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Hokies and Wolfpack Always Play Close Games
by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, TSLMail #408 November 20, 2009

Frank Beamer is no stranger to playing tough games against NC State during his tenure at Virginia Tech. Beamer has faced the Wolfpack six times, and he has a career record of 3-2-1 against them.

The games between Frank Beamer's Hokies and NC State are always close, with the six meetings being decided by an average of six points. Here's a quick recap of all the games.

Frank Beamer vs. NC State
Year Score Winner
1989 25-23 VT
1990 20-16 VT
1991 7-0 NC State
1992 13-13 Tie
2004 17-16 NC State
2005 20-16 VT

Frank Beamer's first win over NC State was a special one. The two teams met in Raleigh on November 18, 1989, the final game of the 1989 season. The Hokies were 5-5 heading into the game, and NC State was 7-3. Wolfpack got off to a 7-1 start that season, but they had lost back-to-back games against Virginia and Duke (who went on to tie for the ACC regular season championship).

NC State was the favorite, and they jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. However, a resilient Tech team kept fighting, and they outscored the Wolfpack 22-6 in the second and third quarters. The Hokies spend the fourth quarter running out the clock, and they held on for a 25-23 win.

The Tech defense dominated a good NC State offense, limiting them to 282 yards and forcing four turnovers. Roger Brown returned one interception for a touchdown, and he also had another pick in the red zone to prevent a late Wolfpack touchdown.

NC State made a return trip to Blacksburg in 1990, and it turned out to be similar to the 1989 game. The Wolfpack jumped out to a 16-7 halftime lead, but the Hokies outscored them 13-0 in the second half to pull off the 20-16 comeback win.

NC State was limited to just 273 yards of total offense. The Wolfpack were a decent team again, finishing with a 6-5 record and earning a spot in the All-American Bowl. Here's a stat that might surprise you. Tech scored 20 points for the eighth consecutive game, and at the time that was a Virginia Tech record! The previous record was set when Tech scored 20 or more points in seven straight games in the final three games of 1985 and the first four games of 1986.

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The Wolfpack got their revenge on Tech in 1991 in Raleigh. NC State shutout Virginia Tech 7-0. The Hokies held the Pack to just 180 yards of total offense, but the Tech offense turned the ball over seven times. Will Furrer was 20-of-27 for 198 yards, but he threw five interceptions. Only two of his 27 attempts fell harmlessly to the turf that day, but unfortunately five of them were caught by NC State, who went on to go 9-2 and earn a Peach Bowl berth.

The 1992 season is one that most Tech fans would like to forget. The Hokies went 2-8-1 that season, and Frank Beamer was nearly fired at its conclusion. Tech and #21 NC State battled to a 13-13 tie that year, and it's one of many games the Hokies did not win despite leading in the fourth quarter.

Maurice DeShazo started the 1992 game for Tech, but he left the game in the second quarter with a hip pointer. Treg Koel came in and went 9-of-14 for 109 yards, and a 30 yard field goal by Ryan Williams with 1:21 remaining in the game appeared to give Virginia Tech the win.

However, NC State went on a last minute drive, and a 37 yard field goal by Steve Videtich was good, tying the game at 13. There was no overtime rule in 1992, so the game ended in a tie. Tech safety Kirk Alexander actually tipped the field goal by Videtich, but it had just enough power behind it to make it over the crossbar.

The teams did not meet again until 2004. NC State handed the Hokies their first-ever ACC loss, and they did it in Lane Stadium in heartbreaking fashion. Brandon Pace's 43 yard field goal attempt sailed wide right as time expired, giving the Wolfpack a 17-16 victory.

NC State went on to go 5-6 that year, while the Hokies won the ACC and went to the Sugar Bowl. The loss to NC State was Tech's only conference loss of the season. Bryan Randall was sacked 10 times during the game, but Pace's missed field goal spoiled a late charge by the offense.

Much hype surrounded the 2005 game, which was the season opener for both teams. Tech entered the game ranked #7 in the nation and a National Championship contender. NC State led 13-10 at halftime, as they gashed the Tech defense with underneath passes. Bud Foster made adjustments at halftime, and the game was tied 13-13 going into the fourth quarter.

Marcus Vick's 19 yard touchdown pass to David Clowney in the fourth quarter was the difference, as the Hokies went on to win 20-16. Marcus Vick made a number of clutch plays through the air and on the ground late in the game, and many Hokie fans were convinced that he would lead them to a great season, perhaps even the National Championship game.

The Hokies wound up 11-2, but suffered two high-profile losses to Miami and Florida State. They had to settle for a trip to the Gator Bowl and a win over Louisville.

The latest episode of the Tech-NC State rivalry will take place tomorrow in Lane Stadium. On paper, the game shouldn't be close, but trends have never really seemed to matter in this series.



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