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Andy Bitter

Andy Bitter is the Virginia Tech football beat writer for the Roanoke Times. Andy began covering the Hokies in October 2011 after spending three years covering Auburn for the Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer. His eventful time on the Auburn beat included a coaching change, a Heisman Trophy winner, the school’s first national championship in 53 years and the poisoning of the school’s iconic oak trees.

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Frank Beamer sad to see Maryland go, doesn't think Terps' departure will affect ACC much

Conference realignment got back in the news Monday when Maryland reportedly voted to move to the Big Ten, taking away one of the Atlantic Coast Conference's founding members.

Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer, who got his college coaching start at Maryland, doesn't think it will have a big effect on the league, though.

"Sorry to see them go," Beamer said. "I don’t know how much it will affect our conference. I don’t think it will have a great impact on our conference. ... I’m sure financials were involved.

"I think this conference is strong, very strong. I think the additions that we made have helped us. I think Notre Dame certainly has helped us. So I feel great about the ACC."

Beamer began his college coaching career at Maryland, spending one year there as a graduate assistant in 1972 on Jerry Claiborne's staff.

Being in the Atlantic Division, the Terrapins and Hokies only met sporadically. They've played four times since Tech joined the league in 2004, with the Hokies winning all four matchups.

The teams were supposed to meet at Baltimore's M&T Stadium in 2014, although with Maryland expected to be in the Big Ten by then, that matchup would seem to be off the table, since the Hokies already have four non-conference games schedule for that season.

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Here are a few other notes and quotes from Beamer's Monday teleconference ...

  • Kicker Cody Journell was named ACC Specialist of the Week after tying a career-high with 12 points at Boston College. The junior made three field goals, including the longest of his career at 42 yards. He also sent the game to overtime by sneaking in a 41-yarder that glanced off the left upright with a little over a minute to play. Journell is 17-for-20 on field goals this year and is now 4-for-4 on game-tying, lead-changing or game-winning field goals in the last three minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime in his career.
  • Beamer ran through his usual list of praise for this week's opponent, Virginia. "This is a very capable football team,"  he said. UVa plays two quarterbacks -- Michael Rocco and Alabama transfer Phillip Sims. "They both throw the ball well," Beamer said. "Rocco’s had a little bit more experience. Sims probably runs a little bit better. I think they’re similar. They’re both very good quarterbacks. I think they’ve got two guys who can play and they’re using them."
  • Asked if receiver Marcus Davis, after his five-catch, 104-yard performance in the second half of the Boston College game, would return to the starting lineup this week, Beamer was non-committal. "We’ll see,"  he said. "I sure was proud of the way he answered there in the second half. He made some really good catches for us. Again, the evaluation of the game goes into it, how they practice goes into it. So we’ll see." Beamer said that all of his receivers "played very well for the most part" against the Eagles.
  • There's not much new to report on safety Michael Cole. Beamer didn't say whether or not the safety would be available this week after suffering a scary neck injury against Florida State a week and a half ago. "I leave that up to the doctors and his family," he said. "We haven’t met today to get an update on that. We meet later on today."
  • It was a day of non-answers. Beamer said Virginia Tech was putting in its game plan today, so he wouldn't say if Alonzo Tweedy or Ronny Vandyke would start at whip linebacker. He also didn't say if cornerback Donaldven Manning would be available. The true freshman didn't travel to BC last week after considering leaving the program.
  • Tech might have not run through the Eagles' porous rushing defense, but Beamer thought his running backs did some things well, particularly senior Martin Scales, who had a tough short-yardage run that moved the chains in overtime. "I can’t say enough about him," Beamer said. "You talk about some tough running and a great pickup of the first down when we needed it there at the end. And J.C. [Coleman], he was jumping up in the hole about three or four times, we were one step away from being the long run. And I thought Tony Gregory really showed some speed too. So yeah, I thought we took a step forward with our running backs and our running game in this particular ballgame."
  • Beamer thinks Michael Holmes will be available. The redshirt freshman has been battling a thigh bruise the last couple weeks and didn't play against Florida State or Boston College. "We’ll see if we want to rotate him in there this week," Beamer said.
  • The Hokies will continue to chart kickoffs. There wasn't much different with Michael Branthover resuming those duties last week, although Beamer thought the last kick was what he was looking for. "It had height and the position is good," he said. "When we really needed one, he came through. So hopefully that’s a sign of what he’s going to do this week."

Posted to: ACC Awards Maryland Virginia

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