Asked if Tweedy had been taking some first-team reps at whip linebacker this week, head coach Frank Beamer said “there’s a good chance he’s going to get on the field. … I think he’ll see some action this week.”
Tweedy has long been listed low on the depth chart, behind redshirt freshman Ronny Vandyke and the man he supplanted, fifth-senior Jeron Gouveia-Winslow, who was the starter at the beginning of the year.
But on the most recent depth chart updated today, Tweedy is listed as the starter, followed by Vandyke, who had three tackles and an assist in 48 snaps against Miami but also had some freshman mistakes. Gouveia-Winslow, who has worked as a safety the last few weeks, is the backup rover.
Tweedy, a fifth-year senior from Richmond, has played in all nine games this year, but all 15 of his tackles have been on special teams. He has eight tackles in punt coverage alone, five more than the next closest player.
A speedster who is 6-foot-2, 193 pounds, Tweedy could give the Hokies more of a chance against Florida State’s fast skill players. He battled a high-ankle sprain all of last year but performed well in a prominent role in the Sugar Bowl loss to Michigan, finishing with three tackles and a tackle for a loss while playing a big part in corralling elusive quarterback Denard Robinson.
In 47 career games, only one of which he’s started (Boston College last year), Tweedy had 80 tackles.
Here are a few more notes and quotes from today’s press conference …
- A couple programming notes: the live chat will take place Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. I’ll have a link up in the morning. We recorded another A-Mac and Andy podcast this afternoon, which will be up tomorrow some time. I’ll tweet it out when it’s ready. It’s supposed to be mobile friendly this time. And lastly, the matchups post that I normally do the day before the game will go up the morning of the game. With it being a Thursday night contest, there’s all day for people to digest something like that, so I pushed it back.
- Also of note on the depth chart, Corey Marshall and Tyrel Wilson are listed as co.-No. 1′s at the defensive end spot opposite of James Gayle. J.R. Collins is a backup defensive tackle to Derrick Hopkins. That DE spot hasn’t been productive this year. Marshall moved up past Collins last week to start for the first time since the opener. Wilson has the production edge this year, though. Marshall has 19 tackles, a half tackle for a loss and no sacks. Wilson has 22 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss and three sacks, although much of that has come playing on the other side, which goes against the right tackle and not the left.
- Martin Scales is listed as a co-No. 1 with Joey Phillips at fullback.
- Beamer didn’t give a whole lot of specifics today. Everything came back to playing better as a team. Case in point: “That’s our message: Do everything right and this thing will turn around. You’ve heard me say it, in a team game, everything has to click together. And when it does, you get that momentum and all of a sudden, you’re making one good play and another good play. And when it’s the other way, things just don’t go your way.”
- Virginia Tech hasn’t been as sharp on special teams. Beamer thinks other schools might just be catching up to what made the Hokies so successful at it back in the day. “I don’t think there’s a big secret to it,” he said. “I think more and more people are putting their better athletes out there.”
- Beamer didn’t offer an opinion on the thought of Miami self-imposing another bowl ban, which would make a wide open Coastal Division race even more so. “I think I’m just going to put all my thoughts and efforts toward Florida State,” he said. “This team is good enough that if you’re thinking about anything else, you don’t have a shot. I think we’ll go in that direction.”
- Wide receiver Corey Fuller is having a breakout year, despite the Hokies’ lack of sustained success on offense. After catching only two passes as a junior, he has 29 catches for 547 yards and four touchdowns this year, becoming a go-to guy on third down through the air. Not bad for someone who was the fourth receiver before D.J. Coles went down with a season-ending knee injury in the opener. “In practice, I feel like I’ve been trying to get more reps to see different scenarios, see how people would defend it differently,” Fuller said. “And I think that’s one of the things that’s been helping me lately. The last couple of days in practice, I’ve been going against [safeties] Kyshoen [Jarrett] and Detrick Bonner, and they both gave me something different. So I’ve been looking at that and using that to carry over into the games.”
- Tight end Ryan Malleck is from Point Pleasant, N.J. His hometown got hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. “I’ve talked to my friends and my family and my house is fine, but most of my town is under water,” he said, adding that his parents didn’t have power for a week. “A few of my friends that live by lagoons and by canals, their houses, their first floors were under water.” Malleck said the image he saw on TV that stood out to him was a roller coaster that he used to go on when he was little that had been knocked into the ocean with the pier.
- Lots of talk about playing for pride today. Cornerback Kyle Fuller wasn’t necessarily all about it, though. “Me personally I don’t really see it as playing for pride,” he said. “I know what we can do. I’m not feeling sorry for us. We can’t settle. We’ve let a lot of games get away from us this season. We can’t settle with that. We have to improve and gain back those games that we lost. This would be a great one to do it.”