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The Vocal Minority

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By BJ Bennett
Follow us at  Become a fan at the Facebook Page mid-Atlantic columnist Aaron Pyre talks of the growing vocal minority at Virginia Tech.

By Aaron Pyre mid-Atlantic Columnist mid-Atlantic columnist Aaron Pyre talks of the growing vocal minority at Virginia Tech.


As everyone is aware, Virginia Tech took one on the chin from East Carolina this past weekend.  ECU dominated the Hokies on both sides of the ball.  At this point after years of fielding very good defenses and having eight new starters on the field for Bud Foster, that unit gets a pass.  The focus for this column is the offense and its ineptness.

Frank Beamer is old school, he likes power running and then play action passing off the established power running game.  When all else fails, have a mobile quarterback to cover up offensive gameplan or player execution failures.  Whoever is the offensive coordinator for Virginia Tech takes his lead from Frank, be it the current coordinator Bryan Stinespring or the past coordinator Rickey Bustle.  Bustle left after the 2001 season to become the head coach at Lousiana Lafayette.  At the time fans were excited, hoping for a more opened up offense under Stinespring.  Unfortunately that has not been the case.  While there have been a few new wrinkles, general preparation, execution and play calling are worse.  As the saying goes, “Be careful what you wish for, you may just get it.”

Here is the NCAA end of year total offense ranking for the Hokies under the Stinespring era:

2002 – 64th
2003 – 38th
2004 – 65th
2005 – 57th
2006 – 99th
2007 – 100th

When the 2008 season is over, the Hokies will very lucky to be better than 80th.  For years there have be numerous excuses, new quarterback, freshman wideouts, three new starters on the offensive line, new running backs, pick one or two each season to explain the offensive mess.  Here are a few players who have or are playing in the NFL off those teams.  Bryan Randall, Marcus Vick, Lee Suggs, Kevin Jones, Cedric Humes, Ernest Wilford, Eddie Royal, David Clowney, Josh Morgan, Jeff King, Duane Brown and Jake Grove.  Talent is not the issue, plenty of other schools with lesser talent have performed better and it’s not like Virginia Tech is the only school that has to replace starters every year.

Never seen on the list is player development or the offensive system.  Enough is enough and the fans are grumbling…LOUDLY.  Virginia Tech message boards are on fire with contempt for the Hokie offense.  At some point the excuses hold no water and coaching accountability has to come into play.  Florida State with Jeff Bowden and Tennessee with Randy Sanders as offensive coordinators who also went through the same offensive inadequacies, followed by each fan base calling for and eventually getting their heads.  It is coming in Blacksburg too and it will not end any prettier.

Frank Beamer like everyone, who has ever met Bryan Stinespring, likes him.  He has a great personality and is a top recruiter for the program.  Firing him will not be easy for Frank.  Right now Frank is defending Stinespring passionately which is outside the norm of Frank’s reserved personality.  Monday night, on his weekly radio show, which is usually filled with hand picked softball questions, Frank addressed what he and the Athletic Director Jim Weaver call “the vocal minority” and their concerns about the direction of the offense.  He sounded angry, a bit shaky and called out the bandwagon fans in not so many words.  This has been building for a couple of years now, yet Beamer played it off as if the uproar started this past Saturday.  With the way and ferocity he addressed the situation that is a smokescreen and the heat is starting to be felt.

This is not to lay all the blame on Stinespring, his offense is what Frank wants, which also explains why Frank seems to have taken these attacks personally.  Stinesprings’s problem is developing and instituting an effective version of power running and downfield passing.  Frank needs to change his philosophy as much as he does coordinators and give a new proven coordinator free reign to attack defenses like Bud Foster attacks offenses.

The next four games for the Hokies are two home games vs Furman and then Georgia Tech followed by two roadtrips to end September, UNC and Nebraska.  If Virginia Tech’s record going into October is 2-3 or 1-4 with an inept offense the “the vocal minority” will be “the deafening majority” and the winds of changes will whipping around Lane Stadium fiercely.  If the Hokies ever want to take it the National Championship level, change is paramount.  Beamer can not count on the Hokie Defense to carry them to the Sears Trophy; the offense needs to be part of the equation.  Any mention of Virginia Tech as a national title contender in the coming years is a bad joke, if changes are not made.



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Stories written by columnists are done independently.  Views do not always coincide with those of the remainder of the staff or the ownership of

BJ Bennett – B.J. Bennett is’s founder and publisher. He is the co-host of “Three & Out” with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the “Southern Pigskin Radio Network”. Email: [email protected] / Twitter: @BJBennettSports

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