Unfortunately, due to health and safety concerns regarding COVID-19, this football season for Hokie Nation will have a limited attendance in the stadiums. The upcoming football game of the season against the University of Virginia will be no exception to this new rule.
Dating back all the way to 1895, Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia have been battling each other ever since on the football field for the Commonwealth Cup. The University of Virginia won the very first game ever against Tech, with a winning score of 38-0.
The rivalry between Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia however truly began in the 1980s, presumably because both teams were coached by College Football Hall of Fame coaches, Frank Beamer and George Welsh. This rivalry inspired a points based competition called the Commonwealth Clash, in which Tech and UVA compete against each other in all 22 varsity sports for a trophy. Virginia Tech beat UVA in football in the first year of the Commonwealth Clash in 2014, however Tech did not win the Commonwealth Clash trophy the same year.
Since 2004, Virginia Tech has beat the University of Virginia in football every year until the streak officially ended last year at the Coastal Championship game. The final score was 39-30. After winning the ACC Coastal Title, UVA played Clemson University in the 2019 ACC Championship. They lost by 45 points and did not proceed further in the competition.
“It’s more than a normal game, it’s protecting what we stand for as a family. That blue collar, chip-on-your-shoulder family mentality is something that we all embrace here at Virginia Tech and want to take head on with those in opposition,” said Jonathon Wangler, a senior psychology major at Virginia Tech.
The rivalry between these two universities usually is centered on football, since that is where Tech truly shines athletically against UVA. This alone has given the students at Tech bragging rights about their team. That is until the loss of last year. The game this year is expected to be highly anticipated because of the loss of the streak and it is truly up in the air now on who will win.
“They may have gotten the best of us last year, but I don’t know anyone that would trade a day as a Hokie for one as a Hoo,” Wangler said.
Although the rivalry is strong and students have been known to make jabs at each other, both UVA and Tech have a mutual respect for each other. However, after the loss from last year, the rivalry grew stronger as the 15-year-long streak was broken.
Head coach of Virginia Tech’s football team, Justin Fuente, met with the media during a video conference this month to discuss the new quarterback(s). Junior Hendon Hooker was named as the starting quarterback with junior Braxton Burmeister, being next in line. With the number of coronavirus cases increasing at colleges, Fuente said that having several team members able to fill in for the quarterback will give our team an advantage on the field.
As for the University of Virginia, secondary coach Nick Howell, in an interview with Virginia Sports, said his only concern right now for this season is beating Virginia Tech. Howell reveals in this interview that the team has been preparing for a while now mentally and physically for the season. For now their starting quarterback is sophomore, Brennan Armstrong.
Even though most of us will be watching from our television screens, this game is highly anticipated as the competition has become fierce.
The University of Virginia and Virginia Tech will battle each other at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, Virginia on Dec. 12. The game will be broadcast on ABC