Virginia Tech’s two straight ACC Championship Game victories over Boston
College have helped dull the pain of three straight regular season losses to the
Eagles, but the fact remains: from 2006-2008, BC has laid some painful, at times
embarrassing, defeats on the Hokies. Boston College: They’re the New Pitt.
You remember VT’s rivalry with Pitt in the Big East days. Pittsburgh had the
uncanny ability to play JV football against many teams on their schedule, and
NFL football against the Hokies. It was maddening.
Perhaps it was karma. Most people point to Tech’s 1995 win over Miami as the
victory that kicked off Virginia Tech’s football greatness, but others will
point further back, to the 63-21 thrashing Tech laid on Pittsburgh on September
11, 1993, as the moment the Hokies realized they were breaking out of their
probation-induced football coma and were headed for better things. Indeed, those
Hokies finished 9-3 that year and won the Independence Bowl, the first of Tech’s
current 16-year bowl streak.
That game had the opposite effect on Pittsburgh. The Panthers were 1-0 coming
into that game, with a win over Southern Mississippi, and were supposed to be
resurgent under coaching legend Johnny Majors, who had coached the Panthers to a
national championship in 1976 and was back at Pitt after a 16-year stint at
However, they were not resurgent, as the Hokies pointed out in brutal
fashion, amassing a school-record 500 yards rushing and a school-record 675
yards of total offense in the romp. While the win kicked off a new era of
success for Virginia Tech football, Pittsburgh went on a downward spiral from
which they would never recover. The Panthers lost five more games in a row after
being flattened by the Hokies and finished 3-8 on the year.
Another 3-8 season followed in 1994, then 2-9 in 1995, and finally, 4-7 in
1996 before Majors and the Panthers parted ways. During the Johnny Majors era,
the Hokies went 4-0 against Pitt by a combined score of 168-61 (42-15 average).
Pittsburgh hired Walt Harris to replace Majors, and Harris’ hiring produced
immediate dividends in the wars with Virginia Tech:
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