The Hokies dominated down the stretch in 2009, going 4-0 in November. In their four November wins, Tech was strong when it mattered, outscoring opponents 54-6 in the second half. Another Virginia Tech football season that could have been a huge disappointment was saved by an outstanding finish.
Virginia Tech is 20-2 (losses to Miami in 2005 and 2008) in November since joining the ACC in 2004. They also beat Miami in a defacto ACC title game in on the first weekend of December 2004. In the two years they lost in November, they still wound up as ACC Coastal champions. Three of their late-season runs resulted in conference titles and trips to BCS bowls. Playing well late in the season has also set the Hokies up for good bowl bids, including trips to the Gator and Peach Bowls.
The last six seasons have gone a long way to erasing the stereotype that the Hokies fold at the end of the season. From 2001-2003, the Hokies went 5-9 in regular season games after Nov. 1. The 2003 season ended with a disastrous 1-4 stretch that saw a divided Tech team.
That 2003 season was a turning point for the Hokies. The next season saw not only a change in conference affiliation, but a change in philosophy. Frank Beamer initiated the Team United campaign to bring the team together and it resulted in success late in the season.
Good finishes also lead to increased hype during the summer for the next year. This past offseason was a great example. Tech finished 2008 with four wins, including its first BCS bowl victory. Combined with a high ranking and marquee opening opponent, it was an offseason of good feelings and anticipation for Hokie fans.
If the Hokies can parlay their November success this season to a bowl win in the Gator or Peach Bowl, 2010 will be another highly anticipated season with great expectations.