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Virginia Tech is coming off a very disappointing loss to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, and as itís been stated many times, how they respond to adversity will go a long way in determining how successful the 2006 season will turn out to be. Their first step to getting back on track will come on Thursday, October 12 at Boston College.
Frank Beamer hasnít lost very many games over the years at Virginia Tech, especially since the Beamer Bowl Era began in 1993. Whenever you hear Beamer talk after a loss, whether it be in a press conference or Hokie Hotline, he always talks about how the team needs to step up and respond to adversity. Do the Hokies generally do that? Yes, most of the time.
Virginia Tech is 22-10 following a loss in the Beamer Bowl Era. The Hokies have gone through seven two-game losing streaking since 1993. Three of those have developed into three-game losing streaks (1997, 2002, 2003). The Hokies also went on two two-game losing streaks in 2001. Six of Techís 10 losses after a loss came in the years 2001-03. Letís take a look at each year in the Beamer Bowl Era.
The Hokies were 3-0 after losses in 1993. They responded to a 21-2 loss to Miami by pounding Maryland 55-28 at home. After losing a heartbreaker 14-13 to WVU on the road (WVU went 11-1 that year), they responded with a 55-7 blowout of Temple. And finally, after getting blasted 48-34 by Glen Foley and Boston College, they came back to knock off ECU 31-12. The Hokies showed a lot of character in 1993 by shaking off tough losses and moving forward.
In 1994, Tech went 2-1 after losses. They beat Temple 41-13 after losing a tough 28-20 game to Syracuse in the Carrier Dome, and they rallied to beat Rutgers 41-33 after losing to Miami 24-3. However the wheels began to fall off after the 42-23 loss to UVA, as the Hokies got blown out 45-23 by Tennessee in the Gator Bowl. They also lost their first two games of 1995, although that wonít count in our record keeping because it was a different season.
In 1995, everyone knows what happened. Tech went 1-1 following losses. After getting knocked off 20-14 by Boston College, they got shut out 16-0 at home by Cincinnati. Miami was coming up the next week, and everyone assumed the Hokies were on their way to their fifth straight loss dating back to 1994. But the Hokies managed to knock off the ĎCanes 13-7 en route to a 10-2 season.
The 1996 Hokies lost just one game in the regular season. After starting 3-0, they were carrying the nationís longest winning streak at 13 games. They took that streak to the Carrier Dome to face Syracuse, where they completely fell apart down the stretch as a team. They trailed 24-21 in the third quarter and ended up losing 52-21. The Hokies came back strong in their next game, beating Temple 38-0, and did not lose again until they faced Nebraska in the Orange Bowl.
The 1997 Virginia Tech team was the worst team of the early Beamer Bowl Era. They bounced back from being upset by Miami of Ohio by knocking off Boston College 17-7. Later they lost to WVU 30-17, but beat UAB 37-0 in their next game. But at the end of the season, after having suffered through injuries and a general lack of talent at certain positions, they finally fell apart. They lost to Pitt (30-23), UVA (34-20) and UNC (42-3) in their final three games.
The 1998 Hokies responded to three excruciating losses with blowout victories. Techís first loss came to Temple, at home, 28-24 (yes, that actually happened, for those of you who like to joke that it didnít). They rebounded the next week, knocking off UAB 41-0. Later in the season they lost to Donovan McNabb and Syracuse on the last play of the game, but beat Rutgers 47-7 the following week.
And finally, against UVA, the Hokies led 29-7 at halftime, but ended up losing 36-32. However they responded in fine fashion, blowing out storied Alabama and current NFL All-Pro Shaun Alexander 38-7 in the Music City Bowl.
Virginia Tech did not lose another regular season game until 2000, when they got blown out by Miami 41-21 with Michael Vick and Andre Davis watching most of the game from the sidelines. But they rallied the next week, traveling back to Florida and handing UCF a 44-21 loss.
In 2001, the Hokies went on two two-game losing streaks. They dropped back to back games to Syracuse and Pitt, but managed to get back on track against Temple and UVA. To close the season, they narrowly lost a heartbreaker to #1 Miami 26-24 in Blacksburg. The Hokies got sent to Jacksonville and the Gator Bowl to close the season, where they lost to Javon Walker and Florida State 30-17. Tech was just 1-2 following losses in 2001.
In 2002, the Hokies got off to a great start and moved into the top five in the national polls. Then Pitt came into Blacksburg and handed Tech a 28-21 loss, and the Hokies went on to drop their next two games as well, against Syracuse and West Virginia. They finally got back into the win column with a victory over UVA. They closed the regular season by losing 56-45 at Miami, and then beat Air Force in the Diamond Walnut San Francisco Bowl to go 2-2 after losses on the season.
The 2003 season is one many would like to forget, except for the way the Hokies responded to their loss at WVU. After getting pounded 28-7 in Morgantown on a Thursday night, Tech came back nine days later to blow out #2 Miami 31-7 in Blacksburg. The season didnít end well, as Tech went just 8-5. They lost to Pitt the next week, then barely beat Temple, and then closed out the season with three consecutive losses.
The Hokies lost a combined four games in 2004 and 2005 (not counting the Sugar Bowl against Auburn), and following each of those losses, they responded with a victory. Three of those four victories have been by double digits, including a 63 point win over Western Michigan and a 38 point victory over UVA.
Recent history, especially the last two years, suggests that the Hokies will respond well to their loss to Georgia Tech. But this is a young VT team. Weíll find out more next Thursday night.
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