Wednesday, November 27th, 1996
UVa Game Preview
First of all, let me admit that I'm at a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to previewing this game, because I ignore the Wahoos as much as I can. I really don't know that much about their team, other than what I hear accidentally and what stats I can read in the paper and on-line.
Here's the biggest stat you need to know: UVa QB's have thrown 5 TD's and 17 interceptions.
Say what? That's mind-numbing, isn't it? How in the world can a team go 7-3 "boasting" a stat like that?
The answer is, of course, defense. But first let's talk about the QB's. According to The USA Today's UVa page, Tim Sherman has completed 100 of 195 passes for 1536 yards, 4 TD's, and 11 INT's. Aaron Brooks' numbers were so low that I had to scroll my browser off the page to read them: 27 of 65 for 377 yards, 1 TD, and 6 INT's.
There is no truth to the rumor that those two guys have "Property of Virginia Tech" tatooed on their butts ... yet. You'll have to wait until Saturday for that.
Now, the defense. UVa is #10 in rushing defense, #15 in pass efficiency defense, #15 in total defense, and #7 in scoring defense. Not too shabby, but the Hokies proved last weekend that rankings don't count for much (as if the AP poll hadn't already taught us that ... ).
Having said that, I will tell you that I think that Virginia's defense is probably better than West Virginia's. The Cavaliers are renownwed for hitting hard, and their hardest hitter is safety Anthony Poindexter. They've got a couple of great linebackers (or so they tell me) in James Farrior and Jamie Sharper, two guys who have gobs of experience and can fill the holes. And you all know about UVa's famous streak of games in a row with an interception, which currently stands in the 30's, I think. All I've got to say about the INT streak is ... go Druck!
In special teams, I think UVa's got the definite edge there, at least as far as kickers go. Will Brice is a punter I'd give my eye teeth for, and if Rafael Garcia can stay sober, he's a pretty good kicker. I'd give those guys the edge over a rapidly improving Jimmy Kibble and a talent-laden-but-young Shayne Graham.
So, if the Hoos are to play well and stay with the Hokies on the field, it will be with defense and the kicking game. If Tech can stuff the UVa running game and put pressure on the players that UVa's got the gall to call "quarterbacks," the Hokies will be well on their way to victory, as long as the Tech offense keeps up their recent string of great performances.
You'll notice that I didn't mention a certain UVa running back or his cornerback brother. The reason is obvious: if your dad went to Tech, and you grew up in Roanoke, and you and your brother went to UVa anyway, then I'm not wasting valuable electrons on you here at Hokie Central.
Friday at 2:30, they strap 'em on in Lane Stadium. Television by CBS. Be there, Hokie fans!
Thanks to all of you who sent UVa jokes to me. I've received some good ones, and along those lines, there was a great article in the Norfolk Virginia-Pilot, which several of you emailed me to let me know about. I won't give this any promo, because I can't do it justice...here's a link:
Good stuff, huh? Now here's some that I received from Hokie fans:
Joke #1 (from Carroll Bell): This joke came instantaneously off the top of Hokie grad Dave "Mudcat" Saunders' head about 15 years ago.
Dave and I took a bus trip to the Tech UVA game in Charlottesville to watch the Hokies womp the Whooos, and as is usual, we had to endure all the trash talking.
Finally when Mudcat could take it no longer, he tapped one of the Wahoos on the shoulder and said, "I tell you boys one thing... one of our graduates, Chris Craft, put a man on the moon, and one of your graduates, Ted Kennedy, couldn't even get a whore across a bridge!"
Needless to say the Whooos were left speechless and beaten that day! Go Hokies!
Joke #'s 2-5 (from Paul Burtner):
Why do UVa alums put their diplomas in the rear windows of their cars?
UVa math: 3/4 = 1 (good last year joke)
How can you tell a smart Wahoo from a dumb Wahoo?
Directions to UVa - North 'til you smell it, east 'til you step in it (old, but a classic).
Joke #6 (from Tim Russell):
How do you get a UVA grad off of your front porch? Pay him for the pizza.
Will here again ... thanks, everybody. It's been fun! I got some other hysterical jokes that were unprintable. You know who you are, Scott DeBolt and Brendan Sherry!
Good luck to both teams this weekend. Whatever happens, let's put on a good, classy show on both sides of the ball. This weekend is what college football is all about.
I remember sitting in the stadium two years ago, while UVa was waxing a confused and tired Tech team that couldn't seem to go three minutes between turnovers. All I could think was, "I CAN'T BELIEVE I have to wait two whole years before we get another shot at these guys in Lane Stadium!!"
Well, my long wait is up. And regardless of what happens on Friday, I live for moments like this. As I like to say, it's the journey, not the destination.
See you back here after the game!