Ok, let's just get it out there and say it. Last Saturday sucked (and sucked royally), but you have to move on if you're going to be successful for the rest of the season. This weekend, a familiar foe comes to Blacksburg in the form of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and their triple option scheme. It seems like every year this game is close and truly is becoming more of a rivalry series than practically any other team in the conference not named Miami or UVA. While it's not the longest running series, it's had some of the more memorable moments in recent Hokies history.
The overall series is 8-3 with VT holding the edge. The Hokies are 4-1 at home against Georgia Tech with the last loss coming in a tough 38-27 loss in 2006. When in Atlanta, the Hokies are 4-2 and the last loss was in 2009 when Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson got his only win against VT en route to an ACC title that was later vacated for using disqualified players.
The first game of the series was in Beamer's fourth year on the job in 1990 when VT played No. 7 ranked Georgia Tech and held the game close as the Yellow Jackets got a key win in Atlanta, 6-3. The two schools were supposed to meet again in 2000 in a start of the season kickoff classic game that would feature Michael Vick, but lightening struck Lane Stadium and the game was called before a down could be played. It was a costly experience because VT went 11-1 that year and would have gotten a BCS bowl invite had they had one win against the BCS Top 25. Georgia Tech would finish the season ranked that year. VT would settle for the Gator Bowl that year and a win against Clemson.
The two schools never met again until VT became an official member of the ACC in 2004, and the first game as conference foes was a classic as VT traveled down to Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets had a special player that year by the name of Calvin Johnson who was a terror that night as the Hokies fell behind 17-7 at the half, but Bryan Randall led the charge in the second and VT were the victors at the end of the day, 34-20, en route to its first ACC championship.
The two schools have played since. Until last season, the winner of this game would usually end up in the ACC title game, so it goes without saying that this weekend is critical for VT if they wish to stay in the ACC title race.
Nov. 4, 2010: (20) VT 28, GT 21 @ Lane Stadium
This game was special to me because it was my senior year at VT and after watching the Hokies drop their first two games of the season. VT was starting to get its groove back and GT was in town. The Jackets had ruined VT's year the previous season and cost them the ACC title game, and were back in town looking to do the same. After Josh Nesbitt had given GT a two-score lead, VT went to work and started the rally. The Hokies scored in the second quarter to get within a score.
Late in the half, Nesbitt was injured and taken out of the game and Todd Washington stepped in. The Hokies would score two TDs in the fourth to go ahead 21-14, but Washington and GT would not go away easily, as they drove 80 yards for a tying touchdown with 2:34 left in the game.
Then on the kickoff, lightning struck (figuratively this time) as David Wilson would return the kickoff from the ten yard line for a 90 yard score to put the Hokies ahead. After a final defensive stand, VT came out the winners, 28-21 and along with it claimed the inside track to the ACC title game.
This game is always critical, and you better believe that GT will come in trying to prove that the triple option is still a viable way to compete nationally. Expect a tough, physical, downhill game Saturday.