News With Commentary by HC Staff

Wednesday, November 8, 2000
by Will Stewart, HokieCentral.com

Dave Meyer to Start, Davis Out, Vick Questionable

The latest depth chart and injury developments have Coach Beamer saying that Dave Meyer will be his starting quarterback at Central Florida this Saturday, and it appears that Michael Vick may not play at all.

"Our deal is if [Vick] could play, we would like to play him," Beamer told The Roanoke Times. "But I don't think he's going to be able to play."

Coach Beamer went on, saying that he doesn't like "in between," and that it is Dave Meyer "who needs to win this football game for us."

Beamer expressed similar sentiments prior to last week's Miami game, naming Meyer the starter early that week and saying that "a football team needs direction."

But at game time, Meyer was pulled after three series, and the Hokie coaching staff went with an ineffective Vick for four series and a kneel-down that ended the first half. The QB changes further mixed up a Hokie team that was already in disarray due to injuries at the cornerback and wide receiver (Andre Davis) positions.

The coaching staff eventually settled on Meyer for the second half, and the fifth-year senior was able to get the offense going, but by that time, the Hokies were too far behind to think about a comeback, particularly with their defense struggling.

Beamer's words about Meyer being his quarterback this week are more emphatic than they were last week, so perhaps he senses that his team needs direction and cohesion more than ever, and that the waffling at quarterback in last week's game may have been ill-advised. It's doubtful that leaving Meyer in would have produced a win, and the coaching staff was simply trying to spark the team by bringing Vick in, but perhaps Beamer thinks he learned a lesson.

It's always a tricky proposition, trying to figure out if playing a less-than-healthy star will inspire the team by making plays or if his injury will compromise his performance and drag the team down with him. Unfortunately for Tech and Vick, the latter was true in the Miami game, as Vick himself admitted.

"I didn't want to do anything to hurt the football team," Vick was quoted as saying in the USA Today. "But I did that. That's one of the reasons I came out. That was not Michael Vick out there playing football.''

This Tech team is young and needs decisive leadership from the top and from the quarterback position, and Beamer, Meyer, and even Vick seem determined to give it to them.

In other player news, wide receiver Andre Davis is listed as out for the UCF game, and cornerback Eric Green, who has been beaten like the true freshman he is by Pittsburgh's Antonio Bryant and Miami's Santana Moss the last two games, will not start against Central Florida.

Billy Hardee will get the nod instead of Green in a move that the coaches insist is not a demotion for Green, but an attempt to give him a break and restore his confidence. Tech coaches and fans are still solidly behind Green, a competent player who just needs experience to get better. And any knowledgeable Hokie fan will freely admit that Tech's lack of a pass rush (only 20 sacks in 9 games) hasn't helped Green's cause any.

Hardee is a redshirt sophomore, and Saturday's game will be his first college start. He will start at boundary corner, and Ronyell Whitaker will return to his normal field corner spot. Weeks ago, when the decision to start Green was made, Whitaker was moved from field to boundary, and Green was inserted in the field spot. This latest move returns Whitaker to where he started the season.

This Saturday's game is critical for a Tech team that is 8-1 but hasn't always played with confidence and emotion. A few weeks ago at Syracuse, ESPN sideline reporter Adrian Karsten noted that the Hokies were the "flattest I've ever seen them look." For Tech to right the ship, win this game, and go into the season-ender with UVa on a high note, the Hokies are going to have to play with fire in their eyes.

They can expect to get Central Florida's best shot. The Golden Knights are 7-3 with a nailbiting loss at Georgia Tech (21-17) and a road victory over Alabama (40-38). They're not expected to go bowling, so they'll treat this home game with Virginia Tech as a bowl game, and they'll give it everything they've got.

Their fans will, too. A record crowd of around 50,000 is expected at the 70,000-seat Citrus Bowl, where UCF's attendance record is 41,827, set in 1997.


No UCF Preview From HokieCentral.com This Week

Due to the work that is being created by HokieCentral.com's impending name change to TechSideline.com, which must be accomplished by November 15th, I won't be able to do a Central Florida preview this week.

The previews take a full work day to research and write, and at this point in time, I need every spare minute to make the site name change and do some other work as well.

To familiarize yourself with the UCF Golden Knights, you can check out their USA Today page and visit their official web site, as well. A weather forecast can be obtained from Weather.com by clicking here. For more Golden Knights links, see HokieCentral's Links Page.


Turkey Bites

  • A reminder: requests for a refund on your canceled BCA Bowl Game (VT vs. GT) tickets must be submitted by November 15th. For more details on how to get your refund (you must have your ticket stub to claim one), click here. You might want to consider donating your refund to Tech's Marques Hampton Scholarship fund. For more info on that, click here.
  • The Tech/UVA game time has been set for 7:30 on November 25th, and the game will be televised by ESPN. All of HokieCentral's pages have been updated to reflect the game time and broadcast network.
  • Speaking of ESPN, they will air a documentary tonight at 10:00 on the plane crash that killed most of the Marshall football team and its coaching staff back in 1970. The crash killed several folks with ties to the Virginia Tech football program, most notably Hokie football great Frank Loria, Sr.
  • Men's and women's basketball schedules have been posted on the Men's Hoops and Women's Hoops pages. Please note that HokieCentral's coverage of the basketball programs, as usual, will ramp up slowly. It's very, very difficult -- actually, impossible -- for me to cover both football and basketball at the same time, so the roundball reports generally yield to the football reports, at least until the football regular season is over and I can get out to some basketball games.

          

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