College Football: A Hokie Nation divided?

Story by Chris Graham
freepress2@ntelos.net

Jason from Arlington did what a hundred sportswriters armed with notebooks and tape recorders and laptops hadn’t been able to do yet in 2008. He got Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer to talk about his anemic offense.

“Now, I don’t care where we rank statistically. I think part of being good coaches is look at what you’ve got and, OK, what’s the best way for our offense to help our defense win? Sometimes it’s to be conservative, take care of the ball, punt it, play good defense, get field position, score,” Beamer said yesterday, still obviously upset at the comments from Jason from Arlington on his weekly radio show Monday night.

“We talk about winning 10 games a year and winning ACC championships, but I mean, who are we kidding? We’re not going to achieve our goal of winning a national championship in football with the offense we’ve seen over the past seven years,” Jason from Arlington said by phone during a Q-and-A segment on the show.

“I hope we don’t miss, haven’t missed, our window of opportunity of winning a national championship,” he said. “I’m just thinking like if we don’t make a change here, like an overhaul, I’m thinking VT football has hit the ceiling. You’ve brought us to a really good place, but in order to get to the next level, we’re going to have to get an offense to go with that defense, or ACC champs is the best we’re going to get.”

The normally genial Beamer responded with a surprising degree of anger. “I’m gonna say this. We’re gonna get better,” Beamer said. “When we win two ACC championships and play for a third – and understand, I’ll be the first to tell you a couple of those offensive teams weren’t as talented as we wanted; I said last week, you know, the talent on our offense hasn’t been as good as the talent on our defense, we got behind in a couple of areas, and that’s just a fact – but what we did, we put together two ACC championships and played for a third one, and I think you’re kind of getting it out of whack when you start talking about it, because we want to win a national championship. But I can assure you, we’ve got good coaches, the players are going to get better and we’re going to continue to win. And I think you’re out of whack,” Beamer said.

But I don’t know that Jason from Arlington is so out of whack, at least not among his brethren in Hokie Nation. A check of the message boards at TechSidelines.com reveals a copious amount of fear and loathing among the otherwise faithful, and for good reason. Tech’s offense is ranked 100th out of the 119 Division I-A programs this season, apparently prompting the quick reversal from Beamer regarding his plans to redshirt quarterback Tyrod Taylor, though Beamer is not talking about his quarterbacks anymore, as he made clear on his weekly teleconference with reporters this morning. “I’m not going to talk about our quarterbacks right now. I want to talk about Georgia Tech and make sure our minds are on a good football team that we’re getting ready to play,” Beamer said.
Beamer did reiterate his defense of his team from Monday night in his talk with beat reporters this morning, sans the hurt feelings. “They’ve … we’ve been used to winning,” Beamer said in response to a question about the mood in Hokie Nation right now. “As I said yesterday, we’re one of two teams that have won 10 games in the regular season over the last four years, and the other one is Southern Cal. So they’re used to that. I appreciate our fans. They want us to be successful, and some of them are more vocal than others. It is what it is right now. We’re working to get better. We have some youth on our football team, and they’re trying to get better. I like the way we’re working. I like the way we’re coaching. We’re trying our best to be a better football team.”


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