There are schematic things to address, but most of it comes down to personnel.
“We’re going to make a few changes there and make sure we’ve got absolutely our best possible people on the field,” head coach Frank Beamer said during his Monday teleconference. “So that’s that.”
Long ago, Beamer was known for using his starters on special teams, although lately Tech has used those units to get youngsters on the field and used to the speed of the college game. Alabama exposed that, however.
“You start out and want to get guys that you feel like can get it done,” Beamer said. “And if you can take a veteran guy off the field, you’d like to do that.
“But we found out the other night, and you know it, it’s just those plays can be such explosive plays. I’ve always said, you make good plays on special teams, it’s the quickest way to win a football game. And if you don’t make plays, it’s the biggest way to lose a football game. We need to get our best people out there.”
Beamer said the Hokies got too wide with their lanes on Jones’ punt return, which gave Alabama a 7-0 lead just a minute and a half in.
On the kick return, three players – Sam Rogers, Josh Trimble and Daniel Dyer – missed tackles on Jones. Others stopped on the play thinking it was over. Another player, who Beamer called the safety, was out of position.
“They would have had the ball on about the 30-yard line if he’s in position,” Beamer said. “So it’s just a matter of doing it correctly.”
Here are a few more notes and quotes from Beamer’s teleconference …
– Defensively, Tech stood tall. The Hokies gave up 206 yards to Alabama, eighth fewest nationally in Week 1. None of the teams ahead of them played somebody ranked, let alone the No. 1 team in the country.
Lest you think that was because Tech’s defense wasn’t on the field much because of the special teams scores, Alabama ran 62 plays and averaged 3.32 yards per play. That puts the Hokies ninth-best nationally on defense in the first week.
“Defensively, we probably played one of the best defensive games we’ve ever played around here,” Beamer said.
That was especially true of the front.
“I thought we were very physical and flew to the football,” he said. “A couple times we did miss that first tackle, but here comes two, three, four more. And that’s the way you like to watch it on the video is a lot of blurs going to the football.”
– Beamer was critical of his wide receivers for not only their drops (the number of which he declined to give) but also for their routes. That was the case on Logan Thomas‘ interception, when he targeted D.J. Coles.
“We had poor spacing, a poor route, that caused the interception,” Beamer said. “In the game we thought they did one thing, we thought they fooled us, but really it’s us not executing and not lining up correctly and not running the route at the proper depth.
“So yeah, overall I thought Logan did a good job. Some of his reads, we’re going to have to work on that. His read progression, we’re going to work on that a little bit. But overall, Logan did OK.”
Thomas had an ugly 5-for-26, 59-yard stat line, but Beamer said he’s not worried about his QB’s psyche.
“He’s a realistic guy,” Beamer said. “He understands what he did well, what he didn’t do well. And he’ll be better next week. And we’ve just got to help him out in a better fashion.”
– Joel Caleb will be in the running back mix this week again after missing the Alabama opener because of a suspension. Beamer hopes J.C. Coleman is ready to go after missing Week 1 with injured ankles. He also didn’t rule out Chris Mangus, who five carries for 15 yards Saturday.
“I was impressed with how hard he ran,” Beamer said.
Starter Trey Edmunds had 20 of the team’s 33 carries in Week 1, running for 132 yards in his debut. Beamer said Edmunds is “going to be a real special player,” but he wants to have two backs to handle the workload.
“Trey handled it fine,” Beamer added. “I think one thing: when you’ve got a good back, make sure you get him into the flow of the game. Most of the time we’ve been good when we’ve had two good guys there that we got the majority of the work. That way they stay in the flow of the game and stay rested, stay fresh. We’ll see how it goes this week.