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Hokies Hope to Keep Streak in Carolina Alive
by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, TSLMail #506, October 14, 2011
Virginia Tech has dominated their competition in the state of North Carolina since joining the ACC for the 2004 season. The Hokies have played 12 conference games in the state of North Carolina, and they have won every single one of them.
That's an impressive feat. In fact, the Hokies have more conference wins in the state of North Carolina since 2004 than Duke has anywhere (7).
Things weren't easy the first few times the Hokies visited the Tar Heel state. It took a goalline stand to hold off Wake Forest in their first ever conference game in North Carolina. UNC missed a field goal that would have sent the game to overtime later in 2004. In 2005, the Hokies kicked off the season at NC State and won the game in the fourth quarter.
From the Duke game in 2005 through the end of 2007, it was all blowouts in North Carolina. The Hokies pounded Duke twice during that stretch, while beating UNC and Wake handily in 2006. The Wake Forest team that the Hokies beat 27-6 back in 2006 went on to become ACC Champions.
Things started to get dicey again, beginning with a trip to UNC in 2008. The Hokies fell behind 17-3 in the third quarter, but roared back to win the game 20-17 after knocking quarterback T.J. Yates out of the contest. In 2009, the Hokies let Duke play them to a closer score than it ever should have been.
2010 was Virginia Tech's best year in the state of North Carolina. They trailed 17-0 against NC State, but rallied to win the game 41-30. It was the biggest comeback of Frank Beamer's career. They later went on to easily beat North Carolina 26-10, and capped 2010 with a victory over Florida State in the first ACC Championship Game to be held in Charlotte.
That 12-0 record in ACC games in the state of North Carolina is impressive. However, for the most part, the competition hasn't been strong. UNC, Wake Forest and NC State have combined to go to 10 bowl games over those seven seasons. That's 21 seasons of football, and just 10 bowl appearances.
However, of Virginia Tech's 12 ACC wins in North Carolina, seven of them were against teams that went on to play in bowl games, including last year's 44-33 ACC Championship Game victory over Florida State.
Tomorrow, Tech will face another team in North Carolina that is likely headed to a bowl game. Wake Forest is 4-1, and they would be 5-0 had Tanner Price not been knocked out of the game at Syracuse. The Demon Deacons have home games remaining against Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, Maryland and Vanderbilt. They play Duke, UNC and Clemson on the road. Wake Forest will get at least two more wins with that schedule, and they'll be heading to a bowl game under possible ACC Coach of the Year Jim Grobe.
If the Hokies pull off their 13th conference win in North Carolina since 2004, it will be a quality victory.
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