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Q&A With Gobbler Country

There is no better way to learn about the opposing team than ask one of their bloggers. Gobble Country's Q&A with me can be found here. The return interview is after the jump.

THF: Coming into the season Virginia Tech was tapped to win the Coastal with UNC as everyone's favorite dark horse?  How is this game with UNC being viewed this season as opposed to previous ones where it was pretty much a cake walk for the Hokies?

GC: I think it's being viewed as a game that could very well decide the division. Miami is still somewhat of an unknown and Georgia Tech is going to be tough for everyone, but these are the best two teams in the division right now in my mind. Beating Georgia Tech, even though it was ugly, still put us at 1-0 in conference. I think Hokie fans are anticipating a hard-fought game. If Virginia Tech wins, it's going to have to be like the game last year.

THF: Who are the key players on offense and on defense?

GC: On offense, it all runs through QB Tyrod Taylor. Our pass blocking leaves a lot to be desired because of an injury to right tackle Blake DeChristopher. If you watched the Georgia Tech game, you saw a lot of Tyrod running for his life. It will probably be the same way this week because he's not a terribly accurate passer and at times seems uncomfortable in the pocket. Darren Evans will get a majority of the carries this week. He's a workhorse and is rarely brought down on first contact. He'll get a lot of tough yards.

On defense, I'd say the key players this week are free safety Kam Chancellor and the rover combination of Davon Morgan and Dorian Porch. There has been some miscommunication in the secondary this year and we can't afford for that to happen Saturday. It will be important for the Hokies to get pressure on the quarterback and defensive ends Jason Worilds and Nekos Brown have improved each week. DE Cam Martin has been solid as always.

THF: Much has been made of the Hokies' QB situation?  What is the general consensus in the fan base as to who Beamer should play?

GC: Most, if not all, feel Tyrod should be the starter because of the situation with the offensive line. Glennon has been put in a position where it's impossible for him to succeed. He doesn't have enough time in the pocket and I think he gets a lot of misplaced blame because of that. Having Tyrod under center is the only way we can succeed on offense right now.

THF: Local media in Raleigh made mention of discontent in the Virginia Tech fan base which was basically one disgruntled fan calling the coaches' show.  Given the Hokies' are the defending ACC champs is there any dissatisfaction within the fan base concerning the job the coaches are doing?

GC: There isn't dissatisfaction with Beamer or Bud Foster, but with the two primary offensive coaches, offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring and a guy Tar Heel fans will be familiar with, quarterbacks coach Mike O'Cain. The complaints about O'Cain are that he pushed for Glennon to be the lone starter. With Stinespring, it's a track record of bad offenses, bad play calling and misuse of players.

I think seeing Eddie Royal go off in his first two games in the NFL have had a little to do with it as well.  If he was this great in college, why on earth didn't we get him the ball more?(THF: Better known in these parts as Willie Parker Syndrome.) Fans feel the play calling is awful, which it often is. At times in the past couple years, it seems we've had three plays: Run up the middle, flanker screen and deep ball down the sideline. Only this year has the criticism become more vocal and been directed at Beamer for not making a change.

Beamer is a very loyal coach who probably isn't going to just fire a guy like Stinespring who's been with the staff so long. I think it's a case of be careful what you wish for. Look at Auburn. They got rid of Al Borges to bring in Tony Franklin to run the spread. We're only in Week 4 and some Tiger fans are already calling for Franklin to be fired.

I didn't have a problem with the playcalling against Georgia Tech when a lot of fans did. It was a lot more diverse than the East Carolina and Furman games. I think Stinespring is more comfortable with a mobile quarterback. The problem was Tyrod tucked and ran a lot more often than he threw the ball against the Jackets.

THF: Virginia Tech will win this game if they....

GC: Make it a repeat of the Georgia Tech game. If they can make it an ugly, boring game to watch, the Hokies should be able to come out of Chapel Hill with a win. If it's close, I have confidence that someone on defense or special teams will make a play to win the game.

THF: UNC will win this game if they....

GC: Stop the Hokies' running game. Tyrod isn't going to beat you with his arm yet.

THF: What is the biggest X factor you see in this game?

GC: Macho Harris. The cornerback and punt returner is going to see more time on offense this weekend. The coaches tried to get him the ball three times against Georgia Tech, but none of the plays were run well and never had a chance. Hopefully he can make the offense more dynamic. However, he isn't a good route runner, so the best chances of him getting the ball are on screens and reverses.