I've Seen This Movie Before: The Story of the 2009 Miami Game
In September of 2009, I was an eighth grader at Pocahontas Middle School (PMS). I was just getting acclimated to a new schedule, new teachers, a new lunch time, and most importantly - a new Virginia Tech football team. I remember that I spent many hours studying the 2009 Virginia Tech football media guide. I wanted to make sure I knew all of the newcomers' names, what position they played, and what numbers they wore.
Aside from all of that, I also distinctly remember what the weather in Virginia was like the week after the Hokies beat the Nebraska Cornhuskers on September 19.
I was on cloud nine roaming the halls of PMS because I had just been at that historic game in Lane Stadium. Tyrod had done it, Mikey! And whatever “it” was, was absolutely insane. However, that Nebraska game was in the past now. As the die-hard Hokie football fan that I was, all of my attention was on our week four opponent: the Miami Hurricanes. Not only were the Hurricanes our first conference game of the year, but it would also be the game that would set the tone for the rest of the season.
Unfortunately, the weather forecast did not look good for Virginia Tech’s upcoming match-up against the Hurricanes. In fact, the Blacksburg weather forecast for September 26, the date on which the game was scheduled, was not much different than a hurricane.
That information alone made me nervous. It made all of Hokie Nation nervous. But it wasn’t just the weather that had everyone concerned.
This Miami team had all the hype behind them coming into week four. The Hurricanes were led by head coach Randy Shannon and sophomore quarterback Jacory Harris. For those who don’t know, let me tell you right now: ESPN and the College Gameday crew loved to talk about this kid. It was obnoxious.
The amount of media smoke blown up this kid’s rear end early that season was enough to scare your local fire department. In fact, they loved talking about Harris so much that they gave him the nickname “Jacory Heisman.”
Funny, because after looking at the history books, it would appear that Mr. Harris never actually won the Heisman. What a shame.
To their credit, the Hurricanes had beaten the No. 18 ranked Florida State Seminoles and the No. 14 ranked Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets prior to playing the Hokies on September 26. No wonder ESPN was all over them. They wanted to push the narrative that the “swagger” was back in Miami. I guess one could argue that that statement was true at the time.
Well, it was true until the Hurricanes came to Blacksburg.
Every media outlet on God’s green earth said that Miami was going to beat the Hokies like a drum. They all said that Virginia Tech didn’t stand an ice cube’s chance in hell.
I remember the day before the game. My science teacher (and Virginia Tech graduate) Mrs. Beecher asked me as I crouched at my locker,
“Grayson, are you nervous for the game? I am. I heard the weather is supposed to be rainy and gross.”
To which I replied, “I guess that means I won’t be able to sit down the entire game!”
And I didn’t.
It was so wet and rainy that day that my old man, his fraternity brother George, my older brother Cary and my little brother Hampton stood for the entire game. Luckily for us, we had every reason to stand and be excited, because it was the Hokies who beat the Hurricanes like a drum that day.
Oh, yes sir! In hurricane-like conditions, the Hurricanes couldn’t handle the Hokies.
Defensive coordinator Bud Foster had Jacory Harris dialed up from the very beginning. Rover Dorian Porch forced a fumble on a strip sack within the first five minutes of the game.
That fumble set up a short touchdown run by superstar redshirt freshman running back Ryan Williams. The Hokies offense would continue to roll on the ground and in the air. Wide receiver Jarrett Boykin caught a wobbly touchdown pass from Tyrod Taylor to put the Hokies up 14-0 with four minutes left in the first quarter.
Beamer Ball would also shine in the rain, as a blocked punt set up a Matt Reidy touchdown right before halftime.
To cap off the victory, a field goal and a second touchdown run from Ryan Williams would be the final blow to Miami's ego and media overhype.
So to all of the media outlets who predicted the Hokies losing big that day, you can still put that game in your juice box and suck it.
In case you want to relive the excitement, I've linked the highlights of the game below.
So what exactly is the point that I am trying to make here?
Well, in case you weren’t aware, the Virginia Tech Hokies are scheduled to face a familiar foe in the North Carolina Tar Heels on October 10, 2020.
As it currently stands, the Tar Heels are ranked No. 8 in the country. Miami was No. 9 when we beat them in 2009.
The Tar Heels have also been getting an obscene amount of media attention for their stellar 2020 recruiting class, their Heisman hopeful quarterback Sam Howell, and their wildly successful head coach Mack Brown.
Seriously, if I hear ESPN and the College Gameday crew say “Mack is back” one more time, I’m driving to the Santa Monica Pier, getting out of my car, going to Pacific Park, and swan diving into the ocean off of the Ferris wheel.
I find it particularly interesting that the weather in Chapel Hill, NC isn’t exactly supposed to be the best this weekend. In fact, there’s supposed to be a torrential downpour, which has never favored the Tar Heels when they’ve faced the Hokies in the past (search 2016 VT vs. UNC football highlights on YouTube to see for yourself).
By the way, a torrential downpour was also in the forecast when the Hokies beat that same overhyped Miami team in 2009.
One of my favorite phrases when describing Hokie football is, “I’ve seen this movie before.” That phrase usually comes out when bad things are about to happen, but in this case, it’s a little different. Maybe bad things aren’t about to happen. Maybe something incredibly good happens on Saturday and we silence the hype around the Tar Heels of Chapel Hill once and for all this season.
I’m not saying something good will happen, and I’m most certainly not saying something bad won’t either. On either side of that spectrum, I promise that you won’t have to pull my receipts on this article. If the Hokies get blown out, I’ll admit I was wrong in defeat.
But should the Hokies win, I can promise you this: I will never shut my mouth about it. Not this season at least.
Like I said, I’ve seen this movie before. I’ve actually seen it a couple of times. And I like how it ended.