A positive Beamer looks forward to BC, remainder of season
    The Roth Report
    October 2, 2006
    By Bill Roth

    Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer had just walked off the football field following his team's 38-27 loss to Georgia Tech when the head man adjusted his cap, and somehow - as only Beamer can do - turned a tough loss into a positive for his team

    "We can get better from this," Beamer said. "We'll learn a lot from this tape and be a better football team as a result."

    Coaches' spin? You bet. But mostly truth in Beamer's thought process, too.

    He mentioned the upcoming schedule, the tough games ahead for every team in the ACC, and the prospects of having a great season despite the setback to Georgia Tech.

    Hey, Florida State was 5-3 in the ACC last season, yet still played in a BCS bowl. There's a lot of football left, and - the good news for Hokie fans - Beamer is in complete control of his team's psyche. Don't expect the Hokies to pull a Michigan State-like El-foldo and stumble around in a funk this week. In fact, expect the opposite.

    "We can be a very good football team, but we've got to get better," Beamer said.

    They'll get better, starting with some basics. For example:

    "When we go in, we call out groupings," Beamer said. "Last week (against Cincinnati), you don't call it out, and then you've got too many people in the huddle and they're going to call a penalty on you because you've got 12 guys and somebody's running out late."

    Beamer can swallow the concept of 'youth' and the inevitable pitfalls a team endures when playing inexperienced guys, particularly on offense. Inexperience? Yes. But immaturity? Not acceptable, says the head man.

    "It happened (against Cincinnati) and it happened again this week and we've got to call time out," he said. "That's just an immature mistake by some young people and it shouldn't be happening. Certainly not happening two weeks in a row. We've got to mature. We're five games into this now. We've got to mature."

    Beamer also addressed his team about the suspensions of receiver Josh Morgan and defensive end Chris Ellis.

    "We can't absorb good players being out of the lineup," Beamer said. "I told those guys that in the locker room. It (the suspension) affected us on our punt protection and our punt coverage. We don't need suspensions."

    Now, Ellis and Morgan are back. Injured cornerback Roland Minor and receiver David Clowney, back from his appendectomy, are in the fold as well. Barring an injury in practice, the Hokies will be fully healthy for the first time this season when they play at Boston College next Thursday.

    "My feeling is that it's like starting the season over," Beamer said before repeating himself for effect. "It's exactly like starting the season all over right now."

    Against BC, you can expect Tech to have the right groupings in the game, have players block the correct blitzing linebacker or punt rusher, and play better fundamental defense.

    "I can see a good ending here, but we've got to make it happen," Beamer said. "We can't just stay the way we are."

    The Voice's Mailbag
    Bill,
    I'm sure this has been asked before, but why are the stadium lights frequently left on for days or nights during football season? The most popular rumor seems to be that the athletics department needs to use up the rest of the athletics budget to avoid getting cut, but that doesn't make sense if they do this every year. Ryan, Blacksburg.

    Ryan,
    Tech AD Jim Weaver reports that the lights at the stadium are frequently left on overnight for security reasons. That's why sometimes you'll drive by at unusual hours and see the stadium lights blazing on the field. Also, some times the grounds crew is working on the field at night, or the clean-up crew is sweeping up in the stands.

    Bill,
    I know Jim Weaver struggles with tweaking the out-of-conference football schedule to satisfy everyone, but an opponent that would test our run defense year in and year out is Navy. The Middies have grown in stature under Paul Johnson and gave Texas A&M all it could handle a few weeks ago in the Alamodome. They were devastating in the Poinsettia Bowl last year (Yes, I am a bowl game addict!). If we could buy out one or more of those future MAC opponents everyone deplores and set up a home and away series with Navy (in September), it would better prepare us for October and give the Northern Virginia/Maryland Hokies a home game to crow about. This native Pittsburgher enjoys your broadcasts when I'm home in Lane Stadium 3-4 times a year. Bill K. '74. Glendale, AZ.

    Bill,
    Thanks for the note and kind words. Jim said he's talked with Navy 'about 15 times' and there is no interest on Navy's part in playing football against Virginia Tech. The guy to convince is the Navy AD Chet Gladchuck, the former Boston College Athletics Director.

    Gladchuck recently responded to scheduling queries on the Navy's web site: His take: "Our philosophy, which has contributed to our success, is to play four games against teams where we'd be the underdog; four teams where we're even; and four teams where we should be the favorite. Balancing the schedule in this manner is what has kept us competitive, healthy, and going to bowl games. When you take a look at some of the programs we have down the road, including Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Wake Forest, Connecticut, East Carolina, and of course Army, Air Force and Notre Dame, I am very careful to ensure that there's adequate balance throughout the season. We don't want to put ourselves in a situation that doesn't provide us with a legitimate shot at postseason consideration. This is one of the key reasons why we remain comfortable as an Independent. Remember, television, tickets, corporate support, alumni giving, facility construction, and other important advancements continue to flourish by virtue of the fact that we're winning football games, and a balanced schedule is a big part of it."

    Bill,
    Is there any way ISP can archive the Hokie Hotline for download/podcast? I, for one, would really love to be able to listen to it during my commute. As a Hokie in Houston, it's tough to be able to listen to it live anyway. I am a premium subscriber at Yahoo Broadcast, but am rarely home long enough to take advantage of it. Thanks! Anuj, Houston.

    Anuj,
    Thanks for writing. Couple of answers here that cover not only your initial question, but also other queries we've received on developing technologies such as Slingshot, iPods, and other exciting new ventures. Yahoo Broadcast owns the Internet rights to the Tech broadcasts and makes the games and Hokie Hotline available for Internet users. As of now, it's not available as a podcast. For all of these emerging technologies, when the demand on a wide scale catches up to the technology, you'll see it happen. That will be an exciting time for fans everywhere.

    Bill,
    I love listening to you and Mike call the games, the best duo in college sports. Watching on TV, the play is anywhere from 4-7 seconds behind your call. Is this the norm and just something I have to put up with to hear 'Touchdown Tech?' Don, Roanoke.

    Don,
    The signal from the Virginia Tech ISP Sports Network is sent from the stadium via satellite to radio stations around the Commonwealth. Those stations then send the signal to your radio (that all happens in less than one second!). However, on television, there can be two, three or even four satellite hops from the stadium, to a network, to a satellite television distributor (Dish Network or DirectTV) or your cable operator and then to your television. Those multiple hops can take several seconds, and thus create a delay when you try to watch the game on television while you listen to your hometown Tech Network station. If you're watching in high-def, there can be an additional delay. Thanks for listening!

    Bill,
    I would just like to say that Hokie PlayBack has really been appreciated in this Hokie household. On the lower Eastern Shore of Maryland, we get the signal from WESR and a good XM signal, so we have enjoyed you and Mike when unable to watch live broadcasts of games. At times, we have even tried watching live without audio and listening to WESR, but it usually hasn't quite matched up. My comment is that I have been very impressed with how well your radio commentary has matched up with the video on the delayed broadcasts, and my question is whether you and Mike have changed your approach to commentary knowing it will also be matched with video? For all but UNC, I have listened live and watched at least a portion of the delayed broadcast and been impressed all around with the quality of the product. Keep up the good work! Bill ('75) and Patty ('76). Salisbury, Md.

    Bill and Patty,
    Thanks for your note. I'll pass on your kind words for the folks in Tech's video office who are putting the shows together each week. They're working hard each week to make that product as good as it can be. As for the broadcast, Mike Burnop and I are not approaching our presentation any differently even though it's a 'simulcast' on both radio and television. From our perspective, it's a radio broadcast first and foremost.

    Bill
    As usual, great job by you and Mike. I love Hokie PlayBack! Since I listen to you guys with the TV sound down anyway, Playback is the way games should be broadcast. I was devastated to read that fans booed my team at halftime. No class. The team doesn't deserve that. The coaches don't deserve that. All those guys work VERY hard. A fan would SUPPORT his/her team. Make noise to disrupt the other offense. Inspire every player to do his best. These spoiled fans don't remember the late 80s/early 90s. Wins were hard to come by. When I had season tickets then, we cheered our team even thru losses to Cincinnati and Temple. Now, success has priced VT football out of reach for me, and put it in the hands of fair-weather fans who don't understand the price the coaches and players pay. I love my team. I'm a Hokie at 12-0 and also at 0-12. GO HOKIES! John Staunton.

    John,
    Thanks for taking the time to write. We're working out the kinks in Hokie PlayBack, which is getting better each week.


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    The Roth report appears weekly in hokiesports the newspaper and is posted for the general public on hokiesports.com.

    The opinions expressed here are solely those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Virginia Tech Athletics Department, hokiesports.com, or it's advertisers.
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