Friday, October 21, 2005

BC-Va Tech through the years

While most of the ACC is a blank slate to BC, we have plenty of recent history with Virginia Tech and very little of it is good. TOB was 0-fer against the Hokies until we pulled a major upset in Blacksburg two years ago. After a one-year hiatus, the series resumes as a cross-division “rivalry game.” I don’t think fans of either side see it as a rivalry, but it is the price the schools had to pay for joining the ACC. Like the WTF games, the Virginia Tech series under TOB has a consistent theme -- closer than the scores looked and usually turning on a big Virginia Tech play. Here is a look back at the seven Beamer-O’Brien matchups.

1997. BC 7, Virginia Tech 17.

Despite the loss, this game was very encouraging to BC fans. TOB had the team ready to play. Matt Hasselbeck was banged up, so we had trouble moving the ball, but so did the Hokies. In a sign of things to come Al Clark avoided about three different sackers on a play late in the fourth. Once everyone on the BC defense had tripped over each other, Clark took off for a 42 yard touchdown and put the game away. I think Beamer realized that instead of finding more Druckenmillers, he needed to find more Al Clarks.

1998 BC 0, Virginia Tech 17

This was a gross game. A Thursday nighter and the weather looked like this month. BC moved the ball, but couldn’t punch it in. Once again the game turned on big plays. The Hokies blocked two punts and turned them into scoring drives.

1999. BC 14, Virginia Tech 38

Remember how I said most games were closer than the score looked? This one wasn’t. Against the best Virginia Tech team of anyone’s lifetime, Michael Vick put on a passing show with some deep bombs and their defense shut us down. Given their talent and our return to respectability that year, it was not a huge deflating loss.

2000. BC 34, Virginia Tech 48

This one was deflating. They kept going up and we kept coming back. Vick put on an absolute clinic on the ground. People point to his run against the Vikings as his most dynamic play. In my opinion, his 82-yarder on 3rd and 11 in the fourth quarter of this game will always be his best. In fact, I think it would make my top 5 for most amazing plays I’ve seen on a football field. The guy avoided multiple tackles and changed direction, then took off and still made a few more defenders miss downfield on his way to the endzone.

2001. BC 20, Virginia Tech 34.

Their defense was stifling that night. We only scored once they eased up late in the game. The back breaker came early when they turned a fumble into a quick score.

2002. BC 23, Virginia Tech 28

Another Thursday night game. Another painful result. BC had so many chances in this game that went the wrong way. Knight fumbled into the endzone. VT touchback. BStP threw an INT on the 1. They run it back to midfield. If we come away with any points on those drives, we win. This was before TOB strung a few wins over ranked teams, so people were wondering if we’d every beat a worthy opponent.

2003. BC 34, Virginia Tech 27.

Easily one of my favorite games as BC fan. This was the second game of Paul Peterson’s great run. We were 6-5 and needing every win to keep bowl hopes alive. No one gave us a chance, but Peterson gave us hope. Peterson’s day was up and down, but he showed that he could make big plays when the pressure was on. Derrick Knight was a stud running for 197 yards on 38 carries. This game showed the danger of a QB controversy. Randall started off well. They pulled him as planned to give Marcus Vick some snaps. Vick looked lost. Randle came back in and never got back in the grove.

This week, I expect more of the same. A close game where the Hokies have the edge and the winner is the team that makes the one or two big plays.

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