Beamer not buying Matthews' no-chance tone

BY foxsports • September 10, 2010

James Madison coach Mickey Matthews has all the lines down about how his team is heading to No. 13 Virginia Tech knowing it is to be part of a scheduled Hokies victory Saturday.

''When you get right down to it, they didn't want any of our guys,'' Matthews quipped this week. ''It's kind of comical to think you're going to go down there and beat them.''

Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer knows better than to buy any of it, and needed only to cite the recent history of Jacksonville State in the last two Septembers to make his point.

The Gamecocks, now among the highest ranked teams in the Football Championship Subdivision, beat Ole Miss 49-48 in double overtime last weekend. They lost 19-9 to Florida State in 2009, but only because the Seminoles scored two touchdowns in the final 35 seconds.

''A I-AA program just beat Mississippi, Florida State had to score in the last 35 seconds last year to beat a I-AA program,'' Beamer said, dismissing the idea that winning is a given when a power team from a BCS conference plays a Football Championship Subdivision team.

''When I was at Murray State, we beat Louisville and we tied Memphis State, so I don't get into divisions. I get into what kind of team it is, and this is a good football team.''

The Dukes are that. They won the 2004 national championship and are consistently among the top teams in the Colonial Athletic Association, the nation's top FCS conference.

In their opener, they outgained Morehead State 483-152 in a 48-7 victory, allowing just six first downs. Quarterback Drew Didzik threw for two scores and ran for two more.

But their timing in playing this game, Matthews said, ''could not be worse.''

The Hokies (0-1) are coming off a mistake-filled 33-30 loss to No. 3 Boise State on Monday night, a game in which they fell behind 17-0 because of several costly blunders, rallied to lead 30-26 and then let the Broncos drive for the winning TD with 1:09 left.

The loss left them eager to prove they are not the sloppy team they were Monday night.

''As a team, we want to get back to what we're used to, which is practicing and getting back to another opportunity at this thing, to be better this Saturday,'' wide receiver Danny Coale said Wednesday. ''The closer and the sooner we can get there, the better for us.''

There is little in the six-game history of this series to suggest the Dukes will put up much of a fight. They have lost all six prior meetings, the last two by a combined 90-0.

The Hokies got high marks for coming back after the horrible start against the Broncos, but an offense that seemed sure to dominate showed that there's plenty to improve.

Ryan Williams, billed as a Heisman Trophy threat before the season, scored two touchdowns, but gained just 40 yards on 20 carries. As a team, Virginia Tech ran for just 128 yards, and quarterback Tyrod Taylor was their leader, running for 73 yards on 16 attempts.

The results highlighted the importance of being crisp in execution, Taylor said.

''When everyone was doing their assignment, we ran the ball well. The receivers caught the ball well. Pass protection was pretty good when everybody was doing the right thing,'' he said.

Plus, he said, despite losing a fumble at their own 31, having a punt blocked and recovered at their 12, a roughing the kicker call that negated a good return, two missed field goals and allowing a 71-yard TD play on a third down, it took drama to beat them.

''We were a minute away from winning,'' he said.


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