clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

HTS 2018: VPISU

New, 21 comments

It’s pronounced like it’s spelled.

Virginia Tech v Georgia Tech
My man.
Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Welcome to From the Rumble Seat’s weekly historical matchup lecture. Throughout the season, each unit in this class will examine the head-to-head matchups of our opponents in the 2018 season.


Virginia _ech Hokies

Opponen_ Background:

  • Conference: A_lan_ic Coas_ Conference (2004 - presen_)
  • Location: Blacksburg, Virginia
  • All-_ime Record: 738 - 464 - 46 (.610)
  • Home S_adium: Lane S_adium (Capacity: 66,233)
  • Na_ional Championships: N/A
  • College Foo_ball Playoff Appearances: N/A
  • New Year’s Six Bowl Games: 11 (Sugar: 4, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2012 Orange: 4, 1996, 2007, 2008, 2011 Peach: 3, 1980, 1986, 2006)
  • Conference Championships: 10 — (South A_lan_ic: 1916, 1918 Sou_hern: 1963 Big Eas_: 1995, 1996, 1999 ACC: 2004, 2007, 2008, 2010)
  • Division Championships: 6 — 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2016
  • 2017 Season Record: 9 - 4 (5 - 3 ACC)

Past Results:

  • Team Head-to-Head Record: 6-9-0 (.400)
  • Recent Meetings:
    2014 - 27-24 Georgia Tech (Blacksburg, VA)
    2015 - 23-21 Virginia Polytechnic and State University (Atlanta, GA)
    2016 - 30-20 Georgia Tech (Blacksburg, VA)
    2017 - 28-22 Georgia Tech (Atlanta, GA)
  • Coach Head-to-Head Record: 2-0-0 (1.000)
  • Tech record in this week’s venue: 3-4-0 (.750)

2018 Football Schedule

Date Time (if known) Opponent Conference Historical Record Venue Result Notes
Date Time (if known) Opponent Conference Historical Record Venue Result Notes
September 1 12:30 p.m. Alcorn State Southwestern Athletic 2-0-0 Bobby Dodd Stadium - Atlanta, GA 41 - 0 W FCS
September 8 12:00 p.m. @ South Florida American Athletic 0-1-0 Raymond James Stadium - Tampa, FL 38 - 49 L First Meeting, Group of Five
September 15 12:30 p.m. @ Pittsburgh Atlantic Coast 5-8-0 Heinz Field - Pittsburgh, PA 19 - 24 L
September 22 3:30 p.m. Clemson Atlantic Coast 50-31-2 Bobby Dodd Stadium - Atlanta, GA 21 - 49 L Rivalry, Hall of Fame Day
September 29 12:00 p.m. Bowling Green Mid-American 1-0-0 Bobby Dodd Stadium - Atlanta, GA 63 - 17 W First Meeting, Family Weekend, Group of Five
October 5 7:00 p.m. @ Louisville Atlantic Coast 1-0-0 Cardinal Stadium - Louisville, KY 66 - 31 W First Meeting
October 13 12:20 p.m. Duke Atlantic Coast 51-34-1 Bobby Dodd Stadium - Atlanta, GA 14 - 28 L Homecoming
October 25 7:30 p.m. @ VPISU Atlantic Coast 7-9-0 Lane Stadium - Blacksburg, VA 49 - 28 W Rivalry
November 3 12:15 p.m. @ North Carolina Atlantic Coast 30-21-3 Kenan Memorial Stadium - Chapel Hill, NC 38 - 28 W
November 10 7:00 p.m. Miami Atlantic Coast 12-12-0 Bobby Dodd Stadium - Atlanta, GA 27 - 21 W Whiteout
November 17 3:30 p.m. Virginia Atlantic Coast 21-19-1 Bobby Dodd Stadium - Atlanta, GA 30 - 27 W (OT) Senior Day
November 24 12:00 p.m. @ u[sic]ga Southeastern 44-67-5 Sanford Stadium - Athens, GA 45 - 21 L Rivalry
December 26 5:15 p.m. vs. Minnesota Big Ten 0-0-0 Ford Field - Detroit, MI - First Meeting

You Can Probably Guess the Result in 1990

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University has a long and storied football existence dating back to 1892, coincidentally the origin of the Tech team as well. Their first game was against a Radford boys school that was “about as level as a side of Brush Mountain,” whatever that is. One can assume that it was not, however, very flat. They first wore the colors burnt orange and Chicago maroon in 1896, a combination they tout as being unique at the time, though, clearly some other, more accomplished and famous school was already using one of the two. This author will save his rant about University of Chicago football for another day. Anyways, they had several one-loss teams around the turn of the century, all three of them losing their single game against their rivals, the University of Virginia. In 1909, they were first referred to as the Gobblers. As is the age old question, what is a hokie, anyways?

In 1932, they beat the school in Athens. There’s not much to add, that was just a nice thing for them to do.

Their first bowl game was when the 3-3-3 1947 team was the third choice selection for the Sun Bowl. Their only undefeated season, at 8-0-1, came a few years later, and somehow did not get invited to a bowl. Go figure. In 1981, they were officially dubbed the Hokies, derived from an old cheer, or so the story goes. The football teams were largely mediocre, committing sanctionable violations, or both during this period, and the tenure of coach Bill Dooley was marked with exceptional strife. After his departure, Virginia Tech would attempt to hire Maryland’s Bobby Ross, but instead of hiring Ross, they were stuck with Frank Beamer, a former letterwinner for VPISU. Ross would lead Georgia Tech to its fourth national championship in 1990, beating the Hokies in Atlanta 6-3 along the way in their first-ever meeting, and Beamer, in almost three decades in Blacksburg, would bring the Hokies tantalizingly close to one of their own several times. They are still searching.

Beamer, for as close as his program came to success, is largely to credit with them being there in the first place. He took a middle of the road independent, got them into a major conference, and climbed that ladder to an ACC invitation a decade later. Now, they are one of the better schools in the conference and have six league titles to their name. Not too bad for a new-blood school from a small-ish Virginia town.

As far as Tech football history goes, From the Rumble Seat has been taking a biweekly look at football history since the beginning of the summer over at Rearview Mirror. And it hasn’t changed much since last week. The short version is that Tech football began ignominiously with a middling season in 1892. A game up in Athens in 1893, which Tech won, set the stage for one of the fiercest rivalries in the sport and also is one of the mythic origins of the Ramblin’ Wreck nickname, as well as how Tech got its colors. Tech was pitiful, to put it nicely, for quite some time until one man, Frank Turner, started an initiative to hire a bonafide legend as a football coach. That resulted in John Heisman. Heisman, innovator and champion, saw much success on the Flats until he dramatically left town as part of his divorce. The old man was replaced by William Alexander, who was known for his team’s strong academics and his own 1928 national championship. Coach Alex was, in turn, replaced by his own protege Bobby Dodd. By the end of Dodd’s tenure, Tech had amassed three national championships, twelve conference championships, including five in the Southeastern Conference, which just mean more, and had decided to go independent to make a stand not only for its football prominence, but its foundational academic principles as well. Dodd and Tech would not sacrifice student-athlete education and well-being. The independent years were lean for Tech and did not result in the dream of a “Notre Dame of the South” status. Eventually, Tech joined the Atlantic Coast Conference in the beginning of the 1980s. By the end of the decade, coach Bobby Ross brought the Jackets seemingly from nowhere to win a national championship, Tech’s fourth. Since then, the Jackets have seen average-to-great years, the most recent excellent year being 2014, when Tech was a few plays from the inaugural College Football Playoff. The Jackets have an all-time record of 724-491-43.

For all the fun it is to face off against the Hokies, the two teams have still only played one another fifteen times, which seems weird. The first matchup came in 1990, with Bobby Ross and Tech barely edging out Frank Beamer and the Hokies. Another early matchup was cancelled due to ridiculous weather. Since 2004, when VPISU joined the league, the two schools have met annually in what has been dubbed the Battle of the Techs, or, more fun, the Techmo Bowl. The winner of the matchup regularly goes on to play in the conference championship game, and the contest is often fun and memorable. There is not a team on the schedule I look more forward to playing due equal parts to the pleasure of a good game of football and the spiritedness of rivalry than the annual tilt with the Hokies. It is a matchup that only grows with fervor with the addition of that special ingredient - familiarity.

The Jackets come off the bye week on the road at the Hokies (6-9-0 all time) in week eight at Lane Stadium this evening at 7:00 pm. The game will be aired on ESPN and can be heard over the radio in the usual suspects, 680 AM / 93.7 FM and the Georgia Tech Football Radio Network.


With the appearance of the historical matchup preview, that means it’s after Thursday at 10:00 AM. Tune in today for How to Watch continuing through the gameday thread and the postgame recap. Less than 36 hours until toe meets leather! As always, go Jackets!