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R&R Q&A: GobblerCountry Talks Virginia Tech

October 1, 2010
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Continuing the series of Q&A’s with bloggers from other schools, we check in with Gobblercountry.com. They’re part of the ACC Roundtable and an always an entertaining read.

Here are my questions and their answers:

1. Starting a season 0-2 with a loss to an FCS team is foreign territory for Tech fans, at least those not old enough to remember the pre-Beamer days. Despite the last two wins, what’s the mood like among VT fans?

Personally, it’s a subdued optimism. The team is going in the right direction, but there’s a lot of things that need to be worked on. There are a lot of possible outcomes for this season, but we’re starting to see positive results. We got a shutout on the road, but I still think this game Saturday will tell us a lot more about this team, how good they are and where they’re going to go after the disastrous start.

2. ECU gave you a game through the first half, but VT has only given up three points in the last three halves of football and shut ECU and Boston College out over the last five quarters. So has Bud Foster righted the ship defensively? What have you seen over the last three halves that leads you to believe things are squared away or that there’s still work left to be done?

I’m hesitant to say everything is fine, but the last three halves have been very impressive to me considering how they looked in the first five halves of the season. The tackling has improved, there have been fewer missed assignments and middle linebacker Bruce Taylor has improved by leaps and bounds.

Parts of the whole keep coming around, which means we could have an extremely fierce defense by the time the season is over. The pass coverage from the linebackers have improved and we started to get a decent pass rush while rushing just four guys in the second half against BC. It’s starting to come together, Pepper, it’s starting to come together.

3. Bryan Stinespring: Discuss.

The thing about Stinespring is that he’s running the offense he was hired to run. Frank Beamer wants a ball-control offense that works with the defense by keeping them off the field and fresh. That being said, he just hasn’t been doing a good enough job of that recently. The offense improved in the last half of 2009, but you have to consider who we played. We beat up on ECU, Maryland, NC State, UVa and Tennessee. Those teams weren’t exactly world beaters last season.

So there was hope that things would change this season but we’ve come out and started slow again. For whatever reason, it’s almost like we have to start all over on offense every season, which is the most frustrating thing. Unfortunately, at this point I think Stinespring will be back next year. Beamer is loyal and values staff consistency to a fault. It’s almost like he wants to keep Stinespring around just to keep from admitting that he was wrong about the guy.

4. Here are the vitals on Virginia Tech through four games: 87th nationally in passing offense; 41st in rushing offense; 53rd in passing defense; 38th in rushing defense; 57th in scoring offense; 51st in scoring defense. Do any of those numbers jump out at you as being out-of-whack, and why?

Gawd, I hope you realize the irony in saying “out of whack.” I’d say the rushing offense. We came into this season with three solid running backs and were told that the offensive line had improved. What we’ve seen is a run game that can’t seem to get anything going consistently. A lot of this is on the offensive line, which played well in the second half against ECU, but hasn’t contributed much to the success of the offense otherwise. Until the O-line improves, I’m going to continue to be skeptical about our potential for success this season.

5. Give me your feel on the game this weekend. Virginia Tech is a road favorite, but State’s played inspired football thus far. Does Vegas have it right or does State have the edge?

From what I’ve seen, I think NC State should have the edge because of the level it’s playing at right now. We’re improving, but NC State has already shown what it’s capable of. Then again, I thought it was insane that we were a 20-point favorite against ECU and a road favorite against BC so hopefully Vegas is right again.

6. Pretend for a second that you can “draft” your team’s quarterback. Do you take Russell Wilson or Tyrod Taylor?

Haha, you’re trying to get me in trouble. I’m not going to bite though. I’m taking Tyrod. Look, Wilson’s a good quarterback, but I’ve seen what Tyrod can do when he takes over and leads our offense. The guys in the huddle respect him and will fight for him. He probably doesn’t have the accuracy that Wilson does, but I do think he’s a better runner. And there really isn’t another quarterback I want to see in charge of the guys on our offense than Tyrod.

7. Is this game a precursor to the ACC title game? If not, who do you see meeting in Charlotte?

It could very well be. Neither team will be out of the running if they lose this game. As for who’s going to be in Charlotte, I have no idea. At the beginning of the season I picked us and BC but it could be anybody at this point. No clue.

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