!

VT '10--My avatar will flip, when things are right at VT again.

Rick Monday... You Made a Great Play...

Romanes Eunt Domus

I predict FU blames Covid and gets a one year reprieve. Better for the VT budget as well provided they don't lose too many fans.

Yeah, but anybody with a brain could also conclude that every other program in the nation has dealt with the same shit, thus surmising that, at the end of the day, maybe Justin just aint it. Hopefully, Whit's got a brain.

Amateur superstar and idiot extraordinaire.

To my knowledge and forgiveness, the only way he gets a reprieve for another year starts with the firing of Brad Cornelson during the bye week. More changes to come on the offense staff during the off-season.

As sad as the defensive performance has been, I give the staff a pass for the following reasons:
a) New Scheme implemented with no spring or fall camp.
2) Players recruited for the old scheme.
c) Significant players didn't play due to COVID, criminal, or injuries.

I was about forgiveness at first, but realize that this is the most talented team on offense we've had for several years and are likely to have for several more and we still couldn't put up more than 14 points against Pitt. Even getting rid of Cornelson, we still have bad recruiting across the board. Even if you say Cornelson was bad at recruiting, what about recruiting on the defensive side? We've got a young coordinator, experience at LB coaching, NFL chops at D-line, and our highest rated defensive recruit (if I'm remembering correctly) is by our least experienced guy (Harvey recruited by Smith). That doesn't bode well, and then there's the questions about recruiting on offense - would a new coordinator replace all the coaches on offense, leaving Fuente without any of his guys other than maybe Shibest?

I think he was referring to forgiveness on the defensive side. To which point I would agree, JHam was dealt a shit hand, but the guy should have realized that the new scheme wasn't working and switched back to playing Man until he had time to get the boys tuned up. I fault Fuente more for not forcing the switch.

If everyone gets replaced and Fuente ends up with all new guys...fine. Let him be a manager and manage the team. Let the OC & DC run their sides of the ball and focus on the big picture.

I think people are missing the fact that JHam doesn't really know Bud's scheme to be able to teach it. He only played in it for a year but otherwise played and coached in pro schemes. He wouldn't have been able to run Bud's style of defense if he wanted to.

He coached here last year. He knows the system.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

He talked about this after Wake where they had a whole list of concepts they wanted to teach and packages to install but never had the personnel (quite literally the numbers of players) to do it. It was the dollar menu versus the full buffet, or whatever he said.

This is why I don't like the pandemic excuse, but I hate the lack of PR from the coaching staff more. Everyone knew there would be problems on defense, everyone knew it would take time, but there needed to be some kind of recognition before things went off the rails.

Players and coaches weren't set up to succeed from the beginning. The best defensive performance was against Miami because JHam admitted we leaned on the Bud Foster defense cause most of the players knew it. Maybe once it became clear we weren't having a normal spring/summer, we should have held back on switching to a new system. But that would take introspection and leadership that this staff just hasn't shown in years.

To me that's the disappointment. Things didn't have to get so caustic and bitter. We could have been in the same position record and performance wise, but at least more understanding had there been some measure of accountability.

The last three years (and last three games) have forced a lot of reflection on what I truly desired as Beamer retired: Bud Foster being given a chance as a HC.

It couldn't have gone much worse than what Fuente's tenure has become. He long promised that he would hire the highest flying, cutting edge OC he could find and go hands off the offense completely. He hung around forever, shirking other opportunities to be a HC, turning down a DC offer for more money from A&M (and others) because he loved Beamer and he loved this program. He at the very least understood the ethos of the university and more importantly, the football program. We likely would have gotten Torrian Gray as DC, meaning 2016/2017 defenses remain the same, but with a superior recruiter in TG who would have also likely moved towards larger DL and some other tweaks to the Foster system.

On the other hand, maybe he was never meant to be a HC, perhaps his coaching style, disposition, and expertise was to be specifically a DC. He may not have been built for key parts of being a HC. It's impossible to know for sure how that scenario would have played out, but five years later I have no doubt who I wish would have gotten the chance to try.

I think the problem with Foster was he would have been an interim coach at best. He retired from DC because of health issues and all the added stress of being a HC might have cut his time even shorter. Not saying that he shouldn't have been given the chance, but it probably wouldn't have worked out. That said, he could have hired an awesome DC, a kickass OC, and then found his replacement and turned over a juggernaut.

I mostly agree. I'm making a speculative assumption as to whether his health would have been a problem no matter what. It's probably not a very defensible take to suggest that going hands off with the defense (reins to TG, perhaps), and hiring an OC, and going to a figurehead who assists with the defense (a la Saban and his DB/defensive work), may have been a less stressful job for him, but it's impossible to know.

Either way, I think you nailed my thought process with the last sentence. I don't think it ever would have been a long term play given his age. However, I do see a path where he coaches for 3-5 years, but has set up the OC/DC situation such that he could pass it on again with less need to clean house and rebuild entirely. Ultimately it's a meaningless hypothetical, but one that I am confident I would have preferred to the last five years (this one included). Worst case scenario, it doesn't work out, but we all live knowing that Bud got his fair shot at being the HC after Beamer and we are looking at a total rebuild after year 5 like we are right now with Fuente.

On the other hand, maybe he was never meant to be a HC, perhaps his coaching style, disposition, and expertise was to be specifically a DC. He may not have been built for key parts of being a HC.

The most frustrating part of this is you can replace "DC" with "OC" and it applies to Fuente. Unfortunately we've had the displeasure of watching the experiment play out with Fuente instead of Bud.

Edit: meant to reply to Chris above. This is the 3rd time I've made this mistake in the past couple weeks. I take full responsibility, unlike Justin Fuente.

I have never seen fuente doing cartwheels, just saying...

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"

KCCO

At this point, you wonder if he is trying to get fired ASAP to get the extra money and just retire. I would hope not. Probably not. Would guess a professional would not do that. But I'd be lying if I said the thought had not occurred to me.

Recovering scientist working in business consulting

People don't go into coaching for the money (most coaches don't make shit, very few get to Fuentes level). Fuente wants to win badly - it makes his life easier, the players' lives more fun, and ultimately makes him more money. He doesn't want to be in this position any more than the fans do.

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Yes, you are almost certainly right. Anyone who reached the level Fu has reached should be competitive and not someone that mails it in. While I don't really think it is the case, the thought did occur to me.

Recovering scientist working in business consulting

This is going to get worse. May want to go into witness protection as a VT fan for the next month. I can't speak for Whit but I'm not sure how he doesn't get fired. And the price tag is going to be steep and might hamstring Techs options for the future but not having a coach at all is almost better at this point.

well, hopefully Whit doesn't bail b/c I am sure there are plenty of other more flattering AD positions at this point that require far less work with many more resources. Is he still rumored to be on the short list for ACC Commissioner? Whit jumping before or even after a Fuente move would be very dicey.

Whit has his faults I guess but we won't ever get anyone nearly as good as him again probably. I mean just look at who was there before Whit.

Sorry my post was worded poorly - I meant that I can't see how Fuente doesn't get fired

If Whit gets the ACC post, then Fuente is definitely gone when the new AD gets to town, right?

Please?

Click here to destroy wall.

"No," said Fuente. "I mean, I'm sure people are upset, but I mean guys we're playing football in the middle of a pandemic. The most extraordinary of circumstances we've ever seen.

I am on record as saying we shouldn't be playing sports right now, but I wasn't aware playing during a pandemic was a uniquely Virginia Tech problem that should affect only Virginia Tech. The reports I'm hearing say this thing is happening everywhere else in the country, too. So-🪞

Nope, you're mistaken. It's actually a rather strange phenomenon, but when you enter the 24060/24061 zip code shit gets a little COVID-y and we're the only team struggling with it this year. Strange, I know.

Can't imagine Whit enjoys watching Fuente pour more gas on the fire. These types of comments show it's starting to get to him and he's taking things personal. That ain't it Chief.

There were many points along the way where the fanbase would have said that they wanted Fu gone. But this press conference SHOULD be the last straw. At most of the points along the way, you could argue both sides of stay/go. But Whit cannot put this coach in front of donors and recruits any longer. I get it that he is weary from everything this season has put upon him, and his frustration and exhaustion are showing through. But these tone deaf statements cement his public image - and it is not a good one. He can no longer be an effective face of the program. It has to be over. I really don't know who you get to replace Fu, but his brand is dead at VT.

right, the gee-golly Frank response doesn't paint you into a corner and allows one to do whatever going forward. Being a pissed off, hot headed dick with a losing record for the season does not win friends or influence people.

#Whitpls #Makethemove

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VT Football: It'll get after ya!

Proud Hokie since 2004.

Whit is in a tough spot and I imagine he has to make the change. The only reason he doesn't at this point is the large contract buyout, which is Whit's own work. If Whit doesn't make the move, I think we'll start to hear rumblings for Whit's job too and the rumblings would be justifiable for the position VT is in.

🦃 🦃 🦃

I am seriously concerned about his mental health. This guy needs help, and being a head coach of any P5 program is not something he can handle clearly. He has the worst coach speak I've ever heard. This has got to stop.
Just like South Carolina, the long term negative impact of the way he's lead our program far outweighs the current cost to change the coaching staff. We are already seeing the impact of less donations - who can willingly support a program with a clown like Fuente at the helm, speaking only 3 sentences a day.......

Favorite play that never was - "Hooker with the dime to Pimp...leton."

Actually your first point crossed my mind at one point. I could be wrong but it looks like he's under absurd amounts of stress. I can't recall when it was but I also remember thinking at one point that he looks like he's gained a bunch of weight, which is a natural side effect of lots of stress not being handled well.

Combine that with the failures of the season, the nonsense that everyone is dealing with, and the torches and pitchforks we're bringing out daily as fans, I think Fuente has found himself in an unhealthy situation.

Regardless of how the rest of this season goes for us, I hope after the season is over he can take like a month off on a far away beach and seriously recharge.

What about it? Trevon and Walker talking about that, nothing new as far as I can see unless I'm missing something.

It's just that. They see the same thing saw it before us. A couple other players have been saying the same thing. Trevon Hill been said it it but we folks wrote him off it's more to it than just that but I don't expect anyone to do the extra clicking and digging etc from the other players of recent memory or the past Hokies like Aaron Rouse Coleman Clowney etc talking about the state of the program. There's been something amidst for awhile now before we knew. They said it in 2016 that everything is going to fall apart. This program is no longer what Beamer and Bud Nd Wiles built and I don't mean that from a faculty or player standpoint the entire culture has shifted. The fans see it the players are living it. The alumna feel it. It's crazy

Fuente has always subtly passed the buck. For the last 4 years he's publicly lamented the fact that he hasn't had an RB that could "fill in the blank here". Now 5 years in he still doesn't have one that he's recruited and developed. At some point a good hard look in the mirror is what every leader needs.

Is coronavirus over yet?

This Is neither here nor there but just an observation...Herbert had 210 yards on 17 touches averaging 12.4 yards per touch including returns...there's two damn games left and his hammy ain't getting any better in two games...yet he's still producing at a high level...Mitchell averaged 23 yards on his whooping 2 catches(3 targets)...tre and Robinson averaged 21 yards per reception and had some drops to boot but were still productive...the qbs averaged 3.5 yards per carry on 16 attempts including that goal line debacle and the 2nd and 25 then 3rd and 26 back to back runs when we only needed maybe 10 yards for a plausible filed goal. Tone deaf is right and I'm not even going on to the defense which was just awful once the O pissed away 7 points from one yard line. We misuse all of our weapons and rely on hooker to magically ram home first downs on 3rd and 6 or 4th and three...every damn time!!!! He plays his ass off and doesn't have the luxury of jerrod evans physical stature. I feel bad for him and what the coaches expect of him when we have all of these weapons on offense that aren't utilized...hell Gallo, holston, king(is he in the witness protection program), the 6'5 dude number 14, blackshear is misused...i dunno guys I'm just numb right now and I never ever thought I would say that....not good key players

HokieHighVPI03

Agree. And my gut says that we are approaching the last couple of games of seeing Hooker in a Hokie uniform. I just don't see the guy staying for another shit show year or 2. Does he need these extra years to develop? Of course he does. I think that point goes undisputed. But if he's been here for 4+ years and hasn't been developed yet by the Whisper and company, will 1-2 more years here even matter? Instead, he'll view staying as more of a liability (accurate) since he gets the crap beat out of him 20+ times a game. I see him taking a leap of faith to the League after this miserable season. Scares me to death for the kid, because I just don't yet see him getting the outcome he will hope for. If things were different here, he would probably see the benefit of another year to further develop his passing game. Instead he will probably knee-jerk and move on. Thanks, JF and BC. Shake my head...

Hooker is so far from NFL ready. The question is whether coaching is holding him back or he is just limited from a skill perspective. Honestly, based on all of Fuente's career as evidence, his quarterbacks have always looked their best in his system.

Hooker may well leave, but if it is to go to the draft, he will be wasting eligibility.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

Hooker leaving for the NFL will be worse than when Jerrod Evans did it. I can see him entering the TP and moving to another school though.

I think the question regarding play calling was ridiculous. When have you ever heard another reporter ask that? Fuente obviously has input into the game plan, as little or as much as he wants. And, how do you even answer the question even if you are considering making the switch? Had he even said "everything is on the table" it would result in Corny reading about his fate or hearing it secondhand before he heard it from his boss. Anyone who has ever worked in a professional setting knows that's just not how these things work.

We lost because their D was the best unit on the field and our D is a hot mess. They lived in our backfield and forced quick decisions and that is not Hooker's strength.

When he says "impact of the pandemic", the reality is that we had less of an August than some (but not all) other teams and, when coupled with a new, green DC and new defensive staff, we are in a tough spot.

I say this as someone who agrees that he should go at the end of the year. It is this game, and the one before it, that are the evidence. Not recruiting well enough, that is the evidence. Not getting rid of Corny and doing a full reboot at the end of last season, or earlier, that is the evidence. That's what pisses me off. NOT a post-game press conference.

Honestly, the Corny situation feels like Beamer and Stiney all over again, with the main difference being that Fuente hasn't earned the goodwill that Beamer had.

It's TOUGH following a legend, especially one who left a few years too late, and here we are.

I still think that given our budget, location, and facilities, the next coach, if he's good, will give us an occasional 10-2, lots of 8-4, low end 6-6, and top-30 recruiting. And, it's 50-50 that we get a good one. We should all keep that in mind when we show him the pink slip. We have proven repeatedly that we won't give the kind of money that it takes to be at the next tier (and that is tier 2, like Wisconsin or Florida, NOT tier 1, like Bama and Clemson).

Personally, I'd take 2009-11 Stiney over Corny. At least our offense knew its strengths, and played to them.

VT '10--My avatar will flip, when things are right at VT again.

Rick Monday... You Made a Great Play...

Romanes Eunt Domus

We lost because our offense was so bad that we left our D on the field the whole game. The fkrst half the defense was holding up reasonably well, but would get 45 seconds of rest before going back out. repeatedly.

Danny is always open

Lack of accountability in a job paying you millions must be pretty sweet. He's just living the dream

Yea, working 80+ hour weeks, never seeing your family, having strangers complain about your job performance to your wife when she's shopping at Kroger, getting scrutinized by strangers online at all hours of the day... yea that sounds like a sweet gig 🙄🙄🙄

Come on man, Fuente hates this just as much as (if not more than) you and I do.

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And he signed up for ALL OF IT. No one forced him to be a Power 5 football coach.

Edit: fixed spelling.

Yea, he signed up for it. That doesn't mean 'he's living the dream.'

Twitter me

To add on - nor does it excuse us from our own humanity. Change is hard. We can still be kind and agree it's time to move on.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Well put.

Curious - does Fuente have media opportunities this week? If so, what do you think his tone and message will be? It will be telling to see if he shows any contrition for that press conference. Do we think Whit will make him apologize or at least spin his message? If so, I think that is an indicator Whit intends to keep him around for at least another season. If Fuente comes out surly and combative, I think that would be a dead giveaway that he is on the hottest of hot seats.

Tech Talk Live webcast on HokiesSports is on Monday nights at 7pm, where Fu answers mostly softballs lobbed up by Laze.

You are discounting the "Fun with Fu" hard hitters /s

Hokie Club member since 2017

That segment is almost as fun as watching him coach.

What hurts most is that so many people circa 2010-ish said to me, "VT is nothing without Frank Beamer, once he retires, VT will fall into mediocrity." As an alumnus and a fan I refused to believe it, yet I struggle seeing how Tech is going to dig out of this. I can't personally imagine one coach having the vision and strategy to successfully lift this program back to the glory days or beyond, and I certainly don't see available candidates with that skill set. We need a unicorn, but I'd settle for a Mike Young who manages to always be in the conversation with top recruits and seems to get the best out of his players.

I'm just here to sling some legs

VT has a passionate enough fanbase with enough money and prestige to at least be a perennial favorite (along with Miami and maybe UNC) in the Coastal. That right there is not a high bar at all to clear, and we are falling comically short of it right now, with darker days ahead.

And yes, the money is there. We gave Buzz Williams a Top 10 in the nation salary when we hired him from Marquette in basketball. A sport whose finances don't move the needle for us, but whose coaches actually collect a significant paycheck. For a while, he was the highest paid member of our Athletic Department. In basketball. You can't tell me that we had the money to do that, but when it comes to continuing to fund the cash cow of our Athletic Department, we're trying to find enough pennies in the cushions to hire even a mediocre coach. Nah, the money is there, we just need to have the balls to confidently spend it.

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

Not trying to pick a fight with you, but Buzz most certainly was not getting a top 10 salary. More like top 25 or top 20.

But I agree with your viewpoint -- VT had never ponied up that kind of money for a BB coach before and it brought practically unprecedented success.

Whit once said "sometimes you have to spend money to make money". Time to do that for football.

I just wish we still ran the fake QB run, pop-pass play... why that disappeared so rapidly after Jerod left, I have no clue. Seemed like it worked every single time. I think we have only ran it MAYBE 2 times this year

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

Because "Ask Madden" didn't tell Corny to use it.

VT '10--My avatar will flip, when things are right at VT again.

Rick Monday... You Made a Great Play...

Romanes Eunt Domus

I think we did run it on Saturday and it worked beautifully, although Mitchell had to completely turn around and scrape it off the ground. With a better pass, it was probably a touchdown.

Definitely agree we need to run it more frequently

Thanks for the heads up on last game. I didn't watch it because I had a feeling it was going to be a shit show, and thought getting drunk with some hot russains seemed like a better idea.

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon