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HTS 2018: Virginia

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Break out the lawn party attire, we’re welcoming the gentlemen of Charlottesville.

NCAA Football: Georgia Tech at Virginia
Get him!
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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. This week we welcome the polite and well-mannered Virginia Cavaliers to the Flats.


Virginia Cavaliers

Opponent Background:

  • Conference: Atlantic Coast Conference (1953 - present)
  • Location: Charlottesville, Virginia
  • All-time Record: 655–597–48 (.522)
  • Home Stadium: Scott Stadium (Capacity: 61,500)
  • National Championships: N/A
  • College Football Playoff Appearances: N/A
  • New Year’s Six Bowl Games: 5 (Peach: 4 - 1984, 1995, 1998, 2011 Sugar: 1 - 1990)
  • Conference Championships: 5 — (SAIAA: 1908, 1914, 1915 ACC: 1989, 1995)
  • Division Championships: N/A
  • 2017 Season Record: 6 - 7 (3 - 5 ACC)

Past Results:

  • Team Head-to-Head Record: 20-19-1 (.500)
  • Recent Meetings:
    2014 - 35-10 Georgia Tech (Atlanta, GA)
    2015 - 27-21 Virginia (Charlottesville, VA)
    2016 - 31-17 Georgia Tech (Atlanta, GA)
    2017 - 40-36 Virginia (Charlottesville, VA)
  • Coach Head-to-Head Record: 1-3-0 (.250)
  • Tech record against Virginia in this week’s venue: 16-7-0 (.696)

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

We Played Virginia Last Year?

Virginia was one of the first schools in the south to have a football team. The first Cavalier season was in 1888. Those early teams proved to be the zenith of Virginia football, as they claimed many conference titles in the waning days of the nineteenth century. They first played North Carolina in the South’s Oldest Rivalry in 1892 and the Tar Heels, along with Maryland and Virginia Tech, are Virginia’s traditional rivals. That early success lasted right up until the middle of the nineteen tens, right around the first rise of a team known as the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

The team was first known as the Cavaliers starting around 1923. This was just another in a string of years of middling success for the Virginians. The program was repeatedly considered for elimination, and the administration was split on whether or not to join the ACC when it was founded, preferring to align with other schools in the state. Though at one point in the long stretch of decades of mediocre football, they were able to o decline an Orange Bowl invitation, for the most part they proceeded to be terrible until the 1980s, when coach Georgia Welsh was hired. He was excellent for the Cavaliers, leading them To their first-ever bowl game, plus many more, and their first conference championship in decades in 1989. They received their first number one ranking in 1990, lasting four weeks at the top. They were the first team to beat Florida State in a conference game. Since Welsh stepped down in 2000 as the then-winningest coach in conference play, the Wahoos have been mostly mediocre but have an outside chance at their first-ever Coastal division title this year.

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 730-495-43.

Tech and the University of Virginia can really be boiled down to one play, on a fall night up in Charlottesville. The upstart Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets were on the road visiting the number 1 Virginia Cavaliers. Long story short, the hosts would not finish the night the number one team in the nation. Just ask Scott Sisson what happened. For all the talk of Tech being cursed in Charlottesville, which is probably overstated, that one night made it all worth it. Tech, team of destiny, was well on its way to its fourth, and to date most recent, national championship.

The Jackets took their fourth straight win last week, defeating the Miami Hurricanes under whiteout conditions last weekend on the Flats. This week, Tech looks to notch another win under its belt against a coach who “has a passion for defending the option.” Okay, buddy. Toe meets leather against Virginia (20-19-1 all time) Saturday at 3:30 pm. The game will be aired on the Worldwide Ninety Millionth Place of Sports, Raycom Sports, which is Fox Sports South in Atlanta, 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 Friday at 10:00 AM. Tune in early tomorrow 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!