- Country singer Tim McGraw not sorry for slapping female fan: ‘Things happen’
- Iraq vet cited for owning 14 therapeutic pet ducks
- White House takes credit for drop in unaccompanied children at border
- International crises be damned, Obama’s fundraising trip must go on
- Friend of bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev found guilty of impeding probe
- Train with MH17 plane crash bodies leaves rebel town in Ukraine
- Half of Colorado voters are OK with Hobby Lobby decision, poll shows
- HIV-killing condom to soon hit shelves in Australia
- Estonia pulls plug on Steven Seagal over praise for Putin
- Lawyer: Pelvic exam pics cost Hopkins $190 million
Virginia Tech looks to resurrect ‘Beamer Ball’
Hope to bring back game-changing special teams play
Question of the Day
And Fuller thinks this year’s Hokies are poised to regain that reputation as a game-changing special teams group.
“Definitely,” Fuller, a junior cornerback, said Saturday on the field at Lane Stadium during the team’s media day. “I was just talking to Coach Beamer yesterday and asked him, ‘Are you going to let us loose to go block some punts?’ That’s something I’m trying to bring back. I remember seeing those guys back in the day, blocking punts and returning ‘em, things like that. So that’s definitely something we want to do and I think we can do that with the people we have.”
From 2000-2005, the Hokies blocked 33 kicks, 17 punts and 16 field goals and extra points. But since then, the special teams have been decidedly less special. From 2006-2010, Tech blocked just 18, eight punts and 10 extra points and field goals.
Last year? The Hokies only got to one kick, when Tony Gregory blocked a punt in a win over Appalachian State. Fuller recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown.
“I think we’ll be more solid on special teams this year,” safety Detrick Bonner said. “Everybody comes back and we get to do it all over again. We’ll be more solid this year.”
Beamer said he wastes no time getting down to special teams in the preseason.
“We’re into it right now,” Beamer said. “Our punt team goes against our punt block team. It started from Day 1.”
Tech’s prowess in the game’s third phase is so well known, opposing coaches often make the trip to Blacksburg to study “Beamer Ball.”
Shane Beamer, the team’s running backs coach, is in charge of the kick return team and assists on a number of other units. The younger Beamer said Notre Dame and Ohio State have been among the visitors to Tech in recent years, as other schools have begun to catch up to the Hokies on special teams.
“I know whenever I took a job somewhere, the first thing they wanted to talk about was what makes Virginia Tech so good on special teams,” Shane Beamer said. “People saw, when you’re blocking kicks, when you’re returning kicks for touchdowns, you win games that way. There’s no bigger momentum changer than to score a touchdown on special teams.”
Last year, the Hokies failed to run back a kickoff or punt for a touchdown for just the second time in the last six years.
In 2010, David Wilson returned two kickoffs for touchdowns and Jayron Hosley ran back a punt 80 yards for a score. Both are now in NFL camp with the New York Giants.
U.S. appetite for drugs begets violence migrants are fleeing
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- Jewish woman booted from JetBlue flight over fight with Palestinian
- Edward Snowden to work with Russia on anti-spy technology
- Rihanna, Dwight Howard delete #FreePalestine tweets
- YOUNG: A sinking presidency, deeper after November?
- PRUDEN: A deadly enemy within exacerbating immigration crisis
- MERRY: Handicaps in Hillary's way
- Driver who killed teen on bike sues family for $1.3 million
- Bill Maher blames Hamas for Gaza violence: 'Do you really expect the Israelis not to retaliate?'
- HUMPHRIES: 'Hes the Worst President in 70 Years'
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq