Hokie History: West Virginia
The history of this week's matchup is a storied rivalry that has roots from over 100 years ago. In this Hokie History we look back at Black Diamond Rivalry of Virginia Tech and West Virginia. The all-time record for the Hokies against the Mountaineers is 23-29-1. However, this record does not reflect the feeling that Hokie fans have towards this rivalry. In the past ten meetings between the two the Hokies have come away with seven wins. In recent history Virginia Tech has commanded the bragging rights in the Battle for the Black Diamond Trophy. The Black Diamond trophy was introduced to the rivalry in 1997. The Black Diamond trophy is in reference to the history of the Appalachian Mountains and its plethora of coal in which both teams neighbor. The first matchup between these teams was in 1912, which ended with the Hokies dominating the game 41-0. West Virginia bounced back to win the next 7 matchups between the teams, which has held the series lead for the Mountaineers ever since. The last time the Hokies won against West Virginia was in 2017 at FedEx Field. The Hokies won 31-24 led by Quarterback Josh Jackson, who in this game went for 235 passing yards and 101 rushing yards.
Look below for a Throwback of moments from the Black Diamond Rivalry.
Last Year's Matchup
Last season Virginia Tech strolled into Morgantown with much confidence, coming off two wins to start the season, one of which being against #10 North Carolina. The Hokies were ranked #15 at the time which was the highest the Hokies had been ranked in three years. This team was still seen a legitimate contender for the ACC Coastal. The Hokies confidence was quickly shut down by WVU scoring early and often, resulting in the Mountaineers leading 24-7 at the end of the first half. The Mountaineers potent offense made it hard for the Hokies to execute their gameplan. However, the Lunch Pail Defense emerged in the second half, holding WVU to only 3 points which allowed the Hokies to comeback. Late in the fourth quarter the Hokies offense stepped up to tie the game 21-27 on a 29 yard reception by Jalen Holston. It was only a few plays later when the Mountaineers dropped back for a screen pass on third down and were picked off by last years interception leader, Jermaine Waller. This set VT up with 2 minutes left to drive 30 yards for the win. Braxton Burmeister led Tech's offense down to the goal line with 3 yards to gain and a minute to do so. After two failed runs and an incomplete pass the Hokies were left with a 4th and goal to win the game. However, Burmeister could not find an open receiver, leaving the Hokies with their first loss of the season. This loss spiraled the Hokies season with many losses coming directly after. This game should give the Hokies extra motivation to fire them up for this week's game.
Miracle in Morgantown
For the most significant and memorable game in this rivaled history, look no further than the famous Miracle in Morgantown. This game is undoubtably one of the Hokies greatest victories in the history of the program. In the 1999 College Football season the talk of the town was about one man, Freshman phenom Michael Vick. Vick Quarterbacked the best Hokie team in the program's history, eventually leading them to challenge for the National Championship in the 1999 season. There were many aspects of this game that gave it an exciting Aura. The game featured two legendary Coaches in Frank Beamer and Don Nehlen. Along with that the Quarterback for the Hokies was the most exciting player in College and a Heisman candidate, playing for the #3 ranked team in the Hokies. The Hokies led for most of the game until a wild and unforgettable fourth quarter. The Hokies were up 19-7 when Mountaineers backup Quarterback Brad Lewis drove WVU down for two quick touchdowns, completing an unlikely comeback. After a poor kick return, Micheal Vick was left on the opposing 16 yard line with 1:11 to drive for the win. After a few quick pass completions, Vick scampered down the sideline for a 31 yard scramble, putting the Hokies in Field Goal range. Vick dropped back once more for a short gain and then spiked the ball with 5 seconds to go. This left Hokie Legend Shayne Graham with a 44 yard kick that Hokie fans will never forget. Graham hammered the kick through the uprights and just like that it was a party in Morgantown, with every Hokie across the nation jumping and screaming like a madman. This win propelled VT to #2 in the country, and an eventual challenge against Florida State in the National Championship.
Look below to relive Shayne Graham's Iconic kick in Morgantown.
With West Virginia coming into Lane Stadium this Thursday, Virginia Tech gets the chance to take back the Black Diamond Trophy and cement another win in this storied rivalry.
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All stats from ESPN.com