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Beamer defends offense

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Frank Beamer came prepared this time.
On the morning after a fan on Beamer’s call-in radio show took the Virginia Tech coach to task for having a substandard offense, the coach armed himself with numbers Tuesday.
In the Hokies football history, he said, four of their top eight scoring seasons and four of their top eight seasons for scoring touchdowns have occurred in the past five seasons.
The Hokies have ranked in the top two in scoring for four of the past five seasons in the Atlantic Coast Conference, he said, and join No. 1 Southern California as the only teams in the nation to have won 10 games in the regular season in each of the past four seasons.
‘‘Maybe I’m missing something here,’’ Beamer said as he sat down and studied the numbers, whose validity could not be confirmed in the Hokies 2008 media guide. ‘‘The thing that matters to me is how many times you put points on the board and how many games you win.’’
He later added that the Hokies also have won two ACC championships and played for a third since joining the league in 2004, and ended his opening rant with: ‘‘I feel better now.’’
But Beamer’s relief may not last long if his offense doesn’t improve, and he knows it, as does seventh-year offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring and the entire offensive unit.
‘‘Coach Stinespring sat us down yesterday and challenged all of our manhood,’’ tailback Kenny Lewis, who has scored three touchdowns, said. ‘‘He told us we have guys that have been here three or four years and they need to play like they’ve been here three or four years.’’
Beamer has also been more engaged with the offense in practice, Lewis said.
Following an opening loss at East Carolina, the coach decided that he could not afford to redshirt sophomore quarterback Tyrod Taylor, which he’d pledged to do only a week earlier. Instead, he said the multi-dimensional Taylor and senior Sean Glennon would share the job.
They did that last week in a 24-7 victory against Furman, but led only 3-0 in the third quarter before scoring three touchdowns in a span of less than 3 minutes to salt it away.
While the Hokies got their running game moving with 261 rushing yards, 112 of those came from Taylor on just 14 carries, and the offensive line continued to lack cohesion.
With Georgia Tech arriving at Lane Stadium on Saturday fresh off a victory at Boston College, it has all conspired to make Beamer a bit more sensitive to criticism, it seems.
‘‘I understand and I appreciate their passion, I appreciate their caring, but let’s don’t get out of reality here, either,’’ Beamer said of the fans. ‘‘I mean, we’ve been pretty good.’’
In 1999, he noted, the Hokies were solid on both sides of the ball and did the improbable, advancing to the national championship game before losing 46-29 to Florida State.
That team, led by Michael Vick, also helped lift the Hokies into the company of the elite programs in the nation, and while they have remained there, the results haven’t compared.
To Beamer, a few bad high profile games may have caused an unwarranted panic.
‘‘I mean, we screwed up two bowl games, and I think those bowl games just kind of live for a whole year when things don’t go right early the next time around,’’ Beamer said.
Virginia Tech is one of four programs to have played in a bowl in each of the past 15 seasons, but it blew a 21-3 halftime lead against Georgia and lost the Chick-fil-A Bowl 31-24 two years ago, and was beaten 24-21 by upstart Kansas last January in the Orange Bowl.
Still, Beamer is heading into this weekend’s ACC opener with optimism.
‘‘You’re not usually judged by how you play your first couple of games. You’re usually judged by how you play your last five or six,’’ he said. ‘‘I appreciate the fact that we had a couple of stunning losses last year and we came back from them and won the ACC championship.’’
The first of those losses, 48-7 at eventual national champion LSU, left the Hokies at 1-1 and in a shared quarterback situation. The latter was by 14-10 at home against Boston College, the team Virginia Tech then beat 30-16 in their rematch to claim the ACC championship.

‘‘I know what we’ve got,’’ Beamer said. ‘‘I know the talents of our coaching staff and I know our players are working hard and as long as that keeps on happening, it’s full speed ahead.’’

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Beamer defends offense

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Frank Beamer came prepared this time.
On the morning after a fan on Beamer’s call-in radio show took the Virginia Tech coach to task for having a substandard offense, the coach armed himself with numbers Tuesday.
In the Hokies football history, he said, four of their top eight scoring seasons and four of their top eight seasons for scoring touchdowns have occurred in the past five seasons.
The Hokies have ranked in the top two in scoring for four of the past five seasons in the Atlantic Coast Conference, he said, and join No. 1 Southern California as the only teams in the nation to have won 10 games in the regular season in each of the past four seasons.
‘‘Maybe I’m missing something here,’’ Beamer said as he sat down and studied the numbers, whose validity could not be confirmed in the Hokies 2008 media guide. ‘‘The thing that matters to me is how many times you put points on the board and how many games you win.’’
He later added that the Hokies also have won two ACC championships and played for a third since joining the league in 2004, and ended his opening rant with: ‘‘I feel better now.’’
But Beamer’s relief may not last long if his offense doesn’t improve, and he knows it, as does seventh-year offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring and the entire offensive unit.
‘‘Coach Stinespring sat us down yesterday and challenged all of our manhood,’’ tailback Kenny Lewis, who has scored three touchdowns, said. ‘‘He told us we have guys that have been here three or four years and they need to play like they’ve been here three or four years.’’
Beamer has also been more engaged with the offense in practice, Lewis said.
Following an opening loss at East Carolina, the coach decided that he could not afford to redshirt sophomore quarterback Tyrod Taylor, which he’d pledged to do only a week earlier. Instead, he said the multi-dimensional Taylor and senior Sean Glennon would share the job.
They did that last week in a 24-7 victory against Furman, but led only 3-0 in the third quarter before scoring three touchdowns in a span of less than 3 minutes to salt it away.
While the Hokies got their running game moving with 261 rushing yards, 112 of those came from Taylor on just 14 carries, and the offensive line continued to lack cohesion.
With Georgia Tech arriving at Lane Stadium on Saturday fresh off a victory at Boston College, it has all conspired to make Beamer a bit more sensitive to criticism, it seems.
‘‘I understand and I appreciate their passion, I appreciate their caring, but let’s don’t get out of reality here, either,’’ Beamer said of the fans. ‘‘I mean, we’ve been pretty good.’’
In 1999, he noted, the Hokies were solid on both sides of the ball and did the improbable, advancing to the national championship game before losing 46-29 to Florida State.
That team, led by Michael Vick, also helped lift the Hokies into the company of the elite programs in the nation, and while they have remained there, the results haven’t compared.
To Beamer, a few bad high profile games may have caused an unwarranted panic.
‘‘I mean, we screwed up two bowl games, and I think those bowl games just kind of live for a whole year when things don’t go right early the next time around,’’ Beamer said.
Virginia Tech is one of four programs to have played in a bowl in each of the past 15 seasons, but it blew a 21-3 halftime lead against Georgia and lost the Chick-fil-A Bowl 31-24 two years ago, and was beaten 24-21 by upstart Kansas last January in the Orange Bowl.
Still, Beamer is heading into this weekend’s ACC opener with optimism.
‘‘You’re not usually judged by how you play your first couple of games. You’re usually judged by how you play your last five or six,’’ he said. ‘‘I appreciate the fact that we had a couple of stunning losses last year and we came back from them and won the ACC championship.’’
The first of those losses, 48-7 at eventual national champion LSU, left the Hokies at 1-1 and in a shared quarterback situation. The latter was by 14-10 at home against Boston College, the team Virginia Tech then beat 30-16 in their rematch to claim the ACC championship.

‘‘I know what we’ve got,’’ Beamer said. ‘‘I know the talents of our coaching staff and I know our players are working hard and as long as that keeps on happening, it’s full speed ahead.’’

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