Virginia Tech humbled Ohio State one year ago, and though the Buckeyes launched a title run following that loss, the rematch story line on Labor Day 2015 was one of revenge. “There is a little nudge around here,” OSU football coach Urban Meyer said pregame.
Mission accomplished. Ohio State built a workable lead, holding injury-slowed Tech off for a decisive 42-24 win.
Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer has made a point of scheduling contenders early in the season. Overall, the Hokies are 0-4 against ranked FBS teams in Week 1 since 2004, and 0-8 all-time against No. 1 ranked teams. Beamer gets credit from some quarters for pushing the envelope, like Soda Popinski taking on Tyson. Critics wonder why they don’t win those high-profile games.
The fact that the Hokies are sometimes over-matched just gives the team something to grow on, leading up to bowl time. That kind of preparation could launch Beamer’s young men into a contending season. What might it take to match some of his finest squads? There’s a lot of quality football in VT’s past. Here are briefings from three of Coach Beamer’s best.
#3, 2007: Virginia Tech was blasted 48-7 by second-ranked LSU early in the season. They recovered to go 11-3 (7-1 ACC), as QBs Sean Glennon and Tyrod Taylor combined for 17 passing TDs. Receiver Eddie Royal, who would go on to a successful pro career, caught four of those scores. After losing to Matt Ryan and Boston College, the Hokies reeled off five straight wins to end the year, then fell to Kansas 24-21 in the Orange Bowl. The Hokies’ emotional season was underlined by the April campus shootings in Blacksburg, Virginia.
#2, 2000: He had highlights that are still amazing to watch, like his 210-yard rushing effort from behind center against Boston College. Unfortunately, injuries to sophomore quarterback Michael Vick hindered the Hokies in 2000. The team still finished 11-1, only falling to the Miami Hurricanes during the regular season. Vick saw the signal and moved on to the NFL. The season’s other standout, running back Lee Suggs, began his quest to set the record for most consecutive games scoring a touchdown (57).
#1, 1999. Freshman QB Vick led the Hokies through their finest campaign in school history. Their undefeated regular season came to a head in early November, with a thrilling last-minute field goal victory at rival West Virginia. By this time, Coach Beamer had helmed Va. Tech for a dozen years. Everything (almost) came together perfectly, as Tech made it to the title game against Florida State. Future pros Chris Weinke (QB), Peter Warrick (WR), and Sebastian Janikowski (K) put a late surge on for FSU, winning the BCS championship 46-29.