ESPN’s Todd McShay might want to avoid Blacksburg for the time being.
Echoing complaints made by a portion of Virginia Tech’s fan base on an Oct. 17 teleconference, he called the Hokies’ offense “outdated by 10 or 15 years” and also compared quarterback Logan Thomas’s throwing motion to Shaquille O’Neal shooting a free throw.
But McShay also struck a nerve with Coach Frank Beamer, who bristled when asked about McShay’s comments Tuesday ahead of the Hokies game at Miami on Thursday.
“Do you know what he based that on?” the normally placid Beamer asked a reporter during his weekly news conference. “Me neither. I think those guys stay on the air by being controversial. We’re doing a lot of things that you see, you turn on the TV, a lot of stuff.
“And then I think he made some reference about Logan and I think he was one that had Logan up there pretty high as far as an NFL quarterback. He wasn’t talking about our offense when he had Logan up there pretty high as an NFL quarterback. I don’t know quite where he’s coming from, but . . . guys have got to stay in the business.”
McShay’s shots at Virginia Tech came before the offense sputtered in the second half against Clemson. The Hokies have shown the ability to connect for big plays, with 14 of 40 or more yards this season. But they’ve been unable to sustain drives consistently, largely because of missed assignments during short-yardage situations and turnovers, and that’s why Virginia Tech has seen its yards-per-play average drop below six for the first time since 2008.
The Hokies’ offense has come under fire before, but offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring and play-caller Mike O’Cain added more pistol and spread-option formations to the playbook this offseason to better take advantage of Thomas’s skill set. With Virginia Tech in the midst of a down year, though, this latest attack has drawn the coaching staff’s ire.
“I don’t really care what Todd McShay has to say,” Stinespring told reporters over the weekend. “That doesn’t benefit me one way or another what Todd McShay has to say. I don’t recall him being here at practice. I don’t recall him being at a game. What he says, that’s his opinion.
“I’m not sure what his job is. I don’t know that I’ve ever been privy to pay attention to what his job is. But what his job is certainly has no bearing on what my job is all about and what we do here at Virginia Tech.”
Before Beamer finished addressing the situation Tuesday, he also had a job for reporters in attendance. He wants McShay to clarify his comments.
“I think it would be good to go back and ask him what he’s referencing,” Beamer said. “What play in particular is he talking about or what philosophy in particular he’s talking about. I think sometimes these guys make statements. Why are you making that statement?”