Beamer Knows All About Upsets

By Adam Caparell - October 10, 2007

Think all these upsets we've seen so far this season are all that surprising? Think again because coaches around the country barely sigh when they hear that Appalachian State, Syracuse or even a 41-point underdog to the No. 2 team in the nation has pulled off the unexpected.

"I think teams are closer than ever," Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said. "I'm a believer in what you think mentally. When kids see that they're favored by 41 points, they start thinking if we just show up, we've got this one. You can't show up and get them anymore.

"The mental outlook on a team game and having your football team thinking the same way and being ready to play is a challenge. The realistic part of it is on any given Saturday, anyone in this country can beat somebody else."

Virginia Tech has not been immune to the upsets under Beamer, none more notable than the Hokies loss to Temple nine years ago.

"I think our fans are still going to remember that one. I know I do," Beamer said.

On Oct. 17, 1998, Virginia Tech entered its matchup with Temple as the No. 10 team in the nation and a five-touchdown favorite only to watch the lowly Owls rally from 17 points down to defeat the 6-0 Hokies, 28-24.

It's impossible for Beamer to forget the loss because he makes sure he brings it up with his team each season.

"That Temple game has helped us a little bit over the years, too," Beamer said. "Every time we get a big spread going, we usually talk about Temple, so maybe now we can talk about the 41-point spread with Southern Cal and Stanford."

The Hokies, now up to No. 12 in the polls, are getting ready to take on Duke this weekend and surprisingly the Hokies are just 13.5 point favorites entering Saturday's game in Durham. That's because the Blue Devils have shown some signs of life this season, winning their first game in a few seasons in Week 3 over Northwestern and playing Miami and Wake Forest tough the past two weeks.

"Let me say this about Duke, they are a much better football team," Beamer said. "Coach (Ted) Roof has a much better team. They've been right there, and they scare me to death. They're better and they're scary. This is a game that means the same as last week, and probably means more since it's in our division."

Posted by Adam Caparell at 04:49 PM on October 10, 2007

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