Big East Farewell Tour, Part 1 of 7: Rutgers
by VTHokieTom, 10/3/03

Rutgers University, home of one of the worst Tech nightmares in the history of Tech football. October 31, 1992: Hokies leading 42-21 at one point, and holding a 5 point lead with under a minute to go and Rutgers 70-80 yards away from the win. Two long passes later, Rutgers wins 50-49. I remember almost, ALMOST, throwing the radio against the garage wall, when the touchdown call was made. But remember, that was 1992, the year Tech lost numerous 4th quarter leads.

However, since that fateful day, the University of Rutgers has been an impressive zero for ten against the Hokies. My, how the tide has changed. Tech is now the perennial Top 10-20 ranked team and Rutgers is the perennial RANK team.

I ventured to the banks of the Raritan twice, 1999 and 2001, and both years were very special. First in 1999, after a wonderful flyover from a squadron of geese, Michael Vick had a fantastic two quarters of football. During the 2nd half, the stadium got buzzed by a small prop plane several times and at the time, most of us thought that it was wild and kind of cool. Try that now, and we would surely have a major panic attack.

The game in 2001 was our first game after 9/11. Driving up to the game and seeing all the flags draped off the bridges over I-95 and all the USA car flags was very inspiring. When Brian Welsh ran on to the field holding the Stars and Stripes and everyone shouting USA, USA it's a feeling I will never forget. The game was a blur. We won 50-0, and their cannon was left silent, but knowing the carnage just 30 miles or so to the north, cheering for the Hokies was not as vocal as usual on that day.

The one memory etched in my mind was the towerless view of Manhattan and the smoke still visible throughout the skyscrapers. That was 2 years ago, and it still feels like yesterday.

Tomorrow, we bid Rutgers a fond farewell, hopefully with win number 11 in a row. I will miss the great tailgates at the RAC as the Virginia Tech - New Brunswick campus exploded with orange and maroon colors. I will miss going to their stadium. The upper deck was a great place to watch a game.

And I will also miss the vision of those two glorious towers, glistening in the distance. Bless the memories of the ones lost that horrible day.


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