Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Hall of Fame: Will Furrer

My first college football game was Sept. 28, 1991. The Hokies traveled to Norman, Okla., to face the No. 6 OU Sooners. Virginia Tech was 1-2 going into the game and would finish the season 5-6. They were two seasons from their first Beamer Bowl Berth and were in their first season in the Big East.

OU was 2-0 going into the game and would end up having a typical Gary Gibbs season. The Sooners went 9-3 with losses to Texas, Colorado and Nebraska, the same three teams they lost to almost every year Gibbs was coach.

The Sooners were quarterbacked by Cale Gundy, a sophomore, local legend and brother of current OSU coach Mike Gundy. Cale would go on to re-write the OU passing record book, partly because he played almost from the moment he arrived on campus and mainly because it had almost been illegal to pass at OU for the previous 40 years.

The Hokies were quarterbacked by Will Furrer, a lefty from Central Pennsylvania. It was his senior year and he had thrown for over 2,000 yards the year before. Furrer also played almost from his arrival at Virginia Tech from Fork Union Military Academy.

The Hokies were huge underdogs, but fought valiantly on the road, losing 27-17. Tech trailed, 13-10 at halftime, but two third quarter touchdowns did in the Hokies. Furrer threw for 268 yards, but also threw three interceptions.

Furrer was exciting to watch in that he could scramble and had a big arm, but he also threw a lot of interceptions. His career may not have been very accomplished, but he gets in to the Gobbler Country Hall of Fame because he was a gunslinger and was the quarterback for the Hokies when I first became a Hokie fan and for my first Hokie (and college football) game.

Notes: Furrer started Mike Ditka's last game as Chicago Bears head coach, a 27-14 loss at Dallas on Dec. 27, 1992...according to the Virginia Tech media guide, Furrer and Steve Casey are the only two quarterbacks since 1952 to lead the team in passing four consecutive years...Furrer was drafted by Chicago in the fourth round of the 1992 NFL Draft...he is currently the president of IF Marketing and Advertising in Georgetown, Texas, a suburb of Austin.

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