Monday, December 22, 1997

WVU Basketball is a Tall Order for the Young Hokies

When Tech tips off against WVU at 7 o'clock Monday night in the Cassell, the Hokies will be facing a 9-1 Mountaineer team that boasts some quality wins, one very quality loss, a #26 ranking in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll, and a whopping #7 Sagarin rating (as is typical of the AP poll, they seem to be out to lunch, ranking the 'Eers at 39th).

Here's a look at WVU's results to date:

Nov. 15 - Defeated East Carolina, 87-66
Nov. 22 - Defeated Alabama A&M, 114-85
Nov. 28 - Defeated Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, 111-63
Nov. 29 - Defeated Rice, 78-61, 20 OT
Nov. 30 - Defeated Dayton, 96-74
Dec. 3 - Lost at #3 Connecticut, 88-75
Dec. 6 - Defeated St. John's, 86-70
Dec. 13 - Defeated Ohio, 89-63
Dec. 16 - Defeated Robert Morris, 101-52
Dec. 20 - Defeated #21 Georgia, 86-81
Dec. 22 - At Virginia Tech, 7 p.m.

The Saturday victory over Georgia occurred on the road in Atlanta and is something for the Mountaineers to be proud of.  The 'Dawgs were ranked #21 coming into the game, and the win nearly vaulted WVU into the Top 25.

Hopefully, the big win over Georgia, as well as the travel from Atlanta to Blacksburg, will leave the Mountaineers a little flat coming into the Tech game.  In addition, I've got to think that the WVU team is remembering that they beat last year's Hokie team rather handily, 76-65 in Morgantown, and they're thinking, "And that Ace Custis guy, the one who was really good, is gone now."  Wait'll they get a load of the new Hokies!

The Hokies, of course, need your support, especially since the students are going to be out of town.  If you're thinking about coming to the game, I encourage you to make the trip.  With the students gone, there will be plenty of quality seats available in sections 9 and 11, right behind Bill Roth and Mike Burnop.  Come on out and watch an excellent Hokie team try to make a name for themselves by knocking off a top opponent.   Frankly, I like our chances in this one, and if you don't show up, you might miss a big victory.

For a little info on the Mountaineers, here's a link to the official WVU Men's Basketball Page, as well as a link to The USA Today's Big East Page.

Druck Plays an Entire Half in the Niners Regular Season Finale

Since the San Francisco 49ers have locked up home field advantage throughout the playoffs, they gave plenty of PT to the backups in Sunday night's game against Seattle, televised by our ... friends ... at ESPN.

I had heard that Jim Druckenmiller was third on the depth chart at QB for the Niners, and if Sunday's game is any indication, it's true.  Steve Young played a couple of series, and then Jeff Brohm came in for the balance of the first half (Brohm is from the Evil, Nameless School in Kentucky That Wears Red).

Druck played the entire second half, and I thought he looked pretty sharp - at first.   His first series was a string of completions, including a beautiful, 40-yard, 1995 UVa-flashback, pump-and-go that almost went for a touchdown.  The drive ended when the Niners rolled Druck out inside the ten yard line and his pass was batted down by a lineman.

In his second series, a three-and-out, he was sacked twice by rushers coming around the corners.  It looked as if Druck was dropping a little too deep and didn't seem to have a sense of where the pocket was, which is unusual for him.

On his third drive, the Niners ran three running plays, and then Druck had another pass batted down (twice?  When was the last time you saw that happen?).  He then badly underthrew a midrange down-and-out that the receiver was barely able to get his hands on and was unable to catch.

On his last drive (the Seahawks were killing the Niners and were eating up some serious clock), Druck threw an incompletion downfield, dumped the ball off for a short completion, and then bulled ahead for the first down on a QB sneak on fourth down.  Druck then underthrew a bomb, which could have been picked off but fell incomplete.  On the next play, Druck threw a short crossing pattern to a back who tipped the ball, which was then intercepted.  I thought it was the running back's fault, not Druck's.  The ball was thrown softly and should have been caught.

All in all, it was a performance that started off strong and tailed off.  But in all fairness, by the end, Druck was playing with second and third stringers, and the Niners were just mailing it in, anyway.

Will's Got a Few Weeks Off!

I have a two-week break from work, and in addition to going to the Gator Bowl, I'm going to spend a lot of time on the site, of course.  I'll be working on the 1998 membership stuff during these two weeks and will unveil it either just before I go to Jacksonville, or right after I get back.  Note that I am no longer accepting 1997 memberships - the membership form has been removed from the site.

Every 1997 membership form that I have received has been processed, so those of you who have sent one in recently should have received an email acknowledging receipt of your form.  If you sent one in and I haven't received it yet, I'll contact you when I get it.  We can either apply the donation to a 1998 membership, or work something else out.

In the next two weeks, I'll do the Special Feature I've been planning on basketball attendance.  I received over 50 responses to my unscientific poll, which is described over in the Special Features section.   There's still time to send me your thoughts before I do the piece.  I'll do a game report on the WVU basketball game, and will update News and Notes with anything big that comes up.

I'll also attack my video capture card again and see if I can get it working properly.   I'm almost there, and in fact I thought I had my problems solved, but the Rolan Roberts video was a miserable failure, so I'll take another cut at it.

If I've got some extra time, I'll see what other neat stuff I can dig up to add to the site.  Everybody have a good holiday!  And before I go, here's a HokieCentral Christmas card!

Have a HokieCentral Christmas!

trip5.jpg (9612 bytes)
Merry Christmas, Hokies!!
Have a nice "trip" to Jacksonville!   We'll be watching you on TV!  Beat those Tarheels!
- your friend, Joe Gieck

P.S. from Will: the "Trip" image is also over on the Sights and Sounds page.


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