Beamer cutting out foul play

Virginia Tech coach is fining his players $100 for flagrant penalties

ACC notebook

September 29, 2006|By Heather A. Dinich | Heather A. Dinich,Sun reporter

Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said he has no problem hitting his players where it hurts - in the pocket.

The Hokies (4-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) are fined $100 from their bowl spending money when they commit flagrant fouls in a game or if they're not dressed properly, Beamer said. Fouls have been a problem this season for Virginia Tech, the league's most-penalized team. The Hokies are giving up 62 penalty yards per game but still remain undefeated heading into tomorrow's 3:30 p.m. televised game (chs. 2, 7) against visiting Georgia Tech (3-1, 1-0).

"I think players are smart [enough] to know this group we're getting ready to play this weekend, we can't give them any free yards," Beamer said. "The other thing we do, and I noticed Coach [Joe] Gibbs of the Redskins does the same thing - is show the penalties in our team meeting on Monday ... what we need to do to get it corrected."

Virginia Tech has gone to 13 straight bowl games, and Beamer said he realizes that if the team doesn't get to a bowl, his punishment system will fall through.

"I just thought it was playing time or money, I think that's where you hit 'em the hardest," he said. "If you want to get your point across, you go to things that will get the point across."

Virginia Tech will be without defensive end Chris Ellis and wide receiver Josh Morgan, who were suspended for violating team policy, according to a statement released by the team.

Picking up the pace

ACC teams have started 18 different quarterbacks through the first four weeks of the season, including nine who have made their first collegiate starts and combined for a 4-5 record. The one winless team in the conference, though, also happens to be one of only four teams in Division I-A to not have thrown an interception this season.

Duke freshman quarterback Thaddeus Lewis has yet to throw an interception, is third in the ACC in pass efficiency and will face another rookie quarterback tomorrow when the Blue Devils (0-3) host Virginia (1-3) at noon at Wallace Wade Stadium. It's the only other conference matchup of the weekend. Cavaliers quarterback Jameel Sewell threw for 115 yards and a touchdown in his first start last week at Georgia Tech.

Duke coach Ted Roof said he wish he'd had more game film of Sewell to study, but will base his game plan around the limited snaps he has seen.

"He really seemed like he gained some confidence and provided a spark in the second half of that Georgia Tech game," Roof said.

Both teams are looking for their first conference win of the season.

Staying strong

After 18 seasons as an assistant at Florida State - including 14 as assistant head coach - it's no surprise North Carolina State coach Chuck Amato talks to Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden by phone about once a week during the season.

Asked this week whether they've talked about how a head coach handles the criticism from fans and message boards, Amato laughed and said: "Why do we need to? I never realized there was such ... what is a message board?"

"It's a universal problem all over the country, all over the world," Amato said. "Nobody knows better what's going on in any of our programs than the coaches. I don't get involved in all that stuff. I never have.

"The one thing Coach Bowden has always said when I was there and since I've been up here is there's going to be a point in time where you've got to just be strong. This is not a game for the fainthearted as coaches and players. ... I think that's the best advice he's given me."

Advice from Bowden is unlikely anytime soon, as the Wolfpack will host Florida State on Oct. 5 at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN. N.C. State is coming off an impressive 17-15 upset of Boston College. heather.dinich@baltsun.com

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