Va. Tech opens spring practice; preps for Alabama

Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer shot 87 at Augusta National this weekend, and Wednesday opens spring practice for the Hokies. How good will Beamer’s team be when the Chick-Fil-A College Kickoff game arrives in September?

It is a question everyone is asking Beamer. He answered that question for The Roanoke Times, “I think we’ll be better overall,” said Beamer, whose club opens the season Sept. 5 against Alabama in Atlanta. “A lot of that depends on what happens here in spring practice. So it’s all about getting back to work and improving as a football team, then hope you can get to where you want to go. So let’s have a great practice on Wednesday, that’s what we need to think about right now.”

Beamer has said playing a big game early in the season like the Hokies matchup against the Alabama Crimson Tide in Atlanta can help a team’s off-season preparation. According to Mr. College Football, “When you play a big game early—and we’ve done that in the past—it focuses you team better in the spring and in the summer,” Beamer told me when the Sept. 5 game at the Georgia Dome was put together. “You can’t ease into your season. You’ve pretty much got to hit the ground running.”

It didn’t hurt Alabama’s season in 2008 kicking off the season against Clemson. The motivation of playing a big game no doubt helped focus last year’s squad. Can this year’s game against Virginia Tech yield the same off-season results?

19 Comments

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  1. 1
    julio

    Ok, I’d like to hear some predictions for the game. I consider Va. Tech to be about a 5 pt favorite, as they are returning 16 starters from a team that won the ACC and nearly everyone from a defense that finished in the top 10 in the nation from last year. I don’t think a new qb, center, left tackle, and a semi-injured RB are gonna match up too well with that. If you bammers disagree (and i’m sure you will), give me your predictions and please explain why you think Bama will win.

    P.S. explaining why does not mean hurling empty insults at me, ballplay, and omni, or simply saying that Saban is the greatest coach that ever lived.

  2. 2
    capstonereport

    I think Saban is the greatest coach ever.

    Oh wait…you wanted something else?

    I think Alabama’s offensive line will be decent for that first game. However, I’m not sure yet how effective it will be. I’m also not sure how effective Alabama’s passing game is going to be. I really need to see spring end and fall camp begin.

    At running back, I think Alabama is going to be in good shape there despite Upchurch’s injury.

    Today, I agree Va. Tech should be a favorite. Will Va. Tech be a favorite in the fall? I’m not so sure. I expect Va. Tech to be in the Top 10; I expect Alabama to be in the Top 10. The answers we get at the end of spring will give me a better feel. More than just how the pieces fit, I want to know about attitudes.

    I will make one prediction I feel certain about—Virginia Tech will be a far tougher team than Clemson was in 2008’s kickoff.

  3. 3
    Auburnisajoke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian.

    julio. Beamer teams start slow. Dunno why, but they are always playing better at the end of the year. Saban teams play better at the begining of the year, yes even when he was at LSU. I know that isnt real interesting or an enlightening observation, but its true. Bama will probably out physical V tech. Remember LSU vs V tech in 07 ? They dont play as physical as the SEC. The ACC is decent, but they dont see the defenses that Bama will see. Bama will see at least 4 or 5 defenses that will equal or beat V techs in talent. Bam will have one of the best defenses in the nation next year IMO. It will be a fight.

  4. 4
    julio

    I know Va Tech beat the snot out of Saban/LSU in the season opener in 2002. I agree that it will be a fight, though. I just think Bama’s inexperience at key positions will be too much to overcome. Then again, I thought Clemson would beat Bama by double digits last year. Shows what I know.

  5. 5
    Bamaman

    Julio, Bama will win because you and Omni and BI are dipshits. . . nah, I am just kiddin about Omni and BI. Remember that I said this statement for later, if you think Tech will be favored 5 points, you are crazy, I hope they are. Listen to BI, Bama will have one of the top defenses in the nation next year, mark it down. Tech can’t win if they can’t score. McElroy to Julio Jones or Marquis Maze will score (oops that is a sore spot isn’t it?) Not to mention Ingram putting points on the board also. The question you better worry about is if W.Vir will call off the dogs in the 4th against the mighty tigahs in your opener. Oh, btw do yall have a qb or an offensive line?

  6. 6
    julio

    Wow BM, I didn’t realize that AU and WVa had reached an agreement to move their game from the 3rd weekend in Sept to opening weekend. And here I thought that AU was opening against La Tech. As usual, you blurt something out when you have no idea what you’re talking about.

    If you want to “mark something down”, then remember this: Frank Beamer is no Tommy Bowden. If you think that game is gonna be a repeat of last year’s Clemson game, you’re sadly mistaken.

  7. 7
    BamaBrando

    I think Alabama will be an underdog in the opener. If Bama wins, they can gain a lot of positive traction for the rest of the season, much like the Clemson game did this past season. But the season will not be a bust even if they lose. It is always better to lose one early than to lose one late in the season. Regardless I don’t think you will see this Bama team show up unprepared and get blown out like the Utah game. Bama should be better in a lot of areas, especially on defense. I think it is a great way to open the season, and should be a close, low-scoring type game.

  8. 9
    Bamaman

    Hey Julio, I mean Einstein I guess it is easier for auburnfootball.com to show W Vir as your opener instead of La Tech since that is wrong as you say, as usual you think you know everything but you don’t and you are truly a dipshit, and as usual you didn’t answer the question about who Aub’s qb is or where will they find an o-line. You better hope yall open with LaTech because you have Ball State to worry about soon after. bwahahahahahahaha

  9. 11
    Bama Fan in NYC

    This isn’t the same Virginia Tech team that beat Saban in 2002 and played it to the wire with Auburn in 2004.

    It’s a new era for the ACC and Alabama SHOULD WIN by double-digits (not saying we will). I’m not saying this because it’s Alabama; I’d say this if it were Georgia, LSU, Florida (of course) and Auburn (excluding last year’s team of course).

    I could be wrong, but the ACC is weak and the only chance Virginia Tech SHOULD stand against us is if the same Alabama team that showed up to play Utah returns. Other than that,

    The season of course, will likely be 8-4, if things go our way. It’ll all boil down to quarterback play and the strength of the offensive line. Then again, will LSU, Auburn, and Tennessee show any major improvements this year? Or will Alabama underachieve?

  10. 12
    julio

    nyc, I agree with you about the ACC being weak. However, I’ve always considered Va Tech to be the only consistent exception to that. Beamer is one heck of a coach, and I truly believe that Bud Foster is the best D-coordinator in the country. If you look at his stats since he’s been there, it’s hard to argue with. I think it’s gonna be a low scoring game, but I just think that Va Tech’s experience will win the day.

    I think McElroy is gonna be a solid qb, but there’s a learning curve involved that takes time. I know we can all cite a few qb’s that were stellar right out of the gate, (Matt Leinart certainly shocked Auburn in 2003), but for every one you can cite there’s about 50 that went through a pretty tough development stage before the light came on. I think Saban will be (wisely) conservative with McElroy to begin with and rely more on the running game and defense. I don’t think that type of gameplan is a good recipe for a double digit victory over a team as experienced as Va Tech. It might result in a narrow victory though, which I’m sure you bammers would be plenty hapopy with. As a barner, I’ll be happy with a narrow victory over La Tech in the opener.

  11. 13
    Bamaman

    Julio, we all know Aub is scared to open the season against a real team but alot of good that did Tubs last year moving the W Vir game to later. Btw you better contact auburnfootball.com and tell them you have decided Aub will open with La Tech instead of W Vir. As far as McElroy’s learning curve. . . .ladies and gentlemen it looks like this one is in the history books, no wait, Maze is going long, McElroy hits him in the endzone, Touchdown! Folks, looks like Bama will be in good hands next year with McElroy at the helm. Goodnite!

  12. 14
    BamaBrando

    Well, VA Tech has 17 starters returning on a team that won the ACC. Regardless of how ‘weak’ the ACC was last year, VaT was still the best overall team in it. Bama has a lot of questions to answer on offense, and the defense should be in great shape. But having an experienced QB and OL goes a long way, especially early in the season. That is why I believe VaT should get the edge and be favored to win. I think that Bama shows up strong as well, and I believe that Saban can have this team in a position to win the game. I don’t know about a blowout, but I think Bama wins by less than a TD.

  13. 15
    julio

    BM, I don’t understand. Every other post you piss and moan about how us AU fans are in here trolling on a Bama Website, and now we find out that you’ve reading Auburn websites. Is it possible that you truly are the hypocrite we all thought you were?

  14. 16
    BamaBrando

    Julio, I read a few Auburn sites from time to time. I don’t bother posting there, I just read and move along. What is the point to post on an Auburn site when you are a Bama fan? I don’t care if Auburn people don’t like Bama. Heck, I expect it to be down right hostile towards Bama. I have read the comments, it is mostly just for the comedy of it. But none of it makes me mad enough to feel like I have to post my opinion about it.

    But my point is that I question why are all of the Auburn people here anyways, and why would it make them mad about something on a BAMA blog? I post here mostly to try and piss off the Auburn people here. Ya’ll do have a purpose I reckon.

  15. 17
    Bamaman

    Julio, aka dipshit, I don’t post or live on an Aub website like you do here, I looked to see that your school has you opening against W Vir instead of La Tech unlike what you claimed. Why don’t you call them and tell them they have it wrong and that you have it right and know everything and they know nothing. It really doesn’t matter anyway, Aub is in for another embarassing loss regardless of when they play. As far as being a hypocrite, have you ever seen me post on an Aub website? No. But you probably wouldn’t know since you probably never visit them so shut your piehole loser.

  16. 18
    julio

    BM, I just read your post. I hate to break this to ya, but that website you referred to is not “the school’s” website despite your reference to the contrary. In fact, I don’t really know what that website is. It even says that Auburn has not yet finalized the 2009 schedule. Gee, that’s only been done for 3 or 4 months now. As usual BM, you might to take more than a cursory glance at the facts before you run your mouth. It could really save you some embarrasment. (What am I saying?? That would first require that you have an ounce of shame.)

  17. 19
    Bamaman

    Julio, it really doesn’t matter, first game third game whatever, Aub will still lose, guaranteed. Lucky for yall, at least,White won’t be there to double your score from last years embarassment it will be somebody else doing it. And you are right, why would I think of googling Auburnfootball and try to get valid information, how stupid of me, I should have just typed loserfootball.com or cellardwellar.com or nationalpunchline.com to reach Aub’s website.

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