2008 Monday Thoughts: Maryland

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All
week long, as this game got closer and closer, I found myself thinking that a
Thursday night home game might be just the tonic this team needed. The Thursday
night atmosphere was indeed sweet, but it also helped that the matchup was one
the Hokies could exploit. The rushing game had been missing all year from
Virginia Tech football, and against the overmatched Maryland Terrapins, it
returned, in spades. Now it’s up to the Hokies to use this romp as a springboard
to an ACC Championship Game appearance.

This game was only 23-13, not the 55-6 whipping Tech laid on Maryland in the
2004 season, but it was every bit as physically dominating as the win four years
ago.

In reviewing the 2004 season, I discovered that the 2004 and 2008 wins over
Maryland have something else in common: each came after a long stretch of time
without a meaningful home game:

  • In 2004, the Hokies beat WVU 19-13 at home on October 2nd, then went 47
    days with just one home game, a 62-0 laugher over Florida A&M, before
    beating Maryland 55-6 at home on a Thursday night.
  • In 2008, the Hokies beat Georgia Tech 20-17 at home on September 13th,
    then went 53 days with just one home game, a 27-13 snoozer over Western
    Kentucky, before beating Maryland 23-13 at home on a Thursday night.

I remember thinking that the 2004 victory over Maryland was a springboard.
The Hokies had done some good things prior to that, winning five games in a row
after a 2-2 start, but stomping Maryland seemed to really bring things in focus
and give the team a good push to a successful finish.

This year, the Hokies had also done some good things, winning key conference
games against GT and UNC, plus a road game at Nebraska, but on Thursday night,
things finally seemed to come together for VT.

Elements of the game were the same as what we had been seeing all year. Tech
gave up some big special teams plays (a blocked punt and a muffed punt) and a
big play on defense (a 63-yard reception for a TD). But the electricity and the
confidence we saw on Thursday night had been missing … not to mention that
running

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