The Virginia Tech football team (5-6, 3-4 ACC) returns home for an ACC contest with the Cavaliers of Virginia (4-7, 2-5 ACC) Saturday in Blacksburg. Kickoff is set for 12:01 p.m. and the game will be televised on the ESPNU. Tom Hart and John Congemi will handle the announcing duties.
• Saturday’s football game between Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia will be the 94th gridiron meeting between the two schools. Tech holds a 51-37-5 edge in the rivalry, which has seen the Hokies win the last eight games, 12 of the last 13 games and 15 of the past 19 contests.
• The series began in 1895 with Virginia winning 38-0. UVa went on to win the first eight meetings between the two schools and built a 20-13-4 advantage in the series by 1953.
• Beginning with the ‘53 season, Tech bounced back to win 10 of the next 11 meetings and take the lead in the series.
• During Frank Beamer’s tenure as Tech’s head coach, the Hokies lead 16-9 after winning 38-0 last year on the road.
• From 1923-35, the two met 13 times as members of the Southern Conference with Tech holding a 7-3-3 advantage.
Do or Die Time
• The Virginia Tech football squad is in an unfamiliar position sitting at 5-6 and having to win its final game this Saturday against Virginia to extend its bowl streak to 20 years in a row. Only Florida State (31 seasons; qualified in 2012) and Florida (23 seasons; qualified in 2012) have a longer active streak. The last time the Hokies didn’t qualify for a bowl came in the 1992 season when they went 2-8-1. To put into persepctive how long it’s been since the Hokies didn’t play in a bowl, consider this: George H.W. Bush was serving his term in the White House, a stamp was 29 cents, a gallon of gas cost around $1.10 and most, if not all, of this year’s freshman class wasn’t even born yet.
• The winner of the annual gridiron clash between Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia earns more than bragging rights in the state. In recent years, the winning team has also taken home the Commonwealth Cup.
• The Cup, residing in Blacksburg after last year’s 38-0 win, was created in 1996 by the universities to remain in the possession of the winner of the in-state rivalry each year.
• The Commonwealth Cup, made of marble and cherry wood, is four feet high and weighs more than 100 pounds. The top of the Cup is silver-plated with the names of the two schools. The scores of all 92 games in the Tech-Virginia rivalry are engraved on the sides. A map of the Commonwealth of Virginia with Blacksburg and Charlottesville marked with stars has been etched on the front of the trophy, which was produced by Josten’s.
• Virginia Tech gained possession of the Cup first by defeating arch-rival Virginia, 27-9, at Lane Stadium/Worsham Field in 1996.
More On Tech-UVa
• This year’s senior class is 3-0 against Virginia and with a win, the Hokies would have a nine-game winning streak against the Cavs, adding on to the longest winning streak all-time for the Hokies in the series. Virginia’s longest winning streak in the series is eight games (1895-1904).
• The Hokies have actually fared better on the road than at home over the past 10 seasons against the Cavaliers. In the five games at Scott Stadium since 2002, the Hokies averaged 37.2 points per game, while in five games at Lane Stadium since 2002, Tech averaged just 23.2 points per game.
• The 1998 game marked the 80th meeting between Virginia Tech and Virginia. That made the UVa series the longest-standing football series in Tech history, surpassing the 79-game VMI-Virginia Tech series, which ended in 1984.
• Virginia Tech has outrushed Virginia in 32 of their last 40 meetings, while the Cavaliers have posted more passing yards than the Hokies in 14 of the last 28 games in the series.
• In the past six games, the score at halftime has usually been pretty close, but each of those games saw the Hokies pull away for the win.
Year Halftime Final
2011 VT leads 14-0 VT wins 38-0
2010 VT leads 17-0 VT wins 37-7
2009 VT leads 14-13 VT wins 42-13
2008 UVa leads 14-7 VT wins 17-14
2007 VT leads 20-14 VT wins 33-21
2006 VT leads 7-0 VT wins 17-0
Recently in the Series
• Last year, David Wilson had 153 yards rushing and two touchdowns, and Logan Thomas passed for two more scores as the Hokies blanked UVa 38-0 on the road to clinch the ACC Coastal Division. It marked the first time since 2006 - and the 16th time in the long-running series - that Virginia Tech had shut out the Cavaliers.
• In 2010, Wilson had a 20-yard touchdown catch and a 2-yard scoring run and Ryan Williams added two rushing scores as the Hokies won at home.
• In 2009, Williams ran for 183 yards and four touchdowns in the win as the Hokies scores 28 points in the second half to pull away.
• In 2008, UVa led 14-7 at the half behind converted quarterback Vic Hall, who had two rushing touchdowns. But Tech scored on a Greg Boone rushing touchdown in the third quarter and Dustin Keys won it with a 28-yard field goal with 6:37 left. Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor had 137 yards rushing (including a 73-yard run in the third quarter) and 137 yards passing.
• In the 2007 win by Tech, Branden Ore had 147 yards rushing, while Eddie Royal had 147 yards receiving.
• The 17-0 shutout of the Cavaliers in 2006 was the first in the series by either team since UVa blanked Tech 38-0 in 1991.
•Tech’s 52 points scored in the 2005 game were the most scored by either team ever in the series. It marked the first time since 2002 that the Hokies had two 100-yard rushers in a game. Branden Ore ran for 115 yards on 15 carries against the Cavaliers, while senior starter Cedric Humes added 113 yards on 17 attempts. It marked the 28th time since 1962 that a pair of Tech backs had accomplished the feat and the fourth time it was done against Virginia.
• In 2004’s game, the 0-0 halftime tie was the first game Virginia Tech had played where neither team scored in the first half since a 1990 game at Georgia Tech.
• Barring bad weather or mechanical problems, the national anthem is scheduled to end with a flyover. A Lockheed C-130H Hercules from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing, 165th Airlift Squadron, whose mission is to provide worldwide theater airlift for U.S. military and humanitarian operations, will rumble over Lane Stadium before the game. The flyover was coordinated and will be flown by Lt. Col. Phil Millett, a Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alum.
A few game notes in 140 characters or less
This will be the 94th meeting on the gridiron between @UVa_Football and @VT_Football, with the Hokies leading 51-37-5. #UVAvsVT
The series began in 1895 with Virginia winning 38-0. Last year, the #Hokies won 38-0.
The winner of the game between the #Hokies and #Cavs takes home the #CommonwealthCup.
@VT_Football has won the last eight games, 12 of the last 13 and 15 of the past 19 contest against @UVa_Football.
The #Hokies are 8-0 against the #Cavs as members of the #ACC.
@VT_Football is 14-6-1 against @UVa_Football at Lane Stadium.
@VT_Football needs a win to become bowl eligible.
For updates on Virginia Tech football, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Football).