For Virginia Tech, It’s Time For Change

by JustinC on November 4, 2012 · 24 comments

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Frank Beamer press conferencce 300x240 For Virginia Tech, Its Time For ChangeThe Miami game was a crossroads game for the Hokies. Thursday was a chance, on national television, for Frank Beamer to prove that his coaching style, his motivation techniques, and his philosophy still worked. A win in Miami would have cemented the Hokies as the front-runners for the Coastal Division. Another year, another story about how a down and out “Beamer Bunch” did the impossible and made yet another ACC Championship game.

Thursday’s game went about as bad as it could have gone. The Hokies offense moved the ball but failed to score even though they were given numerous chances to do so. The defense hung tough but eventually wore down and started giving up large chunks of yards to a more consistent Miami offense. The special teams, well… they were special.

For Frank Beamer, Thursday’s game should prove as a wake-up call that times they are-a-changin’. If the Hokies want to be competitive year-in and year-out, they need to become more modern. Other programs figured out Virginia Tech’s secret 10 years ago. Unfortunately, instead of trying to stay one step ahead of the field, we settled for doing the same thing over and over again. For awhile it worked. Four ACC titles and numerous Orange Bowl appearances prove that. But now, there are cracks in the foundation that need to be fixed.

In 2000, Boise State possessed the most prolific offense that season, scoring 44.91 points per game. That mark would be good for 3rd nationally this season behind Oregon and Louisiana Tech. However, in 2000, 37 teams scored 30 points or more on average. In 2012, that mark has grown to 54 teams. That’s a drastic change over a relatively short span. In 2000, you could win with a shutdown defense and an offense that controlled the clock, and scored efficiently.

In 2012, I no longer believe that’s the case. This year, a defense may still win you a championship but offenses will win you games. Alabama has a great defense and that was on display this past weekend against LSU. However, their offense has just enough firepower to help them win the game on a last minute drive in Baton Rouge. Now, Virginia Tech will never be Alabama. The Hokies don’t have the tradition, the alumni base, or the recruiting ability. But, Tech has the ability to be that caliber of team every four or five years, in theory.

The Hokies just don't have that same tenacity about them.  There's no toughness, no determination, no bend-but-don't-break attitude. Those Hokies are gone and all that seems to be left is the shell.

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As it stands, I don’t know what is exactly wrong with our program. It could be coaching, it could be the players, or it could just be a freak down year. Thankfully, I’m not in the position where I have to create a fix. That’s Frank Beamer and Jim Weaver’s job.

But as a spectator and a fan, I know well enough that something needs to change. A philosophy needs to be re-installed, a coach may need to hit the road, and some other tough decisions need to be made. The Hokies have done a remarkable job staying consistent over the past 10 years, even in the unlikely 2006 and 2008 seasons.

However, the Hokies just look awful this year. With 2013 starting off with perhaps defending National Champions in the Alabama Crimson Tide, the Hokies don’t have a whole lot of time to fix these issues if they want to avoid a complete embarrassment on national TV once again to start the 2013 season.

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Chachi November 4, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Justin, you are right, change needs to happen.

One look at our offensive production points the loaded finger at that side of the team. We have been unable to score points on lackluster defenses that are giving up 30+ points to other ACC teams on a frequent basis. This trend has been going on for a number of years IMO where our offense is unable to generate a lot of points without the defense generating turnovers or special teams hitting big plays for field position.

As much of a fan of smashmouth pro-style football as I have always been, I would consider any change of offensive leadership to be an improvement, even if it means we go to the spread, pistol or some other hybrid, as long as we commit to it and play it well within 2-3 years.

After watching last night’s nearly defenseless game between Oregon and USC, I would be interested to see how well a Bud Foster defense would play paired with a “modern” offense at VT. Regardless of how we finish this season, I think you have hit the nail on the head. The Miami game should be turning point for our offensive leadership, as if the past 3 Clemson games were not reason enough!

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jd November 4, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Justin,

Your thoughts on Zach Mccray moving to tight end? How was he during HS/

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justinc November 4, 2012 at 9:25 pm

To an extent, I think its a move that needs to happen. He just wasn’t clicking on defense.

He was a good tight end in high school but its going to take him a year or two to learn the position. I really wouldn’t expect a whole lot until his very last year.

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jp_daddi0 November 5, 2012 at 12:58 pm

It’s only a matter of time before he gets converted to O-Line.

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justinc November 6, 2012 at 1:04 am

Not big enough.

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sparko November 6, 2012 at 12:54 pm

yeah .. that was part of the problem .. he was struggling with staying big enough to play DT … and he was too slow (compared to his competition) to play DE … so he won’t get big enough to play Oline and i don’t want him to anyhow

TE/H-back seems like a good fit for him

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LJ November 4, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Good write up Justin. This topic will not go away anytime soon for VT fans. Weaver does not have the ability, insight or the balls to make the changes needed, it will be solely up to Frank Beamer to bring about the change needed. Florida State and Clemson have now firmly established themselves on the field and in recruiting circles as the leaders of ACC football. So where do we stand going forwarded? I think this team, recruits and coaching staff can bring us back only so far, North Carolina will surely be a big player in the Costal going forwarded, Larry Fedora and UNC are only going to get better. And other teams are on the improve as well. As we saw when playing them we are going to have problems beating them on a regular basis. First of all FB needs to face reality, is winning 7/8/9 games the new normal at VT? Are we going to aspire to be the 3rd best team in the ACC and the Belk bowl? Or will FB be proactive and put the program before his “set in his ways pride and loyalty to his current coaches” and start the process of keeping us an elite program! So what does Frank do? 1-Make no changes? 2- Bring in someone? 3-Coach in waiting? 4- New OC? I don’t believe this will turn itself around with the current staff…so we will have to take a wait and see approach from here….What do you think will happen, if anything?

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jeepers November 7, 2012 at 12:54 am

UNC are not going to get better. Have you read the headlines and what the NCAA is waiting to decide to do with them? No post season sanctioned by the ACC this year is just the tip of the iceberg. UNC is a NCAA cash cow and even they won’t be able not to yank a lot of scholarships away from the team. Once that happens all who are borderline pro players will declare and others will transfer like its the plague. They’ll be rebuilding for the 15th year straight. Even when ole’ Roy was questioned about the NCAA continued re-investigation his only word was “bothered”. Fedora is a good coach and they team is having a good year however. The future for them? hmmmm? It remains to be seen.

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LJ November 7, 2012 at 10:09 am

Well of course UNC has some issues to deal with, but Fedora has much more of an upside than Beamer does at this point of their careers, regardless. In just his 6th game as head coach at UNC he beats us by 14? He is doing this without his “style” players. Agree – It does remain to be seen at UNC but they will be a force eventually…by contrast we have a staff that it currently appears that “their better days are behind them”.

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bob young November 5, 2012 at 2:49 pm

I agree with all points made by other people posting. However there is one glaring thing that needs to be done TELL FB what is going to change and then change it….period. He has proven already he will not make changes on his own even if its in his best interest to do so. The President of VT or the AD has to take charge and bring about these changes or it will end badly for lots of people….in particular the fans.

One real frustration I have personally is none of the coaches accept any responsibility for the teams poor performance(foster excluded). Its always execution…..well who is responsible for execution????? Duh!!!!!! Man up all you coaches.

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LJ November 5, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Agree 100 percent Bob. You can tell on the faces of the players that they are not handling it well being blamed by the coaches and some of the fans and it’s been just too hard for them to deal with on the field. These kids are 18-22 years old and not one coach has stepped up and taken the responsibility for them and the teams play this year. Do you want to play for that kind of coach(s)? Nick Sabin always accepts responsibility for his team…even when they win he states first that “we as coaches need to do a better job”..He takes the pressure off the players and they play their ass off for him! On the flip side, don’t expect any changes if at all until after the season. FB still thinks we can win our last 3 and a bowl game and go 8-5 and all will be forgiven in hokieland, while that is not likely we could end up 6-6 reg. and go to a bowl but does that make everything positive going unto 2013?

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jeepers November 7, 2012 at 12:58 am

You are correct. FB isn’t going to get rid of any coaches unless “big bucks” and alumni finally get to Weaver and him. He’s loyal. What needs to happen now that he isn’t a head coach and is back to being an off cord is to have Ricky Bustle come back to VT and take over where he left off in ’99-’00.

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Wayne November 11, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Coach Beamer’s loyalty should not be to coaches that simply aren’t measuring up and doing what needs to be done. They are all well paid and could likely find other coaching jobs at any of the hundreds of smaller colleges around the country. No, Frank Beamers’ loyalty is due Virginia Tech and the fans that pay for the program, and their high salaries. Sadly, in light of the dismal performance of the Hokie “O” over the years, it is easy to see that FB would rather sacrifice what is best for VT and its fans, than tell some on his staff “thanks for trying, but it’s time to move on”.

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LJ November 6, 2012 at 9:34 am

Rumors are floating around that Bud Foster is interested in the open Kentucky job! He is a native Kentuckian and may be thinking now is the time to jump?

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justinc November 7, 2012 at 1:27 am

To be honest, Bud has a lot of personal baggage so it’s going to be tough for any University to hire him as Head Coach without any prior experience. Yes, he is one of the best Coordinators in the country but that doesn’t always translate into Head Coaching success. If he truly wanted to be a head coach, he’d have to go to say Kent State or a smaller school and work his way up. But, he’s over 50 so it would be tough for him to do that.

I think you may see Foster retire relatively young as well. In fact, when Beamer decides to hang it up, Foster may retire as well if he is not chosen as his replacement.

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GBD November 6, 2012 at 4:34 pm

I highly doubt they will hire a guy with no experience as a head coach but if they do the only thing I wouldn’t like would be our chances with Dashawn Hand. It’s time for changes all the way around if we do lose foster then Toad Grantham come on down! I hope Foster get’s a shot at head coach I would love to see what he can do.

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LJ November 6, 2012 at 7:52 pm

Yea agree, like you just interested in seeing Bud be a head Coach, UK most likely they go with either David Cutcliffe, head coach, Duke, Sonny Dykes, head coach, Louisiana Tech, Pete Lembo, head coach, Ball State or Willie Taggart, the head coach, at Western Kentucky. But there are some good coordinators out there that will also be good head coaches:
Neal Brown, offensive coordinator, Texas Tech
Mark Helfrich, offensive coordinator, Oregon
Kliff Kingsbury, offensive coordinator, Texas A&M
Dirk Koetter, offensive coordinator, Atlanta Falcons
Todd Monken, offensive coordinator, Oklahoma State.
Chad Morris, offensive coordinator, Clemson
Greg Roman, offensive coordinator, San Francisco 49ers
Kirby Smart, defensive coordinator, Alabama
Bryan Harsin, offensive coordinator, Texas
Pat Narduzzi, defensive coordinator, Michigan State
Mark Stoops, defensive coordinator, Florida State
Brent Venables, defensive coordinator, Clemson

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jeepers November 7, 2012 at 1:03 am

Bring back Ricky Bustle! He’s the offensive coordinator at Southern Miss right now.

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justinc November 7, 2012 at 1:20 am

I really would not be in favor of that. Bustle’s offensive scheme is simple. It’s smash mouth football but he’s even slower to adapt to changes than Beamer. I will admit though, at least his offense has an identity but I don’t know if I would be in favor of having an overly simplistic offense unless we went to the Oregon offense, which is surprisingly simplistic to learn.

Here’s La-Lafayette’s scoring offense ranking during Bustles tenure as HC there:

2010: 92nd
2009: 93rd
2008: 24th
2007: 88th
2006: 83rd
2005: 63rd
2004: 85th
2003: 83rd
2002: 114th

Now, you can argue that he didn’t have great talent there. Then I could counter that by saying they played lesser talented defenses, which offsets the talent issue. Those are not great numbers outside of the 2008 season when they went 6-6.

If we brought in a true offensive coordinator, I would want somebody with a better resume and a better past history of offensive success.

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jeepers November 7, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Bustle wasn’t the offensive coordinator on those La-Laff teams, He was the head coach. Trust me, he has a better vision of the game, better feel for the game, and better understanding of football than Stiney ever could wish for. The answer to the whole equation is to bring back Bustle and have the whole coaching staff transition for Frank’s retirement. Yes, Frank needs to find Stiney a head coaching job on the 1-AA level and let him think he is being promoted!

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jeepers November 7, 2012 at 2:13 pm

LJ the one offensive coordinator you left off that list is a Texan: Major Applewhite.

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Vhokie November 7, 2012 at 1:15 am

I say we bring back Marcus Vick to be our coordinator…he has a proven track record of integrity and sound decision making…

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justinc November 7, 2012 at 1:21 am

HAHAHAHA!

Marcus is definitely a “gunslinger”

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jeepers November 7, 2012 at 2:11 pm

I would rather Drukenmiller have the offensive play calling turned over to him than V Jr.

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