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Hokies Have a Good History on GameDay
by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com
TSLMail #397, September 4, 2009

ESPN's College GameDay will broadcast live from Centennial Olympic Park Saturday for the Virginia Tech-Alabama game. It will mark the eighth time Chris Fowler, Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit have covered a Virginia Tech game live. Each one of the previous games brings up memories for Tech fans. Some are bad, and some are good.

College GameDay at Tech Games
Year Opponent Result

vs. Syracuse

62-0 W

vs. Miami

43-10 W

vs. Georgia Tech


at Pitt

31-28 L

vs. Georgia Tech

51-7 W

vs. Miami

27-7 L

vs. East Carolina

17-7 W

The Hokies are 4-2 when GameDay has been in town, with another game that never even kicked off.

Syracuse, 1999

The 1999 Syracuse game was Virginia Tech's national coming out party. GameDay was in Blacksburg for the very first time, and a GameDay-record number of Tech fans sat in the West Stands to be on hand for the show. The GameDay hosts were obviously impressed.

Even more impressive than the Tech crowd was the 62-0 beatdown Tech laid on Syracuse that evening. At the time, it was the biggest margin of victory in a game between two ranked teams.

Miami, 1999

GameDay came back later that season for the Miami game, and Tech fans again responded by breaking the attendance record. The two trips to Tech in 1999 helped to transform GameDay into a major fan experience.

The actual game was pretty good as well. Miami jumped out to a 10-0 lead, but the Hokies never panicked. They came back and hammered the Hurricanes 43-10 en route to an undefeated season.

Georgia Tech, 2000

GameDay was back in Blacksburg for a special Sunday night season opener against Georgia Tech in 2000. The teams were on the field and about to kick off when a freak thunderstorm forced the teams to the dressing rooms, the fans under the stands, and took out Lee Corso's rental car.

You know the rest of the story. Corso had picked Georgia Tech that night, and then lightning struck his car. He picked the Hokies to play for the National Championship in 2001, saying "I don't know what a Hokie is, but God is one of them."

Pitt, 2003

After hammering #2 Miami 31-7, Tech had a great shot to win the Big East despite their loss to West Virginia. All that stood in their way was Rod Rutherford, Larry Fitzgerald and the Pittsburgh Panthers. This game went back and forth, with Marcus Vick getting the majority of reps at quarterback for the Hokies.

Tech trailed 24-14, but rallied to take a 28-24 lead. However, Pitt marched down the field to score the winning touchdown with just seconds remaining, and Tech went on to collapse at the end of the season.

Georgia Tech, 2005

After starting the 2005 season 3-0, the Hokies rose to the rank of #4 in the country. Georgia Tech came into town 3-0 as well and ranked #15. It was expected to be a good game, but the Hokies put a 51-7 beating on the Yellow Jackets. Tech took it easy in the fourth quarter as well, putting their backups in and only scoring three points.

The Hokies were playing as well as they had ever played, at that point in the season. Tech had just one turnover through the first four games, and Marcus Vick looked like a dominant player. That all came crashing down in GameDay's next visit to Blacksburg ...

Miami, 2005

The Hokies were #3 in the country and undefeated. Miami was 6-1 and ranked #6. In GameDay's previous three trips to Lane Stadium, the Hokies had outscored their opponents by an average of just over 46 points per game. Everyone assumed Tech would wash the 'Canes back out to sea.

However, Miami dominated the line of scrimmage and confused quarterback Marcus Vick. Vick had six total turnovers in the game, two interceptions and four fumbles. Tech's dreams of a National Championship in 2005 were over.

East Carolina, 2007

After the shootings of April, 2007, ESPN decided to send the College GameDay crew to Blacksburg for the opening week of the 2007 season. It was an emotional scene in Blacksburg, and the game was of secondary importance.

However, there was still a game. Tech struggled to defeat the pesky East Carolina Pirates. ECU was tough at the line of scrimmage, but the Hokies came away with a 17-7 victory.

The ECU game marks the last time College GameDay has covered a Virginia Tech game. The Tech-Alabama game is the biggest game of the weekend, and it should bring good exposure to the program. A win on national television would make it even better.


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