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UNC Beats Tech for First Time Since Expansion
by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, TSLMail #405, October 30, 2009
Virginia Tech has posted a remarkable 36-11 record since joining the ACC, including ACC Championship Games. Five teams in the ACC have still never beaten the Hokies since expansion in 2004. Until last night, six teams hadn't beaten the Hokies since conference expansion.
Tech was 5-0 against North Carolina until the Tar Heels strolled into Lane Stadium and hammered the Hokies at the line of scrimmage on Thursday night. The teams had played some close games in the past, including three-point Tech wins in 2004 and 2008, and a seven-point win in 2007. However, Virginia Tech had always come out on top.
UNC changed that on Thursday night. Their defensive line got penetration into the backfield on almost every play, and their offensive line pushed around a Virginia Tech front seven that just isn't as good as they normally are. With the victory, the Tar Heels became the latest ACC team to get their first conference win ever against the Hokies. Here's a look at how Tech has fared against each ACC school.
Clemson, Duke, Maryland, Virginia and Wake Forest have still never beaten the Hokies in conference play. Maryland and Virginia will have their chance to knock off Tech for the first time later this season. They'll both get the Hokies at home.
BC accomplished another impressive feat on Thursday night. They are just the third team to ever defeat the Hokies in a Thursday night football game.
The Hokies have still won 15 out of 20 Thursday night games. However, the magic is wearing off. They have lost two of their last three Thursday night games in Lane Stadium. Boston College knocked off Tech in 2007, and UNC got them this year. They have also lost three of their last five Thursday night games overall. Tech has two wins over Georgia Tech and Maryland, and losses to UNC and Boston College (twice).
Virginia Tech will play their next Thursday night game next week at East Carolina. The Pirates have a chance to make some history against the Hokies. Tech has never been beaten in back-to-back Thursday night games. If they lost to East Carolina, it will happen.
Tech has also not lost three consecutive games since the 2003 season, their final season in the Big East. The Hokies closed that year with losses to Boston College, Virginia and Cal. If they lose to East Carolina, that will happen as well.
From 2004-08, their first five seasons in the ACC, Virginia Tech only lost a total of 15 football games. This year they already have three, and now they must venture into a hostile road environment against a confident East Carolina team that knocked them off last season.
The Hokies have to buckle up mentally, because they are staring their third straight loss right in the face. On paper they should win, but teams respond to two straight losses in funny ways. Especially when they were once ranked in the Top 5 nationally. We'll have to wait another week before we find out how Virginia Tech will respond.
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