Thursday, October 10th, 1996

Ace Goes Under the Knife

Well, as if it wasn't traumatic enough that Cornell Brown had to get his knee operated on, now Ace does, too. Custis, you will recall, injured his left knee during conditioning drills a few weeks back. It was originally thought to be just a sprain, but it turns out that there is cartilege damage, so Ace will have the knee operated on. He will be back in 3-4 weeks, just like Cornell, so Ace should be ready for the November 29th basketball opener.

While we're talking about knee injuries, let me clarify that Cornell's problem was cartilege damage, not ligament damage. I listened to the report on TV that night, turned to the person next to me and asked, "Did they say ligament?" and that person said yes. I was in error, however. The papers corrected me the next day, saying that it was cartilege damage. Geez, at this rate, I'm going to have to add a "Corrections" link to my page.

Ford Kicked off the Football Team

Beleagured one-time punt returner, wide receiver, and speed demon Walter Ford has been "dismissed from the football team, for disciplinary reasons," according to Coach Beamer. Beamer will have no further comments, and no further information is available at this time. And spare me your comments, folks. I already know what you're thinking.

Hokies on The Deuce

The good news is, Tech's game with WVU has been picked up for broadcast by ESPN2. The bad news is, Tech's game with WVU has been picked up for broadcast by ESPN2. Why do I say that? Simple: the exposure is good, but with an ESPN2 game, that's all the Hokies get: exposure. Under the current TV contract, Big East schools get paid $233,000 for appearances on ESPN (and CBS, I think), but they get $0 for appearances on ESPN2.

The bummer about all this is that the WVU game was originally under consideration for broadcast by the main ESPN channel, not "The Deuce." Why ESPN would choose not to show a game between the Sugar Bowl champs and a currently undefeated Mountaineer squad is beyond me, but you can bet your sweet bippy it's got something to do with an ACC, Big 10, or Big 12 game. If anybody out there has the time to do a little quick research, please check out ESPN's schedule and let me know what they're showing instead of Tech/WVU.

Punt Team Corrections

If you checked out The Roanoke Times yesterday, then you saw that the coaching staff is addressing the punt team problems by putting some bigger, beefier guys up front in an attempt to build a broader, wider line that can't be skirted as easily as Syracuse DB Abrams did in the game in the Carrier Dome two weeks ago. Beamer also thinks that Tim Wade, the long snapper, has been "hitching" before snapping the ball, giving the rushers a split-second start. Stay tuned, and we'll see if the changes make a difference.

Temple: a Points Explosion?

Don't be surprised if Temple scores a lot of points this weekend. The Temple offense features a three-year starter at QB in Henry Burris, and except for the Penn State game (a 41-0 loss), they've posted some good point totals. But I warn you not because of Temple's ability on offense, but primarily because the Hokie defensive injury list is about a mile long. Cornell is out, and Waverly Jackson may not play, due to a bad back. That means that Tech's defensive line might feature five guys who played no role at all last year: Baylor, Wheel, Engelberger, Cyrus, and Hairston. Carl Bradley might see some playing time, which would be a shame, because he's a prime candidate for a redshirt year right now.

At linebacker, Tony Morrison's foot is still bothering him, and he might not play. Brandon Semones is still nursing a bad back that's been bothering him since last year. Add it all up, and come Saturday, you may have last year's second (and third) team playing for the Hokies on defense, and hey, Akron scored 27 points against the second team last year.

So I repeat myself: don't be surprised to see Temple put up some points Saturday. The onus is now on the offense to put up some impressive numbers of their own so we win this game ("onus" is my second favorite word, right behind "flabbergasted").

Well, Excuse Me...

UVa coach George Welsh (and I use the term "coach" sparingly here) has put a gag order on his team. No talking to the press allowed, and that's mostly in reaction to Tiki Barber's inflammatory quotes before the Georgia Tech game, which UVa lost (refer to my quote of the week in the Tuesday, October 8th update below for more details).

That's not really newsworthy enough to report here, but what I did find interesting was the reaction of the media, in particular Roanoke Times reporter Doug Doughty, who wrote a pissy little piece in which he whined and griped and proceeded to fire the following salvos at Welsh:

  • "The Cavaliers didn't lose to Georgia Tech because of anything Barber said. They lost because of the incompetence of their quarterbacks." (Ouch, babe!)
  • "There's a funny thing about these media bans Welsh imposes every couple of years. They never follow a win."
  • "If Welsh is worried about Barber helping the team, he can give him the ball on third- or fourth-and-one," an obvious jab at Welsh's play-calling, which pretty much sucked late in the Georgia Tech game. Facing a third-and-one deep in Ga Tech territory, Welsh called a flair-pass to Barber (blocked) and a roll-out pass (incomplete) instead of giving the ball to Tiki on a running play or two.

Doughty even stooped to calling UVa media personality Chuck Noe "the patronizing host of his (Welsh's) weekly Sunday night call-in show," as if Chuck Noe has anything to do with this.

The topper came when Doughty effectively called Welsh a liar, saying that on October 2, in a weekly media conference call, Welsh said that he was not aware of any comments suggesting that his players were taking Georgia Tech lightly. However, on his Sunday night call-in show on October 6th, Welsh indicated that he was informed of Barber's comments Oct. 1 and had discussed them with the team.

Doughty either has had enough of Welsh, with whom he has to deal with a lot, or Doughty is rising to Barber's defense. Tiki is from Roanoke, and Doughty says in the article that he has interviewed him about 50 times, since he was in high school. Well, pity poor Doug. Instead of having material spoon-fed to him by Tiki Barber, his favorite player, he's going to have to actually make something up himself.

Hey, drop me an email, Doug. I write my own stuff all the time here at Hokie Central. I can give you a few tips.

In any event, there is a note associated with the article that says, "Doug Doughty covers University of Virginia athletics for this newspaper," and I'm wondering to myself, Sure, but how much longer?

One Last Note

For all you Hokie Huddler readers, the latest issue is a treat. Due to the off week, the Huddler chose to reminesce about the '86 Peach Bowl, which is near and dear to my heart, and this latest issue is packed with stories, quotes, and recaps. Great stuff, if you're a slightly older (or older) Hokie who, like me, remembers the glory of Tech's first bowl victory.


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